Clean lines and bold statements were once the primary appeal of contemporary furniture, but today, comfort, functionality and transitional style have joined the mix. Zuri Furniture adds value to the equation and that is reaping rewards for both the business and its customers.
“Contemporary styles are no longer at odds with comfort or value. We want to make sure our customers have that highend, contemporary, modern feel but that it is affordable across any age range, any budget,” says Joy Baber, buyer/showroom director. “We have in-store customers from ages 25 to 75 and we get a lot of empty nesters here, which is fun.”
Working from two North Texas showrooms, a dynamic website and a large distribution center, Zuri is furnishing homes and offices across North Texas and nationwide.
“We are vertically integrated, so we cut out the middleman, and that’s how we are able to save money and pass it along to the customers. And we are hightouch with an extreme customer service focus,” says Michael Berberick, retail showroom manager.
Zuri maintains what it calls a “curated” collection. “Our buyers scour the planet looking for unique pieces,” explains Baber. “We feature over 1,000 products and all of them have been vetted by our buyers. We have a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces we are able to source, which we can change the design or manufacture a little bit differently and still keep that good price range for any customer. The buying team is growing even into product development to keep up with what our customers are wanting.”
“It’s all branded, which means it has to meet our own specifications,” adds Berberick. “That makes us stand apart because we offer higher quality than what you’d get at the competition— better leathers, softer more durable fabrics, and quality wood construction inside.”
Zuri was started in 2006 by a group of investors who were motivated by a love of interior design and a vision to serve a growing contemporary market at a time when most retailers were focused on traditional designs. In fact, Zuri may be the first Dallas-area retailer to focus exclusively on modern and contemporary styles.
Zuri’s 40,000-square-foot Dallas location opened first in the heart of the city’s “contemporary furniture row,” as it is known today. The 7,500-square-foot Frisco store opened in 2007 in recognition of the growing population and economy there. The stores are served by a 70,000-square-foot distribution center that ships pieces to customers locally and nationwide.
“We get a lot of the trade, a lot of business owners doing offices,” says Berberick. “Our office collection is very unique. You can’t find it anywhere else around here. We cater to business owners, designers and consumers from across the country.”
“The commercial design side of our business has grown significantly over the past few years,” says Baber. “It’s one of the things that sets us apart from the other modern and contemporary furniture companies.”
Zuri’s business has grown fast in recent years, expanding from 11 to 50 employees in just five years. Much of the growth has come from the launch in 2014 of a fully functional e-commerce site that has taken the Zuri name from coast to coast and to Canada and Mexico.
“The first sale was a sofa to Chicago,” says Baber. “We learned a lot very quickly.”
Today, Zuri serves markets as far afield as Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, with plans in the works to eventually open additional galleries coast to coast, and to continue to spread its unique brand of contemporary design across the country.
Jeff Hampton is a freelance writer based in Garland, Texas. Find out more at jeffhamptonwriter.com.