Summer Classics to Open its 1st Chicago Store

Summer Classics, a premier, luxury outdoor furniture manufacturer, is opening its first Chicagoland licensee store at Renaissance Place in downtown Highland Park, Illinois. According to Christiane Fischer, general manager of the shopping center, the retailer is scheduled to open in March 2016 in the 6,900-square-foot former Restoration Hardware space.

In addition to a full line of furnishings for outdoor spaces, the new Summer Classics store will also feature Gabby™, the company’s indoor furniture and accessories division. Proprietor Bruce Erickson said that the store’s inventory will reflect seasonal demands, with a ratio of about 70% outdoor furniture to 30% indoor from March through September, and about 70% indoor to 30% outdoor during the winter months.

Mr. Erickson says that in looking for a site, he was drawn to downtown Highland Park, having previously represented the Summer Classics line as a sales rep and as a retailer. “I went to look at the old Restoration Hardware space, and as soon as I walked in, I thought this is perfect. The way it’s laid out, the location, all of it,” he says. “I love the downtown Highland Park area. There’s a new vibrancy here. The restaurants and other shops in and around Renaissance Place create great foot traffic. I’m very excited about this location.”

“Summer Classics is a perfect fit for Renaissance Place and a great addition to downtown Highland Park,” says Ms. Fischer. “Their products are elegant and high quality. They complement our tenant mix beautifully, and we’re looking forward to having them as a part of our retail family.”

Summer Classics had its beginnings in 1978 as a plastic umbrella base manufacturer. Over the years the company expanded its line, and in the early 2000s was an innovator of resin wicker outdoor furniture, a material that withstood weather conditions and sun exposure. In 2010 the company introduced Gabby™, its line of transitional furniture and lighting, which incorporates unique materials into its designs and has become a leader in the home furnishings industry. Summer Classics is available in all 50 states through dealers, and currently operates 12 retail stores. 

Renaissance Place is a collection of shops, restaurants, and services located at 1849 Green Bay Road in the heart of downtown Highland Park. Stores include Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Avant for Men, Jos A. Bank, Kenzy Gifts & Décor, Lash L’Heureux, L’Occitane, M-Salon, Beelow’s NorthShore Steaks + Seafood, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Renaissance Place Cinema.


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