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We shopped at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel to see which was a better furniture store — and the winner was clear

crate and barrel 9315Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel are two of the top retailers in home furnishings. 
Even though the stores also have to compete with online retailers like Amazon and Wayfair, both Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel saw revenue growth in 2017.
The stores have similar return policies and both offer free shipping for tons of products.
Even though the stores are incredibly similar, we found that one of them was slightly less expensive and had much more to offer. 

Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn compete to be the top seller of home furnishings.

Even while facing competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Wayfair, Crate & Barrel saw an 8% sales growth in 2017, with 47% of its sales taking place online. CEO Neela Montgomery told the Wall Street Journal that 95% of Crate & Barrel’s products are unique to the store. In addition, the brand has recently partnered with Reese Witherspoon to sell an exclusive collection.

Williams-Sonoma, parent company of Pottery Barn, also saw an increase in sales in 2017, with about 53% of the company’s revenue coming from online sales. Like Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn has focused on how it can set itself apart from online sellers like Amazon and Wayfair. One of these innovations is an augmented-reality app called 3D Room View, which allows customers to see how products will fit in their home. 

The two stores are similar in many ways. They both have relatively strict return policies, with Crate & Barrel accepting non-furniture items within 90 days with proof of purchase, and furniture within 30 days. Pottery Barn accepts returns on eligible items within 30 days with a receipt. In addition, both stores also have a ton of products that qualify for free shipping on their websites.

Though the stores appear to be remarkably similar, we visited both and found one to be better than the other:  

My first stop was Manhattan’s only Crate & Barrel store.
Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
Immediately in the entryway was a sign advertising 20% off outdoor dish sets.
Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
The environment of the store was very inviting. The dim yellow lights and soft music created a very mellow atmosphere, making it feel homey. There was a ton of decor at the front of the store.
Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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