Restoration comedy.

Commentary about business and finance.
Jan. 10 2003 2:08 PM

Restoration Comedy

Bobos can't save Restoration Hardware from its boo-boos.

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Restoration's need for growth—if you can't turn a profit with 90 stores, the thinking goes, you've got to get bigger—led it to expand into places that were bourgeois but not bohemian: Buford, Ga.; Metairie, La.; Grandville, Miss.; and Kansas City, Mo. It turns out that expensive soaps and towel bars aren't necessarily habit-forming. And it turns out that the natural market for Restoration Hardware may have been limited, like the audience for Bobo passions like art-house cinema or Afghan cuisine.

Daniel Gross is a longtime Slate contributor. His most recent book is Better, Stronger, Faster. Follow him on Twitter.