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Clint Engel

Robb & Stucky, KitchenAid expand patio concept

Robb & Stucky has partnered with Whirl-pool/KitchenAid and a custom-cabinetmaker for the next generation of its patio store format, promising to take in-door/outdoor leisure living to a new level.

The retailer acquired a 25,000-sq.-ft. building, a former restaurant and retail establishment in Bonita Springs, Fla., and will use 17,000 square feet for its indoor/outdoor displays. The remainder will be leased and operated by entrepreneur Mike Fenn for a KitchenAid Lifestyle Home Products showroom — a working showplace for Whirlpool Corp. appliance brands and other products for the kitchen, laundry room and garage.

The new patio store is scheduled to open in September, two months before Robb & Stucky opens its full-line Bonita Springs store about 300 yards away.

The combined home furnishings and kitchen showroom aims to offer a mix of experience and lifestyle retailing unlike anything the home furnishings industry has seen before, with integrated and fully operational kitchen and laundry room settings that flow to indoor patio settings to outdoor settings.

Some of the vignettes will follow familiar Robb & Stucky lifestyle themes, such as contemporary or relaxed living or gracious living. Robb & Stucky's outdoor settings will be expanded to show a greater offering of KitchenAid high-end stainless steel cookery and grills, too. Another separate vignette will feature a contemporary stainless steel outdoor kitchen setup

"We think this is a great marriage for the KitchenAid brand, the premier high-end brand in the industry, with the premier high-end furniture retailer," said Mark Wilson, director of national account sales for Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool. "It certainly could establish a model (for growth)."

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