- Feb 20, 2017
Crate and Barrel President and Chief Merchandising Officer Steve Woodward will be the keynote speaker at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Dinner.
Headquartered in Northbrook with over 100 store across the U.S. Crate and Barrel is an industry-leading home furnishings specialty retailer, known for its exclusive designs, excellent value and superb customer service. Working directly with European ateliers and factories, Crate and Barrel was among the first to introduce affordable household goods and contemporary home decor to American consumers. Founded in 1962, the brand’s essence has translated perfectly to the omnichannel era more than 50 years after opening its first store.
Woodward will share his perspectives on Crate and Barrel’s commitment to physical stores in the changing retail industry and how omnichannel retailing is broadening the reach to customers who desire a seamless shopping experience online or in stores. “Our approach needs to be a blend — we have to reach out to our customers the way they want to be reached — and then be there when they are ready, whether buying at home or in one of our stores,” he comments.
A longtime admirer of the Crate and Barrel brand, Woodward joined the company in late 2015 afte
r serving as a Senior Vice President for Fossil. “Crate and Barrel is an iconic brand,” he notes. “It’s a great story of a homebased company — with a beautiful building in Northbrook – that has reinvented trends over the years and survived, when many brands come and go.”
Woodward will highlight the importance of Crate and Barrel’s brick and mortar stores, which he describes as beautiful, visually appealing and a theatrical place of engagement and inspiration for customers. Woodward will discuss Crate and Barrel’s commitment to creativity as a differentiator for the company — a factor that is critical to its ongoing success. “While everything is computer driven now, we have to remember that computers themselves can’t be creative,” he states.
“Home furnishings are something personal,” he notes. Home is more and more a personal retreat, where people disconnect from the fast pace of life. “We have the ability to make our customers’ lives more meaningful — it’s a very important aspect of our brand.”
There will be time for questions and answers at the conclusion of his remarks.