DALLAS — Retailing wise man Stanley Marcus gave Crawford Brock advice in the Eighties that he didn't fully understand until after Marcus' death in 2002.
Marcus, the creative force behind the Neiman Marcus brand, told him, "'You have to change,'" Brock recalled.
Brock, who bought luxury retailer Stanley Korshak in 2002 after managing the store for 14 years, said, "I assumed it meant you had to keep up with the times. But what he was really saying was you have to create change in your business. If you stay the same, you're going to die."
The business has lived by that adage, which helped Stanley Korshak survive and thrive in competition with larger rivals such as Neiman's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Though propelled by the growth in luxury, the rise of the store is nonetheless a model of how a relatively small retailer can succeed.
Catering to affluent shoppers with personalized service and a sophisticated mix of women's and men's designer apparel, shoes, home furnishings, gifts and bridal gowns, Dallas-based Korshak hit its groove in the last few years, and Brock's goal is to double sales to $70 million in the next decade.
Brock has embarked on a $2 million expansion and renovation, and by February, the store is to occupy most of the retail center that is part of the Crescent Court hotel and office complex in Dallas' Uptown section.
Construction has started on the newly leased 12,000-square-foot store across the courtyard from the Korshak flagship, where Brock intends to create a 3,000-square-foot boutique for men and women along the lines of Scoop and Fred Siegel. The rest of the building will be for executive offices and receiving.
Brock has leased a 1,000-square-foot storefront next to Korshak's bridal boutique, which is also on the courtyard. He'll use it to expand gifts, stationery and home furnishings adjoining the bridal and Pratesi linen shops.
At the 35,000-square-foot flagship, Brock plans to expand jewelry and designer collections in a series of renovations through May. He also is building a private dining room to entertain customers.
"We have businesses that are growing by huge amounts, almost doubling, like bags, soft accessories, jewelry and women's ready-to-wear," Brock said. "And the way to get them additional space is to relocate some of the business within the store over to the new space."
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