By: Nichole Dupont On: 01:11PM / Friday November 12, 2010
Ward 1 Councilor Christine Yon cuts the red ribbon at the grand opening of Simmons Lifestyle Furniture with help from Mayor James Ruberto.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shop owners at the Allendale Shopping center have welcomed Simmons Lifestyle Furniture into its fold. The store opening is not only the furniture company's third location, it marks the beginning of an alliance between related shops to offer consumers a broader palette for acessorizing their homes.
"This has always been the dream for us," store manager Donna Riley said. "It was a collective draw. We'd always sit around the dinner table and say 'this is what we should do.' Now we're doing it."
The 130-year-old Simmons also operates stores in Adams and in the Pittsfield Plaza on Route 20.
In addition to their own collective skills as designers and decorators, Riley and her mother, Phyllis Riley, have also signed on with the other stores in the shopping center to form the Interiors Resources Alliance, which includes Stevens World of Flooring (which recently added a discount flooring warehouse and includes Organize It home and closet organizational systems), Berkshire Fabric and Wallpaper and Litco Supply Co., which will be highlighting its Luxury Bath Center Showroom.
High-end bedroom sets are paired with modern recliners and accent pieces at the new Simmons.
Simmons celebrated its grand opening in Allendale on Thursday evening with supporters, other business owners and Mayor James Ruberto. Riley said moving into the large anchor space, formerly occupied by Stevens World of Carpets, has been an "unbelievable" experience thanks to her new neighbors.
"It's been a little bit of a long transition but everyone's been very welcoming," she said. "The doors have been open for about a week now and the purchasing is the same as in some of the other stores that we run. We've been having fun here, though, because we can really push the limits on style. We can go from really contemporary to really traditional. It's all here to visualize."
Indeed, the 25,000-square-foot space is filled with different styles and price points from $200 armchairs to $8,000 custom dining room tables. The store also offers bedroom, living room and dining sets, accent furniture, recliners and mattresses to name a few. The pieces are showcased in various themed settings, including a "Jetsons" living room complete with a bobble-head dog statue and futuristic glass folding tables.
High-end bedroom sets are paired with modern recliners and accents pieces in Simmons' Allendale store.
"Between all of us you can do anything," Riley said. "For shared customers, we're doing certain discounts. It's a new way for us to do business."
David Gopfert, owner of Berkshire Fabric and Wallpaper next door, said he was thrilled to have Simmons on board.
"This is a great addition to the center," he said. "It's going to drive a lot of people in this direction. It's one-stop shopping. There's everything for the budget-minded client as well as the high-end client."
Jan Barranger of Litco Supply was also at the opening to welcome her new neighbors.
"I'm thrilled to death that I have all of the resources my customers need here at Allendale," she said. "How nice to be able to say to a customer 'just walk up the stairs and take a left.'"
The Interiors Resources Alliance, said Ruberto, is a reassuring step in the right direction for the city's economic growth.
"Thank you for investing in the city of Pittsfield. This idea is terrific," he said. "This is really remarkable because small businesses are the backbone of Pittsfield and they are creating more jobs here. This is a mini design center, and we're very pleased that you've invested here."
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