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SINGLE STORE CATEGORY Kolo Collection, Atlanta

Kolo CollectionKolo Collection features high-end, streamlined designs.
KEEPING ITS mix current and making good use of social media helped Kolo Collection leverage its strong start to 2010.
     "Our year has been great, and it started soon after the calendar said it was 2010," said Greg Martin, who owns the business with his wife, Michelle. "It seemed to be a signal to many in the higher-end market that it was a new year and now it was OK to spend money again."
     To ready the showroom for the new year, the Martins remodeled an area to create a dedicated outdoor fabric space, added Royal Botania and Emu to its mix and expanded its Jensen Leisure display.
     Kolo Collection nurtures a healthy designer base as well as its high-end retail customers. To stay connected to this customer base, the Martins added social media to increase the effectiveness of the store's online presence. For example, regular Facebook updates on new items and images of recent installations keep the brand in view of a growing list of followers.
     But more importantly, Martin said, have been the improvements made to Kolo's website, including bringing it inhouse so that it is more easily updated.
     The new blog in particular has been a big success.
     "It is a great tool for getting information to our readers as well as an easy way for our staff and potential customers to view our installations," he said.
     Since Kolo Collection opened in 2003, the business has earned multiple awards including twice winning Casual Living's top Merchandising Award for Best Store Front in the single store category. It has been an Apollo Award finalist five of the last six years.
     Going forward, the Martins anticipate following their proven strategies.
     "For 2011, we'd like to make some more cosmetic changes to keep the store fresh," Martin said. "Additionally, we'll be adding two major lines that we expect will bring in many new customers."

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