We’re all shopping online more than ever before—even putting big-ticket items like rugs and chairs into our virtual carts. Still, there are times when you want to touch and feel something (and learn more about it) before making that purchase. Luxury bedding and bath is one of those categories and that happens to be a specialty of Gracious Home, the New York City housewares store that’s reinventing itself under the guidance of its new CEO, Greenwich’s Rob Morrison.
The retailer reopened its Manhattan store last spring with a smaller 3,000-square-foot footprint, but it’s expanding its online presence and considering a future storefront on Greenwich Avenue. “We have a tremendous number of consumers from Greenwich, whether they have dual homes or they just come into the city to shop,” says Rob, who notes that living in Greenwich helps him stay on the pulse of these core customers and understand their shopping habits. “I ship more to Greenwich than to the rest of Connecticut.”
For customers here and in Manhattan, Gracious Home 2.0 is paring down its selection to focus on the categories that have proven to be its most profitable. “Unless you’re Amazon, you can’t afford to be all things to all people, which we were trying to be, carrying everything from doorknobs to chandeliers,” he says. The store will stock a choice selection of upscale bedding (“sheets that get better with age if you take care of them and last fifteen to twenty years”), high-end bath, table linens as well as lighting and lightbulbs.
Gracious Home also offers a seamless online shopping experience. A new high-tech ordering system lets shoppers access their past purchases and ensures that the throw they’re buying online, for instance, will match the sheets they picked up in the store two months ago. GH also works closely with design professionals. With the new site, designers can log on to their private portals to access purchase history, organize orders for clients and receive a trade discount. But when designers or individual customers prefer to call the store directly and talk to the sales associate who’s been helping them for the past twenty years, they can do that too.
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