Barbara Turf, the former ceo of US housewares chain Crate & Barrel, passed away surrounded by family and loved ones on July 12 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 71.
Barbara played an integral role in the growth and success of Crate & Barrel. She joined the company 42 years ago as a part-time sales assistant, following a career as a school teacher.
She was named president in 1986 and in 2008, founder George Segal retired and appointed her in his place. He said: “The world has lost not only a wonderful, creative force, but a woman of warmth charm and grace. She was a major influence on the aesthetic revolution in how Americans furnished their homes.”
She was respected and admired by many in the housewares industry and received the Lifetime Humanitarian Award from the Housewares Foundation of the US in 2010.
Barbara retired after 40 years at Crate & Barrel in 2012, but continued as a member of the board of directors. Following her retirement, she started retail consulting business Turf International Development Group.
Sascha Bopp, who succeeded Barbara as ceo of Crate & Barrel in 2012, said her “impeccable eye for style, trend and design defined the merchandising and marketing vision of Crate & Barrel. She touched the lives of thousands of associates and developed invaluable relationships with vendors across the globe. Crate & Barrel would not be the company it is today without Barbara’s leadership, influence and inspiration. She will be missed dearly.”
Barbara is survived by her husband Dr Robert Turf, three children and two grandchildren.