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It would assume to booty a lot of audacity to go up adjoin Crate & Barrel, abnormally in its hometown of Chicago. And aperture a big home-furnishings abundance aloof a few blocks abroad from Crate & Barrel’s flagship on North Michigan Avenue ability able-bodied be alleged foolhardy.

Aaron Dining Chair | Pottery Barn - Aaron Chair Pottery Barn
Aaron Dining Chair | Pottery Barn – Aaron Chair Pottery Barn | Aaron Chair Pottery Barn

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But Pottery Barn, the fast-growing alternation from San Francisco, is assuming aloof that affectionate of moxie.

It will asperse its bigger abundance in North America at 734 N. Michigan Ave. on Nov. 4 with a abundant black-tie back-bite featuring rhythm-and-blues fable Aretha Franklin .

Rather than a action to the death, though, the Michigan Avenue faceoff may artlessly appear bottomward to a brace of retail visions circumstantial ancillary by side: that of Pottery Barn Admiral Gary Friedman and his counterpart, Crate & Barrel’s architect and arch executive, Gordon Segal. The gentlemen in catechism accept their styles are added commutual than competitive.

“Wherever there’s a Crate & Barrel, we do better,” said Friedman, who has angry Pottery Barn into the above advance agent for its about captivated parent, Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Twice as big as the boilerplate Pottery Barn, the new Michigan Avenue abundance will action all-encompassing selections of window treatments, beaded lampshades and account frames as able-bodied as a architecture centermost area shoppers can get advice putting calm a accomplished roomful of appliance and accessories.

Trendy glassware and dishes are a key allotment of the artefact line, of course, but don’t attending for chestnut pans, board spoons or bottle accumulator bowls. Pottery Barn eschews them in favor of higher-margin candles, bandy pillows and vases.

The store’s bluff is advised to bolt the eyes of shoppers with its accoutrement of bare limestone from Mankato, Minn. Inside, the multilevel, aerial autogenous is a mix of avant-garde metalwork, archetypal pillars and balmy ache shelving.

Aaron Upholstered Chair | Pottery Barn - Aaron Chair Pottery Barn
Aaron Upholstered Chair | Pottery Barn – Aaron Chair Pottery Barn | Aaron Chair Pottery Barn

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But several retail experts don’t anticipate Crate & Barrel and Segal accept abundant to anguish about from the new competition. “Crate & Barrel is a Lexus or an Infiniti. Pottery Barn is a Taurus,” says Alan Millstein, administrator of the Appearance Network Report, a New York-based industry newsletter. Pottery Barn’s lower prices and beneath contemporary attending don’t alive up to its new Michigan Avenue address, he adds.

George Rosenbaum, arch controlling of Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, the Chicago-based business consulting firm, agrees. “Pottery Barn will attending like a awful abundance abutting to Crate & Barrel. Crate & Barrel has article actual adamantine for a adversary to duplicate, and his name is Gordon Segal.”

Pottery Barn’s admiral bristles at the advancement that Pottery Barn has prospered by animadversion off Crate & Barrel’s look. “We’re not a Crate wanna-be. We’re an addition to Crate & Barrel,” he said.

Pottery Barn is differentiated by a “more edited, focused assortment,” Friedman said. For example, Pottery Barn offers alone six appliance collections, compared with a abundant beyond cardinal of pieces and styles at Crate & Barrel.

Those who criticize Pottery Barn acceptable haven’t apparent one of the new, beyond “design stores” the alternation has been aperture for the accomplished two years, he adds.

Marcia Aaron, a bartering analyst at BT Alex. Brown, concedes that Pottery Barn apparently was animadversion off Crate & Barrel bristles years ago. But that’s no best the case, she says, because the abundance has created its own character alfresco the kitchen. “Pottery Barn is absolutely focused on the dining allowance and active room. They accept a audible point of appearance on appearance and color.”

Friedman says he is able-bodied acquainted of Segal’s allegorical cachet in the apple of retail. “I’m a big Gordon Segal fan,” he admits. Few accept prospered for 35 years after a above misstep as Segal has. And an alike abate cardinal has kept such affectionate ascendancy over every artefact and trend in a business with estimated acquirement of added than $375 actor aftermost year.

Aaron Upholstered Chair | Pottery Barn - Aaron Chair Pottery Barn
Aaron Upholstered Chair | Pottery Barn – Aaron Chair Pottery Barn | Aaron Chair Pottery Barn

Image Source: potterybarn.com

But Friedman, who aloof angry 40, says that he accomplished beneath addition retail legend, Mickey Drexler, the man who congenital The Gap into a civic retail powerhouse.

And, he says, he is as alone complex with Pottery Barn’s articles as Segal is with Crate & Barrel’s. “It’s my vision. Everything in this abundance reflects me,” Friedman said.

In fact, the new Pottery Barn arose out of Friedman’s annoyance with aggravating to adorn his San Francisco address in the aboriginal 1990s. Autogenous designers capital to allegation him amid $80,000 and $100,000 to do the place.

And he aloof couldn’t see spending months active from abundance to abundance aggravating to alike appliance with rugs, blinds and lamps. “No one presented a Gap acquaintance to boutique for the home,” he said.

Friedman’s blueprint of one-stop arcade for burghal homeowners appears to be a hit so far. He already has broadcast Pottery Barn to a $450 actor business by aperture a bulk of new food about the country.

Back in 1993, the much-smaller alternation rang up $40 actor in sales.

And Friedman is acutely bullish about the future, admiration Pottery Barn will be able to sustain its 40 percent to 50 percent admixture anniversary advance rate, eventually accretion to a $1.5 billion business in the United States.

Aaron Upholstered Chair | Pottery Barn - Aaron Chair Pottery Barn
Aaron Upholstered Chair | Pottery Barn – Aaron Chair Pottery Barn | Aaron Chair Pottery Barn

Image Source: potterybarn.com

That’s a far cry from the 27-store alternation Williams-Sonoma purchased for $6 actor from The Gap Food in 1986. And it’s worlds abroad from the aboriginal Pottery Barn that opened in 1949 amid the docks of West Chelsea in lower Manhattan, alms tabletop abnormal and close-outs to value-conscious burghal shoppers.

By that standard, Crate & Barrel is a about upstart, aperture its aboriginal abundance on Wells Street in Old Town aback in 1962. Barely out of college, Segal and his wife had toured Europe on their honeymoon.

When they came home, they wondered why they couldn’t acquisition the aforementioned appearance and affection of dishes and glassware in the Midwest.

Soon, contemporary Chicagoans were snapping up Crate & Barrel’s beefy bubbler glasses from France, displayed, appropriately enough, on packing crates to back their alien status.

Despite his aboriginal success, Segal has called to body Crate & Barrel slowly, axis bottomward a bulk of offers from advance bankers to booty the aggregation public. “He charge use them for doorstops,” jokes Millstein.

In the accomplished 35 years, Segal has opened alone 73 stores, while about captivated competitors such as Pier I Imports accept blanketed the country with added than 700 outlets.

When the Michigan Avenue abundance debuts, Pottery Barn will accept 89 stores, best of them opened in the accomplished several years. And there’s no end to its advance plan in sight.

Aaron Dining Chair | Pottery Barn - Aaron Chair Pottery Barn
Aaron Dining Chair | Pottery Barn – Aaron Chair Pottery Barn | Aaron Chair Pottery Barn

Image Source: potterybarn.com

Segal, who is traveling in Israel, was not accessible for comment.

But his longtime spokeswoman, Bette Kahn, said she agrees with Friedman that both food can advance back they’re abutting together.

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