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Roses in bloom on Bloomie's floor

Store debuts streamlined case goods group

Carole Sloan -- Furniture Today, March 25, 2002

NEW YORK — Taking a peek into its fashion-driven past, Bloomingdale's earlier this month launched a home furnishings-wide event called "Everything is Coming Up Roses."

Under the aegis of Lester Gribetz, the department store's vice president of home furnishings fashion, the home departments offered a plethora of exclusive products with the rose as a connecting theme. In the furniture and other departments, merchandise featured Cyrus Clark's Old Lyme cabbage rose print.

The rose, said Gribetz, is "a dominant symbol of human emotion and experience and is universally loved. In leading home furnishings exhibits in Europe earlier this year, the rose was definitely the flower of the year."

Gribetz returned to the store early in 2001 after a decade away.

In the furniture department, there is no doubt about the role of the rose. The main aisle is dressed with trellises entwined with roses. The first vignette greeting customers on the main aisle is a sofa and chair from William Alan covered in the Cyrus Clark print, and fresh roses abound in vases around the furniture floor.

The rose also keys the event's color palette, which ranges from naturals to brights, reflecting the scope of colors in rose petals and leaves, Gribetz said.

The store's new Hyde Park collection of living room, bedroom and dining room furniture, designed by Ray Brandt, Bloomingdale's vice president of furniture design, represents a streamlined case goods effort.

"We edited out many extraneous pieces," Gribetz said. "We looked at designing individual pieces that lend themselves to several uses — a commode that can move from room to room, an armoire that can serve a number of functions."

Another new step for the department is the launch of a collection of vitrines, copied from an antique featured on the floor, a move that Gribetz said taps into consumers' interest in showcasing important accessory pieces.

The furniture floor showcases a number of vendors and looks new to the store, including a sectional from John Charles Designs that Gribetz said already is a winner, and a sleek contemporary "split" sofa that also can serve as a bed from Nube of Italy.

The promotion is heralded in a home design sale circular this month that features the William Alan sofa on the cover.

The home furnishings-wide rose event was launched with a party on the furniture floor benefiting The Central Park Conservancy.

Roses are everywhere on the Bloomingdale's furniture floor, notably on trellises down the main aisle. Century's sofa is covered in an off-white matte/satin stripe.
Bloomingdale's Ray Brandt uses this room to bring the outdoors inside with a waterfall panel. The banquette is formed from a Century sectional. Mongolian lamb pillows are soft accents, and accessories evoke an African theme.
Natuzzi's four-piece Fusion sectional is the star of a model room that blends contemporary with Asian influences, including an old Java Chinese cabinet and console.
Hyde Park, Bloomingdale's exclusive English-inspired dark maple collection, features a four-poster bed and a commode that can serve several functions in other rooms.
New to the Bloomingdale's mix is furniture from John Charles Designs, whose contemporary white sectional and orange ottoman already are winners for the Federated store.

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