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Art of Business: Rhinebeck Department Store

Freshening a Classic

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Patrons of the iconic Rhinebeck Department Store will notice new fixtures and a lighter, brighter look. But proprietor Barbara Schreiber says they'll recognize the feel—and the merch.

"Clothing evolves, store fixtures evolve," she says. "For example, we've been getting ladies' sweaters with the desirable silhouettes we like and nice details—pockets, borders—that we couldn't fold and stack on the shelf. We said, 'Okay, it's been 25 years. We'd better do this.' We evolve too: The work wear's at the hardware store now, which makes perfect sense."

"We're absolutely still carrying the country classics, the Levis, the Woolrich. People say they can't find those easily; they're grateful that we stick to our tradition. And when we add a new line, it's at that level of quality and comfort. You can be very chic in comfortable clothes, which is what we're about—that and special service you don't get online."

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