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PRESS RELEASES

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December 2001
Baker Brings Great Design Closer to Home -
Baker Tribeca Opens in New York City


Grand Rapids, Michigan – Bringing greater access to high-end home furnishings for the Manhattan market, Baker announced the December 22 grand opening of its Tribeca-area retail store. Designed by internationally renowned designer, Bill Sofield, Baker Tribeca is located at 129-133 Hudson St., at the corner of Beach and Hudson. As Baker's seventh retail location across the U.S. and the UK, the new 12,000-square-foot store will give both design-savvy consumers and professional designers a nearby location to shop the Baker, McGuire and Milling Road furniture lines, along with several other premium brands.

To find a designer for Baker Tribeca, Baker did not have to look very far. Noted New York designer, Bill Sofield, who has designed interior spaces for such high-fashion industry giants as Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Yves Saint Laurent, created the inspired New York retail store design. "I wanted the interior design to reflect old downtown New York, reinvigorated with a fresh industrial aesthetic to provide the perfect backdrop for Baker's vast range of period and contemporary furniture," explained Sofield.

In addition to Baker Tribeca, Sofield redesigned the company's Baker Knapp & Tubbs to-the-trade showroom locations in Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles, and designed the Bill Sofield for Baker collection of home furnishings and textiles. Unveiled at the Spring 2001 International Home Furnishings Market to wide acclaim, the collection is making its official New York retail debut as part of Baker Tribeca's grand opening.

Baker Brings Great Design Closer to Home
Baker Tribeca's interior design reflects the same architectural substance and period of the building's classic outer visage. A stunning, industrial metal stair, arched interior windows softly draped in a textured, ecru fabric, classic millwork, and subtle detailing all serve to emphasize the store's turn-of-the-century charm and grace. The lobby installation features a custom limed oak work station over diamond-plate flooring and pendant lamp lighting to lend a working atmosphere to the store. The soaring ceiling heights are broken by floating cloud custom drop ceilings defining collection locations – creating exceptional visual flow and unhindered movement when walking through the store's space. Completing the store's old downtown New York styling are vintage façade lanterns that illuminate the exterior's arched windows and an over-scaled entry door, elegantly fitted with custom cast bronze hardware.

Better Access for Customers
For more than a century, Baker has manufactured both the Baker and the Milling Road furniture lines. Prior to the first Baker store opening in 1998, these lines were broadly represented along with other manufacturers exclusively in Baker Knapp & Tubbs to-the-trade showrooms and a number of select retailers across the country. As Rachel Kohler, group president, Kohler Interiors, explained, "We felt it was imperative to expand our points of distribution in areas where we recognize a customer base eager to see our products. The Tribeca location was a perfect place to launch our seventh retail store for a variety of reasons. Certainly New York's demographics are very favorable, but the decision was also heavily influenced by the residents' reputation for uncompromising taste and style and a genuine appreciation of history and craftsmanship." The successful opening of Baker Georgetown, Baker Greenwich, and Baker Pittsburgh was the first phase of Baker's new store strategy, followed by store launches in Birmingham, Mich., Cincinnati, and at Selfridges in London. The stores give Baker the ability to continue developing new product lines and the opportunity to raise the visibility of the Baker and Milling Road brands. "By offering the best possible merchandise, a knowledgeable sales force, excellent service and timely deliveries, Baker stores have proven to be a great source for our customers," added Kohler.

Timeless Solution
Baker's versatility is apparent in the broad spectrum of its designs, from ornately carved and gilded pieces comprising the company's traditional collections, such as Historic Charleston, 18th Century, and Stately Homes, to the exquisite, pared down chic of the Barbara Barry, Archetype, and Bill Sofield for Baker collections. In essence, Baker offers a timeless solution to the uncertainty of ever-changing fashion trends, consistently creating design classics that are destined to become heirlooms.

From a Great Past, a Great Future
In the archives of great design, the name Baker continuously stands out as one of the finest. With the opening of its new retail stores, the company continues to gain new fans as it enters its next century of great design for the home. "Our store strategy benefits both the end consumer as well as the designer," concluded Kohler. "By providing greater access and exposure for both through flawlessly executed high profile stores we follow in the tradition of leadership and design excellence that the Baker name has long represented."

Other Baker Store Locations
• Baker Pittsburgh, 5608 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, opened November 21, 1998

• Baker Georgetown, 3330 M Street NW, Washington, D.C., opened April 17, 1999

• Baker Greenwich, 200 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, Conn., opened April 24, 1999

• Baker at Selfridge's, 400 Oxford Street, London, opened February 27, 2000

• Baker Birmingham, 34500 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, Mich., opened April 1, 2000

• Baker Cincinnati, 2705 Edmundson Road, Norwalk, Ohio, opened August 1, 2000

Baker Brings Great Design Closer to Home
Baker, its Milling Road division, Baker Knapp & Tubbs Showrooms, and Baker Stores, along with McGuire Furniture Company and Ann Sacks, are part of the Kohler Interiors Group and a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath designs. Kohler Co. was founded in 1873. Headquartered in Kohler, Wis., it is one of the oldest and largest privately held companies in the United States.