Pierre Deux waves flag at new store

Carole Sloan, Staff Staff, June 17, 2002

With an eye on further carving its niche as a design-driven retailer with a European flair, Pierre Deux opened its newest flagship store here last week at 59th Street and Madison Ave.

"We want to be the French country authority with a one-stop environment offering a lifestyle approach in merchandise and creating a home in presentation," said Bill Keimig, coo of Pierre Deux.

Keimig and Sue Kelly, vp, merchandising, discussed the firm's future during a tour. The company's previous flagship, which still is open at Madison Avenue and 71st Street, will close at yearend when the lease expires. The new store, at 7,000 square feet in total and 3,800 square feet at street level, is 3,000 square feet larger than the Madison Avenue location.

The new store, Keimig explained, is in a high-traffic area both for residents and tourists, a stone's throw away from Crate & Barrel as well as high-end apparel boutiques. It is also an easy walk from the designer buildings on Third Avenue.

Additional new store openings are planned at a three- to five-unit expansion annually, Keimig said.

At the same time, the company is moving ahead in developing its catalog and online businesses, Keimig said.

The company was started in 1967 by Pierre LeVec and Pierre Moulin as the home in America for French country furnishings and Provencal fabrics and accessories. Pierre Deux is owned by Madame Cointreau de Bouteville, who purchased the company from the two Pierres 10 years ago.

Currently, the merchandise mix is about 20 percent antiques, from furniture to accessories, with the balance developed by the merchandising and design staffs here and in France as exclusive reproductions of French country of the 18th and 19th centuries in furniture, textiles, rugs and accessories.

The company's fabric collection, which is produced in France, offers a wide range of prints and wovens for special order upholstery as well as serving as the basis for bed coverings, table linens and window coverings. Throws, table linens and decorative pillows are important accents and are given prominent display in the new store.

Its catalog business, now three years old, is growing steadily, said Kelly, as is the Internet business. Some 35 percent to 40 percent of the store mix and catalog overlap.

The catalog mails in the spring and fall with a circulation of more than 1.5 million a year and is mailed throughout the country.

The company also uses local newspaper advertising, direct mail to existing customers and designer discounts as marketing tools.

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