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CB2 passes test with three more units to open in '02

CB2 is no longer a test, and will expand with the opening of three additional units this year, said Gordon Segal, founder and ceo of Crate & Barrel.

In a test mode since its launch two years ago this month on Chicago's North Side, Segal said the CB2 concept is designed to attract younger customers with "more fun and unique designs" and should be able to fit in all major markets. Initially, the merchandise mix for CB2 was only 15 percent differentiated from the Crate & Barrel stores, but over the past two years the differentiated mix has increased to 50 percent of the merchandise, he explained. "And the customer base is growing, business is up," he said.

"The store is about attitude — modern, fun, functional," Segal said at the opening. And the size, 6,000 square feet in the original site, is geared to attract a customer in a neighborhood that is not gentrified. New stores could range up to 8,000 square feet or 9,000 square feet.

New units are planned for metro Chicago, New York and Boston markets, Segal said. The New York unit will be located at 611 Broadway, at Broadway and Houston.

The company also will open six new home stores this year, the first next month in Arlington, VA, followed by units in San Jose, CA; Atlanta; Los Angeles; New York and here.

Response to the Marimekko promotion that kicked-off in mid-January and the expanded product offering "has been terrific. It's selling out, selling like crazy. We're scrambling to get reorders," Segal said.

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