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Home Improvement Store TreeHouse to Close Austin Store, Relocate to Dallas

After determining that "real growth is in penetrating an entire market," TreeHouse will focus on growing its retail footprint in DFW.
Elizabeth Lavin

The environmentally conscious home improvement store TreeHouse, which opened its first DFW location on Central and Walnut Hill last June, will close its original location in Austin and relocate its support staff to Dallas, where it plans to focus its retail growth for the foreseeable future.

“We’re a little bigger and smarter now, and as we’ve grown, we’ve learned the real growth is in penetrating an entire market. … We’ll be focusing our time and attention on North Texas,” TreeHouse Chairman and CEO Gary Kusin says.

The Austin store, which will close in the next three months, is not being shut down due to slumping sales, Kusin says, but rather DFW offers the most opportunity for TreeHouse to grow its market share. TreeHouse specializes in products that make a home smarter, safer, and more sustainable, and aims to be the first brand in the country to penetrate the “do it for me” (as opposed to the “do it yourself”) homeowners. TreeHouse installs anything from solar panels to rainwater collection systems to flooring. It opened a 35,000-square-foot store in Dallas last summer, and another in Plano in January 2018.

TreeHouse CEO and Chairman Gary Kusin

Kusin declined to share details on TreeHouse’s exact retail strategy going forward, but says it is learning from its Dallas and Plano locations. “We expect TreeHouse to be present from the west side of Fort Worth to Dallas and up to McKinney,” he says.

On its website earlier this month, TreeHouse posted this:

After two successful openings in Dallas and Plano, TreeHouse has made the difficult decision to close our Austin location. The Austin store has been invaluable for operational learnings, but is not in an ideal location for long term success. However, we love Austin, and will be exploring other Austin locations that fit our growth strategy. Our Austin team will complete all active installation projects and continue retail sales for the next 90 days. Related to this closure, we will be moving the TreeHouse home office closer to our current center of operations, in the Dallas area. We want to thank our Austin family and community for their continued support of our mission over the years – helping make all homes beautiful, healthy, and sustainable.

TreeHouse has about 20 support employees in Austin, in addition to retail employees. The support department is being moved to Dallas, where TreeHouse will sublease office space near Love Field. “In the long term, in a couple years, we’ll probably relocate to a more central location in a new building,” Kusin says.

Kusin became CEO of TreeHouse in December, though he had been an investor and on the board previously. Kusin is the co-founder of Babbage’s (today called GameStop) and Laura Mercier Cosmetics. He took over for TreeHouse’s founder and former CEO Jason Ballard, who is now pursuing a concept called ICON which aims to “revolutionize homebuilding using 3D printing, robotics & technology, software, and cutting-edge materials,” according to Ballard’s LinkedIn.

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