DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Home furnishings giant to open flagship in New York

BY Marianne Wilson

Pottery Barn is bringing its new store concept to the city where it all began.

The retailer, a division of Williams-Sonoma, will unveil a 17,000-sq.-ft. flagship on September 8, 2017, in Manhattan's Flatiron District. (The first Pottery Barn store opened in 1949 in the West Chelsea section of lower Manhattan.)

The new store is located in a landmark building constructed in 1904. The building is representative of New York’s Beaux-Arts movement, and features original columns and adorned ceiling accents.

The interior reflects Pottery Barn’s new store concept, and will feature local partnerships and exclusive products and services. These include "Design Crew," a new design services initiative that enables customers to work with a team of designers who will help them find the right products and services across all eight Williams-Sonoma brands.

The store will also offer a selection of one-of-a-kind vintage items hand-selected by Pottery Barn, with new ones continually being added. In-home installation services including, room painting, drape installation, gallery wall hanging and more will be available.

In addition, the flagship will be Pottery Barn's first location to offer a new design initiative called The Package Deal – Home in a Box. It offers a curated menu of furniture pieces that make up the foundation to a well-designed bedroom or living room, with packages starting at $1,000. Each season, the room offerings will vary as different products and pricing tiers are introduced.

"The first Pottery Barn store opened in New York City and it’s exciting to come full circle by opening a flagship store in the city where it all began,” said Marta Benson, president of Pottery Barn. “The new store concept is designed to enhance the customer experience to create an inviting, relaxed environment that makes the process of decorating your home effortless and fun."

Pottery Barn has 203 stores in the United States, Canada and Australia and unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East and the Philippines, as well as an ecommerce site. Williams-Sonoma's other banners include Williams Sonoma, Williams Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, Mark and Graham, Rejuvenation, and West Elm.

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FINANCE

Pep Boys makes acquisition

BY Marianne Wilson

Pep Boys is expanding its national service center footprint in the Phoenix area.

The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Icahn Automotive Group, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Auto Service & Tire Centers. Advance operates 15 service centers in Arizona, with the majority in the Phoenix area. The Advance locations will be transitioned to Pep Boys Service & Tire Centers.

“We are pleased to increase our store density in the metropolitan Phoenix area with the acquisition of Advanced Auto Service & Tire Centers, the third largest independent automotive service chain in the market,” stated Bill Ihnken, president of service, Icahn Automotive.

Pep Boys operates approximately 1,000 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico.

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ECOMMERCE

The mattress wars are heating up

BY Marianne Wilson

There's more disruption in the mattress category at retail.

West Elm has entered into a partnership with hot online mattress company Leesa Sleep, which will replace another hot online startup — Casper — as the home furnishings retailer's official mattress partner. The news come on the heels of Casper's announcement that it will open up more than a dozen pop-up stores in cities nationwide.

As of this week, Leesa’s mattress will be rolling out into 80 plus of West Elm’s stores across the country. The brand will also be sold on the company's website.

“Leesa’s mission is to provide a better place to sleep for everybody through thoughtfully designed and crafted products that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability,” said Leesa co-founder and CEO David Wolfe. “After beginning our journey as an online-only company, we are thrilled to bring our product to West Elm’s stores, a brand that we believe shares our same mission in measuring success not just by financial results, but by our impact on the world.”

Founded in 2014, Leesa, similar to Casper, offers a 100-day free trial and no-hassle returns. Leesa has a strong social component, and donates one mattress for every 10 that it sells, working with more than 50 homeless shelters across the nation. West Elm also emphasizes community involvement, and is committed to Fair Trade programs, and investing in local artists and designers.

In keeping with West Elm’s and Leesa’s shared commitment to community, Leesa will donate 1,000 mattresses to charitable organizations in communities where West Elm operates stores.

“We strive to help our customers make conscious purchasing decisions that not only reflect their personal style, but can also positively impact their local communities and the world,” said Alex Bellos, president, West Elm, a division of Williams-Sonoma. “We hope to offer our customers more than one way to make a meaningful difference through their purchases, whether it’s a Leesa American-made mattress, 100% organic cotton bedding or one of our many Fair Trade Certified products.”

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