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West Elm Market Realigns Home Furnishings Retailer As Hip General Store

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s younger, hipper home furnishings chain West Elm is branching out, the company has announced. Tomorrow will mark the launch of West Elm Market, a retail concept that will act as “a total home toolkit,” the company stated, by providing consumers with product from four critical categories: Kitchen, Garden, Care & Repair and Personal Care.

The first West Elm Market opens in Brooklyn as “a true neighborhood destination,” Williams-Sonoma asserted, and will include a café and a common area for community workshops. To follow up, the company will debut eight Market shop-in-shops placed amid West Elm stores in Costa Mesa, CA, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Nashville, Seattle, New York and Toronto during November. A Market collection launched on yesterday.

To differentiate the retail concept, West Elm Market will focus on functional design, local production, entrepreneurship and community connections.

“We were inspired by the common sense shopkeeping of the classic general store to develop a collection of genuine and useful household goods that make even the most practical chore a little more enjoyable,” said West Elm president Jim Brett. “The Market store is designed to be a place to gather, learn and connect.”

Located in the D.U.M.B.O. neighborhood at the base of the Manhattan Bridge, the first Market store will feature a café in collaboration with Philadelphia-based neo-traditional coffee roasters La Colombe Torrefaction and a demonstration kitchen. A community table in the store’s center will stage events and classes created by West Elm in partnership with Skillshare, an organization that creates educational events focused on local community lifestyles.

The product assortment in Brooklyn’s West Elm Market includes live plants, herbs, seeds and potting soil. To make the local connection, the Market will offer Brooklyn Blend potting soil from Groundworks Gardens, a company that works with the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The operation also will provide West Elm designed brooms and dusters manufactured by New York City Industries for the Blind, Sam’s Natural candles, soaps and lotions handcrafted using ingredients purchased from suppliers in the United States, a 2.5-quart saucepan from Brooklyn Coppersmiths and artisan pantry products representing diverse U.S. cuisines merchandised as themed assortments including “We’re From Brooklyn,” “Southern Comfort,” “Helpful Houseguests” and “Get in the Spirit.”  Other products available include kitchen tools, cookware and an exclusive line of modern enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens and pans, as well as Brooklyn-based Common Good’s 100% biodegradable and plant-based cleaning products with a West Elm signature sage scent.

“West Elm Market is a natural extension of the West Elm brand,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., in previewing the operation. “We are thrilled to introduce this new assortment of exclusive, expertly curated products in an innovative community store.”