If you’ve ever walked into a designer showroom and read displays that say “Trade Only” or “To the Trade,” that showroom would not be open to the public, but did you also wonder what exactly it means?
When you visit an interior designer services location, you may notice that many of the showrooms are “Trade Only,” which means they don’t operate as regular retail stores do. It means that they sell their fabrics, furniture, and materials exclusively to interior designers. The designers receive discounts on the items such as furniture and window treatments and typically mark prices up before selling them to their clients. The designers earn a profit from the articles they sell to their clients. With these designer services, the designer takes on the role of “retailer” with all responsibility for ordering and delivery.
Some showrooms do let browsers come through by posting signs saying, “Browsers Welcome.” Members of the general public can browse the showroom, but assistants will not discuss pricing, and nothing will be sold directly to them. Other centers, however, require a professional designer to accompany any member of the public to be allowed to enter their showrooms. So, if you hope to visit a designer services center near you, make sure to visit their website ahead of time to see what they allow.