The average person who walks into a Pirch showroom will not walk out until a full two hours have passed. It’s a statistic hard to believe in this day and age until you actually walk into one.
I've seen cool ads for the store, as well as pictures of celebrities shopping there, but have never given it much thought until CE Pro wrote a story about them a few weeks ago. When I read that Savant, a Crestron competitor, and HTSA, an AV buying group, were sinking their teeth into the space, I knew I had to pay a visit.
Going in to the Atlanta showroom, I had no expectations of grandeur—after all, on a bare bones level, this is an appliance store. How exciting—or even relevant—could it be to a 20-something who still has roommates? As it turns out, very.
Before opening the door to let myself in, a curious sentence under the usual hours sign caught my eye. It said “If those hours don’t suit your schedule, give us a call. You never know what we might be persuaded to do with our personal time. We love this place!” Definitely not a commonplace display, but Pirch is not common.
The Atlanta ground level offers different bathroom vignettes where clients can turn on tubs, push sink drains up and down, and do anything you would do in a normal bathroom.
Upstairs is a space six times the size of the downstairs with various kitchen, cleaning, and bathroom vignettes.
Another tub. You know all those times you instinctively turned knobs at Home Depot or Lowe's just for the fun of it, knowing nothing would happen? Now, water actually comes out of those knobs. There really is something to being able to turn on all the appliances. It’s so foreign and unknown when you’re in a retail store.
This is a bathroom cabinet that’s perfect for storing everyday valuables like Grandma’s pearl ring, cash, and your kid’s phone that you’ve just taken away. Lock and bolt baby.
One of the coolest things about Pirch is that a chef is there 24/7 in case a client comes in and wants to actually cook things. Not only that, after you’ve purchased a stove, oven or grill from Pirch, you’re encouraged to come back if and when you need help from a chef getting that chicken recipe just right.
The night I was there a chef was making mini pizzas. I simply wasn’t expecting much. Friends, when I bit into that pizza—and later salmon, and after that strawberry shortcake—I was dazzled. They’re serving food right on par with numerous high-end restaurants in Atlanta.
They have several “Demystification Station’s” throughout the store. My favorite was the one for refrigerators.
They have a fridge with an iPad built right in that the whole family can use. Order a carton of milk, get a recipe for red wine braised short ribs for tonight’s supper, schedule the whole family’s summer from Sticki Board, and let the kids draw fun notes all from this one device on the fridge.
Laith Murad, newly minted Chief Marketing Officer of Pirch, gave a tour of the facilities later in the evening. Full of passion, honesty, and humor, Mr. Murad seems a very adept salesmen, and was scooped up from Yahoo only a few months ago.
The sanctuary. Where to begin! If a client is in the middle of buying a shower or tub, they’re encouraged to come try the various shower heads before making the final decision. I couldn’t help but smile and ask if couples are allowed in together. After all, if you're buying a shower the size of a starter New York apartment, you're probably going to want to, ahem, experience it together. Mr. Murad blushed and said that, well, yes, they are.
The gift shop is expertly curated by Duane Kenton Jeffers. With a resume tauting Neiman Marcus, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Bath & Body Works, Jeffers is cut from the vicuña cloth that's perfect for this role.
When I saw these soaps I was instantly transported back to childhood and a memory I haven't thought of in probably 10 years. The memory is simple: I would help put back my Mother's amethyst rock stone collection on the wall unit after she dusted. She always told me afterwards how good I was at that.
I was told by a sales associate that these gifts are meant to be conversation starters and the most unique gifts you can find.
Made by a former geologist, Todd S. Pink, each one is named after the actual stone they were inspired by. I bought, of course, the purple amethyst for my Mother, and the chartreuse green for a colleague at Adelyte.
This graphite rock writes like a pencil for years, but inexplicably leaves your hands stain free.
With $113 million in revenue last year, Pirch is only getting started. The AV world is partnering with them, a fantastic move for both parties. Residential dealers could take a page or two out of Pirch's book, that's for sure.
I walked out of Pirch knowing I will never build or remodel future homes without going and spending glorious, fun hours swept up in this experience called Pirch.