Solid Gold Sustainability: Agrarian from Williams-Sonoma

May 10, 2012

The PR about Williams-Sonoma‘s new Agrarian collection is all around us this week. Agrarian is a line of “DIY” merchandise targeted to the upscale sustainable farmer.

If you know anything about Williams-Sonoma, you already have surmised that this merchandise is targeted to a special breed of farmer. The kind of farmer who likes their planting equipment coppered, monogrammed, patinated and distressed. Who likes chicken coops priced well into 4 figures, and for them to be of an iconic, prefabricated appearance to trumpet the designer label origins. And for farmers desiring White Glove delivery, where the term “do-it-yourself” temporarily takes on another meaning and becomes a simple command to the delivery driver who is expected to assemble it on-site with the gentleman farmer looking over his shoulder.

You could poke fun at this concept all day long, as many pundits are doing. Which is what intrigues me about Agrarian: It’s too easy to laugh at. But the fact is, when a top brand pulls something like this, they’ve usually got some business fundamentals behind it.

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