For Retailers Only - March 2011

Selling The Gracious Living
By Wanda Jankowski

Main window of the Gracious Home at Third Ave. and 70 St.
The Gracious Home on Broadway at 67 St.

Amanda Mettler Goodrich, Gracious Home’s new creative director, discusses how the upscale New York home goods retailer dovetails traditional strengths with current technologies and customer needs

The iconic New York neighborhood home goods store, Gracious Home, with locations on the Upper East and Upper West Sides and its Home Improvement Design Store and Showroom in Chelsea, is known as equally well for its broad and uncommon product range as for its customer service.

Recently, Amanda Mettler Goodrich was appointed to the new position of creative director, and director of product innovation and private brands strategy and execution. Her career in merchandising and product development spans 15 years, including four as a senior buyer at Gracious Home.

Here, Mettler Goodrich shares her insights into Gracious Home’s present success and future goals with LDB Interior Textiles.

Q. What makes Gracious Home distinctive?
“Our service and selection have always made Gracious Home distinctive...Gracious Home is about a lifestyle and everything that goes with that lifestyle. It’s the ultimate neighborhood store and our sales associates go out of their way to help make sure customers find everything they need or they will get it for them.”

Q. Has the recession affected what New Yorkers buy?
“Customers adjusted their spending habits during the economic downturn and opted for lower priced, lesser quality goods, but we are finding that the trend has once again shifted back to better quality, luxury goods. Today, the designs that customers are attracted to tend to be more colorful, fashion-forward and print driven than their more serious jacquard cousins, or they are clean, simple and enduring in their elegance.”

Q. Do customers differ from one store location to the next?
“The customer varies not only between the East and the West side stores, but even within the various departments. What remains the same is that they all come to us knowing that they will have all of their questions answered by experts in their departments, they will find the best quality merchandise and it is all under one roof—and if it isn’t, we’ll be sure to get it for them.”

Q. What are your goals for the coming year?
“In an effort to remain current and relevant, we are constantly buying new merchandise, introducing new vendors and products, planning special events and trying to cater to both the current and next generation of Gracious Home customer.

“We have a very strong and beautiful private label bedding program, which we will continue to grow. We are also going to expand private label into other categories where we feel we can make a difference. Brand names are still very important to us, so we hope to create the perfect balance for our customers.”

Q. Does Gracious Home use social media to reach out to its customer base?

“We have both Facebook (facebook.com/gracioushome) and Twitter(twitter.com/gracioushome) pages and are also in the process of launching our new blog. Plan on seeing a lot more use of social media in the next year as we engage our customers in a two-way dialogue that will allow us to message exciting offers and products, and gain valuable feedback and insight into what our customers like and don’t like.”

Resources

• Gracious Home, 800-338-7809, gracioushome.com


LDB INTERIOR TEXTILES is published by EW Williams Publications Company
Phone: 1-201- 592-7007 Fax: 1-212-988-0588