An Interview with Yvonne Beecher of R&G Summer Sale
How did the Summer Sale happen to come about?
The company decided to have their first Summer Sale one weekend in June of 2009 in the parking lot of their Greenwich headquarters because their textile collection was growing quickly, and they needed to free up some warehouse space to store the new fabrics. Selling remaining yardage of discontinued inventory and fabrics that were never introduced into the collection for one reason or another seemed like the best solution. The first sale was such a big success, the company continued having it annually and then in 2018 decided since there was such an ongoing demand for the sale, they opened a year-round retail store offering fabrics for retail customers as well as trade clients.
We named our store the Summer Sale Store because everyone in the industry began referring to our annual sale as the Summer Sale, whether we had it in the summer or in the fall, so we decided to stick with what was more identifiable of our brand rather than coming up with something entirely new and unfamiliar.
How have you enjoyed this endeavor in Greenwich so far?
Yes, very much. Retail is a new direction for the company, and I enjoy working with clients who come in, helping them with their decorating schemes if they wish, suggesting fabrics, and developing a nice group of regular clientele.
Can you explain your model to us in layman’s terms for people just hearing about your Summer Pop Up store?
The Summer Sale Store is actually not a pop-up store. It is a permanent, year-round store where we sell our textile company’s discontinued and limited stock of luxury, high-end decorator fabrics at retail prices. We offer further discounted prices for trade clients. Prior to opening the store, retail customers have never been able to purchase our fabrics without going through a decorator. At the store, not only can they purchase without a decorator, they are able to buy our fabric at deeply discounted prices.
What are some highlights in your sale that people must know about (brands, patterns, styles)?
Our brand, sold at the store, is a very well recognized high-quality home furnishing line of indoor and outdoor fabrics, available in our signature soft palette colorations, and natural fibers which include linen, cotton, silk and wool, woven almost exclusively in Europe. We offer a large selection of upholstery, slipcover and drapery weight fabrics. Additionally, we offer a line of multi-use cotton and linen fabrics that have unlimited quantities and are available in a beautiful array of colors.
What is especially great about the store for decorators is that they can shop our otherwise expensive collection at a fraction of a price for clients who may not have a big budget for luxury fabrics or for those who are simply looking to decorate a space at a lower cost. For our retail customers, they are able to shop our collection, which has only been available to the trade, at a much discounted price, for their personal home decorating projects.
How has the response been?
Great. We opened a year ago in July when most of the town was away on vacation, so we began slowly, which suited us just fine as we got used to running the store. But over time, the store is catching on with our trade clients and retail customers alike. We have been growing every month and we’re always adding new items to the store such as handmade accessories like napkins and placemats made from our fabric.
Have you picked up new clients using this model?
Yes, several. It’s been exciting to meet many of our regular designers and several new clients who come to the store for their decorating needs. The store enables decorators to purchase our fabrics at a lower price and offer them to their clients who may be on a budget or don’t want to spend a lot of money on a space and still want high quality fabrics. We also get several retail clients who are working on their own home decorating projects. I’m happy to say, our new clients are often repeat customers and I enjoy working with them.
Can people order what is not available or has run out, or is it first come first serve?
All fabrics are sold at a first come first serve basis and have limited quantities available. When all the stock is sold of any one item, it’s gone for good. However, we do have three styles of cotton and linen fabrics that are available in unlimited quantities. If someone is a trade client and we don’t have what they are looking for in the store, I refer them to our main office to shop our regular collection, or to look at our collection online.
To be clear, your shop is open all year round?
Yes. Our shop is a permanent location, open all year long, Monday through Friday from 11 to 4, or by appointment. As we continue to discontinue items from our regular collection, we move those items over to the store to be sold at a discount until they are gone. This includes both our indoor and outdoor fabrics and eventually our discontinued trims. We add new items almost monthly, which keeps our selection fresh and exciting.
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To browse their textiles, visit: www.rogersandgoffigon.com