• Cecile Corral

Gracious Home is back and betting on luxury textiles

NYC home décor store makes comeback with a new strategy

New York – Gracious Home is donning a new identity.

Formerly a home furnishings, housewares and hardware store, the iconic New York City retailer is undergoing a rebirth this spring after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in mid December.

Robert Morrison, the company’s new ceo as of December upon the resignation of Dottie Mattison, told H&TT:

“We’re turning our focus to luxury bedding and bath. It’s something we probably should have done a while ago. High-end textiles are very important to us and to our customer. It’s a business that we can compete well in, and it’s been the side our business that has continuously grown for us over the past four to five years, compared to housewares and hardware, which have continually shrunken.”

Gracious Home interiorGracious Home's new strategy will put more emphasis on luxury textiles.

Morrison continued: “There is a dearth of retailers focused on luxury bedding and bath, which is why we think we have a real opportunity here. Our plan is to become a digital business with stores that support it.”

Down to one small-format retail location – a 5,000-sq.-ft. space at 1210 3rd Ave. at 70th Street – from its former four-unit count, Gracious Home is in the process of revamping the store and restoring its ecommerce business. The www.GraciousHome.com website is back up, but will not be selling product until May 1 – “with some luck, maybe sooner,” Morrison said.

Though the remaining store never closed, he noted, it officially reopened under its restructured format on March 10. Before that, Gracious Home liquidated the old inventory and has outfitted the store with fresh merchandise within the newly curated product category list: bedding, bath, lighting, table linens, dec pillows and throws, candles, frames, flowers and small furniture piece.

Bedding and bath brands in the mix comprise “the same ones we’ve always carried,” he said, including Yves Delorme, Sferra, Frette, Missoni, Kassatex and others.

“We haven’t encountered a [luxury home textiles] brand yet that doesn’t want to sell to us,” Morrison said.

Looking ahead, Morrison said Gracious Home hopes its current location “is the first of multiple stores,” and its ecommerce site will soon reopen with a broader assortment of product within existing categories from each brand partner compared to the store’s mix

. “Because of our smaller store footprint, we can carry a few programs of Yves Delorme in the store, for example, but online we can offer their full line,” he explained.

Also coming soon: the addition of custom rugs and window treatments to the assortment.

“The reception we’ve gotten so far from our customers has been spectacular,” he said. “We’ve had a 20% open rate, so we’re pretty excited. Business has doubled each week since we’ve brought in the new merchandise, so if that continues, we will be able to make it.”

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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