Thumbing through the New York Times, I came across an article in Home and Garden entitled Best Sellers and Bombs. It described what successes and failures design retailers have experienced in a variety of locations across the country. I always find it interesting to see how products sell in different regions. Success of a product has a lot to do with how design is perceived as it is perceived differently in each part of the country. Costs also play a considerable role.
One product that was deemed a failure by one retailer in Seattle is the Polder Sofa by Hella Jongerius for Vitra.
This product is one of more versatile designs to have come along in years. The piece was designed in 2005 and it allows you to sit, recline, to interact in so many different ways without having to alter the piece's form. The sofa's dynamic asymmetrical design allows this wide range of movement.
This product can hardly be considered a failure. The only failure in this instance was the location and local market in which the product was retailed. In the article it was remarked that this product would do well in New York, I believe this to be true. It's different, and the customers who have embraced this piece are looking for different.