Loft 21 by Pier 21

Store History

  • Founded: 1962
  • Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas

Pier 1 Imports started as a single store in San Mateo, California in 1962. Our first customers were post-World War II baby boomers looking for beanbag chairs, love beads and incense. Pier 1 has carried a wide selection of merchandise through the years, from chocolate covered ants to clothing lines to life-size Spanish suits of armor. Pier 1 established its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas in 1966. By then, there were 16 store locations with a merchandise mix of incense and other popular novelty items of the time.

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We got a call yesterday from a reporter wanting our take on Pier 21's new offshoot, Loft 21 (What is it about the word "Loft" that doubles for style? Hasn't "Loft" jumped the shark yet?). While not fully formed, it seems that Pier is jumping on the West Elm, CB2, Z Gallerie bandwagon and aiming to woo us youthful urbanites in smaller spaces into the clutches of their affordable offerings with watered down style.

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Loft 21 bills itself thusly: "Discover an uptown attitude where function meats fashion. Mingle clean lines with hand-touched detail....Loft 21, a whole new level of style."

Offerings: 64 items, ranging from coasters to smaller sofa and armchairs, all in neutral tones mixed with black and white.

Prices: Very affordable. The Bradford Sleeper sofa goes for $550.

Obviously, we do not have a high regard for this new development on the furnishings landscape, but we are, as always, open to hearing other opinions.


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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.