May 20, 2006

ICFF Rumor: DWR To Take Its Jax And Go Home??

No official word confirmation yet, but two several independent ICFF-attending sources is enough for me to pass it along believe it's true:

I hear that DWR is pulling the plug on DWRjax, their kids furnishings business/collection/catalogue. After barely seven months. [the launch announcement was Oct. 26th.]

Are pioneer indie retailers like Modern Seed, Baby Geared, and Sparkability [a DT advertiser, I should point out] already have the modern baby gear market locked up?
Is there an everything-must-go clearance sale in the works?
Does talented-yet-underappreciated design legend Gloria Caranica have a new gig lined up?

For the answers to these and any other questions that come to mind, stay tuned to Daddy Types.

[Now except for the writing I do for newspapers, magazines, and online, I'm no journalist, but I think that this is what is known in the typing biz as a scoop. Now if only it were frog-shaped, I could sell it at Target.]


We just got the new DRW catalog today and the middle inset says "20 new products at". Would they do that if they were going to stop producing? Print all those catalogs? On the other hand, I'm kind of hoping for a fire sale. Because the "Within Reach" part -- it's certainly not refering to us!

I never got wildly excited about DWRjax; somehow, the selection was better at babygeared and sparkability. And except for the stuff on sale, the stuff wasn't appreciably more "in reach" than elsewhere.

I honestly mean no offense to the folks who've commented above, but if I hear that "within reach of whom?" retort again I'm going to stab myself in the eyes with a red Pilot G-2-07. So please don't make my baby have a blind daddy.

And as far as DWR jax, I know all the local showrooms in SF have had "floor sample" sales of most of the JAX products. could have walked away with some of them pretty cheap if they weren't totally boring.

[I think the official corporate response is, "Noooo, it means 'within reach of your house.'" -ed.]

The problem with DWR jax is not the retail price as much as the tax and ridiculous shipping charges. It used to be more affordable when their warehouse was in Fremont, but even then they charged a handling fee to pick up.

The other thing (IMO) going against DWR now is that they have gone from being the upstart small cool company to the big corporate company with all those design store popping up. I've bought a lot of "adult" stuff from them over the past few years, but tend to gravitate to the smaller retailers like modernseed now for my kids stuff.

I agree with the comment above - what is the motivation to buy from DWR when so many online retailers offer free shipping? We even have a DWR "Studio" (a.k.a. showroom) here locally, but even if I physically stood in the store and ordered something, I'd still have to pay shipping to my house. There is not even an option to pick it up at the store for less cost.

Furthermore, their salespeople were virtually worthless when it came to being informed about the products. I went there to test their Bugaboo model, and the salesperson was suprised to learn (from me) that the stroller only comes with 1 seat/bassinet frame (not 2 like their floor model) and that the stroller could actually fold up about 2 times smaller than the way the she did it. But, like, she thought it was SO CUTE and she totally wanted one when she has kids!!!

The nail in the coffin was when they sent out a promotional flyer with a $200 discount off a purchase of $1000... but it wouldn't work when I tried to use it either online or with customer service over the phone. Needless to say, I gave up on the hassle, bought the Bug at Babystyle, got free shipping and $40 reward/credits to their site.

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