Mr. Pool & Mrs. Patio adapts to changes
Cinde Ingram -- Casual Living, July 1, 2008
With three Las Vegas stores, Mr. Pool & Mrs. Patio has adapted to the changing marketplace and concentrated on its strengths of selling casual furniture, umbrellas and patio heaters.
Although a few grills remained on display at its 10,000-sq.-ft. store on North Durango Drive in northwest Las Vegas, the retailer was phasing out of grill sales this season, according to General Manager Robin Wright, who rotates between the three locations.
Adapting and changing is nothing new for the retailer, which draws customers from up to 100 miles. Most people who visit this store or the two 7,500-sq.-ft. locations in Green Valley and Henderson are seeking outdoor furniture for their homes or second homes, Wright said.
Cast aluminum furniture collections by Mallin, O.W. Lee's wrought iron furniture and Tropitone's aluminum sling and cushion collections are among its best-selling groups. Cantilever umbrellas by Treasure Garden also are strong sellers.
“We're selling more deep seating products for the outdoor living area,” Wright said. “For dining groups, sling is where it's going. Teak is beautiful, but it does not move for us, unfortunately.”
Reflective of the surrounding desert locale, browns and beiges sell best in all three locations. “A lot of people ask for red but when they go to order, it's all browns and beiges,” Wright said. “We don't sell a whole lot of accessories, but we do stock it for merchandising. Wall decor is doing well for us.”
The stores' replacement cushion business usually stays busy, although Wright described this season's purchase levels as strange.
The stores' advertising in the local Review Journal newspaper and on television continues year-round.
When Mr. Pool opened in 1972, owner Leo Mainwal focused on that segment during summer months and switched to ski products during the winter. Mainwal added or dropped categories through the years as customers' demands changed.
“May is our biggest month,” said Wright, who has worked for the retailer since 1980. Wright shops at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago during the July Premarket and September Casual Market. She does all the buying and merchandising for the stores now that Mainwal is semi-retired.
“He visits regularly and takes care of the bills,” Wright said, adding Mainwal spends most of his time now taking care of his ailing wife.