A new retailer is coming to downtown Seattle, in a wave of openings and reopenings that is reshaping the city core.
Sundays, a Vancouver, B.C.-based furniture store, opened its first U.S. showroom Friday. The retailer, which operates three showrooms in Canada, had pop-ups in New York and Los Angeles, but ultimately picked Seattle for its first permanent location in the U.S.
Co-founder Barbora Samieian said Sundays chose downtown Seattle because the retail space matched the company criteria, including its proximity to the head office in Vancouver. The company has a warehouse in the Kent area, which makes it easier to deliver the products to customers, said Samieian.
“Vancouver and Seattle do have some similarities in terms of that West Coast look and feel that customers resonate with,” Samieian said in an interview.
Launched in 2019, Sundays’ products include sofas, chairs, tables and beds. The company describes its experience shopping for furniture as “relaxed, easy and full of good vibes” as a Sunday morning.
Sundays’ Seattle showroom is at 1023 First Ave.; the location was last occupied by furniture store Moe’s until 2020 and by The North Face before that for nearly 40 years.
Being in downtown comes with its challenges. Samieian said that she and her team had heard about the violence in the neighborhood.
Still, downtown seems better and livelier than before, Samieian said. And the 5,220-square-foot Sundays location is in a heritage building close to Pike Place Market.
“The proximity to the tourist area, Pike Place, is interesting as well because we ship all across North America,” Samieian said. “We don’t tend to necessarily be in traditional furniture row areas.”
Last month, the Seattle Police Department said it would increase the number of patrols in Belltown amid the violence in the area. Violent crime reached a 15-year high in 2022, according to SPD, with downtown “hot spots” such as the Third Avenue and Pine Street corridor.
The Downtown Seattle Association said more than 130 businesses, including Sundays, opened in the past 12 months. Clothing retailer Uniqlo opened a store downtown in November. Piroshky Piroshky reopened its Third Avenue and Pike Street location in December. But the path to recovery hasn’t been linear. Nike closed a store in the neighborhood in January.
“Downtown is making steady progress in the recovery,” DSA said in a statement. “Businesses share our optimism for the future of our urban core.”
Samieian said the showroom will have a limited, curated variety of furniture, and the space will offer ceramics pieces from a Portland brand and linen products from a Vancouver brand.
“We really want it to make it a little bit more experiential,” Samieian said. “We really see this as a beginning of our continued growth in the U.S. in spite of the challenging economy that I think a lot of industries, including ours, is experiencing.”