Monday, July 27, 2009
Retail Woes and Wows
Restoration Hardware's Larkspur Extension Table
Pete and I need a dining room table. Since we will probably never be able to afford the table of my dreams -- a vintage George Nakashima -- we've decided to settle for less in terms of quality for more in terms of size. We both have big families, lots of friends, and don't like forcing kids to sit at a separate table. We received a Restoration Hardware catalog last week, which featured a nice craftsman style table that would work perfectly in our space -- on sale for almost half price, plus an additional 10% off coupon! How great is that? So I went on line -- no table. Called -- no table -- they are all sold out. Rats. Then my Yankee ingenuity kicked in -- maybe one of the outlets had one!
The only Restoration Hardware Outlet in the tri-state area is in Riverhead, just 25 minutes away from us. How lucky is that? So I called -- and they had the Larkspur table with two leaves! Even luckier. So we drove up to Riverhead. Then our luck ran out. They had just sold the table -- for $1800+! I was shocked and appalled. The original price in the catalog was $1720. How could a damaged table at an outlet cost more than a perfect table, new from the regular store? The salesman said something about including the shipping cost, which they don't do in the catalog. But when we looked at another table and asked the price, they added an extra $50 for shipping. So what gives? I'm still infuriated by what seem to be deceitful business practices. So Outlet Buyers Beware. You really aren't getting any deals, especially from Restoration Hardware!
We really need a table -- we keep hitting our heads on the new lighting fixtures. So we continued on to Ikea, where we had seen a large table last month. We've been buying from Ikea for over 20 years. We actually drove to the Philadelphia area Ikea from Brooklyn when that was the only store around. We moved on to the Elizabeth, New Jersey store when that opened, and then to the Hicksville, New York store, which is where we went yesterday. We don't think the quality is as good as it used to be, but until we replenish our bank account after paying for the renovation, we have to watch our pennies.
Ikea Bjursta Table
So we bought the Bjursta extension table. Not as exciting, but wider and longer with 2 removable leaves that store right under the table top and only $499 (less $50 in coupons). Pete put it together last night. Sadly,one half off the top was damaged, so he's returning it today and getting a new one. (That is a common problem with Ikea furniture -- beware -- but they are good about replacing things.) We figure it will hold up for awhile until Pete's cousin's husband, Lee Gutterson, visits from New Zealand and we'll have him build us a table. (Lee built some amazing bookshelves for us a few years ago. He's really talented.)
One of Lee Gutterson''s Tables
By the time we finished shopping at 2:30 PM, we were famished. We needed food fast, but we don't like fast food. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I spotted a Chipotle Mexican Grill. I had seen a show about the restaurant on tv not long ago -- they use organic beans, and meat from animals raised humanely. They call it Food with Integrity. So we tried it. We both had chicken burritos, so big I couldn't finish mine. They were loaded with romaine lettuce, black beans, chicken, guacomole, salsa - and they were delicious, fresh and not too spicy. We like the food. We like the decor. We like the philosophy. There are merchants with integrity out there! Hurray! Be sure to patronize them!