Crate & Barrel

I finally made it out to the new Crate & Barrel at the Galleria. It’s been open for almost two weeks, after all! Which, in style editor years, is, like, a lifetime. I guess I wasn’t in a hurry because a) I’m not-so-secretely annoyed and saddened that this meant a closing for the Nicollet Mall location (not to mention Southdale), which was at the very least, a visual asset for downtown and a nod Minneapolis as a shopping destination for the masses. Target Commericial Interiors won’t have quite same effect. And b) I’ve shopped at the Chicago C&B for years and knew that at less than half the size, even the new Galleria shop wouldn’t compare.

Alas, I needed to dash to Ampersand for my Kiehl’s, so I stopped by. My first reaction is that the Galleria is becoming a mall. The addition of the two-story C&B created an atrium, which opened up the shoppes into something bigger, brighter, and more commercial feeling. Not in a bad way, just in a different way. The walkway that leads to the store will be filled with a BCBG store come April, and that’s going add to the more expansive vibe.

Now that it’s the only one in MN, it’s also the busiest. I was shocked by the crowds. You would think that this was the first time we’d seen a C&B. And this was on a Friday afternoon. I’m fortunate to do most of my shopping during the week, but you’d be hard-pressed to find me here on a Saturday. The first floor is filled what the gadgets and goods you’d expect, and the second floor showcases furniture, presented in little room vignettes. It’s always nice to see the merchandise up-close, versus online or in the catalog, and the sales staff were in abundance to help with color selection and design expertise. What I appreciate most, however, is that C&B is more accessible than most of the stores at the Galleria–without sacrificing style. It reinforces the concept of combining high and low, which has always been my preferred approach to shopping. Now I’m turning my attention to downtown, where I hope the stunning new JB Hudson and Pacifier are an indication of more good things to come.

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