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Carls Patio buys Berk's, continues expansion

Carls Patio, through its recently formed corporation, Carls Patio West, Inc., completed its second major West Coast acquisition in as many months with the purchase of Berk's, a more than 50-year-old patio retailer in Santa Monica, Calif. Last month, Carls acquired Saddleback of San Diego in what was the first venture outside of Florida for the 12-year-old patio retailer. Carls Patio currently operates 11 stores.

"This is another great opportunity for us," Carls Patio President Gary Ecoff said. "Carls Patio West is very excited about the Southern California market and we see a great future for our company here. We are completely open to the idea of connecting the dots from San Diego north to Santa Monica and beyond, though not necessarily through the purchase of existing companies."

Berk's has been a landmark on Santa Monica Boulevard for five decades. Known to be the provider of patio furniture to the stars, the company had been operated by the Horowitz brothers, Chuck and Herb, until February 2004, when it was bought by the Crown family, which also owns Chicago-based patio furniture manufacturer Woodard.

Carls Patio West is operated on a day-to-day basis by Vice President Lyle Ecoff, who brings 20 years of experience in the patio industry. He has worked on both the wholesale and retail side, and served as president of Robb & Stucky Patio.

"Berk's has had a tremendous reputation in this market and we intend to build upon that reputation in the coming years," Lyle Ecoff said.

Carls Patio President Gary Ecoff

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