Author Archives: Duke Ratliff

About Duke Ratliff

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Restoration Hardware: In the Black

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Gary Friedman, Restoration Hardware’s CEO, owes me $5. Upon returning from my vacation, I found a massive, black block wrapped in plastic on my dining room table. My dogsitter had left it there with the rest of the mail. After quite a bit of effort to rip apart the wrapping, I discovered the approximately 12More »

IHA Shoots For the Stars

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Did anyone watch the Cosmos television show? The recently concluded Fox series, an updated version of the old Carl Sagan program, took viewers on trips to new, unexplored  worlds. The International Housewares Association last month unveiled a plan to boldly go where no home furnishings trade association has gone before—to the world of consumers. BestMore »

Roche Bobois Celebrates 40 Years in the U.S.

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Four decades of l’art de vivre By Duke Ratliff French furniture brand Roche Bobois is in the midst of its 40th anniversary in the United States. Last month the company welcomed more than 700 guests to its newly renovated Madison Avenue flagship showroom in Manhattan. At the event, the company unveiled a collection from designerMore »

Pondering Millennials

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By Duke Ratliff Call them a marketer’s dream—or nightmare—the consumer segment dubbed “millennials” (consumers aged 18-34) is starting to make its presence felt in the home furnishings industry. Attention-getting products targeting millennials have been seen at every trade show this year. These items are usually inventive, colorful or unusual in some way—perfectly reflecting the quirky,More »

No Stone Unturned

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By Duke Ratliff Returning from the recent International Home & Housewares Show, I had one word on my mind. The word? “Halloween.” As usual, the Housewares Show was a much-anticipated, well-oiled machine offering up a treasure trove of items from companies big and small. Retailers looking for anything from cookware to men’s shavers and cleaningMore »

There’s Nothing Generic About Somerton Dwelling

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By Duke Ratliff Rita Ho-Bezzola, the CEO of Somerton Dwelling, is not the average furniture industry executive. She grew up in the business, helping out in the furniture factory her parents founded in Dongguan City in southern China. Now, she’s overseeing the rebranding of the company. In addition, she’s a classically trained pianist; she ownsMore »

Love American (Consumer) Style

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Divorce rates, along with consumer debt, are on the rise in the United States—thank goodness. While divorce and consumer debt are troubling from a social and moral view, they serve as indicators of a positive outlook for the home business. After plunging to a 40-year low at the end of the recession in 2009, divorceMore »

Safavieh’s Self-Branded One-Stop Shop

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By Duke Ratliff Safavieh’s newest store is a test lab for all things Safavieh. The 20,000-square-foot unit, which opened last month in Farmingdale, N.Y., is the first of the company’s 10 stores to be completely stocked with all Safavieh products. Safavieh’s executives will monitor and evaluate shopping patterns in the central Long Island store, thenMore »