With no more fanfare than an e-mail blast to customers on its Twin Cities distribution list, Restoration Hardware opened its first outlet store in Minnesota Thursday.
The 10,000-square-foot showroom in the Shops at West End development opened at 10 a.m. with eight employees cutting a ceremonial ribbon. The one customer waiting for the store to open offered to take their picture. Within 15 minutes, more than a dozen people were scouring the store for bargains.
The RH Outlet sells furniture discounted at 20 percent to 60 percent, including sofas, sectionals, beds, nightstands, dining room tables and chairs, accent tables, outdoor seating, and bathroom vanities. A store manager said that the store will carry furniture almost exclusively, not the art, hardware, lighting and bathroom accessories.
Most of the items are discontinued from the main store or returns in scratch-and-dent condition. For the opening weekend, the store placed an additional 25 percent discount on all items.
Radwa Elkaffas of Chanhassen was excited to get the e-mail about the outlet store's debut. "It's awesome," she said. "I love the brand but it's expensive, so I'm glad [the outlet] is here."
Many of the brand's pieces are large in size, including dining-room tables and sectional sofas.
The outlet had one iconic piece from the RH collection, the Porthole Bar, a liquor cabinet modeled on an industrial sphere from the 1920s. Normally, the bar sells for $2,655, but it was $1,593 at the outlet.
Last year, RH added a $100-a-year members program that includes an additional 25 percent discount. But that discount won't apply at the outlet store.
All sales are final at the outlet. Delivery is offered for a fee through two independent movers. The store, open daily, is located at 1676 West End Blvd., Suite 2385, in St. Louis Park.
Restoration Hardware, now often shortened to RH, has more than 30 outlet stores throughout the country. Its only full-line store in Minnesota is in the Galleria in Edina. The company is building a mansion-like new store across the street in the parking lot of Southdale Center. Several weeks ago, it announced a delay in construction but aims to have it open in 2019.