More people are shopping online than ever before. The National Retail Federation estimated earlier this year that e-commerce is expected to grow as much as 12 percent this year, about four times as much as brick and mortar stores.
And now a Kirkland-based retailer is innovating the online furniture shopping corner of the e-market.
The Mine is using the latest technology to bring 3D views of its high-end luxury home furnishings. The company was once known as ATG Stores but has been preparing for rebranding since Lowes acquired the company about six years ago. It officially relaunched as The Mine in late April.
The Mine also offers personal concierge service to help customers from concept to completion. They are geared to know the ins and outs of a remodeling project to make it easier on shoppers.
"People are more and more busy, and they don't have time - or the desire - to always go to a brick and mortar store," said Michelle Newbery, president of The Mine. "That's where we feel very strongly that building a relationship with our customers and really getting to know them; we can ensure that we get them the right product at the right time."
Newbery says the goal is to wow one customer every day by doing something as simple as learning about a particular event going on in their lives, like an anniversary or a wedding, and then surprising them with a product.
The Mine employs 400 people and sits next door to the Lowes Innovation Labs. In many cases, the company is recruiting some of the most talented minds in the industry to lead trends within the marketplace.
The latest innovations in 3D and high-touch service also fall in line with the desires of the Seattle customer-base. Seattle is The Mine's third largest market behind New York and Los Angeles. In other words, Seattlelites like high-end furnishings and they like it to be convenient.
"People are getting more and more comfortable with shopping online, especially for large items," said Newbery. "We know 70 percent of people start their home journey online and 35 percent of people have already purchased furniture online, which we think is really exciting."