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Creating an Experience in Chicago's Clive Christian Showroom

Take a peak inside this penthouse showroom.

Alison Martin
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If there was one word on everyone's lips at the American Lighting Association conference in Vancouver, Canada, last week, it was experience: how to create an experience to bring customers to the showroom. Given the ease of ordering lighting (and also furniture) online, retailers and speakers talked strategies for making the showroom experience worth it for consumers to get off their phones and into showrooms.

Enter Clive Christian.

The luxury manufacturer's newest showroom opened in Chicago last week, but this isn't your typical showroom. Located on Ontario Street blocks from Merchandise Mart, the Clive Christian Lifestyle showroom looks like a stately penthouse apartment, complete with beautiful, wood-paneled walls, comfy bedroom and a full working kitchen and bathroom. Everything nailed down — the cabinets, the wood paneling, the classical details — comes from Clive Christian. Everything not nailed down — sofas, dining tables and accessories — comes from Dorya Interiors, and the lighting comes from Baccarat.

So where's the experience?

Picture this: Your client wants traditional luxury, but doesn't have the time to sort out all the messy details. So you two visit Clive Christian where your client can shop and visualize how each piece will look in the space. Creating this walkthrough experience gives clients the chance to touch, feel and imagine not only the furniture but also the fixtures in their own homes. Eva Riccardi, co-owner of the similar New York Clive Christian showroom, says lot of clients come in, take one look at the space and order the whole room. 

But just walking through the penthouse showroom is only one type of experience. Riccardi says clients can also stay in the penthouse for a night. free of charge. In a way, it's like taking a style out for a test drive: clients can invite their friends for dinner party and assess if the style is right for them. This creates an experience not only for the client, but for other potential clients as well.


You may not be ready to throw a slumber party in your showroom, but if Clive Christian is upping the game, so should you. What do you think of this luxury penthouse showroom? Share with us in the comments!


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