Crate and Barrel Launches ‘Crate and Kids’ Concept in Canada

By Mario Toneguzzi

American retail giant Crate & Barrel has launched its Crate & Kids’ playful and unique designs in Canada.

In response to high demand, and to provide more for the Crate & Barrel Canadian audience, the baby and kids home furnishing brand debuted at the Interior Design Show (IDS) in Toronto.

Following the online launch at crateandbarrel.ca, Crate & Kids products rolled out in five Crate & Barrel Canadian stores including: Calgary, Edmonton, Mississauga, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Crate & Barrel also has a store in Laval in the Montreal area but that store does not have the new concept yet.

“Crate & Kids is all about creating a creative home for families. If you think about the Crate & Barrel brand, we’re kind of an extension of that. It’s this design forward look but Crate and Kids has a real kids’ component to it and that we’re all about self-expression,” said Alicia Waters, Vice-President of Growth Strategies for Crate and Barrel.

“So you’ll see us presented in a really playful and unexpected way but it’s still very soft. It feels very good. But we do play off everything you know about Crate & Barrel. So great quality furniture, great quality in general. Just kind of a similar presentation.”

Crate & Kids is Crate & Barrel’s baby and kids home furnishing brand that combines modern design, functionality, and quality and safety into their furniture and accessories. Dedicated to quality, Crate & Kids is design-forward and imagination-powered, with safety and sustainability at its core, says the retailer. The brand’s newest collection for Spring is modern and unexpected, with a playful aesthetic, aimed to inspire the self-expression of new parents and their kids through thoughtful and meaningful design.

PHOTO: YELP

CRATE & KIDS LEADS WITH ITS FURNITURE ASSORTMENT

Waters said Crate & Kids really leads with its furniture assortment. It has a strong nursery and kids’ bedroom collection. Customers can find everything from storage pieces to toys to teepees to textiles that are soft, comfortable and organic. But the bread and butter is the bedroom collection – cribs, beds, storage pieces.

There’s about 1,500 square feet of this new concept within the larger Crate & Barrel stores.

“Moms can come in and take care of the needs of their families in addition to the rest of the house,” said Waters. “The other big piece is that Crate & Kids is predominantly online. So about 80 percent of our sales are done online.”

“It’s a natural extension on both ends. From a Crate & Barrel standpoint it’s a natural extension for us to go into kids. Kids is a $5 billion segment of furniture alone. So it’s a huge opportunity to kind of bring Crate & Barrel style into this industry. So I think for us it was a natural extension.

“We also think there was a real hole in the marketplace for our look and our design aesthetic which really is soft and playful and unexpected and has a lot of cultural relevance. There were those opportunities that we’re really addressing as a sub brand.

“And from a Canadian standpoint, again, it was a natural next step fo our neighbours obviously within North America. It’s a market that’s super important to us because we’re all about home and family and you’re right here and it’s just a great market for Crate & Barrel in general but we wanted to bring kids. The interesting thing is we heard about this opportunity first from sales associates who told us that moms were coming in and asking. They had seen Crate & Kids in the U.S. probably on the website. And they were asking for it. This was one that kind of came to us through market demand.”

The Canadian version was launched online on January 16 and in store at the beginning of March.

Waters said the Laval store presented some operational challenges at this time and the company was not ready to launch the concept at the Quebec store just yet.

“But it’s something we’re certainly considering in the future,” she said.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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