Apollo Award nominees: Fruehauf's, Boulder, Colo.
Kristine Ellis -- Casual Living, September 14, 2011
Fruehauf’s 2 acres of multiple showrooms and outdoor displays make it Colorado’s largest outdoor furniture retailer and a destination site for consumers throughout the region.
WHILE SOME RETAILERS HUNKER DOWN TO WAIT out bad weather and trying times, this year's group of Apollo Award nominees stands out for their determination to create their own destinies. Their ability to adapt is exceeded only by their drive to succeed. This group sets the bar for industry excellence in today's marketplace.
Finalists will be honored and winners announced at the Apollo Awards banquet at the Field Museum on Sept. 14, during the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago.
Single store | Fruehauf's, Boulder, Colo.
DESPITE A COLD AND RAINY START, PENT-UP demand carried the season at Fruehauf's Patio & Garden Center this year.
"Maybe they spent more time researching it before they came in and maybe they had to talk about it longer with our staff, but people were certainly willing to purchase this season. We were thrilled," said Mary Fruehauf, president and owner.
The lengthier selling cycle reflects consumers' desire for the perfect blend of quality and value, a trend retailers continue to see across the country.
"Consumers aren't going to buy something cheap just to have it. They want to make sure that their purchase counts, that they are buying what they really want," Fruehauf said.
To help drive those sales, Fruehauf changed her advertising somewhat, replacing print-image advertising with specific product ads, a switch she believes delivered.
Also driving sales this season were the boutique gift shop within Fruehauf's main showroom, the multiple displays throughout the 2-acre destination site and the Dream Backyard.
This was the first full season for the Dream Backyard, a year-round "home and garden show" showcasing everything a person might want in their backyard - from decking to landscaping, outdoor rooms, play sets, entertainment centers and more. Though "finished," it will always be a work in progress as vendors continue to update and refresh their displays so that consumers continue to return in search of new ideas.
A perennial Apollo Award nominee, Fruehauf's Patio & Garden is the largest outdoor furniture retailer in Colorado and a multiple winner of the Casual Living Merchandising Award for Best Outdoor Display in the single-store category.
Fruehauf views this season's success as the culmination of a long-term investment. "We've been working so hard doing everything we could year after year, and I think this year that work paid off," Fruehauf said. "When people were ready to purchase, they came here and did."
Mariah Maydew and Mary Freuhauf