Another high-end furniture seller will open next month on Walnut Street, appealing to the city's millennial boom.
CB2, described as the younger, hipper sibling of Crate & Barrel, announced earlier this week a Feb. 2 opening of a 12,000-square-foot showroom in the space formerly occupied by Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, and a physical therapy office at 1422 Walnut St.
The competition could be healthy for Thos. Moser — known for its handmade American chairs, cabinets, and beds — which moved just over a year ago into 1601 Walnut.
"The urban, cultured vibe of the historic Rittenhouse neighborhood is a perfect fit for CB2," said its managing director, Ryan Turf.
The Philadelphia location marks its 12th store in the country and fifth East Coast location. CB2, which has been on an expansion run, opened a location in Paramus, N.J., in August.
The CB2 deal was first reported in the Inquirer in July 2017. It was handled by Andi Pesacov, then Cushman & Wakefield's senior vice president of retail services, who represented both CB2 and landlord ASI Management in the transaction.
Pesacov said then that CB2 liked Center City's demographics, which are trending younger with the influx of millennials and high-income professionals. The area also has a much-improved retail scene with a mix of off-price retailers on Chestnut Street and luxury stores on Walnut to attract a large, diverse pool of shoppers.
More than 7,500 multifamily units were built in central Philadelphia between 2013 and 2017, with 2,700 slated for completion in 2018, according to the most recent data from real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
The city also leads the nation in millennial growth among major cities over the last 10 years, said Lauren Gilchrist, director of research at JLL's Philadelphia office. Millennials ages 19 to 34 are credited for dramatically changing the retail mix.
"Retailers with concepts that appeal to the lifestyle of this demographic — fast-casual food, fitness, and hip furniture — have flocked here as well to take advantage of growing demand in key retail segments," she said.
In 2016, Chris Shenian of real estate firm the Shenian Co. in Center City brokered the deal on behalf of Thos. Moser to bring that retailer back to the area.
The changing demographics and retail scene helped persuade Moser, Shenian said.
"Why drive an hour and fight traffic when you have topflight retailers in your backyard?" he said.