The Container Store Embraces D2C Brands

In a significant strategic shift, the Container Store is moving beyond bins, buckets and baskets. In addition to a campaign and the promise of some 1,000 new products, it’s adding a selection of D2C brands, including socially conscious home goods company the Citizenry, skincare essentials from Australia-based Heales Apothecary, home entertaining brand Fortessa, and professional-grade coffee gear from Fellow. 

The pivot comes shortly after the Coppell, Texas-based company reported a 21% decline in sales. “We have learned that customers are being more intentional around their visits and spending,” explains Melissa Collins, chief marketing officer, in an email to D2C Insider.

“More than ever, they require compelling reasons to shop. We believe that infusing innovative products and solutions across our assortment that complement our focus on storage and organization not only gives our current customers another reason to engage. It also gives us the opportunity to connect with new ones,” she says.

The “Uncontained” campaign, which Collins says was developed with the company’s in-house marketing and creative team, highlights the Container Store's fresh direction and upcoming product launches, which will span new categories like dining, entertaining, home décor and textiles.

Many of these D2C products have never been sold in brick-and-mortar stores.

The company says it chose the products and D2C partners by studying categories that best complement the bins and baskets it is best known for. It began tiptoeing into this expansion last year, adding home fragrances and more extensive back-to-college offers. Those experiments exceeded initial expectations, bringing in new customers.

The new campaign aims to drive awareness that the Container Store is expanding. And while it plans to stay true to its purpose -- transforming lives through the power of organization -- it hopes the new offers enhance that mission.

The campaign is running in stores and on the retailer’s owned channels. The company is also using direct mail, email, SMS, social media and influencer channels.

The Container Store has also dedicated a Dallas-Fort Worth location as a concept store, where it is testing visual merchandising strategies. Those includes a shop-within-a-shop for the Citizenry, showcasing its mix-and-match bedding.

In first-quarter earnings announced in July, the company reported a 21% decline in sales, falling to $201.1 million. On a comparable-store basis, sales dropped 20%. It posted a net loss of $11.8 million, compared to net income of $10.5 million in the prior-year period.

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