Lubners to open new retailer Clive Daniel Home in Naples, Fla.
Will take over 85,000-square-foot former Robb & Stucky store
Clint Engel (Furniture/Today) -- Casual Living, 7/22/2011 10:33:04 AM
NAPLES, Fla. — Clive Lubner and his son Dan are leasing the former Robb & Stucky store here for a new midpriced to high-end furniture showroom that will have a soft opening in October.
Clive Daniel Home will open in the 85,000-square-foot building on Tamiami Trail with about 65,000 square feet of selling space and the rest dedicated to a design studio and offices, said Dan Lubner, CEO. The company also is in the process of securing a 50,000- to 60,000-square-foot warehouse in the area to serve the store.
With the new venture, the Lubners are bringing back several managers and executives from the former Fort Myers, Fla.-based Robb & Stucky, which Clive Lubner led and which filed or Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year and subsequently liquidated.
The new company also will be dealing with some of the same vendors as well as new ones, and has plans to expand to other markets, although Dan Lubner said the focus now is on opening the first store.
"It feels great to be in control of our destiny once again and to start fresh with more exciting product and lifestyle programs than ever, and to keep our core management team intact to lead this new venture," Clive Lubner said in a release.
He was the longtime leader and creative force behind the upscale Robb & Stucky, which he took from $2 million a year in sales to about $270 million before a collapse precipitated in part by the recession. The Lubners initially tried in vain to save the business by soliciting new investors for a scaled-down version, then later lost out on a bid to buy the retailer's intellectual property, which was acquired by Samson Holding CEO Samuel Kuo and his family.
Clive Daniel will be a division of Lubner Group LLC, which the Lubners founded in April to focus on the hospitality market and commercial design. Dan Lubner said the goal was to keep Robb & Stucky's design, support and service team together as well as to continue taking care of its recent clients and those it has served over the past 30 years.
Dan Lubner wouldn't disclose the initial investment in Clive Daniel Home or any possible financial backers, buts said its inventory commitment alone will be about $3 million.
He added that Naples had always been Robb & Stucky's top market and estimated the store "will do north of $20 million a year."
Among the returning employees are Kris Kolar, who will lead interiors design and merchandising; Craig Nesvik, chief financial officer; Tracy Hickey, lead case goods buyers; and Grace Ako, lead upholstery buyer.
Other similarities to the former Robb & Stucky will be its focus on current styles, an emphasis on service and the "integrity and quality of staff that we assembled," Dan Lubner said.
But the Lubners also are promising more. "Our product assortment will be like no other in the home furnishing business," Clive said in the release. He added, "We could not have accomplished this without the incredible support of the vendor community."
Clive Lubner is out of the country and couldn't be reached for additional comment.
Dan Lubner said Clive Daniel Home will introduce several "new departments" that it hadn't offered at Robb & Stucky, but declined to elaborate.
"We believe this will be one of the premier furniture and interior design locations in the country," he said.
"Offerings will include a fresh mix of contemporary, traditional and casual designs that will represent the best value," the company said. Dan Lubner confirmed some vendors and lines the store will feature including Hancock & Moore, EJ Victor and its Ralph Lauren line, Lilly Pulitzer, Vanguard, Starmount Home Furnishings' Nautica, Hickory White, Thayer Coggin and Schnadig's Caracole.
The Lubners said they also are taking advantage of the seasoned management of the new business to offer advisory and consulting services to other home furnishings retailers, both in this country and overseas.
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