Supplier of the Year a reliable gold mine for long-time retail customers
Cinde W Ingram -- Casual Living, 2/1/2013 2:00:00 AM
Casual living will recognize treasure Garden as Supplier of the Year during the Feb. 20-22 conference that will bring the casual industry together in Tucson, Ariz., to celebrate Outer Spaces: Expanding the Universe for the Outdoor Room.
Treasure Garden CEO Oliver Ma has built his company during the past three decades into a shade supplier for not only North American specialty casual furniture retailers but as a resource to meet the needs for shade in nearly all distribution channels across a growing number of countries. Anyone who doubts Treasure Garden's outreach to a variety of customers need only visit its expansive showroom in Chicago or at other tradeshows in the United States, in Europe and Asia.
The company's overseas manufacturing facilities and related shade divisions offer innovative solutions for shade around the world. Ma travels constantly to observe different environments and cultures while meeting with customers to understand changing shade needs, collect trending styles and colors to stay on top of the global market.
Ma started Treasure Garden in May 1984 to serve U.S. specialty retailers. Some of its long-time customers took the time to share their perspectives of what li s this shade supplier above its competitors. They described the umbrella manufacturer as an important business resource that meets critical consumer needs and responds with trusted consistency.
With more than 250 outdoor furniture stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, the Casual Classics Buying Group has relied on Treasure Garden products since 2002, managing director Buzz Homsy said.
"Treasure Garden supplies a better selection and private label items to our owners," Homsy said. Treasure Garden's domestic reorder response is the best in the industry, he added.
"Many Casual Classics Group owners are merchandising in various categories (including) furniture, barbecue islands, fire pits and hot tubs ... Treasure Garden offers a shade solution for all applications," Homsy said. Treasure Garden's colorful and functional shade products make good merchandising sense to the casual furniture industry's largest member-owned design/buying cooperative.
Treasure Garden's staff has responded to help member retailers be outstanding in their marketplaces, Homsy said. "The on-time special order program gives our owners what they need for customers without delays," he said. That has been a good program to help customers out by supplying their immediate needs.
Treasure Garden's expanded showroom set up was fantastic at the most recent Casual Market in Chicago, Outdoor Experience President Doug Sanicola said. "It was easy to walk through, and the colors were beautiful," he said.
Doug Wheat, president of San Diego-based Hauser's Patio & Rattan, also stressed the attention to detail, overall friendly attitude and helpfulness of Treasure Garden's staff . "The customer service staff at Treasure Garden is what all other customer service reps are measured by," said Wheat, whose stores have sold Treasure Garden umbrellas for more than 25 years.
When asked what makes Treasure Garden an important supplier, Wheat was quick to list on-time delivery and quality of product. He said his stores have benefited from the partnership with Treasure Garden because the company climate encourages forward thinking and stays "always a step ahead of others in shade products."
Jim Van Norman, general manager of Rich's for the Home, Lynwood, Wash., noted Treasure Garden's track record of innovation during the past two decades the Seattle-area retailer has sold its umbrellas. "We try all new products, many of which have been successful," he said. "Over the years, we have had several umbrella suppliers. Treasure Garden has proven to be the best and are our only supplier currently." California Backyard also has sold Treasure Garden products for more than 20 years. "Their quality and value gives me a product line I can sell with confidence," said Mark Smithers, purchasing manager, California Backyard.
Oliver Ma relaxes as he and other Treasure Garden staff members host a
cocktail party that draws nearly all of the company’s specialty retail customers
as well as other casual furnishings manufacturers, designers, sales reps and
|Shanghai 10-foot round umbrella with 24 fi berglass ribs and a black collar tilt
|Whether clustered to provide cover in a commercial venue, above, or standing alone to supply shade for a private outdoor room, Treasure Garden’s cantilevered umbrellas add style while solving functional challenges.|
"Treasure Garden has been a very professional, responsive partner for California Backyard," Smithers said. "We can sell their umbrellas with confidence, know our customers will enjoy their purchase and not have problems with what they buy. Their custom order capability gives my customer a quick way to dress up their outdoor space."
