Forget everything you thought you knew about the store formerly known as Restoration Hardware. As reported by Susan Berfield in Bloomberg Businessweek (3/3/14), the retailer, now called RH, "no longer sells Quakenbush nut bowls, Boston Ranger pencil sharpeners, or anything else meant to evoke a simple, virtuous American past. It summons the elegance of a salvaged estate: perfectly worn, possibly haunted dining tables, English club chairs … Italian gas streetlights."
Its new stores, "planned for high-income Zip Codes across the country," will feature "wine bars and restaurants, performance spaces, courtyards and rooftop gardens." Five such stores are already in place and about 60 more are planned. Its new, 40,000 square-foot Boston location stands four stories, complete with "a library, cinema room, billiard lounge, nursery and conservatory." A store planned for Atlanta "will be gated." "You should feel like you’re on an estate," says Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman.
Plans also involve an art gallery and a record label, funding for which will come straight out of the advertising budget. "Even if art never becomes a very big business, but it renders the brand more valuable, that’s what you want to do with marketing, right?" says Gary, who re-invented RH in his own image, based on his own taste, Steve Jobs style. "You have to find people who believe what you believe," he says. "If they believe in your taste, style, the way you do things, you can create an incredible business."