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  • Michael J. Knell

The Bay debuts Gluckstein

Hudson's Bay Company has rolled out a line of furniture and home furnishings by Canadian interior designer Brian Gluckstein at all 93 of its The Bay department stores.

"We're thrilled to be the only place in Canada to offer Brian's exciting and affordable designs," said Marc Chouinard, president of The Bay. "GlucksteinHome will be expanded to include a broader range of merchandise and price points, offering our customers the style and value they are accustomed to finding at The Bay."

Sixteen Bay stores carry GlucksteinHome's full selection of furniture. The three flagship stores in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver offer the full line in specially designed presentations.

This is Gluckstein's second foray into licensed furniture merchandising. His first effort was showcased at Eaton's after Sears Canada acquired the department store and attempted to recast the now-defunct retailer as its high-end statement.

GlucksteinHome encompasses upholstery — much of which is made by U.S.-based Southern Furniture — occasional, bedroom and dining room, lighting, rugs, dinnerware, tabletop, bed linens, bath accessories and drapery.

The line spans five lifestyle collections in styles ranging from traditional to modern.

The five collections are:

  • Hampton, featuring earth tones and subtle, simple lines.

  • Pinstripe, an Art Deco-inspired group.

  • Steel, with strong horizontal and vertical lines.

  • Suede, featuring natural materials in geometric shapes.

  • Antiquity, a Renaissance approach that "transforms space into a classical room."

In the three flagship stores, each lifestyle is presented in a 1,200-square-foot boutique, giving the entire program about 6,000 square feet of space. In smaller stores, each lifestyle group is edited for maximum appeal to the local market.

"These are complete lifestyles, not simply furniture," Chouinard said. "When we talk bedroom it is not only the furniture but the bedding as well as the bed basics, the lamps, rugs, wall art — even down to a water carafe on the night table. The customer will be able to build her room with ease, knowing that once she has selected her lifestyle, Brian has done the rest for her. Each lifestyle will continue to evolve and there are plans to add leather and sofa beds in the near future."

The opening price point for a Gluckstein sofa is C$1,499, with a coffee table at C$499.

"HBC is home to some of the biggest and best brands in Canada and around the world," said Gluckstein, voted Canada's favorite designer last year by the readers of Canadian House & Home magazine. "They understand that consumers want to be able to access top designers whether they live in Toronto, Edmonton or Montreal."

Gluckstein's line is one element of a merchandising initiative launched in 2004 and called HBC Home, which focuses on brands at affordable prices and includes product designed by Lynda Reeves, publisher of Canadian House & Home.

"GlucksteinHome will be the anchor brand for the home group, along with Reeves' House & Home: Style for Living," Chouinard said.

The opening marketing blitz for GlucksteinHome included personal appearances by the designer at each of the flagship stores, supported by TV and radio advertising and the publication of a 20-page book.