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Crate&Barrel 02-02-2023
Crate&Barrel is a leading furniture and home specialty retailer based in the United States. It is known for its unique designs, excellent value for money and customer service.

With the rise of online commerce, the company had to reinvent its business model and expand into other channels to stay relevant with a customer-centric strategy.

The company is now decidedly omnichannel, with a physical network of 100 stores in the United States and Canada; an e-commerce; a marketplace since 2017; and an app that alone generates 60% of store traffic.

Initial description

After several years of disappointing results and lack of strategic clarity, C&B decided to turn the company around by going after a slightly more premium target. To achieve this, C&B had to:

  • Redefine its store model to a more impactful and immersive concept, including a catering offering; and make stores more efficient through SKU optimization, cross-merchandising and recommendations. Meanwhile, the number of stores has declined, and C&B has focused investments on the most suitable locations.

  • Accelerating its digital presence and online sales, which now account for 50% of turnover.

Lessons learned and Ebeltoft experience

Crate&Barrel has managed to recover thanks to a consistent ecosystem: fewer stores, but more premium stores in which the company invested heavily; combined with a clear online growth priority that mixes transactional, relational and emotional objectives.

We analyze the Crate&Barrel case, along with others, in the report Distribution Channel Strategies for Brands and Retailers, prepared by Ebeltoft Group and Kiss Retail; you can download it here: