It isn’t often that the ironic stars line up in the retail galaxy but we’ve had such a cosmic occurrence these past few weeks. Bi-coastal, no less. Actually global come to think of it. On the East Coast the legendary New York City home furnishings retailer ABC filed for bankruptcy and indications are that even if it comes out the other side of Chapter 11 it will barely resemble the iconic, upscale and quirky store it was in its heyday. On the other side of the country, H.D. Buttercup, another unusual home furnishings store that has gone through a couple of incarnations but is also a very distinctive brand, was sold to private equity players who also bought Australian home store Coco Republic. The new mash-up expects to bring Coco to Buttercup’s Los Angeles location and perhaps many more, both in the U.S. and around the world.
The juxtaposition? ABC Home was created by the former husband and wife team of Evan and Paulette Cole and after they ended their marriage Evan went on to start Buttercup while Paulette continued to run ABC. That both retailers had game-changing occurrences within a few weeks of each other is neither Stupid nor Smart. It just is.
Read more about each of these retailers’ significant changes of fortune in recent stories I’ve written: From Business of Home: https://businessofhome.com/articles/will-abc-carpet-home-the-now-bankrupt-industry-titan-be-able-to-reinvent-itself-again. And from Forbes.com: https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2021/10/05/investment-firm-story3-takes-stakes-in-hd-buttercup-coco-republic/?sh=3cfc30c37be2