Oceanside Casual Furniture: Year of change proves fruitful
Courtney Mueller -- Casual Living, July 14, 2006
It's been a year of change for Oceanside Casual Furniture, but change is good. With a new location in Rehoboth, Del., an expanded showroom, additional product categories and even a name change, the owners, husband-and-wife team Frank and Cathleen Lutz, have plenty to be excited about.
The Lutzes have added to their product offerings at Oceanside Casual and now sell a variety of lighting, weatherproof art, tableware, candles and more.
The Lutzes are the third owners of the store, formerly known as Culvers Pipe and Patio Outlets. The Culver family sold the company in 1985, and Frank and Cathleen took it over from the previous owners in 2001.
"It's a new twist as we have broken free from the popular PVC pipe furniture," Cathleen said.
Generating between $1 and $1.9 million, Oceanside also has a location in Fenwick Island. The second store is more seasonal, only open on weekends between March and October, Cathleen said, while the Rehoboth location is year-round. Golf communities, seaside homes and second homes reign in Rehoboth, a relatively small town with a demographic of retirees and young business owners moving in from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., Cathleen added.
"It's a very small community here and everyone knows each other," she said.
Open in Rehoboth only since January, the Lutzes have been reaping the benefits of a growing community. Within the last year, Cathleen said they have experienced 30% growth, and March, April and May sales were very good.
The 8,800-sq.-ft. store boasts a variety of outdoor furniture, umbrellas and an abundance of accessories fairly new for Oceanside. Mariachi outdoor rugs, WeatherPrint art, Precidio tableware, Solaire patio heaters, Luminosities candles, bamboo accessories from Asli Arts and lighting from Patio Living Concepts and Olympia Lighting round out the accessory line. Furniture and umbrella vendors include Telescope, Tyndall Creek, Anacara, Homecrest, Seaside Casual, Ebel, Outdoor Lifestyle, Treasure Garden, Galtech and Oxford Garden.
The more popular lines, Cathleen said, are Seaside Casual's rockers and Adirondack chairs, and Telescope Casual, proven to be popular at renting facilities. Customers also are drawn to two sides of the table spectrum — either seating for eight or more or smaller bar height sets.
"Table purchases are either really large or really small," she said.
Five employees man the store of mostly women shoppers. Advertising includes the local newspaper and radio, where Oceanside acts as a sponsor for traffic reports.