Exclusive Q&A: Parachute CEO Talks Continuing Category Expansion

A DTC brand known for its bedding is making its name known in other parts of the home, as well.
ariel kaye headshot

Los Angeles-based Parachute has continued expanding its assortment across new categories and, at the same time, opening new retail locations. The company now boasts 13 retail locations in the U.S. and recently launched in Canada.

After recently jumping into the furniture category with a line of bed frames, Parachute is adding new products with tables and nightstands. With more products planned for the future, the DTC brand aims to take over the entire home. Additionally, Parachute launched its first sheet collection using sustainably-grown organic cotton.

Retail Leader caught up with Parachute CEO Ariel Kaye to learn more about the company’s continued expansion into new categories and growing assortment in the home category. 

Retail Leader (RL): What has been the reaction from consumers to the furniture launch with the bed frames? Did the launch meet the sales expectations you had?

Ariel Kaye: Our bed frame collection in September beat the daily sales plan by 400% at launch, which is something we didn’t expect. We’re so glad our customers love the bed frames as much as we do! 

RL: Why go to tables and nightstands next? And what other products are to come?

Kaye: Following the successful launch of our bed frames, we thought it was a natural next step to continue to expand our furniture offerings with thoughtful finishing touches for the bedroom and beyond.

I can’t share specifics [on what’s to come next], but I can tell you that, as Parachute continues to grow, our goal is to launch collections for every room in the house. 

[Trend Talk Podcast: How Parachute Expanded into New Categories]

RL: Why is now a good time to expand the number of retail stores? What’s the impetus to more than double the number of stores now?

Kaye: I see significant opportunity in brick-and-mortar retail and, by the end of 2022, our goal is to have a total of 30 retail stores across the country. Our stores are set up to look more like homes rather than storefronts, offering design inspiration and allowing customers to touch, feel and engage with products before purchase. By using our stores this way without the pressure of immediate purchase, Parachute has seen a conversion rate that is up to 50% higher in cities with stores.

RL: What are some of the challenges of opening stores while the pandemic is still ongoing? Are you facing any of the labor issues that have been documented across the retail industry?

Kaye: As we open stores in new markets, the health and safety of our employees and customers remain a top priority. We are continuing to stay nimble and pivot as necessary as we continue to execute on our long-term strategy of expanding our omnichannel presence. Our team members are one of our greatest assets and we find that the combination of competitive pay and our strong company culture continue to attract quality talent.

RL: Millennials make up the majority of your customers. Can you touch on how Parachute is targeting this demographic as they quickly become the biggest group of homebuyers?

Kaye: As we continue to see Millennials invest in the growing real estate market, we also expect to see an increased investment in home goods. And, compared to older generations, Millennials are highly engaged shoppers––they’re also 95% more likely to buy online without seeing a product in-store, 57% more likely to buy a product that was recommended by a social media influencer, and 57% more likely to find sustainability important or very important when shopping. We’re catering to these evolving shopping preferences with an omnichannel presence.