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Club Monaco Enters Home

Specialty Chain Testing New Model in New York Stores

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, March 14, 2005

New York—Club Monaco, the specialty apparel chain focusing on a well-edited point of view in men's and women's contemporary clothing at competitive prices, is moving into the home area.

In its flagship store on 57th Street here, the company features a home collection that follows its apparel viewpoint — tightly edited — in 200 square feet within the store's 8,000-square-foot space. The home collection also is being tested in the chain's six other New York stores.

The 200-square-foot home model also is the size being tested in the other Club Monaco units that average 4,000 square feet.

Club Monaco, founded in 1985, has a distinctive modern style based on quick changing fashion trends. The company, with 74 stores across the United States and Canada, was acquired by Polo Ralph Lauren in 1999.

It has a signature lifestyle — “urban mode sophistication,” related Michael Fisher, senior vice president of creative services.

“We have a very well edited assortment of apparel, and we wanted to add a very tight selection of home and books. We have a simple aesthetic,” explained Fisher.

The collection ranges from silk shantung decorative pillows at $29 to clear nesting tables from Caban at $199, as well as glass water bottles from Feliciti by Felissimo Design House at $20.

The collection also offers Lexon electronics, including sport binoculars at $95, a key chain with a button flashlight at $16 and a series of books from Assouline.

The New York test will run at least through the Christmas holiday, “and I'm hopeful that before Christmas we will have the home products in all stores. We believe in it, and we'll go for it,” Fisher noted.

With the home collection in place in the stores here for just a short period, “We've seen some really great response, especially in frames, candles and water bottles,” he added.

Club Monaco stores in the United States range from leading malls to prestige shopping areas such as Fifth Avenue here, Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Collins Avenue in Miami Beach and Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, Calif.

Plans call for five new stores in the United States this year, Fisher said.

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