2013 Casual Living Merchandising Awards named
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, May 31, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Casual Living announces its 13th annual Merchandising Award winners today. Presented in our June issue, the awards honor exemplary retailers in the outdoor and casual furnishings industry for their interior vignettes, outdoor displays and store fronts.
Honors for Best Overall Merchandising, Single store, went to Housewarmings, based in Lexington, Ky.
Housewarmings also won the Best Outdoor Display, Single store award, for a second consecutive year. One judge commented, "From deep seating to outdoor kitchens, these displays capture the complete outdoor room."
For a second consecutive year, Sunshine Furniture in Vero Beach, Fla., won Best Use of Accessories, Single store, and Palm Desert, Calif.-based Hayman & Summers won the award for Best Store Front, Single store.
In the multi-store competition, Summer Classics stores came close to sweeping the Merchandising Awards. The only multi-store category not claimed by Summer Classics stores was the award for Best Outdoor Display, which went to Paddy 'O Furniture, based in Phoenix, Ariz.
Summer Classics' original retail location in Pelham, Ala., was recognized for Best Overall Merchandising, Multi-store. The words sophistication, character and charm repeated as the judges narrowed their choices. Rich's For the Home in Lynnwood, Wash., and Village Green in Rockford, Ill., were also close contenders.
"The Pelham store is the best of the Summer Classics group - beautifully photographed and accessorized in a sophisticated and simplistic manner," said designer Wesley Mancini, who served on the judges' panel. "Collectively, there's a common thread of an aesthetic for outdoor living. This store sells the ‘group' or room setting versus a single item, like a chair. ... All of their stores look like an interior designer created the environment and space. There's a variety of color and textures used throughout."
Summer Classics, Pelham, Ala.
Summer Classics' stores in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., tied in the Best Use of Accessories, Multi-store category.
The award for Best Store Front, Multi-store went to Summer Classics' Raleigh, N.C., store.
Summer Classics at Fortin Ironworks in Columbus, Ohio, was named the Best First-Time Entry. Privately owned and a new Summer Classics licensee store, judges found it to be excellently presented among lighting, accessories and furniture while also being understated and colorful. As winner of the Best First-Time Entry category, the store will receive a consultation with Retail Makeover CEO Barbara Crowhurst, who served on the judges' panel.
In addition to Crowhurst and Mancini, other judges of Casual Living's 13th annual Merchandising Awards competition were Furniture Today Upholstery/Style Editor Cindy W. Hodnett, Home Accents Today Retail Editor Susan Dickenson, Home Accents Today Art Director Wes Kennedy, Casual Living/Furniture Today Art Director Ronda Whitaker and Casual Living editors Cinde W. Ingram and Alexa Boschini.
The panel of judges agreed: Choosing the winners wasn't easy. Despite passionate pleas in favor of one store display or another, the majority ruled. For more comments from the judges and photos of winning store displays, see pages 14-20 of our June issue.