American Leather finding success with Shop-in-Shop at retail

Concept highlights design and lifestyle elements of company’s motion and stationary lines, allowing consumers to customize options

DALLAS — Upholstery manufacturer American Leather, known for its innovation and superior product engineering, has evolved to include a design program for retailers. The Shop-in-Shop concept highlights design and lifestyle elements of its motion and stationary lines. The concept debuted in 2023 and currently has five locations in operation with another 10 in the works.

“The Shop-in-Shop concept is where American Leather’s unique story unfolds, and consumers are met with the true brand personality within a retail store,” said Ashley Fothergill, creative director for American Leather. “The vignettes are customizable and span up to 2,000 square feet to provide retailers with options that work best within their space.” He continued, “Shop-in-Shop can also be thought of as a service American Leather provides to make custom product design easy.”

The Shop-in-Shop footprint also features a design center, filled with top-quality leather and fabric options that customers can touch and feel, as well as arm and leg customization options to showcase the endless possibilities of the brand. For the finishing touch, customers can choose between a wide range of metal and wood finishes.

This and other room scenes at the American Leather showroom gave retailers ideas on how they can display the product line in the Shop-in-Shop concept in their store.

Aside from the Shop-in-Shop design center, customers can customize pieces for their own homes by using the draping tool on American Leather’s website to see a 3D rendering. Users can shop by fabric, color, patterns and more to create and visualize their dream piece. Once customers have chosen a combination, they can print out the spec sheet and use the online locator to be directed to the nearest dealer.

Carrie Cox, director of brand experience for American Leather, works closely with each retailer partner to design custom Shop-in-Shop vignettes that will appeal to the regional customers’ aesthetic and style preferences. Cox thoughtfully selects the materials that work best in those markets, whether that is showcasing popular bison leather in Colorado or colorful yet durable fabrics in Florida.

In this area of the High Point showroom, dealers saw multiple custom options for customers to choose from, offering a broad mix of patterns and color palettes.

One indicator of success is modern furniture retailer Cantoni, which recently rebranded its store in Dallas featuring an American Leather Shop-in-Shop experience and sales increased by 50%. The American Leather x Cantoni partnership is a long-standing one with American Leather being featured throughout the luxury chain. “What is different about how we have approached this particular collaboration was that we were looking to create an environment that houses a more complete array of our products, beyond motion, with examples of our stationary and conversational pieces,” Fothergill said. He added, “The assortment reflects all that American Leather is capable of but in a way that beautifully balances our brand’s DNA with the contemporary aesthetic Cantoni is renowned for.” 

Two additional Cantoni locations in Houston and Atlanta are in progress with the goal of completion before the end of 2024. Other Shop-in-Shop concepts are planned for other locations across the U.S. including in Atlanta, New York, Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, Seattle and Dallas.

“I think the success we have seen has come about via thinking outside the box a little and we credit Cantoni for allowing us to do so. We removed SKUs from the floor giving the product more space to breathe and more room for the client to interact with the product. We have developed vignettes that help to provide the client with a sense of how American Leather would work in their home.”

Fothergill added, “These projects harness the partnerships that have long been the backbone of the American Leather business, with retailers and American Leather sharing both the experience and the ‘lift’ but in a way that reflects the strengths of each.”

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