January 2015 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
How Lovesac built on an uncommon commitment to the customer experience by focusing on back office operations — and maintained 50 percent year-over-year growth along the way
When describing a retailer that evolved from a scrappy start-up to a multimillion-dollar, customer-centric, industry-leading retail enterprise, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example than Lovesac. The original Lovesac® — a giant, overstuffed bag of foam with no specific seating capacity beyond several — was created in 1995. At the time, it was then-college student Shawn Nelson’s novelty. It traveled with him to parties and drive-ins and always drew a crowd of as many as could pile on. Naturally, friends and family wanted one of their own. The story about what transpired between then and today is an entertaining and inspirational one. Lovesac now sells seemingly endless permutations of comfortable furniture, enjoys a Net Promoter Score of 86, and rakes in more than $50 million in sales annually. It operates a website that drives 20 percent of its revenue (outsized for the furniture industry) and 60 mall-based showrooms in America’s best shopping malls, employing more than 400. You can read about Nelson’s entrepreneurial journey as he grew the business on borrowed time and borrowed money at lovesac.com/history, but the abbreviated version is simple: When Nelson faced a challenge, no matter how seemingly insurmountable, he overcame it. A major shift solidified Lovesac as a home furnishings company, when current CEO Nancy Shalek refocused the company’s efforts on promoting its patented modular furniture system — Sactionals®. Fast forward to 2012. Lovesac was officially the fastest-growing furniture store in America (Furniture Today, May 2013) and was facing a challenge that fastmaturing retailers often do: managing order demand via a haphazard combination of tribal knowledge, email, and Excel and dealing with the back office inefficiency and risks to customer satisfaction that resulted.