Vistaprint, the e-commerce powerhouse that sells customizable business cards, stationery, signs, promotional products and more, has for the first time ventured into brick-and-mortar retail. Owned by Netherlands-based Cimpress (asi/162149), Vistaprint announced Monday that it has opened a store in Toronto.
Called Vistaprint Studio, the store at 720 King Street West will feature the kind of products already available online, but with the bonus of being backed up by in-person offerings the company hopes will draw customers, Vistaprint says. These value-adds include face-to-face help from “Vistaprint Coaches,” complimentary real-time graphic design services and new technologies geared toward helping customers create effective marketing materials, such as an interactive touchscreen logo maker. Vistaprint is also offering free shipping to the store.
“We’ve listened to and worked with our customers along the way to provide the best of both worlds in Vistaprint Studio – the efficiency and convenience of the online world with the engaging, personalized experience in-store,” said Trynka Shineman, Vistaprint CEO.
The opening of Vistaprint Studio begs the question: Are there plans to open more stores? Are some coming to the U.S. – and when?
A Vistaprint spokesperson told Counselor that talks about what comes next for brick-and-mortar retail haven’t progressed far.
“Vistaprint doesn’t actually have financial targets for the store or plans beyond making this first store the best experience for the customers,” said Natali Tofiloski, senior director at The Mint Agency. “The way success will be measured is really through customer satisfaction. Vistaprint believes if they can create a store that really delights the customer and meets their needs, then the business model will follow and Vistaprint will see where it goes from there.”
For Vistaprint, the idea of opening a physical location grew out of conversation held with customers about a year, Tofiloski told Counselor. “Resoundingly, Vistaprint heard that while customers love the convenience and value they can get online, sometimes they need to talk to someone in person. Vistaprint listened to that feedback and created and designed a store that does what you actually can’t do online – touch and feel products, explore options, work in-person with a coach to better understand the options and what to do, and engage in live co-creation with free graphic design services.”
Vistaprint Studio in Toronto operates Monday through Saturday. The store is the latest big announcement from Cimpress. Late last year, Cimpress announced a deal to acquire Top 40 distributor National Pen (asi/281040). Then, in January, Cimpress revealed a sweeping plan to decentralize operations – an initiative that will, principles said, increase efficiencies, customer service and cost-savings. In April, Cimpress reported that its third quarter revenue increased to $550.6 million. The tally for the three months ended March 31 represented a 26% rise over the same quarter the prior year.