For younger Millennials and Gen Z, the internet and online shopping have always been a part of their lives. Starting with Pizza Hut launching the very first online shopping platform in the United States in 1994 (followed closely behind by Amazon and eBay), these kids have never known a world where every product wasn’t at their fingertips. It seems natural now that we buy from the comfort of our own homes.
For those same folks who are just stepping out on their own and getting ready to furnish their first place, they will naturally turn to the internet for all of their furniture needs. But furniture was actually one of the last products to be successfully sold online. This is especially true of seating. The sofa is one of the biggest expenses when decking out a new place and customers want to try it out before purchasing. Even when you can complete the sale online, many older generations still want to experience sitting in, touching, and looking at a sofa or armchair in person before committing to buying it. However, as with everything else, Millennials have changed the way we shop for furniture and one company that saw this trend coming early on was Article.
Offering online-only shopping, Article created a direct-to-consumer program that cut out showrooms, thereby cutting a major cost associated with furniture prices. But would people really be willing to buy seating they couldn’t sit on first? The answer is a big ‘yes’. Since its founding in 2013, Article has sold its stylish pieces to over half a million customers throughout the United States and Canada.
One of the keys to the company’s success has been a combination of high-end style and quality at affordable prices. By working directly with manufacturers and keeping other departments like warehousing and distribution in-house, the folks at Article built a sustainable online-only furniture company that has since become a blueprint for other brands that have followed.
However, there is still that nagging issue of not getting to “try before you buy”. What happens on those rare occasions when a customer isn’t happy with the piece once it arrives? Again, Article created a formula that beats most other furniture brands. With a 30-day return or exchange policy, Article goes 10 times further than the typical 3-day return policy. Because Article handles delivery and distribution themselves, the company can give you 30 days to determine if a new piece is a right fit or it can be exchanged or returned. It’s a great policy since no one can determine the comfort level of a new sofa in just three days. That’s barely enough time to watch Snyder’s Justice League.
Today there are myriad online-only furniture brands to choose from, but most base their model on Article, which was truly unique when it launched in 2013. Founded by a group of engineers, the company uses data to drive its innovation. From working closely with manufacturers to ensure top quality materials and workmanship goes into each piece, to analyzing customer satisfaction, Article is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve. The owners pride themselves on being a different kind of furniture supplier.
“As we look ahead, our team is focused on new and different ways we can make furnishing your space remarkably easier.” – Aamir Baig, Article Co-Founder and CEO
So what could a group of four engineers possibly know about creating an iconic sofa? It turns out, quite a lot. In 2017, Article’s Sven sofa was the most recommended by experts in a survey and review done by New York Magazine’s The Strategist. It is easy to see why the various lines receive so much praise from designers. The company offers pieces that fit with current trends yet capture a timeless feel thanks to the incorporation of classic silhouettes, upscale upholstery, and collections that make it easy to outfit an entire room. The founders are also able to admit where their knowledge is lacking and have filled out their team with folks who are experts in analyzing customer data, a specialized delivery team, aptly called the Article Delivery Team, and designers that are constantly on the lookout for the latest trends in materials and style. It is a true team effort at Article, and every one of their 850 employees is focused on doing things better.
“Since Article was founded, we have focused on creating the easiest way to make your space look beautiful.” – Aamir Baig, Article Co-Founder and CEO
In recent years, social change has also played a role in how and where we shop. It’s not enough anymore for a company to offer great products at great prices. Consumers want to know that companies are using their success to help others. Along with an exceptional work environment for all employees, Article has contributed to over 250 charitable organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Through outreach programs, Article works with charities that have a need for furniture including housing for veterans, refugees, disabled people, along with transitional housing, safe homes for victims of abuse, and organizations that work on restorative justice.
Charities like Humble Design, City of Refuge, and Bridging have all benefited from a close partnership with Article. These organizations are each highly specialized in the areas they serve yet all have the same need for new and gently used furnishings. Humble Design, founded in 2009, works to end the cycle of homelessness. When a family in need receives housing, they get to enjoy a fully furnished home thanks to the work of Humble Design and Article. Likewise, Bridging also works to provide furnishing to families in need — creating a “bridge” between those in need and those with excess. City of Refuge services the 30314 zip code of Atlanta, Georgia – considered the city’s most dangerous neighborhood. City of Refuge helps people experiencing a crisis, and to date has assisted 484 people in gaining housing furnished with donations from Article.
There is also the beneficial environmental impact of a furniture company cutting out the showroom middle man. Along with the resources needed to keep a massive showroom running, those extra stops delivery trucks need to make traveling to drop off inventory add to overall environmental degradation. Instead, furniture goes straight from the manufacturer to one of Article’s distribution warehouses. From there the pieces are delivered straight to the customer’s front door. With over 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space spread among its distribution centers, Article also cuts down on delivery time, often getting an order to a customer in just a few days.
In everything the folks at Article do, they keep their core original values in mind. The spirit of the company to, “Relentlessly pursue remarkably better” comes into play, not just with their online-only shopping experience. It’s how they treat employees — encouraging ideas and innovation at every level. It shows in customer feedback — every negative review is carefully analyzed to see where things went wrong and how to do better next time. It’s how they use their success to lift up those most in need in our communities. It’s doing things differently, not just to be different but to be better every step of the way. Article is doing all of this by creating some seriously stylish and remarkably affordable furniture.
Interested in checking out the latest products from Article? Here’s some of what’s new:
Speaking of that incredibly popular Sven sofa we mentioned earlier, Article has recently launched the . The beautifully simple lines of the Sven sofa are repeated in the headboard and the frame features the same stylish legs.
Article isn’t just seating, they make everything you need to furnish your home. Check out the . With just the right blend of classic lines and breezy Boho, this piece is on-trend thanks to the woven cane pattern made from natural rattan.
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