L.C.R. plans to move from Farmington Avenue in West Hartford Center to a new home just over the mountain in Avon this summer.
By Ronni Newton
L.C.R. will move to a new home this summer – an actual house that the 50-year-old interior design and retail business will use as a showcase for its ever-evolving collections.
“We believe that having our own freestanding building will give us more identity,” L.C.R. owner Peter Robbin said. The new location – a renovated house just over Avon Mountain on Waterville Road – is three stories and larger than the current 981 Farmington Ave. space in West Hartford Center.
L.C.R. has its roots in Canton but has been in West Hartford for more than 20 years, first on LaSalle Road and then on Farmington Avenue. Keeping the space fresh is critical for a design business, and Robbin said that when it came time to consider re-doing the Farmington Avenue store, the decision became whether it would make sense to spend the money there or look for a completely new space.
“The space is exciting and new. It will give us all a jolt,” said Robbin of the Avon home. “The biggest thing is we saw an opportunity to make our own identity – a new space, new home, finally just for ourselves.”
Design has always been a bigger piece of L.C.R.’s business than retail – and the area in which they expend the most energy and effort, Robbin said. The company is reassessing the retail collection, however that’s something they customarily do twice a year when they do their buying, he said.
“We will continue to be strong in things for the home – like lamps and accessories,” said Robbin. Retail will remain a focus although there will be less emphasis on smaller gifts and items like paper napkins. It will be a “more thoughtfully crafted collection,” Robbin said.
The main level of the three-story house will be set up like a home, Robbin said, with a “living room” on the right and the “dining room” on the left. Walls have been taken down, allowing for an open flow on both the main level and second floor to showcase furnishings and accessories to inspire customers.
Robbin said that L.C.R. will be bringing in some new furniture companies, and phasing out a few others, something he says happens every year.
The lower level space will be dedicated to the design library.
The West Hartford store has long been a destination for customers, and Robbin is confident that traveling just a few miles west over Avon Mountain will still be convenient. The phone number will remain the same, as will the employees.
The home is currently undergoing renovation, and Robbin said the West Hartford store will likely close around the third week of June. “It’s a lot to orchestrate,” said Robbin, and there may be a small amount of downtime during the transition, with the opening in Avon scheduled for July 1 at the latest.
“We’re just 7 minutes away. We really appreciate our clientele and everyone’s patronage and want to share in the excitement of our new space,” said Robbin. “We’re excited about a different space for us, our own parking, own building, and convenience for our customers.”
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