Upscale Gift Shop to Open in Bronxville

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October 11, 2004

UPSCALE GIFT SHOP TO OPEN IN BRONXVILLE

— David Gurliacci

A gift store opening in early November at 116 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, is meant to help people who want distinctive gifts, gift wrap, cards and party decorations for important occasions but don’t have a lot of time to shop around for them.

Blue Tulip, a chain founded in 2002 and based in Princeton, N.J., should have appropriate gifts for weddings, for teachers, for hostesses and for birthdays, said David Cully, chief executive officer and co-founder of the business. The store can also personalize stationery.

“We think the communities of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe have the kind of customer that we’ve found in other communities where we’ve opened.”

— David Cully, chief executive officer, Blue Tulip

“The location itself we think has a fair amount of pedestrian traffic and great visibility for the store, and we think the communities of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe have the kind of customer that we’ve found in other communities where we’ve opened,” he said.

The typical Blue Tulip customer is a woman who “doesn’t have a lot of discretionary time,” Cully said. “She generally is the one in a typical nuclear family who’s charged to remember and celebrate a child’s party, a dinner party, seasonal occasions, or who needs to remember to get the hostess’ gift or the wedding gift. Blue Tulip will be where she can go to get everything she needs to satisfy all different occasions.”

The company plans to hire about 10 full- and part-time employees for the 4,500-square-foot Bronxville location, which will be the chain’s fifth store, Cully said.

Blue Tulip will print invitations in the store, “so we offer very rapid turnarounds,” Cully said. Each store has a graphic design artist to help customers create the right look for parties, and each has an employee assigned to community relations, he said. Gifts in the store are meant to be “stylish, different and unique,” he said. “We think that’s very important to our customer.”

The company buys from 600 different suppliers in order to get items distinct enough to make for memorable gifts, and buys hand-made greeting cards from 35 different card makers, he said. Jewelry, accessories and room decor for “tween” girls from 8 to 12 years old are also featured in the store.

Cully, once the general merchandise manager for Barnes & Noble, was the CEO of Lechter’s Inc. in the year before the housewares chain went bankrupt in 2001. He co-founded Blue Tulip with Joseph Ellis, a former head of retail analysts for Goldman Sachs, who had the idea for Blue Tulip.

A Gap store was previously located at the site. Gap has recently decided to close its smaller town stores, including those in Bronxville, Rye and New Canaan, Conn., according to Admiral Real Estate Services Corp. of New York City, which represented Blue Tulip in the rental deal.

Cully said he expects to open more Blue Tulip stores over the next several years in Westchester County, Connecticut, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.