When RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) sent out its massive mailers, it probably hoped customers would be impressed by the wide range of rough-hewn, carefully curated home furnishings. The company’s chief executive, Gary Friedman, said the catalogs were more accurately considered as “source books,” meant to sell RH products, yes, but also to serve as design libraries. Plus, best-case scenario, recipients might have been pleased to get a year’s worth of such inspiration all at once, rather than in mailbox-clogging drips and drabs.
That turned out to be wishful thinking. The press coverage was not positive, nor was the social media reception when the 17-pound tomes arrived on doorsteps this week. Many appeared to be turned off by the sheer mass of the things (and perhaps annoyed by the prospect of having to lug them to the trash):
Restoration Hardware delivered a “source book” slightly larger than Shakespeare plus the Bible. I hyperbole you not. pic.twitter.com/SZlVSiAO9U
— Eileen Curtright (@eileencurtright) May 28, 2014
And one pointed out that it was downright dangerous to keep around the house.
Others were turned off by what appeared to be massive environmental waste and unconvinced by the company’s promise of carbon-neutral shipping.
— rebecca roman. (@hearincolour) June 3, 2014
— Chanpory (@chanpory) May 30, 2014
Still others appeared determined to put the books to good use:
I collect those thick Restoration Hardware magazines until I have enough to use as a nice end table. They make great stuff. — Danielle Uhlarik (@danielleu) June 3, 2014
Peter Thiel should build his floating libertarian paradise island with all the Restoration Hardware catalogs that just went out to everyone. — Dan Toffey (@dantoffey) June 2, 2014
“Seriously, #restorationhardware,” wrote user katereibel on Instagram. “No need to go to the gym, I’ll just lift these.”
RH did not respond to questions about feedback on the campaign, whether it considered it a success, or whether it would pursue the same all-at-once strategy next year.