Miami's booming real estate market and cosmopolitan population made it the choice for a French furniture company's U.S. expansion.
Bois & Chiffons, a publicly traded company with more than 100 stores throughout Europe, recently opened its first U.S. location at the Biscayne Commons shopping center in North Miami Beach at 14791 Biscayne Blvd. Plans call for opening three stores in Florida within the next year and a total of 30 stores in the United States by 2011. The U.S. expansion is being overseen by Yannick Ayache and Anouk Sitbon, whose father Julien Ayache started the retailer in 1997.
At Bois & Chiffons, which means wood and rags, customers will find a lot more than the name implies. The furniture and home accessories run the gamut from sleek, contemporary leather couches to elegant wicker pieces, all arranged in vignettes complete with background music and a scent to complement the furniture.
Bois & Chiffons manufactures all of its own furniture and accessories at factories in Europe and Asia. Yet, the prices are about 30 percent lower than U.S. competitors such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.
-- ELAINE WALKE