American furniture brands have new competitors now that iconic Australian furniture company Coco Republic has finally opened its first US outlet in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood. Founded in 1979, it was part of a larger international expansion for the brand, which also included an e-commerce launch in fall 2022. Executives are excited to have a business presence in such a big city. “We have always been excited and inspired by California and the United States. Indeed, I have traveled to the United States for many years and have imported 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,” says Anthony Spon-Smith, Chief Creative Officer.
“Over the past ten years I have focused on designing and developing our own unique line, some influenced by the Californian lifestyle. There are very distinct synergies in the way of life of Californians and Australians. A lifestyle light on its feet, laid back and connected to nature, I believe subconsciously binds us and our design philosophy will resonate.
55 Stockton Street
The building that Coco Republic took over is across from Macy’s, making it a busy area. Other distinguished neighbors include luxury retailers Louis Vuitton and Bvlgari. The building previously housed Crate and Barrel, although customers are completely unaware of this entrance to the store. Upon entering, visitors are immediately greeted by a bartender preparing mocktails in a beautifully designed bar offering Lyres libations. “Lyres is an Australian brand known for its high quality, well-crafted soft drinks. We wanted to offer our visitors something special and different, a bit like us”, explains Spon-Smith.
The store has been transformed with all brands removed from the previous tenant. While the aesthetic is pure Coco Republic, which Spon-Smith describes as “playful, internationally-influenced but distinctly Australian”, it took quite a bit of work to bring it all together. He told me: “We have done a complete interior redevelopment of the site. This included a significant overhaul of each level, which included 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 US big-box retail standards, but is also Coco Republic’s largest showroom. It is also the only exhibition hall that has three sprawling levels. With 2000 different products, the amount of merchandise is mind-boggling.
However, despite this abundance of inventory displayed on the floor, the space still feels big and open. From the living room to the bedroom to the home office, everything is meticulously marketed to feel as sophisticated and upscale as possible. It is also a great source of inspiration that clients and design professionals will appreciate.
While the Coco Republic look fits easily into most modern to contemporary homes, there isn’t really a major American equivalent to the brand. Yet most coins have a footprint that is undeniably larger. This is especially true for sofas and sectionals, making these pieces ideal for large standard American homes. However, since most seating is modular, it’s easy to customize for smaller spaces like 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 lacks that quintessentially American “furniture ensemble” feel. The materials are sleek and plush, yet comfortable and luxurious.
One of the most notable aspects of the showroom is the amount of outdoor furniture on display. This is essential for the California market where the indoor/outdoor lifestyle is so much a part of the local culture.
Design services are also available on site. “Coco Republic benefits from the experience and professionalism of a respected team of designers and design professionals who can help you with all aspects of your interior design needs. From a room to an entire home , Coco Republic’s interior design team can help you find the perfect piece to complement any room or outdoor space in your home,” said Skye Westcott, United States President of Coco Republic.
What’s next for Coco Republic
The San Francisco showroom is just the start of international expansion. An additional showroom is scheduled to open in Orange County, outside of Los Angeles, in the spring of 2023. The Culver City site will also be completely renovated in the summer of 2023. This is currently from HD Buttercup, a brand acquired by Coco Republic in 2021. Internationally, Coco Republic currently has fifteen showrooms in Australia and New Zealand, with an e-commerce site serving both of these markets.