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Ray Allegrezza

LaDifference to open second store in Richmond suburb

New unit will focus on bestsellers, global show-stoppers

SHORT PUMP, Va. — Contemporary home furnishings retailer LaDifférence is expanding its presence from downtown Richmond to a second, smaller location in this town in Henrico County, Va.'s West End.

When it opens Feb. 2, the new 7,000-square-foot store in West Broad Village will offer shoppers in central Virginia added convenience and access to the benefits of modern design, officials said. The store at 2436 Old Brick Road will hold a grand opening celebration Feb. 19-21.

The retailer said its new location will offer an ample but sharply focused mix of modern furniture and accessories designed to allow customers to quickly compare styles, quality and prices to traditional "big box" furnishings stores nearby.

While LaDiff's flagship store in Richmond's historic River District showcases 50,000 square feet of the company's contemporary pieces, the Short Pump location will display the retailer's tried and true bestsellers, the best LaDealL$, and what co-owner Sarah Paxton calls "show-stoppers" from around the world.

"For years we've had customers driving from the West End and Charlottesville to our flagship store, and what we've heard is that they wanted us to be more convenient to where they live. By opening a second store at West Broad Village, we're making LaDiff more accessible than ever," Paxton said.

LaDifférence co-owner Andy Thornton said the architecture of the West Broad Village store, about the size of two-and-a-half tennis courts, will maintain the open look and feel of the three-story downtown store.

LaDiff, which employs 25 people, expects to hire three or four more full-time commissioned sales positions to staff the new store.

The store manager is Matthew King, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate who has several years of experience in the retail and international shipping industries. For now, the store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

"We're forecasting this location to contribute to a substantial portion of our company's overall sales," said Thornton, without giving a specific figure. "And while we want our customers to have a shopping option closer to their homes, we also hope this location will encourage folks to come downtown and visit our flagship store."

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