SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

October 17, 2012

A place to buy a place for everything

The Container Store opens Saturday in Peabody

You may not find a more well-organized place to shop than The Container Store, but it can also be a little daunting. Dedicated to helping customers organize their lives, the store sells some 10,000 items.

North Shore shoppers can peruse them for the first time when the store has its grand opening on Saturday at the Northshore Mall.

The new store — a gleaming, 24,000-square-footer with floor-to-ceiling front windows — is the retailer’s 58th store in the nation, the third in Massachusetts. (The other Bay State stores are in Natick and Chestnut Hill.) It sits at the front corner of the Northshore Mall, where Bugaboo Creek once stood, along Route 114.

The store sells 120 kinds of food storage items made of plastic and glass, 80 styles of hangers, 40 types of laundry hampers, a multitude of closet and office shelving systems, and more containers — bins, baskets, boxes, jars, tins and cans — than you can count.

“By organizing your life, you are going to save a lot of time and space, and that is what we aim to do — save customers time and space,” general manager Claire Byers said.

The 34-year-old, Dallas-based retailer specializes in stuff to keep your stuff.

“It’s essentially housewares; it’s storage and organization,” said CEO and founder Kip Tindell.

The store was one of the first to offer containers as a category, creating a niche devoted solely to organization. Tindell’s wife, Sharon, works as the retailer’s chief merchandising officer.

“We are a solutions-based form of retail,” Tindell said, “rather than an items-based form.”

The chain expects to chalk up $750 million in sales this fiscal year, Tindell said. While most department stores and other retailers sell storage containers and solutions, The Container Store does not have a real head-to-head competitor, in part because it is such a service- and employee-intensive business, Tindell said, as employees must find just the right item to solve a customer’s storage problem.

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