Smithers added, "They have proven to be a valuable custom order source. They have a nice variety of fabric choices and they ship quickly and reliably. Their customer service folks are fast, friendly and responsive."
Portland, Ore.-based Fishels has been conducting business with Treasure Garden since 1995, Fishels Owner Larry Tal-bott recalled. "From its humble beginnings, we have seen this company invest money and energy to reinvent the umbrella model of strictly a replacement purchase to one that defines what is now a key component in most outdoor buying decisions," Tal-bott said.
"Treasure Garden, under Oliver Ma's direction, has put a highly energized team in place that reflects Ma's high standards and expectations in quality control, customer service and innovation," Tal-bott added. "Treasure Garden does not rest on its laurels. With a recently added online design studio and expansion of the Treasure Garden Quick Ship along with the constant additions of innovative products in shade, Fishels doesn't consider Treasure Garden an option but a necessity in our umbrella assortment."
Petey and Harold Fleish-chut of Casual Marketplace in Hockessin, Del., have been customers of Treasure Garden for 10 to 12 years and say "having them as our shade partner has made Treasure Garden one of the most crucial resources in our business."
The Fleischuts describe Treasure Garden as one of their most important and consistent business partners. They added that overall the shade manufacturer has a relationship with their customer base that provides a feeling of family.
"They are true supporters of our industry and are always available to provide help with whatever the need may be, financial or otherwise," the Fleischuts said. "They have proven repeatedly that their goal is to provide unique quality products, in a timely manner, to help make our business as successful as theirs has become. We are honored to be a part of their success."
Karen Galindo, who is currently restructuring the outdoor furniture retail concept in Texas, said her Greenhouse Mall stores carried Treasure Garden umbrellas for about 12 years in Austin. "It has been a great relationship," she said. "They make a consistently problem-free product and have great customer service. They are an umbrella producing machine."
Galindo said Treasure Garden's staff members "are always there for us in a quick and courteous manner." When asked how selling Treasure Garden's shade product benefits her business, Galindo laughed. "In Texas, are you kidding? When it's 108 degrees, it makes it almost livable."
Wind damage is more of a significant challenge than extreme heat in Salt Lake City, where Marc McDonald's Leisure Living store has sold Treasure Garden products for approximately 15 years.
"Umbrellas are a high service product. Our selling season is short," he said. "Being able to get product and parts quickly is very important. Customers are impatient and Treasure Garden has always been sensitive to our needs in providing us with the best service possible. Treasure Garden is a great team player."
Umbrellas are a best-selling item at Leisure Living, McDonald said. "They also are an important part of our visual displays. Umbrellas instantly tell our customers we are an outdoor specialty retailer better than any other product. Because umbrellas are so critical to our success, we must be able to do business with someone with great service and selection. Nobody in our industry does this better than Treasure Garden."
McDonald went on to say selling Treasure Garden's shade products has benefited his business tremendously. "They have helped me become a better specialty outdoor retailer with their tremendous selection of quality products at great values. They help provide my customers with products not available anywhere else."
With two Patio & Hearth stores in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, and two Elegant Outdoors stores in Bonita Springs, Fla., Debbie Stegman said she has done business with Treasure Garden for at least 20 years. "I cannot remember not carrying their umbrella and other products," she said, "because they are by far the best umbrella company. They give great service, (and have) great products. They listen to your needs. They always ship on a timely basis."
While Stegman could not recall a specific example, she was sure she had called on Treasure Garden's staff over the years for help and they always responded. "If I would need something special or have a customer with a problem, I know Treasure Garden would be there for me," she said.
"Because there are so many choices for the consumer from this company ... so many different choices for the consumer's needs. I don't know what we would do without them. I really count on them!"
When asked how offering Treasure Garden shade products has benefited the business, Smithers summed up what many other retail customers also have found. "The combination of value with their container programs and speed (plus) customization with their domestic program provides the basics at a great price and a quick source for an upscale, unique look," Smithers said. "I like to think of a quality umbrella as the fancy tie that makes one's good suit look better. Their umbrellas help dress up our showrooms and put a fancy tie in our customers' backyards."
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