14283 Thu, 04/17/2008 - 3:07pm
EMERYVILLE, Calif.–Pacific Art Group, in its second year in business, has built a presence in the market as a supplier of exclusive artwork for many channels of distribution.
Having begun with programs at Neiman Marcus Direct and Horchow, with limited-edition, exclusive giclées on canvas that sell for an average ticket of $5,500, Pacific Art officials said they know how to satisfy the tastes of the affluent consumer. The company has been selling the middle market, too, and is now going after more volume business with programs in the works for Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Pacific Art Group was recently asked by Macy’s to create an expanded art collection for the retailer’s furniture gallery stores across the country, said Helen Bulwick, company president. Since the art company started creating limited-edition finished giclées for Macy’s in August 2007, the exclusive collection has grown from 17 pieces to 55, she said. Retails range from $399 to $499. The art collection is featured in all Macy’s furniture gallery stores, in all Macy’s furniture catalogs and online at Macys.com. Each piece was designed to enhance the room setting in which it is hung, she said.
Pacific Art Group, established as a vertically integrated company that creates original, proprietary and copyrighted artwork exclusively for its customers, also recently launched into the hospitality trade with one program for a major hotel chain and hopes to develop that channel further, Bulwick said.
Additionally, Pacific Art is developing programs for Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. Those programs are still being finalized, but Bulwick said the artwork for Target is aimed at the Hispanic demographic. These volume retailers will get prints on canvas and prints on paper made in China, for retail prices under $100 each, whereas the up-market customers buy giclées on canvas with brush-stroking and finishing, and framed in handmade frames.
“This is the fulfillment of our mission to create art for every level of retail,” Bulwick said. “From the stunning room setting at Horchow that was on the main page of its Web site, or the office environment artwork for Costco, it’s all our original art. The lifestyle presentation is what’s making all the difference,” Bulwick said.
While Bulwick declined to give sales figures for Pacific Art Group, she said she’s been pleased with the growth rate so far. “We doubled our revenue last year and already this year we’ve doubled that again,” she said.
What makes the company different from its competitors, Bulwick said, is that its artists tailor their work to the retailer’s needs, painting when a piece is ordered. Frames are hand-done, all in North America, which enables the company to make changes quickly, she said. For the mass-market goods, the same artists will do the work, which will then be reproduced in quantities in China.
For Horchow’s May catalog, Pacific Art will begin to make prints on canvas, which are then hand-embellished with brushstrokes, to retail between $1,000 and $1,500. “Technology allows us to produce very large pieces, up to 60 and 80 inches. The depth of the imagery is pretty cool.”
One piece, the first created for Neiman Marcus in the third quarter of 2006, was a 60-inch-high giclée on canvas with hand brushstroking and finishing. It was featured online and in the Neiman Marcus catalog, Bulwick said.
“We are creating for Neiman Marcus Direct a collection of gold- and silver-backed giclées on canvas to retail at $ 1,200 to $1,500,” she added.
“The critical thing is we’re entirely about inventory turn and sell-through at the price and margin objective they want,” Bulwick said. — Nancy Meyer