The rumors are true: Pottery Barn will open its doors in the spring at the corner of Hampton Road and Main Street in Southampton Village, in the former Saks Fifth Avenue building.
According to the building’s owner, Robert Rattenni, a deal with Williams-Sonoma, a San Francisco-based retail company that owns the home furnishing chain, was finalized in the beginning of September. The company is performing a “major interior renovation” of the 8,100-square-foot building.
“It appears that they are going to do a combination of Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids,” he added.
Mr. Rattenni said that he feels confident in his choice to lease to the company since Williams-Sonoma is a “very strong financial company.”
Pottery Barn signed a 10-year lease, with three, five-year options, Mr. Rattenni said.
“As I like to say, it’s a lot of value for your money and it will be open year-round and employ a lot of local people,” he said. “I think it will be a nice addition to the village.”
The fact that the business will stay open when pop-up shops disappear in the summer is a plus in Village Mayor Mark Epley’s mind.
“I’m happy to see that the building is going to be occupied by a long-term, year-round tenant,” he said on Tuesday.
Although the Pottery Barn will bring in more business to the village and cater to local residents as well as visitors, not everybody was as enthused by the news.
“Originally I was somewhat worried and perplexed,” said Henry Hildreth, the owner of Hildreth’s Department Store. “It was my beautiful wife, Colleen, who had put me on the straight and narrow. I’m a bit of a drama king.”
Mr. Hildreth said he has to face the inevitability of competition around the corner.
“That building is probably one of the most visible, opportunistic corners in the Village of Southampton,” he said. “It’s a prime location and should have a prime anchor and Pottery Barn will probably be one of those anchors in the village.”
Mr. Hildreth said there’s not much he can do but face the facts and continue doing what he’s always done.
“We have been in the business since 1842, and there’s a reason for that,” he said. “Long story short, we can’t do much about it except for buying complementary products or changing some of the merchandise.”