Friday, October 22, 2004

Closson's drops Hyde Park store plan

By Ken Alltucker
Enquirer staff writer

Closson's has dropped plans to build a flagship Hyde Park location and will instead spruce up its Montgomery store with a new floor design and art gallery.

The venerable furniture, art and interior design retailer operated a downtown store from 1846 until it closed its doors on Fourth Street in early 2003. It planned to replace the downtown location with a new, larger store in Hyde Park, Oakley or Norwood's Rookwood area.

Now the retailer is satisfied that a remodeled look and new art gallery at its Montgomery Road store will help keep existing customers and attract new ones.

"This will be the flagship store," Closson's spokeswoman Tonya Laycock said. "Over the last 18 months we've considered a number of areas. We just decided that we like it here."

Closson's will move its Phyllis J. Weston Gallery to the Montgomery store by Oct. 29. The art gallery has operated at a small space at Hyde Park Square since the downtown store closed.

The retailer's Montgomery Road store will include a new floor design to accommodate the art gallery.

Chief executive officer Stuart Sutphin III manages the store. He hired retail veteran Paul Darwish more than two years ago in an attempt to revive the downtown store, but Darwish left about a year ago without explanation. Darwish had championed building a new, larger store to appeal to a wider and younger customer base.

The retailer will commemorate the renovated Montgomery store with a party Oct. 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


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