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ABSCO Fireplace & Patio Birmingham, Ala.

Kristine Ellis -- Casual Living, September 17, 2012

ABSCO buildsABSCO builds on a base of neutral colors by adding brightly colored umbrellas, pillows and other accents.
Lean inventory and good management resulted in a nearly record breaking season for ABSCO Fireplace & Patio this year.
     "Some months were the best in the history of our business," said Cathy Galbreath, who manages the family business. "We've seen more sales in the over $10,000 category than we have in the last several years."
     Galbreath credits the very good season to the hard work of the past few years. Tight inventory control, working with vendors who can turn product quickly and creating an always fresh, always interesting showroom all play a part.
     "We also changed our advertising this year, which I think has helped as well. We still run heavily on network television," she said.
     In addition to updated commercials, ABSCO uses Facebook to reach customers.
     ABSCO has three locati
Cathy GalbreathCathy Galbreath manages the family-owned business.
ons in the Birmingham area. Sales are good across all categories, and in particular, in deep seating. For the most part, Galbreath uses a lot of neutrals in the showroom adding color and excitement with ever-changing combinations of throw pillows, rugs and umbrellas.
     "We change the whole look that way," she said, adding that the company's use of accessories triggers big sales in that category as well.
     This is ABSCO's third Apollo nomination. The company was founded in 1965 as the Alabama Building Specialties Co. In 1977, Galbreath's parents, John and Catherine Galbreath, renamed the company and added outdoor furniture to the mix. Her brother, John Galbreath Jr., and his wife, Nan, manage the company's wholesale hearth division.

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