Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

West Elm to open first Tampa Bay location at Williams-Sonoma's Hyde Park spot

TAMPA — West Elm, a popular modern furniture and home accessories store, is coming to Hyde Park Village.

It will occupy the spot of its sister store Williams-Sonoma, which is closing May 19. Williams-Sonoma Inc. also owns Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids.

"We've been looking for a location in Tampa for a while,'' said Abigail Jacobs, a spokeswoman for West Elm. "We've had great success with stores in Florida.''

West Elm will fully remodel the 6,700-square-foot space at 700 S Village Circle, facing the fountain area. No opening date has been set.

Several factors were taken into consideration when choosing the Williams-Sonoma space, among them store sales and location, Jacobs said. The Tampa Bay area has two other Williams-Sonoma stores, at International Plaza in Tampa and the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel.

West Elm has ranked high on shoppers' wish lists of stores they want to move to the Tampa Bay area. The chain has 48 stores nationwide, including six in Florida, the nearest being in Orlando.

West Elm was founded in 2002 as a catalog-based company selling modern furniture and home decor items. Its first store opened the following year in the Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood of Dumbo, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

The store is known for its nature-inspired furniture with sleek, clean lines, rich colors and textured fabrics.

Williams-Sonoma's departure will disappoint shoppers who consider the store a convenient, must-go retailer for high-quality cookware, kitchen items and home-related gifts. It has been a mainstay of the Hyde Park shopping center since 1986 and survived the departures of such notable retailers as Jacobson's, Banana Republic and The Limited.

The store has some of its floor models and furniture on clearance sale, but most of the merchandise will be transferred to other locations.

Researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

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