And you thought your “fixer-upper” was a tough sell… 45-year-old Ohio-based basket maker and lifestyle brand Longaberger finally sold its 21-acre office headquarters… which is also a 160x scale replica of their “Medium Market Basket.”
After sitting on the market for nearly a year, the world’s largest basket sold to a local developer for $1.2m (a fraction of the $7.5m asking price, and a far cry from the $30m it took to construct).
Hey, when you’re a lifestyle brand, you gotta commit to the lifestyle.
It’s called “mimetic architecture,” and it’s dying
Popularized in the ‘50s, mimetic architecture is any building designed to “mimic” the function of the building.
It’s what you think of when you think of “roadside America”: a donut shop shaped like a donut, the library shaped like a stack of books… a basket company shaped like a basket.
But in the age of the internet, what used to be great marketing is now a questionable investment at best.
Maybe it’s tacky, or maybe it’s a sign of the times…
In the age of high-turnover startups, have to respect the commitment to longevity in a company that builds an office shaped like their core product.
Longaberger hit peak basket in 2000 at $1B in sales and 8k employees, but sadly the woven-craze was not to last — the company has been cutting costs since ‘06.
But founder Dave Longaberger is ever-optimistic, which makes total sense — the guy hired 500 employees to work with him inside of a building shaped like a basket.