In an effort to restore interest in brick-and-mortar retail stores in an increasingly online-shopping predominant market, Pella Windows & Doors has announced the redesigning of over 200 of its stores.

The manufacturing company is calling them Experience Centers and is planning to renovate stores all across the country over the next three years. Currently, 16 centers are open in key markets including Minneapolis, Houston, Lexington and Boise and the company plans to double that number by the end of the year.

“We’re working with our customers to build a relationship online that seamlessly transitions to our physical stores,” says Omni Channel manager Stephanie Haywood. “Eighty percent of our customers are going online as part of their purchase experience and more than 50% visit a showroom.”

The Experience Centers are staffed with brand ambassadors who can personalize product selections and curate product comparisons based on a customer’s style, known preferences through online configuration, or in-home meetings with design consultants. Customers can operate fully-functional door and window products in the store.

“We have seen a clear shift from people wanting information to people wanting to experience something as part of their decision process – especially when it comes to their home. They want to shop in a way that is personal, high-touch and enjoyable,” Haywood says.

The open-floor design is sectioned into areas for product display and includes various workstations and multiple screens throughout the space so designers, architects or builders can work on projects independently or with their homeowner clients. They also provide conference spaces available for events or group education, training, discussions and presentations.

Pella worked with Eleven, a creative brand consultancy design firm and Star, a face-to-face experiential marketing company to conduct customer research as a foundation for the store redesign plan.

“Working with our best-in-class partners we did extensive research to understand how to best serve our customers as we began to reimagine our store experience as an extension of our brand,” said Emily Videtto, chief marketing officer and vice president. “Our research not only validated that physical stores are still important but indicated that there was an opportunity to make shopping for windows and doors more personalized and experiential.”

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