Flooring from John Deere
Plant in Eddie Bauer’s Oak Park Store
“Reclaimed Flooring for Eddie Bauer’s
Oak Park Store”
We’ve sold and installed antique and reclaimed wood
flooring for over 30 years. When the Eddie Bauer Company began
a major expansion some years ago they approached us to help
them develop prototypes for wood flooring in their new stores.
They were hoping to create for an old style wilderness outfitter
concept in their “home store” settings. They wanted
wood floors that looked like those of a turn of the 19th Century
outfitter. I suggested one of our antique reclaimed flooring
products. The one that seemed most fitting was one where we
preserved the actual antique face when re-sawing old wooden
beams. The face was cleaned as much as possible with minimal
disturbance to the old saw marks, aged color and antique patina.
We still sell this product today only now we have it available
in Long Leaf Heart Pine (like we sold to Eddie Bauer for many
of their stores) and in Oak. Occasionally we have supplies
in Hickory, Maple, Chestnut, Teak, Rosewood and several other
species but supplies vary significantly.
Eddie Bauer was constructing a beautiful big store in the
suburbs of Chicago in an fairly exclusive area known as Oak
Park. They were planning a substantial home store within the
complex and were looking for something special. I recommended
our “Old Mission” antique faced long leaf heart
pine flooring product and was able to secure it from a salvaged
John Deere factory building that had been located in Moline,
Illinois, the John Deere factory headquarters. Apparently
at one time, many of the people of Chicago and John Deere
were like mother and apple pie. So having flooring from the
old John Deere plant at the Eddie Bauer store in Chicago was
a stroke of shear genius. It helped provide a “local”
feel for an out-of-town merchant.
I suggested laser burning the Eddie Bauer logo on to the
backs of small scraps of flooring with an abbreviated history
of the John Deer plant etched or typed on to recycled paper
attached. Instead of grand opening gifts, Bauer sold the scraps
as souvenirs and sold out everything they could get from us
within the first few weeks.
The floor of course was and continues to be a great hit at
the store in addition to serving as an excellent working display
space for customers and clerks alike. All in all it proving
to be a real success story for everyone involved.