Last month was the grand opening of a new venture in LA: H. D. Buttercup, housed in the Art Deco Helms Bakery building in Culver City. The owners are investing...

Last month was the grand opening of a new venture in LA: H. D. Buttercup, housed in the Art Deco Helms Bakery building in Culver City. The owners are investing $10 million on a retail experiment, a 100,000-square-foot home furnishings mart housing 50 high-end manufacturers selling directly to consumers, a sort of farmers’ market of furniture and home accessories.

H. D. Buttercup vendors, which has been dubbed "manutailers" (a blending of manufacturer and retailer) sell everything from midcentury modern sofas to Asian antiques. Instead of rent, the vendors pay him 30 to 50 percent of their sales, depending on whether they use their own sales staff or the owners. The owners pay the building lease, tracks inventory and handles store operations, including cash registers and a concierge.

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