The old-line Los Angeles interior design firm of Cannell & Chaffin has sharply cut back its retail furniture business, which has been a major part of the company since it opened its doors in 1917.
In fact, founders S. Bartley Cannell and George Chaffin sold some furnishings to early client William Randolph Hearst for a project he called La Casa Grande--known to everyone else as Hearst Castle.
Multimillionaires aside, the nature of the retail market has changed over the last several years. Wholesale showrooms are springing up to offer stiff competition to retailers of high-priced fine furniture, said Danford M. Baker, president of Cannell & Chaffin and grandson of S. Bartley Cannell.
The company has closed large retail operations in Los Angeles and Newport Beach in favor of small designer showrooms that still cater to the public, he said. Cannell & Chaffin also has a showroom in La Jolla.