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In the heart of Texas: home, James! moves past its New York borders and chooses Dallas for its second location.

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DALLAS -- In the Knox Henderson neighborhood of Dallas, where ladies still lunch and send bread-and-butter notes to friends, the new Home, James! store, whose motto is to always put the customer first, is as welcome as the first Home, James! store was when it opened in East Hampton, N.Y., 20 years ago.

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"We find there is a real need for these specialty stores that are customer-oriented and have a 'can-do' attitude," said Josef Schreick, who owns both stores, along with David Cipperman. The pair spent a year researching the Dallas market before opening its doors here late last month, Schreick said. They focused on Dallas because many of their East Hampton customers with second homes have their primary residence here, but more importantly, Dallas is a city that still entertains at home. "That's what we're all about," Schreick said. "They buy linens here. They love their crystal. They love their china."

They are also looking for unique items. Home, James! customers have traveled the world and seen it all, according to Schreick, so when they enter this little store, painted in the bright yet calming shades of pistachio, robin's egg blue and coral, they want to see something new and different.

This Home, James! store delivers in 2,000 square feet. Eighty percent of the store is composed of exclusive merchandise. A large percentage of the assortment parallels what is carried in the East Hampton store (which is considerably smaller at 500 square feet), but what is different in Dallas is the baby assortment, which Schreick said has already taken off. The store carries handmade toys from Italy and France; hand-knitted animals made in Kenya in a women's shelter (part of the proceeds go back to support women and children's charities); pewter and silver cups; and embroidered crib bedding.

There are also English antique serving pieces, personal stationery and invitations, and chocolates.

The store has an incentive-based gift registry. Home, James! grants 10 percent of total purchased registry items to a couple in the form of a gift chit to spend in the store. A couple whose guests have purchased $10,000 worth of registry items, for instance, receives a $1,000 gift card as a reward for expanding the Home, James! customer base.

"It's a winning formula. It really works," Schreick said of the store's entire merchandising effort. Other amenities include a flat-screen television that plays a variety of movies (Schreick said he just purchased the newest James Bond flick), the high-quality packaging and shopping bags, and a concerted effort to make everyone who crosses the threshold feel welcome and at home.

"It gives you the feeling of coming into your own home, but also gives a sense of the quality of the merchandise in the store," Schreick said.

This store will serve as a prototype for future stores, Schreick said. The next likely location will be in a market where people own second or third homes, he said. "That's our target."
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Title Annotation:the markets: tabletop
Author:Zisko, Allison
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Apr 2, 2007
Words:498
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