Fast Company named Room & Board one of the most innovative retail companies of 2019 for supporting American artisans and raising the bar in the minimum wage fight. “While protesters nationwide have been urging the federal government to establish a minimum wage of $15,” says the article, “Room & Board decided to establish its own minimum salary company wide, plus benefits that include a three-week paid vacation, healthcare, life insurance, and profit sharing…for every person who works at the company, including cleaning staff and delivery service workers.”
This is just one of the many innovative things we’ve done since our beginnings in 1980. We’ve always challenged ourselves to do things differently – not for the sake of recognition, but for the benefit of our customers and believing we can do better for you. Our Midwestern roots encourage us to humbly welcome Fast Company‘s honor while digging deep into what’s next in innovation. In the meantime, take a look how innovative practices have carried our company:
1. American-made furniture & home decor
More than 90% of our products are made in America using quality U.S. and imported materials, bucking the trend of furniture manufacturing moving overseas. All in all, you help us support more than 15,000 American artisans from coast to coast.
2. Sustainable furniture and practices
We are a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and our commitment to sustainability was highlighted most recently through the Urban Wood Project: a partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the city of Baltimore. We worked together to reclaim old-growth timber from abandoned row homes and turn it into modern furniture and decor with a sense of purpose and preservation. To date, we’ve salvaged more than 60 row homes (the equivalent of five miles of lumber that would’ve otherwise been tossed into a landfill) and helped create 30 jobs for those under-served in Baltimore. See more about the Urban Wood Project and shop the products to help us make a difference!
3. Cutting out the middle man
Each piece of furniture starts as a pencil sketch in our Minneapolis Central Office. Our team of in-house designers has always worked closely with our U.S. manufacturing partners to make our furniture come to life in the most efficient, beautiful and durable way possible. Once complete, we sell directly to you, cutting out the middle man. It’s just that transparent, and means we can bring you better quality at a better price, period.
4. Timeless, trend-proof furniture
Remember when furniture lasted forever? Good news: it still does. Since 1980, we’ve created modern furniture that’s beautiful, practical and timeless. We combine time-honored techniques and modern style for furniture that has an enduring place in your home.
5. Flat-rate delivery of fully assembled furniture
We charge for our white-glove delivery by the trip, not by weight or order value, so you can get a home full of furniture for one flat rate. From removing their shoes at your door to placing your fully assembled furniture exactly where you want it, our Delivery Associates are the best in the business.
6. Non-commissioned teams
At a time when every furniture sales person worked on commission, we offered our staff members livable salaries and full benefits, supporting them, their partners and families with physical, emotional and financial benefits. This allows our Design Associates to offer you genuine, no-pressure design advice with your best interest in mind.
7. No sales
We don’t mark prices up just to mark them down later and call it a sale. We give you the best price every day, so there’s no reason to wait if you’re ready to buy and no reason to make a hurried decision if you’re not. Check out more about our pricing philosophy.
8. Free returns
That’s right. We’ll send our friendly delivery pros back out to your home for a return or exchange, for free. Furniture shopping is an important, emotional investment. Our job isn’t done until your new furniture is in your home and you love it.
9. Easy, attainable custom furniture
Our partnerships with American makers mean you can design a custom piece of furniture and have it in your home in just a few weeks. Get the exact dimensions, materials and look you want. Work with a Design Associate in a store or design a custom piece from the comfort of your home with our innovative online tools.
10. Doing good where we are
We believe in doing our part to better the communities where we live and work. Whether it’s serving homeless youth, helping preserve 16,000 acres of coastal land, or strengthening homes and families, we believe that in order to do well we must do good. In 2018, we donated more than $450,000 to organizations dedicated to preserving our planet.
Photos by Room & Board