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Daylight Home, Lighting & Patio San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Daylight HomeDaylight Home, Lighting & Patio fi lls its 15,000-sq.-ft. outdoor display full of casual furnishings, accessories and plants.
When john billings told his reps that he was going to relocate Daylight Home, Lighting & Patio in 2010, many of them thought he was making a mistake. Most retailers were still in defensive mode, after all.
     "We went out and got a big loan and went the other way," said Billings, who owns the business with his wife, Susanna Billings. "It was just too good of a location to pass up."
     Indeed it was. The first-time Apollo nominee relocated in June 2010; in July 2011, revenues were up by 64%.
     Just five blocks up the street, the new location offered more visibility, more display area and better parking. Though revenue has leveled out, Daylight Home, Lighting & Patio continues to see strong growth across its product categories.
     Inside the sho
From leftFrom left, Erik Stanton, Yan Zhao Billings and John Zhao Billings.
wroom, about 10,000 square feet are dedicated to indoor casual and 2,000 square feet to barbecues and accessories. All of the patio mix is outside in a 15,000-sq.-ft. display area.
     "People ask me, what do you do when it rains? Well, it's outside furniture. We don't do anything," Billings said.
     Going forward, Billings is considering adding food or beverage services. The location's large outside space lends itself to the concept, as do the 1,500 hotel rooms within three blocks of the business. The store may start by offering a free glass of wine or a beer while people shop to see how it goes before trying to get licensed. In the meantime, other ideas continue to percolate.
     "We have lots of possibilities," Billings concluded.

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