The Internet and cost transparency has changed the relationship between interior designers and design centers, and the road forward is uncertain. Design Centers International (DCI), an association of interior design center managers, has engaged strategic planner David Shepherd to analyze the future relationship between design centers and designers, and help identify the way forward. Shepherd will lead a focus group with representatives of DCI members, which includes many of the nation's premier design centers, in November in Scottsdale, AZ. "Over the past five years the impact of the Internet and onset of cost transparency has hammered the margins of both design centers and interior designers. As both have done whatever was necessary to survive, some confusion--and even a little skepticism--about the relationship has arisen," said Shepherd. "My goal is to identify a path by which these two essential partners--interior designers and design centers--can establish complementary and mutually profitable business models."
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