When I walked into the new Crate & Barrel Homestore in Boca Raton's Town Center this morning at 10 a.m., sales clerks were still "fluffing" as designers like to call it. They were putting vases in place and correcting some of the rearranging that more than 1,200 guests created the night before at the opening party for C&B's best customers.
This is the largest C&B in Florida with 33,443 square feet and the only one that sells furniture. Most C&B stores are about 12,000 square feet.
After checking out the furniture on the second floor, I chatted with CEO Gordon Segal, a likable guy with that Midwestern ease that can be disarming to some of the pretentious folks in the East.
Gordon and his wife, Carole, started the company almost 45 years ago with $17,000 and a dream. It's called Crate & Barrel because after they spent $10,000 on merchandise, they only had $7,000 left to prepare the store. Money ran out before they could buy display cases so they used the crates and barrels their imported wares came in.
Gordon and I walked the store and chatted about how they do business. Here's the buzz from the top:
Tableware items turn over four times a year with each season. After the season is over, you can find the goods reduced at the company's Sawgrass Mills outlet store in Sunrise. Right now, you'll find the summer goods on sale at the outlet.
If you see something you like in the "in stock" upholstery pieces, it can be delivered with a week.
Steamer bar cabinet
All of the fabric choices attached to the upholstery are available for the same price. Other choices from the more than 1,000 fabrics can take 6 to 10 weeks for delivery.
All the furniture is specially designed for C&B, including stuff like the Kyoto bamboo topped table of layered bamboo by designer Maria Yee ($1,399), the Steamer bar cabinet ($999) and the Gentry floor mirror ($1,199), which has a MDF frame that looks like woven leather.
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