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Apollo Award nominees: Seasons Leisure, Inc. (dba Pool Patio & More), Atherton, Calif.

Nominees meet their challenges head on

Pool Patio & More’sPool Patio & More’s showroom in Campbell, one of three locations in the San Francisco area, will carry more outdoor living categories in 2012.

WHILE SOME RETAILERS HUNKER DOWN TO WAIT out bad weather and trying times, this year's group of Apollo Award nominees stands out for their determination to create their own destinies. Their ability to adapt is exceeded only by their drive to succeed. This group sets the bar for industry excellence in today's marketplace.
Finalists will be honored and winners announced at the Apollo Awards banquet at the Field Museum on Sept. 14, during the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago.

Multi-store | Seasons Leisure, Inc. (dba Pool Patio & More), Atherton, Calif.

NOT TOO LONG AGO, STEVE COHEN BOUGHT A new car to make the roughly one-hour commute between his three retail showrooms and the home he and his wife, Ginger, recently purchased near Santa Cruz. The $21,000 import has all of the bells and whistles consumers expect to find on a new car, and as Cohen says, "It's a kick to drive."
     With 24 years in the outdoor furniture industry, it didn't take Cohen long to start making connections.
     "I'm saying to myself, for what this is, it isn't too bad. And then I thought, that's just what people are saying about patio furniture - ‘I'll buy something to get me by for a few years,'" Cohen said.
     Seasons Leisure (dba Pool Patio & More) has three locations in the San Francisco area. With customers at all income levels watching their spending, Cohen is looking for ways to meet the demand of those who want a lower price point without moving too far away from his core high-end business.
     Specifically for 2012, that means adding more outdoor living categories.
     "We'll be going into barbecue in a major way for next season. I'm also considering a line of small spas," Cohen said, adding that gardening accessories are another possible addition.

Steve CohenSteve Cohen
     In outdoor furniture, he's looking for more of what he calls "high-end entry-level choices."
     "I think it's important. We don't want to move away from what makes us who we are, but we need to address the fact that the consumer today is different," Cohen said. "We sell a very discretionary product at a time when people are making decisions on what's in their wallets. Specialty retailers have to offer at least something at a lower price point because too much of the business is going to Costco." This is Seasons Leisure's third Apollo nomination.

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