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Brief Published: 5 Nov 2012

West Elm Launches Local Store Concept


US home furnishings retailer West Elm has opened a community-driven general store concept in Brooklyn, New York.

Launched on October 25, the West Elm Market retails practical household goods spanning four categories – kitchen, garden, care & repair and personal care – designed to provide “total home toolkit”, according to West Elm’s president, Jim Brett.

There is an emphasis on locally sourced products, such as saucepans made by Brooklyn Coppersmiths and biodegradable cleaning products by Brooklyn-based brand Common Good. Furthermore, the retailer hopes the new market venue will gather to learn new skills and socialise. There is a demonstration kitchen, a café and a ‘community table’ in the centre where global community marketplace Skillshare will run events and classes.

Consumers’ preference for utilitarian living and positive provenance has seen numerous retailers revive the general store concept over the past few years, selling high-quality everyday items in small-town style settings – a trend that Stylus previously explored in the Home & Industrial Design report General Stores. Stylus also recently addressed the number of retailers downsizing and specialising their offerings for niche urban communities in Big Box Retailers Go Small.

Eight further Market in-store shops will open in West Elm stores across the US in November.

West Elm