Members of the expat community, corporate executives, celebrities, as well as home innovators and decorators recently gathered together formally launch the first store of Crate & Barrel in Manila at the Mega Fashion Hall at SM Megamall just in time for the Christmas season. It was a great time to celebrate the much-awaited opening of the iconic store in Manila, but also its partnership with the SM Retail Group.
Crate & Barrel USA head of International Visual Merchandising April Young flew in to Manila to grace the opening along with director of construction John Moebes and other members of the team.
SM Retail Director Felicidad Sy, SM Prime Holdings Inc. President Hans Sy, and SM Retail Chairman Tessie Sy-Coson welcomed them along with SM EVP for Controllership Ricky Lim, SM Retail VP for Business Development Pascale Jimenez, and Crate & Barrel Philippines Business Unit Head Jo Co Siy.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, Young talked about what Filipinos can expect from the American home brand. According to her, while homes tend to look and feel modern these days because of technological advances, Crate and Barrel is encouraging Filipinos to keep homes warm and rustic, similar to a farmhouse.
“With this look, we veer away from the super modern and choose to have an inviting environment inside homes instead,” Young shared.
Spotted at the store were wooden furniture including dining tables and chairs, drawers and cabinets, and beds. Also seen were home accessories in laidback design and prints.
“What is good about the brand is that it speaks to every part of the room, the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, all of it. Moreover, we have products for the budget-conscious up to the more affluent ones, Young added.
Indeed, Crate& Barrel’s entry into Manila is creating a lot of retail excitement and synergy. It opened its doors in 1962 as a family business started by Gordon and Carole Segal in Chicago, Illinois. The couple was inspired by the simple, well-designed, affordable products they had purchased on their honeymoon in Europe.
The Segals decided to open a home furnishings store, calling it “Crate & Barrel” after the shipping crates and barrels, which brought their inventory and became their first store fixtures.
Working directly with European ateliers and factories to import their products, Crate and Barrel was among the first retailers to make modern tabletop and kitchenwares affordable to American consumers.
Today, Crate & Barrel is an international, multi-channel family of brands, known for exclusive housewares and furniture designs, excellent value and superb customer service.
More Crate & Barrel stores are expected to open in Manila in 2015.