Jeffery Sears and Jim Stuart founded PIRCH, a specialty retailer of premium appliances and decorative plumbing. It focuses on providing a highly immersive experience where customers can discover exciting new ways to feather their nests. Stuart came up with the concept, and Sears leads the day-to-day operations. When PIRCH’s first stores failed to ramp up as expected, Sears and Stuart conducted fours years of market and consumer research, culminating in the opening of the groundbreaking prototype store, which has won numerous retail and international design awards. Unlike its competitors, PIRCH competes in four distinct industries: plumbing, appliances, installation and warranty-service, delivering a guest experience second to none. PIRCH now generates tremendously high revenue per square foot, and luxury mall developers are offering them unprecedented incentives to open stores in their top properties.
Through their own problematic homebuying and building experiences, Sears and Stuart identified difficulties and turned them into opportunities with PIRCH. Their innovative retail environments inspire customers to imagine how they want to live by featuring fully functional bath, shower, and indoor/outdoor kitchen vignettes, replete with running water, activated ranges, ovens, grills, hearths and frequent live cooking demonstrations. PIRCH’s Bliss Café, a gourmet coffee bar offering complimentary, handcrafted beverages, draws in shoppers. Expert staff, who are trained to Live Joyfully, guide consumers toward products that will enhance their lifestyle rather than a preordained sales quota, and competitive prices are buttressed by the best-in-class services and extended warranties.
The company’s manifesto is designed to help both customers and employees Live Joyfully. PIRCH has created more than 485 jobs, and every employee receives the same training at Joyful University. The company invites all employees to spread joy by giving them a loan credit for KIVA, an organization dedicated to empowering new and struggling businesses with repayable, renewable loans.
Individually, the partners are heavily involved in charitable activities. Sears has raised almost a million dollars for the City of Hope and has sat on the board of CALPASC, which builds homes for low-income families. Stuart founded two nonprofits: Project Sunshine and Links for Life.
PIRCH is “pirched” to expand with two to four showrooms a year, and the partners envision building an omni-channel presence with an online shopping experience.