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Brief Published: 26 Jun 2013

Teen Retail: PBteen Design Lab, California

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PBteen, the young-adult-focused division of US home furnishings brand Pottery Barn, has unveiled a new California store conceived to up the ante when it comes to appealing to this traditionally fickle demographic.

One of the most significant features of the new store, which is located in Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles, is that it provides consumers with free access to computers hosting the PBteen Design Lab program. This allows shoppers to virtually decorate a sample room using PBteen items. With just a click of the mouse, shoppers can click and drag different pieces of furniture and décor into a virtual room template.

While the room shown is a generic setting and can’t as yet be tailored to suit users’ own environments, the prospect of customisation – an essential strategy for dealing with the teen market – offers consumers an invaluable aid to gauging how they might style the products in their own homes.

The Design Lab includes two desktop-sized computers that connect to two large wall-mounted televisions that project the customer’s activity on each of the computer monitors, enabling friends and family to get involved in the design process. Guests can have a sales associate assist them, if desired. Once they’ve finished personalising their room in the Design Lab, customers can print out the virtual floor plan, along with an itemised list of products.

See also Virtual Decorating: Interior Architecture in the Next Dimension for examples of other homeware brands embracing interactive spatial design programmes.

Homing in on the college demographic, guests at the new store can also browse the 2013 ‘PBdorm’ collection, which features products specifically designed for dorm living, as well as a ‘Gear’ section stocked with back-to-school items like backpacks and lunch bags.

For more on how to target the teen market, see Store Concepts for Teens

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