Casual Living announces Merchandising Award winners – in print and online
Cinde Ingram -- Casual Living, June 2, 2014
Elegant Outdoor Living, winner of Best Overall Merchandising, Multi-store, and Best First-Time Entry, Mult-store.
Casual Living got a little help from its online readers for the first time in selecting the winners of this year’s contest. Readers agreed with the choices of the judging panel in five of the seven categories that were close calls.
The judges’ panel included Home Accents Today Retail Editor Susan Dickenson, Furniture/Today Upholstery/Style Editor Cindy W. Hodnett, Casual Living/Furniture Today Art Director Ronda Whitaker, Casual Living Editor in Chief Cinde W. Ingram and Casual Living/Home Accents Today Assistant Editor Alexa Boschini.
Paine’s Patio in Pocasset, Mass., won the Best Use of Accessories, single store category. Paine’s clever photo of Adirondacks shown in the snow also won the Best Outdoor Display in the single store division. Oklahoma City-based Seasonal Living at Flower City was a close second in both the internal and online voting for Best Use of Accessories, single store category.
Best Use of Accessories in the multi-store category was awarded to Summer Classics at Fortin Ironworks. Judges and readers narrowly selected that Columbus, Ohio-based store over Summer Classics’ original retail location in Pelham, Ala., which had inspired Bob Fortin when he founded his store in 2012, as well as seven other Summer Classics stores and a few other multi-store casual furniture retailers from across the nation.
Housewarmings, winner of Best Overall Merchandising, Single store.
Best Store Front honors in the single store category went to Seasonal Living at Flower City, based in Oklahoma City, Okla. One judge noted the “engaging signage” and went on to say she “loves the brick and the chaises and umbrellas outside the door” because it makes her want to go inside.
Porch & Patio Casual Living in Warwick, R.I., was recognized as having the Best Store Front in the multi-store category. Porch & Patio Casual Living’s vignettes inside the store also drew appreciative comments from the judges’ panel. Online readers, who were not privy to all of the images considered, voted strongly in favor of the store front image provided by the Summer Classics store in Atlanta.
Judges awarded the Best First-time Entry in the multi-store category to Elegant Outdoor Living. The Best First-time Entry in the single store category went to Outdoor Décor Store in Naples, Fla., which opened Oct. 1, 2013, and also was the newest retailer to submit its entry in the Merchandising Awards competition. Readers cast a few votes for each, but the resounding Readers’ Choice winner for Best First-time Entry went to Amini’s Home, Rugs, Game Room and Jaffe Lighting in Chesterfield, Mo. One reader commented, “I have never seen such beautiful outdoor furniture, options for lighting and home entertainment.” Another reader wrote “love the selection of games, pool tables, etc., and they always have a wide choice of quality merchandise and furniture.”
For more, see our online slideshow and our June issue of Casual Living.
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