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The Dallas Morning News reports that The Container Store, which for decades has operated various iterations of one basic store format, is opening store concept in Los Angeles and Dallas - Customer Closets.

The format is designed to drill down even deeper on a category that represents more than half of the company’s business.

CEO Melissa Reiff says that “the point of the new store is to make it easier for both design customers and everyday shoppers to visualize the possibilities.” The story says that “the new Custom Closets store has 65 displays, free in-home design services and a new closet line … The new store also has displays for pantry, garage and office. The store can accommodate more business-to-business customers and it's making a big appeal to professionals. Work stations are available where designers can bring in their clients and use the space and the store's staff to handle the customer closet process on their own.  Stores can accommodate more customer appointments per day than its regular stores.”

There is, to be sure, a strong economic incentive for Container Store to launch this offshoot. The News says that closet sales at its traditional store are increasing more than the stores overall, and Reiff estimates that closets are turning into a $6 billion market.
KC's View:
This is a very good idea - finding a core strength in a broader concept and then creating a format that drills down in an effective and efficient way. It would be as if a supermarket decided that it made sense to open a fresh food-driven store that builds on an expertise in that area.

The thing that supermarkets can do, of course, is then use e-commerce to allow people to buy those CPG items online. I’m utterly convinced that this is where things are going in food retail … and maybe people should look at what Container Store is doing as a model to be emulated.