ASHFORD WILL OPEN REAL STORE

Byline: Wendy Hessen

NEW YORK — Sometimes a little bricks and mortar can add to that e-commerce site, at least in your home town.
Houston-based e-tailer Ashford.com plans to open a retail store around Oct. 15 in Greenway Plaza. The mixed use complex, which includes office, retail and residential spaces, is one of several in Houston, according to Bill Stewart, vice president of marketing at Ashford.
Stewart said the Ashford store will occupy 2,600 square feet of space near a food court that largely services the complex’s population of roughly 10,000 office workers.
Though Ashford had what Kenny Kurtzman, chief executive officer, described as “a small showroom” in its previous headquarters, they decided to open a larger retail unit when the company moved its operations to Greenway Plaza this summer.
“Our local customers were used to having the opportunity to see some of our product,” said Kurtzman. “There is room for other ways to sell our brands, but we don’t foresee opening any more stores.”
Stewart said the store will further the brand’s identity seen on its site, featuring a color scheme dominated by Ashford’s signature red and black.
“It will be a mixture of showcasing our luxury and premium products and the internet experience,” said Stewart, describing the look of the store as “sleek, sophisticated and verging on the high tech. There will be a lot of brushed steel, light wood and a mosaic of our logo on the floor at the entrance. Besides being able to see our range of merchandise, there will be a cyber center, where customers can buy on-line.”
The Ashford store will offer the same product range as the e-commerce site, including fine watches, jewelry, sunglasses, leather goods, gifts and fragrances.