Apollo Awards - Fruehauf's Patio and Garden, Boulder, Colo.
Single Store Category
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, 9/9/2010 4:09:35 AM
AFTER TESTING customer response to a year-round on-site "home and garden show" last season, Fruehauf's Patio & Garden Center fully embraced the concept in 2010 and dedicated about half of its 2-acre location to permanent displays of more than 20 partners.
The $1 million-plus Dream Backyard showcases everything someone might want in their outdoor living area - from decking to awnings, kitchens, entertainment centers, a putting green, kid and pet areas, and more - prominently displaying outdoor furniture and accessories throughout.
"It's all about the dream," said Mary Fruehauf, president and owner. If you could have anything you wanted, with no space or budget restrictions, this is what it could be. People can pick and choose what fits in their space from all of the ideas we present."
The concept was customer-driven.
"For instance, a lot of our customers have asked us about who they should get to build their decks, so we've made sure that we have a major deck display with four decks and four different themes and all of the bells and whistles possible," Fruehauf said.
Final touches are still being made to the Dream Backyard, but it has already proven successful. Fruehauf's Patio & Garden has seen increased traffic and sales, and its partners have gotten new referrals.
Customers are also coming in to shop at the Boutique, the new gift store within Fruehauf's main showroom where they find Vera Bradley bags, Crabbtree & Evelyn and other gift lines. That new area alone spiked sales and helped make Fruehauf optimistic about the upcoming holiday season.
The largest outdoor furniture retailer in Colorado, Fruehauf's Patio & Garden is a frequent Apollo Award finalist and a multiple winner of the Casual Living Merchandising Award for Best Outdoor Display, in the single store category.
The addition of the Dream Backyard and the new Boutique have set a high bar for 2011.
"I don't think there is anything like this out there," Fruehauf said. "It's been challenging, like building a house, and there were times when we've been so stressed. But we knew that when it was all done we would be thrilled."
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