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Summer Living for Less

April 2, 2009

Take Your Style Outside

In the past week I have received eleven new catalogues in the mail and daily e-mail advertisements landing in my inbox from Williams Sonoma, Frontgate, Crate & Barrel, Ballard Design, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Home Depot, Pier One, Lowes, World Market & Plow & Hearth all promoting life outdoors. Consumers, our customers, are being inundated with colorful page turning brochures of beautifully decked out outdoor rooms. These same advertisements are offering discounted prices, and savings on all of the patio furniture and accessories. Some companies are even offering incentives of no payments and no interest for twelve months when you buy $1000 or more on their store credit card. Another catalogue is offering outdoor reward points for use toward future purchases.

With spring just around the corner one catalogue suggests that we can finally fling the doors open and start living outside. They have actually lowered the prices on their cushions and throw pillows in addition to offering savings on larger orders. Whether our customers are interested in mixing and matching patterns and colors, or creating a chic outdoor style with printed sea life, coral, vibrant scroll designs or icon-embroidered patterns it is all available for purchase from the comfort of their home.

These catalogues put everything together for those customers who lack the creative ability to select all of the pieces and parts that make up an outdoor living space. From all-weather rugs, designer throw pillows, assorted outdoor furniture selections, auto tilt umbrellas, lanterns, outdoor drapes, melamine dinnerware, matching pool towels, fan misters, old world urn planters, gas and wood burning fire-pits, serene and decorative water fountains, wall art, garden benches, cushion containers, patio heaters, fabric ottomans and barware all are attractively showcased, stunningly merchandised, exquisitely romanticized and abundantly available to acquire at an exceptional reduction. For those consumers who do like to create their own special distinctive space, the opportunity exists to special order products for their inspired outdoor rooms.

So what are you doing as an independent casual furniture retailer to promote your outdoor living furniture and accessories? Write and let me know what is working in today’s environment, in your local area. Let’s share best practices, what is working for you and help me to get the word out to consumers and interior designers that you carry high quality, uniquely specialized furniture unlike the mainstream stores.

I am here to promote your successful marketing activities, so that we as an industry can prosper.

These are my outside views…write a comment or email me at Marcia Blake