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They have given no specifics,” Shoulberg shared with me. “Speculation is that they will eventually circle the wagons around Bed Bath & Beyond, BuyBuyBaby, with perhaps Christmas Tree Shops remaining as well. Everything else will go one way or another. I guess that would include Decorist, which is a brand they pretty much have never talked about since acquiring it to the point that I forgot they owned it.”
If Bed Bath & Beyond does decide to spin off Decorist, an even bigger question remains about where online design services like Decorist, as well as competitors Havenly, HomePolish, Modsy, and others, fit into the traditional interior design industry. It is an industry built on a personal one-on-one client relationships with well-heeled clients who can pay for such ultra-luxurious service.
“Ours is a new model,” Hansen told me during a telephone interview. “Most people have had to design their homes themselves and couldn’t afford to hire a full-service interior designer. We help customers bring a professional design aesthetic into their home. This is a new category in design and we are building it out. Of course, there are competitors, but we think competition is good for everybody.”
New kind of interior design for a new target market
Stating that awareness of online design services like Decorist has grown from virtually zero a few years ago to around 20% to 25% today, Hansen sees her company’s expansion into physical retail with its BuyBuyBaby nursery design program as critical to extending her company’s reach to Millennial HENRYs (high-earners-not-rich-yet), who are starting families and have well-paying careers but with an expectation of far greater earnings to follow.