CB2 and the apartment that Pinterest built

It was an ambitious endeavor, but home decor retailer CB2 enlisted five designers and then crowd-sourced furnishings for a five room apartment over five days. The result is the first shoppable apartment furnished on Pinterest, in real time.

The home furnishing and accesses chain, and Crate & Barrel's younger sister, rented an unfurnished apartment in Manhattan and then asked five designers popular on Pinterest to furnish the home with the help of their followers. Each item was voted on and pinned in a matter of hours. The designers then arranged each room and added personal touches in a single day, completing one room each day, from May 7 to 11.

"Every chair, every lamp, every pouf, every piece of this apartment is going to be voted into existence by the click of a heart," explains a promotional trailer.

This is the first branding campaign for CB2, which opened its original location in Chicago in 2000. The format was developed to cater to younger shoppers with urban sensibilities. The ones more likely to shop at Ikea, West Elm or Target than CB2's parent Crate & Barrel.

That original location is now closed, but the company now operates 14 locations in U.S. metropolitan areas in addition to stores in Toronto and Singapore.

Pinterest is becoming increasingly important to retailers because pinners, as Pinterest users are called, are coveted buyers and influencers. According to research by Piqora, a pin on Pinterest generates 78 cents in sales on average and can drive both pageviews and orders several months after its original pinning — 50 percent of visits happen 2.5 months after pinning. Additionally, pinners on average spend twice the amount that a shopper referred from Facebook would spend.

The social media site is now testing paid pins that will appear in a user's feed. Target (NYSE:TGT), Gap (NYSE:GAP) and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) are among the first retailers to test the product and new research shows that shoppers are open to paid Pinterest promotions.

Marketing company Ahalogy asked active and daily users how they felt about paid or promoted pins and the majority were open to Pinterest marketing as long as it adds value. In fact, 73 percent of active users and 72 percent of daily users were neutral to the program.

CB2 isn't done now that the Pinterest part of the promotion is over. The retailer invited journalists and bloggers to stay in the apartment and write about it. The space was emptied at the end of May, but lives on, pinned and promoted on Pinterest.

For more:
-See this CB2 post
-See this New York Times story
-See this Ahalogy report (download)

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