Responding and Thriving

A Q&A With Room & Board's Brooke Allison

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy in a big way, so how are companies trying to cope? We chatted with Retail Market Manager Brooke Allison about how Room & Board has adapted this year in the face of pandemic and why they’re optimistic about the future.

What has been Room & Board’s response to COVID-19?

Room & Board’s top priority during COVID-19 has been safety. We quickly created best practices for our teams in order to ensure we could do the work we needed to do as safely and confidently as possible.  We applied this same thinking to our customers by creating a safe environment for them to shop comfortably inside our showrooms.  For those that were not able to, or chose not to, shop in our showrooms we leveraged technology to create a virtual design appointment experience for our customers. This allowed us to connect virtually with our customers, create floor plans and even see their spaces while working from home.  While we were shut down our web and product teams went to work to maximize our assortment. We added over 4,000 items to our UPS program and partnered with our vendors to ensure we could get product to our customers as quickly as possible.  Our furniture is made here in the United States, so we were able to adjust quicker than our competitors. 

What lessons has the company learned in regards to running a business during pandemic or about the industry as a whole? 

Since our website never shut down, we were able to continue selling to our customers during such an unusual time. Like many retailers Room & Board had no idea what to expect at first, but we quickly learned that the home would become more important than ever. Every part of our organization from delivery to design associates had to rethink how to operate and try new things. It was very comforting to know that our customers still wanted to connect with us and that they were willing to try new things as well. Agility in action and we learned a lot together! 

Do you think any of these changes will endure beyond the pandemic?

Virtual design appointments have become very successful and we will continue to offer this a solution to meet our customer’s needs The pandemic has changed the way people want to shop so Room & Board will continue to listen and learn from our customer’s behaviors and expectations.

Can you give us an idea of what’s in store for 2021?

The most exciting news is that Room & Board has been planning to introduce more products throughout the year vs our typical big drop at the beginning of each year and the pandemic has been the impetus to get us there. We have lots of exciting plans for our 2021 assortment and beyond. We will be offering more options to our best-selling collections while experimenting with new collections and products.

Our teams are stronger than ever and are committed to our work creating a home for our customers to love. Being at home means many things for many people now from working to teaching to much needed restoration and Room & Board will be there every step of the way.

Visit Room & Board here.