MULTI-STORE CATEGORY Seasons Leisure / dba Pool Patio & More Atherton, Calif.
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, 9/9/2010 5:55:49 AM
MULTIPLE LOCATIONS can mean multiple strategies, particularly in a tight economy.
That reality caused Steven and Ginger Cohen to look at not only adjusting their mix in terms of price points but also in terms of demographics for this season.
"Not all of our stores carry the same product now," Steven Cohen said.
Seasons Leisure (dba Pool Patio & More) has three stores in the San Francisco area. While the Atherton location is in one of the most affluent ZIP codes in the country, the Dublin store is on the outskirts of the Bay area and its customers were hard hit by the real estate bubble.
"We really changed our mix at the Dublin store, which serves a younger demographic," Cohen said. Even in Atherton, he added, "people are not spending money. I think that that's the most difficult thing about this recession."
Other adjustments included tighter inventory control and the launch of a new website.
Pools Patio & More started the season on a high note due in part to pent-up demand, Cohen said. Sales have dipped since, but Cohen remains a "half-full
kind o guy." For 2011, he plans to streamline even more by seeking out import manufacturers that can supply mixed containers to help him consolidate, as well as domestic manufacturers that will help him gain a bigger market share.
"We need to make it possible for more people to afford our furniture," he said.
"I think at this end of the industry we are catering to a group that is shrinking. The more our domestic manufacturers can make it affordable for everyone, retailers included, the more we'll be able to grab a bigger share of the market."
The company has been in business since 1987. It acquired its Campbell store, known as Pool Patio & Things, in 1992. The Atherton location opened in 1994 and Dublin opened in 2006.
This is the company's second Apollo Award nomination. The first was in the late 1980s.
"It is a completely different business now," Cohen said.
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