Q: How do you balance your floor space for maximum efficiency?
Staff -- Casual Living, 5/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
BONNIE RICHINS, general manager, Anaheim Patio & Fireside, Anaheim, Calif.
It's a juggling act, trying to take the puzzle pieces and fit them in.
The first thing we do at the end of each season is evaluate our sales to see what was productive and what gave us the most turns on the floor space. Attending the premarket gets us in our frame of mind to (decide) what are we going to carry over, what's new and are we going to keep the same things we had the previous year or not — so we can make room for it. Between July and September, we start listing everything and formulating, so we know the groupings we want to buy. And within the groupings, the accessories because it's the accessory part of it, meaning the deep seating and the fire pits and all that go along with those, that take up our floor space.
Every year, our greatest challenge is buying less than we did the year before. So our balance is trying to buy less style-wise because of the amount of accessories that one group may offer. Nowadays a five-piece set is not going to maximize your sale.
We still maintain our barbecue section and our fireplace section year-round. We do take some of the fireplace square-footage we use in the fall back to patio, and we have learned to integrate some of the barbecue displays into the furniture because of the Outdoor Room concept so we're kind of cheating into those areas where we hadn't before.
Lastly, we are changing the floor displays often in the stores because we're always looking to maximize. That's another way we try to balance our floor space. It is truly challenging. After we've made our decisions in our purchases, we stick with that. If we've already made our decisions in our purchases and it's sitting in a warehouse, it doesn't do us any good.
LARRY SMITH, president, Village Green Home and Garden, Rockford, Ill.
We have about 15,000 square feet of inside display space that we devote to patio furniture. We also have an interior department, a garden center and greenhouse. Three groups of rattan are displayed in our indoor department. Accessories and umbrellas are displayed within each group, where possible. Within our patio showroom, we try to display about 100 groups of sling patio material. We have 81 groups of aluminum/cast aluminum/wrought iron dining, chat, bars and cafe sets and about 10 are displayed outside. Three groups of cast aluminum deep seating are displayed. We also show 25 all-weather wicker vignettes. We have an area of eight different teak dining groups and two teak deep seating groups. Adjacent to the patio showroom, we have a grill department in a separate area. We carry the full line of Weber grills.
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