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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pottery Barn channels Ballard Designs

This morning, I received an email from Ballard Designs touting their new spring collection. At least I thought it was Ballard until I clicked on the link and found myself at Pottery Barn's website.

Pottery Barn's same-store sales have been in free-fall for over three years (why Williams-Sonoma doesn't shutter the whole enterprise is beyond me). Instead of re-establishing themselves as the great American home store as I have previously suggested, they decided to copy one of the true successes of interiors retailing by hiring either a Ballard Designs buyer or stylist or maybe both.

*shakes head*

Hmmm... this home office set-up looks familiar.

Pottery Barn even copied Ballard's signature catalog swatch pages.

So, Dumplings, do you shop at The Barn? What do you look for there?

12 comments:

susieq said...

I think Ballard has copied Wisteria. I just learned that the owner of Wisteria is the son of the publisher of Veranda. At least Wisteria has some real provenance. I can't stand Pottery Barn. Everything looks hunky and heavy -- even in their newer lighter non-Sonoma colors. All that melamine coating. Ick.

David said...

I do love that big paned mirror, but other than that or the occasional lamp PB doesn't have much I want anymore.

erin@designcrisis said...

Pottery who?

karly / design-crisis.com said...

never bought a single thing there. not one.

Anne (in Reno) said...

I hit the Barn for curtains and pillow covers. I don't want everything in my house to be super hip, sometimes it just has to be neutral, keep its head down and do its job. Not the best business plan, though, I must admit.

drollgirl said...

the barn has been headed south for quite some time. might need to lock those doors for good.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

I think Ballard came before Wisteria. I could be wrong, but I remember flipping through Ballard catalogs back in high school (my mother got, and still gets, every catalog known to man). Wisteria came around when I was in college.

Pottery Barn has changed it's whole MO so many times in recent years. I don't go there. I don't flip through the catalog. They obviously are having trouble across the board (our local West Elm closed a few weeks ago). I don't have the answers, but becoming a wannabe can't be one of them.

Keri Batchelder Hoffman said...

I admit to being a reformed Pottery Barn shopper. And, gasp, Crate and Barrel. I admit it. I once had a problem and the evidence is still in my house so I couldn't lie about it even if I wanted. And (not so) secretely, I liked the stuff in the latest catalog. But I'm not a designer, so show some forgiveness for a layman. What a douche bag I am. ;)

Raina Cox said...

Keri - You're FAB (don't ever forget it).

My issue wasn't with their product offering, which I think has actually improved, but rather with their inability to define a signature look. In the past two years, they've tried Hollywood Regency, mid-century Scandinavian, French country, and Mission.

I can remember a PB that was cool enough to introduce Jonathan Adler the masses. But that was nearly 15 years ago.

Robin said...

You know I love me some birdie action, and I was in the mall the other day and saw the bird pillows, etc. in their window and thought "crap, now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, and anything I have birdie in my house people are going to think I bought at PB...". Time for a garage sale? Or maybe just pack it up for a while until people forget...

Teri said...

I have bought one piece of furniture from PB awhile ago. It was a kitchen table. I hate that table with my every fiber. The quality sucks.

I also dislike when something I love becomes popular. It takes all of the uniqueness and character out of homes. I don't want to have the same thing as thousands of Americans.

I would rather save and buy a unique antique then the junk sold at PB.

I think that people so want to do it themselves, but in reality they don't want to make the decisions or they want it to be easy and quick. So having PB do all the work for them and their home be in style, instead of hiring someone or slowly accumulating over time their own pieces and style.

Angie said...

That office collection has been at PB for years. I had it about eight years ago. I don't currently own any PB stuff but don't I hate on it either. All the big box home decor stores are derivative and copy one another.