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Robb & Stucky opens second Florida store

NAPLES, Fla. - Robb & Stucky International wowed the crowds with its second store, a 60,000-square-foot location here featuring an expanded vendor mix and more of the styles that have been popular for the reborn upscale retailer.
     The company, which opened its first store a year ago in nearby Fort Myers, Fla., invested more than $10 million in the Naples project, building from the ground up a showroom reflecting the style preferences of today's consumers, said Steve Lush, president of the retailer, now owned by the family of Samson Holding CEO and founder Samuel Kuo.
     Lush said the initial response has been outstanding. A grand opening night party drew more than 1,000 guests, including industry executives, interior designers, Realtors, local business and community leaders and preferred customers.
     A few days later, the Fort Myers, Fla.-based retailer held an event for the public called "American Beauty, A Gala Evening with Mr. Thom Filicia," featuring the celebrity interior designer.
     Admission was free and money raised by a 25-prize raffle went to area charities The Shelter for Abused Women & Children, Naples Botanical Garden and the American Red Cross.
     Some 4,000 consumers went through the store in the first nine days since it soft opened earlier this month.
     "In 30 years, I've never seen anything like it," Lush said.
     The old Robb & Stucky exteriors were more Mediterranean in style, while the new Naples store on Ninth Street has a casual feel - what Lush described as "transitional West Indies."
     The showroom interior is more open, too, with a racetrack walkway in tile that circles the perimeter of wide open floor. Nine grids of display feature six lifestyle points of view.
     "You can walk the entire perimeter of the store and not miss a single setting," Lush said.
     There also are new vendors added to the lineup since the Fort Myers opening, including Hickory White, Lillian August and Ferguson Copeland. The store also features more tropical looks and an expanded assortment in its Retropolitan lifestyle (lifestyles are referred to as "points of view" by the retailer), featuring architectural forms in natural finishes and fibers.
     "We had the benefit of a full year to study what was working, what wasn't, and what voids we had in our original lineup," Lush said. "There is still a big market in Southwest Florida for domestic, highly customizable product, and Hickory White and Ferguson Copeland deliver that."
     Lush said the retailer is sourcing more goods made in America than from any other
country, although he didn't know the exact breakdown offhand.
     Other suppliers include Century, Hancock & Moore, Hickory Chair, Hooker, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Ralph Lauren, Stanley, Thayer Coggin, Theodore Alexander and Vanguard.
     In addition to Retropolitan, the display points of view include Classics, or formal traditional; New Traditions - one of the retailer's best selling lifestyles featuring "classic traditional forms updated for today"; Water's Edge, which includes coastal cottage, tropical and West Indies styles; The District for causal contemporary; and Twenty-One for modern, European contemporary styles featuring materials such as stainless steel, glass and lacquer finishes.
     Robb & Stucky also said its Fort Myers store has exceeded traffic and sales expectations, al though Lush wouldn't disclose sales numbers for the store or projections for Naples. He did say the initial sales in Naples "have far exceeded expectations."
     The new Robb & Stucky reflects the former retailer's high-end legacy, but also offers a larger assortment of product in the good and better segments of the price spectrum, Lush said.
     "We're also very careful, even in best price points, to keep pricing as sharp as we can because consumers today expect value," he said. "That's changed from what you would have seen five years ago, when people weren't quite as cautious about what they were spending."
     In Naples, Robb & Stucky employs 45 people, including designers, customer service associates and delivery employees.
     Separately, the upscale retailer has acquired the former 68,000-square-foot Robb & Stucky location in Sarasota, Fla. - currently a Bacon's Furniture showroom - where it plans to open its third store around Sept. 1.

A Marge Carson
A Marge Carson display gets prominent placement in the Classics point of view area of Robb & Stucky International’s Naples, Fla., showroom.
A Ralph Lauren dining room by E.J. Victor dresses up the Classics point of view section of the new store.
Ralph Lauren dining room
Lillian August living room
This Lillian August living room vignette is featured in the New Traditions area of the store, one of the retailer’s best selling lifestyle areas with classic traditional forms updated for today.

Steve Lush, left, Robb & Stucky International; Adam Tilley, Stanley; Mark Stuart, Robb & Stucky; Suzanne and Tom Tilley, Thomas & Gray; and Rick Grant, Charleston Forge.

Steve Lush, left, Robb
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams makes a statement in the store’s Twenty-One area, featuring modern, contemporary styles.
A panoramic view of Robb & Stucky’s new 60,000-square-foot showroom in Naples, Fla.
A panoramic view
Robb & Stucky’s

Robb & Stucky's Steve Lush, left, with Eric Schenk, Century.

Mark Stuart, left, Robb & Stucky International, Fort Myers, Fla.; Bob Williams, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; Nanette Lush; Steve Lush, Robb & Stucky International; and Danielle Lush
Mark Stuart, left, Robb

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