Companies & Industries

The Internet Tells RH What It Can Do With Its 17-Pound Catalog


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):

 

 

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.

Still others appeared determined to put the books to good use:

 


“Seriously, #restorationhardware,” wrote user katereibel on Instagram. “No need to go to the gym, I’ll just lift these.”

A few people did appear genuinely happy to receive the books. “I [heart] catalogue day,” Instagram user ilaming wrote.

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.

Winograd is a social media editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow him on Twitter @davidwinograd.

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