Canada’s first fully-automated furniture retailer, dex10, has opened in The CORE Shopping Centre in downtown Calgary, offering consumers a fresh, new way to shop.
The innovative retailer merges e-commerce technology with a traditional showroom.
“We’ve put a lot of resources into this technology and the customer experience,” said Geoff Dodsworth, Founder and President/CEO of dex10. “By taking an online product gallery and moving it to a real-life, physical location, our customers will have first-hand experience with the furniture before actually placing their orders online.”
The store, with about 9,800 square feet, is located right next to Holt Renfrew on the second floor of the shopping centre.
“It’s essentially a fully-automated furniture shopping experience so to speak. We looked at both bricks and mortar models and e-commerce models for furniture retail and attempted in the development of it to look at what elements we wanted to keep and were good for consumers and what elements were drawbacks of each of those platforms. And that’s how we came up with dex10 which we coin ‘everything you love about online shopping and nothing you don’t’,” said Dodsworth.
He describes dex10 as an online furniture store that you can actually visit. Amazon Alexa is in the store to answer the most common questions people would have looking at items in the store. People can purchase product right off their phones or online at home.
“By doing that, we’re able to offer more competitive pricing than a bricks and mortar model because we don’t have to pay sales people. When we compare our business to strictly e-commerce, 20 per cent of home furniture purchased through e-commerce in Canada is actually returned and 75 per cent of the reason for that is the product not being as expected because the consumers weren’t able to physically see what they were buying. They just made their purchase decisions based on a screen,” he said. “Because of that we don’t have to build that cost into our pricing as our customers are able to see, feel, touch, experience the products before they buy them.”
The physical store carries the most popular product lines that their vendors carry. The most in demand product is in the showroom. More is on the website.
Customers can scan QR codes for details and information about the items in the showroom.
A gallery host is always present during store hours to assist with the unique shopping experience. While the product and all services associated, including white glove delivery, cater to a high-end clientele, the business model allows dex10 to offer the most competitive pricing in Canada on the furniture it carries, said the company.
Dodsworth said the automated process means the expansion of the business is quite simple. The target is to open several additional locations in major urban centres across Canada, giving customers the ability to see the furniture they’re buying online prior to purchasing it.
Several other notable retailers have joined the high-end furniture company in taking the leap to open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now open in The CORE Shopping Centre are:
- Shop Made: a marketplace featuring products created by local artisans;
- Chatime: a popular Taiwanese teahouse known for their bubble teas and milk teas;
- Curatedlyf: a locally owned boutique with a focus on bringing Filipino and other international products to Calgary consumers; and
- Les Moulins La Fayette: a gourmet French bakery and café, offering breads, pastries, confections, and lunch and dinner options.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurship is alive and well here at The CORE,” said Allison Onyett, Marketing Director, The CORE Shopping Centre. “We’re thrilled to welcome these exciting, new retailers and restaurateurs into our incredible roster, and we can’t wait for Calgarians to experience all of their unique offerings.”