Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm going to call it the Oldham effect

Maybe we're just not that into designers: "elite style-setters are having to watch their creations land in the discount bin. Just a few months ago, Target rolled out its biggest-ever home-furnishings line, with 500 items designed by New York decorator Thomas O’Brien. But the brand, which includes items as varied as pleated curtains and a $500 sliding door chest, is already struggling."

Two things though. Designer lines are the only idea anyone has for stores like Target and Linens N Things to crack the furniture market. And the partnerships might, on some level, be working: "Sales of furniture at U.S. stores that don’t specialize in furniture rose 4 percent last year...and 8 percent in 2004."

No wonder traditional furniture stores are looking for methods that are even more creative. God knows their own designer effort had mixed results. "Even former fashion designer Todd Oldham, who lent his hip moniker to La-Z-Boy chairs, hasn’t been able to bolster sales in some areas." Really? Oldham's failing? I'm stunned.


Amy said...

The Thomas O'Brien stuff was horribly priced for furniture you'd buy at Target. Especially with Ikea as another option for most people. I know people makes jokes about Ikea quality, but I doubt they've ever tried to put together something they bought at Target. It's even worse! A little bathroom unit came with wood glue. It would have required all manner of clamps to get it to stay together while it dried. I may as well have built the thing from scratch.

Irene Done said...

That Target furniture photographs well but totally loses its appeal in the store -- where you can see that it often doesn't hold up under the wear and tear of simply SITTING ON A SHELF. And as someone who nearly required medical attention after assembling a Target chair, I sympathize with your wood glue horror.

Maybe I'm naive but I really wanted Target's stuff to be better than that.