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Merchandising Awards 2009

Casual Living honors stylish stores

Summer Classics has a winning style that should translate into sales. That was the almost unanimous decision of designers and retail editors who judged Casual Living’s ninth annual Merchandising Awards.

For a second consecutive year, Summer Classics won top honors as Most Fashionable Retailer, based on photos submitted by Summer Classics stores in Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, N.C., and Richmond, Va.

Most Fashionable

Best Overall Merchandising

Best Use of Accessories

Summer Classics also placed first in the multistore category for Best Overall Merchandising and Best Use of Accessories. Summer Classics stores previously won Best Overall Merchandising honors in 2008, 2007 and 2003, as well as Best Outdoor Display, multistore in 2006 and 2005.

Designer Mark Abrams noted Summer Classics stores’ consistent excellent presentation as he narrowed the choices along with other judges Christi Barbour of Barbour Spangle Design Group, Furniture/Today Retail Editor Clint Engel, Home Accents Today Retail Editor Susan Dickenson and Casual Living Editor in Chief Cinde W. Ingram.

Judges also were impressed by merchandising displays at other stores across the nation including: Carls Patio with stores in Florida and Southern California; The Pool Place, Abington, Mass.; Moss Outdoor, Santa Fe, N.M.; Biddle Outdoor Center, Sedona and Prescott, Ariz., and Bucks Country Gardens, Doylestown, Pa.

More 2009 Winners
Best First-Time Entry: Hickory Fireplace & Patio, Hickory, N.C.
Honorable mention: Biddle Outdoor Center, Sedona and Prescott, Ariz.

Hickory Fireplace & Patio

Best Overall Merchandising, single store: Bucks Country Gardens

Best Use of Accessories, single store: Moss Outdoor, Santa Fe, N.M.

Best Outdoor Display, single store: Fruehauf’s Patio & Garden Center, Boulder, Colo.

Best Outdoor Display, multistore: The Greenhouse Mall, Austin, Texas

Honorable mention: The Pool Place, Abington, Mass.

Best Store Front: Bucks Country Gardens, Doylestown, Pa.

Honorable mentions: Kolo Collection, Atlanta,
Carls Patio, Boca Raton, Fla.

Judges said they wanted to see more exterior photos of stores, especially showing entrances from customers’ perspectives. Too many stores in strip shopping centers give up their individual personality, but a few of the urban stores were able to hold on through signage and displays near the doors. About the Kolo Collection in Atlanta’s mid-town, one judge said, “I love the obvious entry point, architecture, signage and urban-living environment.

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