Maine Cottage opens Florida store

West Palm Beach location joins stores in Charleston, S.C., and Yarmouth, Me.

With an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 17, Maine Cottage opened a 5,000-sq.-ft. store in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla. The store is located in the historic Clematis Street shopping district.

“Clematis Street is the traditional shopping street of West Palm Beach,” Maine Cottage vice president David Peterson said. “Before the automobile, it was the walkway from the train station to the ferry that went to Palm Beach.”

The street has had its ups and downs, Peterson said. An urban mall less than a mile away once resulted in decreased customer traffic in the shopping district, Peterson says Clematis Street is now on the rise. The Maine Cottage store joins a number of other home furnishings retailers, including Z Gallerie and Design Within Reach, on Clematis.

Peterson said the July opening will give the staff time to work out any bugs in the operations before business picks up in the fall, when seasonal residents return. In the meantime, Maine Cottage’s strength in catalog and online retailing allows the business to keep in touch with these customers, wherever they may live the rest of the year. Catalogs and the Web have also already given the company a good foothold in the Florida market.

“Florida has provided us with more new prospects over the last four years than any other state,” Peterson said. “We have lots of customers there that already know the company and many more who have been waiting for us to open there.”

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