REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom delays Rack debut in Canada until 2017

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Nordstrom Inc. is delaying the opening of its Nordstrom Rack chain in Canada until 2017, in order to focus its attention on the launch of its full-line department stores there, The Globe and Mail reported.

Nordstrom had initially planned to start opening Rack stores in Canada next year. But the company has decided to focus on the openings of its six Canadian department stores (the first, in Calgary, is due to open this fall).

"Given everything on our plate in both the U.S. and Canada and the complexity of it, we thought, let’s work on getting the (Canadian) full-line stores up and running to the best of our ability first," Nordstrom spokeswoman Brooke White told Reuters.

Nordstrom said altering its computer systems and distribution for its first international expansion was proving to be more complex than expected, despite the similarities between the U.S. and Canadian markets, according to the report.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Nordstrom said it underestimated the costs and systems involved in ramping up in Canada, Ms. White said.

“There are enough differences for us in our distribution and systems that virtually everything that we do in the States we have to alter somehow for Canada, and we had underestimated that,” White said in the interview.

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RH Gallery (Restoration Hardware), Boston

BY CSA STAFF
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RH (formerly called Restoration Hardware) continues its transformation from a hardware retailer to a lifestyle brand at its stunning Gallery store in Boston. The 37,670-sq.-ft. space, which took top honors in the 2014. A.R.E. Design Awards competition, is located in a landmark building in the heart of the city’s Back Bay.

Originally the home of the Museum of Natural History, the building, designed in 1862, has been carefully restored, on both the exterior and interior, to its former glory, and reimagined consistent with its original vision as a museum. Decades of structural modifications were stripped away and original details reinstated, putting the focus on the dramatic architecture.

Entering the space, a three-story central atrium is anchored by a custom elevator with a steel-caged glass-cab. Artistic vignettes of RH furniture, accented with found objects, create a gallery-like experience throughout the store. From the fresh floral bouquets in the atrium to the 18-ft. antiqued mirrored archways reflecting 12 sparkling crystal chandeliers reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles on level two, the space is filled with artistic installations that give customers home-design inspiration. Level three features an indoor conservatory and park with reproduction heritage olive trees, a 24-ft. illuminated steel Eiffel Tower, and a wine bar. All are housed under the restored original vaulted and iridescent gold-coffered ceiling.

The third floor is also home to four "Clubrooms," including the Billiards Room, complete with a refurbished vintage Brunswick table, open for play; the Music Room, a tribute to the days of vinyl, rock & roll and Motown, also home to a 100-year-old beer bar salvaged from a local Boston pub; the Library, filled with design and architecture reads; and the Cinema, celebrating the art of film and fame.

The building’s restored subterranean level is home to the first RH Baby & Child Gallery on the East Coast. Punctuated by original, 12-ft. vaulted brick ceilings, the space provides a new and innovative approach to designing and outfitting nurseries and children’s rooms.

The building’s original winder staircase, previously hidden behind walls, has been exposed through dramatic steel and glass archways, winding its way up to the third floor.

Architect/architect of record: Bergmeyer Associates, Boston


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Tiffany stays positive following Q4 net loss

BY CSA STAFF

Tiffany & Co. reported a net loss of $104 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 thanks to a $473 million charge resulting from arbitration with The Swatch Group Dec. 2013.

The company reported net sales for the quarter of $1.3 billion, up 5% from $1.23 billion last year. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 6%.

“We are proud of our performance this past year,” said chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski. “Sales growth was led by fine and statement jewelry, new or expanded jewelry collections, and continuing strength in our iconic jewelry designs. Tiffany’s marketing communications more effectively engaged global consumers wherever they shopped, our distribution network was expanded by 14 additional stores, and everywhere the store experience was enhanced by improved visual merchandising.”

During the full fiscal year, net earnings dropped 56% to $181.4 from $416.1 million. Net sales rose 5% to $4 billion from $3.8 billion and same-store sales improved 6%.

During fiscal 2014, Tiffany plans to open 13 new global stores, including five in the Americas, and close four, including one in the Americas. Worldwide net sales are expected to rise by a high single-digit percentage.

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