|Traded as||NYSE: RH|
|Founded||In 1979 in Eureka, California, United States|
|Headquarters||Corte Madera, California, United States|
|Stephen Gordon, Founder
Gary Friedman, CEO, Chairman of the Board
|Revenue||$1,193M (FY2012) |
Number of employees
|3,000 Full Time|
Restoration Hardware is an American furniture chain of home furnishings, hardware, and outdoor and garden products. The company is headquartered in Corte Madera, California. The company sells its merchandise offering through its retail stores, catalog and online. As of 2013, the company operated about 70 retail stores and 17 outlets, spread throughout 30 states and Canada.
Stephen Gordon founded the company, and the first Restoration Hardware store opened in 1980. The company had 47 stores when it went public in 1998; when it underwent a rapid expansion that doubled the number of stores in three years, the company began losing money and was forced to restructure and close some locations, including the original store located in the heart of Old Town Eureka.
Restoration Hardware first went public in 1998 before becoming private again. In 2007, Sears Holdings Corporation announced the purchase of a 13.7% share of Restoration Hardware, prompting speculation that Sears Holdings might attempt a full takeover. After the bursting of the United States housing bubble, the company was slated to close two stores in 2008, and open one in Canada. In June 2008, the company completed the transaction without Sears Holding, but instead with Catterton Partners.
As of June 18, 2008, the company was no longer publicly traded. In 2012, Restoration Hardware underwent an initial public offering trading at $24 a share at its opening. Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc.'s common stock now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RH. Upon this move the company renamed itself RH, removing the rest of the company name's letters from its official nomenclature. About 65% of the company's products come from overseas, particularly from contract manufacturers in southern China.
In 2012 the company encountered some accusations of copying the designs of other companies, specifically those used for the US military. On March 7, 2013, Restoration Hardware opened an East Coast flagship gallery in Boston's Back Bay in an 1864 Romanesque Revival brick and brownstone structure, the former Boston Society of Natural History. In May 2013 the company announced a multichannel RH Contemporary Art platform Art when it acquired the first edition of Rain Room by Random International with exclusive showing rights in North America. RH loaned Rain Room to the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the U.S. premier or EXPO 1: New York from mid-May through July 2013.
Time Magazine was critical of the company for its large catalog called the "Source Book" for its length (992 pages), specifically its waste of paper. The full 2014 catalogue weighed 17 lbs and had over 3000 pages. The company stated that by combining all of the different sourcebooks into one package reduced their carbon footprint, while critics still stated that the volume of paper used for the publication's mass delivery was wasteful.
As of September 2010, company representatives declared a change in focus for the company. In an attempt to go further "up-market", the company has focused itself on furniture gallery offerings at higher price points to distinguish itself from competitors like Pottery Barn. Locations have begun adding the term "Gallery" to their marques to indicate the change. The company designs, markets and sells its collections through its retail stores, source books, and online. The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that, "One of the key strategies that set RH apart is its approach to inventory. While most retailers design things in-house, RH created a different model. "We have one full-time designer," [its CEO] Friedman said. "We are more curators than we are retailers. We find artists we love and 'curate' that person. We source the world.""
From 2001 until his resignation in 2012 following an independent report from Weil, Gotshal & Manges into Friedman's romantic relationship with a younger female employee, Gary Friedman was the company's chief executive officer and chairman. Following his dismissal, he continued the relationship with the woman. Friedman was reappointed as co-CEO and chairman in July 2013. The Company also announced that concurrent with Mr. Friedman’s appointment, RH acquired the exclusive right to develop Hierarchy and that the new concept would be rebranded as RH Atelier, focusing on the development of luxury apparel, accessories, footwear, and jewelry. In December 2013, Carlos Alberini resigned as CEO to accept a position as CEO of Lucky Brand Jeans, upon which Friedman became the Chairman and CEO of the company.
In popular culture
In 2000 the television sitcom Ed was called the "Restoration Hardware of comedies" of the Los Angeles Times. In the 2007 novel Underneath It All, author Margo Candela uses Restoration Hardware as an example of the furniture used by non-wealthy people to prop up their image within her world's universe, writing light-heartedly of the company's products that it is "Way beyond Pottery Barn, but not heirloom quality".
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- Margo Candela. Underneath it all. p. 33.