Leading design studio Dark Horse is moving their retail space to accommodate increasing demand and a shift in buyer practice.
Dark Horse, leading Cape Town furniture and apparel store, is moving their primary retail space to their new showroom at 25 Yew Street, Salt River, Cape Town. The relocation is part of a wider initiative to intensify focus on online retail, streamline customer service, and showcase a larger catalogue.
For the last 18 months Dark Horse has successfully focused on the V & A Waterfront’s Watershed market as their principal retail space.
The move is also a result of Dark Horse experiencing a radical increase in demand on their online store. Combined with a successful expansion into the international market, with retailers now carrying their stock in Berlin, Hamburg (Germany) and more to follow in Canada, Dark Horse co-founder, Jarrad Nelson, said the time is ripe for a new approach to the way the company operates.
“We’ve found that South Africans have become more reliant on online shopping – and with our brand awareness growing in Europe, where online retail is already firmly established, we needed a physical retail space that served a more flexible purpose than just as an outlet for selling products,” he said.
The Dark Horse showroom is connected to their studio, and as such also allows visitors insight into their design and manufacturing processes, as well as engage on larger projects with designers and architects.
By combining a focus on their online store with the newly renovated showroom, Nelson said that they are able to meet increased demand, while at the same time providing a more efficient and care-oriented experience for the customer. This in turn streamlines their logistics – allowing Dark Horse to focus more on product design and improving client experience.
The showroom offers a variety of new work and established pieces such as seating, lighting, and travel accessories. Unlike previous locations the company has used, it is also able to showcase larger Dark Horse items such as dining tables and new seating offerings. The company intends to install a coffee bar at the location, to serve as a dedicated space for discussion and networking for South African designers and interested parties, as well as a place for clients to relax.
Nelson believes that their shift in focus was inevitable considering the changing retail landscape generally: “Online shopping makes things easier for the customer, so reinforcing our efforts there was a logical choice. By using a showroom adjacent to our studio to highlight our products, we are able to have more conversations with our clients, show how we craft our products, and receive feedback directly,” he said.
The showroom is now open to customers. Trading hours are Monday to Fridays 8:30am – 15:00pm. From the beginning of March the showroom will also be open on Saturdays by appointment.
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