Seasonal Concepts is closing its three Atlanta area stores and consolidating its distribution to better serve its 12 stores in five Midwest states.
President Jed Stillman said the Plymouth, Minn.-based casual furniture retailer had considered closing its Georgia stores for more than five years because they were not getting good return on investment. Factors adding to the recent decision are changes in Seasonal Concepts’ distribution model and leases expiring on its Marietta, Ga., location and Atlanta area warehouse.
“So the timing was good to get out of the market and redeploy our investment in that market in the rest of the company,” Stillman said. “As the balance of imports has increased, the need for the use of capital has gone up.”
Stillman said leaving a market is nothing new for Seasonal Concepts, which was founded in 1962, had between $40 million and $45 million in estimated 2005 annual sales and ranked among Casual Living’s 100 Powerhouse Retail Specialists. He recalled the company had been in and out of markets in California, Denver, Dallas, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Flint, Mich.
“Our focus as a company is north of the Sunbelt and the Atlanta market was one thing that had not fit with that,” he said. “The northern markets work very well with our off-season product, which is Christmas. Certainly where the sunbirds go you can’t do Christmas and patio together, I don’t think it works very well, because it’s at the same time.
“We want to focus our growth on areas closer and built off of our distribution model,” he said.
Stillman praised the approximately 40 employees in the Atlanta market as being a great team, which has provided a high level of customer service. Loyalty to those long-term staff members made the decision more difficult. Going out of business sales are expected to continue into April.