American furniture brands have new competition as iconic Australian furniture company Coco Republic finally opened its first retail location in the United States in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood. Founded in 1979, this was part of a larger international expansion for the brand, which also included an e-commerce launch in Fall 2022. Executives are thrilled to have a retail presence in such a great city. “We have always been excited and inspired by California and the United States. Indeed I have been traveling to the United States for many years and have imported from many American manufacturers over time. The United States has always had a home at the heart of Coco Republic’s DNA and mine in particular,” said Anthony Spon-Smith, Creative Director.
“For the past ten years I have focused on designing and developing our own unique range, influenced in part by the Californian lifestyle. There are very clear synergies in the way Californians and Australians live. A lifestyle that is lighthearted, casually cool and connected to nature binds us subconsciously and our design ethos will resonate.”
55 Stockton Street
The building that Coco Republic took over is across the street from Macy’s, making it a very pedestrianized area. Other prominent neighbors include luxury retailers Louis Vuitton and Bvlgari. The building was formerly home to Crate and Barrel, although customers would be completely unaware of it when they walk into the store. Upon entering, visitors are immediately greeted by a bartender making mocktails in a beautifully designed bar with Lyres libations. “Lyres is an Australian brand known for its high-quality and well-designed non-alcoholic beverages. We wanted to give our visitors something that felt special and different, a bit like us,” says Spoon Smith.
The store was transformed with all branding removed from the previous tenant. While the aesthetic is pure Coco Republic, which Spon-Smith describes as “Playful, internationally influenced yet distinctly Australian”, it took quite a bit of work to get it all together. He tells me: “We completely redesigned the site. This included significant reworking of each level, including the installation of a new lighting system, dramatic panels, a bar, and a full outdoor gallery.
A range of furniture
At 40,000 square feet, the store is not only considered a huge footprint by American big box retail standards, but is also Coco Republic’s largest showroom. It is also the only showroom with three expansive levels. With 2000 different products, the amount of merchandise is astonishing.
However, despite this abundance of inventory on the floor, the space still feels large and open. From living room to bedroom and home office, everything has been carefully traded to feel as sophisticated and luxurious as possible. It is also a great source of inspiration that customers and design professionals alike will appreciate.
While the Coco Republic look can be easily incorporated into most modern-to-contemporary homes, there really isn’t a major American equivalent to the brand. Still, most pieces have a footprint that is undeniably on the larger side. This is especially true of the sofas and sectionals, making these pieces ideal for standard-sized American homes. However, since many of the chairs are modular, it is easy to adapt for smaller spaces such as apartments and condominiums.
There are so many things that make Coco Republic unique and a very welcome addition to the US market. While each piece is designed to coordinate, the brand’s furniture doesn’t have that quintessentially American “furniture set” feel. The materials are sleek and luxurious, yet comfortable and luxurious.
One of the most striking aspects of the showroom is the amount of outdoor furniture on display. This is essential for the California market where the indoor and outdoor lifestyle is such a big part of the local culture.
Design services are also readily available on site. “Coco Republic enjoys the experience and professionalism of a respected team of designers and design professionals who can assist with any aspect of a person’s interior design needs. From a room to an entire home, Coco Republic’s interior design team can help you find that perfect piece to complete any room or outdoor space in your home,” said Coco Republic’s US President, Skye Westcott.
What’s next for Coco Republic
The San Francisco showroom is just the beginning of the international expansion. There are plans for an additional showroom in Orange County, outside of Los Angeles, in the spring of 2023. The Culver City location will also be fully renovated in the summer of 2023. Currently that is HD Buttercup, a brand that Coco Republic acquired in 2021. Coco Republic currently has fifteen showrooms in Australia and New Zealand, with an e-commerce site serving both markets.