Wait, did I say a store store? Yes, I did.
Frontgate, that wonderful luxury lifestyle retailer known for its best-in-class furnishings, enhancements, and gadgets, plus the catalogue everyone receives — best patio and outdoor selections hands down, and those signature holiday decorations! — has traditionally been a mail order retailer. With the exception of a few outlets and a bricks and mortar store/outlet in Atlanta, Frontgate has mostly enjoyed catalogue and on-line sales.
Until last Friday. The cash registers are now flying at the new Frontgate store in Legacy West, and I was proudly their first Texas brick and mortar customer. The retailer’s flagship store is striking and huge: 22,000 square feet with 2,500 devoted to vignettes. Naturally I came away with mental plans to entirely redecorate my patio and pool area, but I also found some goodies for serving, entertaining, and some other spots inside my home.
I have long been a Frontgate customer. Go out to my pool and you will find a verdigris pool towel hanger designed for that very purpose. Or check the weather-proof storage boxes for pool toys: Frontgate. I have a couple of their lidded exterior wastebaskets. I have a couple Frontgate ladders and have had several foam floating pool loungers over the years. The Legacy store has all that practical outdoors stuff and much more: lounge chairs, swivel rockers, and patio poufs that look straight from Austin Spa. They call them heirloom pieces updated for today’s lifestyle.
Frontgate prides itself on creating items with a functional purpose — a major engineering feat is buried in every product. Their glassware is not just attractive and for drinking, it’s unbreakable and sturdy, so you can use it outside all night long without having to worry about shattered glass. Or this luxurious outdoor lounger that goes into table mode when company rings the doorbell.
Then there’s my next purchase: chilled serving bowls to keep food cold. (You freeze the centers prior to serving and one huge bowl is even condensation-proof!) The luxury lifestyle brand store already has more than 20,000 catalog customers in the North Dallas area. They settled on Legacy West because “of the incredible momentum in the area,” said Tyler Thompson, PR spokesman for Frontgate.
“We skew a little older, but our customers are definitely design enthusiasts. And with the explosion of corporations in Plano, the excitement of the center is huge, ” says Thompson. “We are a destination basically covering a 75 mile area with an affinity for entertaining.”
I.E: Toyota, J.P. Morgan, Jamba Juice, Liberty Mutual, and of course the Dallas Cowboys. In addition, said Thompson, Frontgate’s furniture is large scale and a great fit for the Texas-sized homes of North Texas.
Frontgate was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1991; the company started out with 300,000 catalogs. Today, the mail list is chock full of 10 million affluent households, while the website has 25 million visitors a year. Frontgate is owned by HSN, Inc. which bought the company in 2005. The Plano location, across from the soon-to-be-completed food hall, is not too far from Toyota and the Dallas Cowboys and is the retailer’s new flagship store.
What’s inside? Furniture, including weatherproof outdoor sofas you will want for your interiors, artwork, and accessories grouped around different home areas: bedroom, bathroom, dining, living, and a seasonal section. Currently it’s all summer and home swimming oasis, but will be brimming with Frontgate’s signature, over the top holiday decorations come fall. Look for the same functionality here: ladders to decorate the tallest trees, ornament containers with rollers, and something the catalogue cannot offer: decorating classes at the bistro bar. That’s the large, square-shaped counter at the front of the store that makes shopping at Frontgate an “experience”. It’s a welcoming bar (where guests are served refreshments daily) and a gathering space for the many community workshops in store at the store: holiday decor, talks on textile and other design trends, and other lifestyle demonstrations including trying out recipes with a gourmet provider. The flagship Frontgate will be much more than a store, evoking shades of other past north Texas retailers such as Williams Sonoma Home and Gabberts Furniture (R.I.P.) Like Gabberts, Frontgate will also offer free in-store design services for customers.
Another nice perk for north Texas monogram lovers: Frontgate will offer monogramming on soft goods including towels, sheets, blankets, and bathrobes.
North Texas, your homes are definitely going to have a new identity, inside and out!
“Our folks are into home entertaining and home decor, but something beautiful but real,” says Thompson. “They want places to make camera-ready memories, all speaking to luxury.”
Frontgate Legacy greets you with these magnificent magenta chairs