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May 20, 2008

Have you been OUT & ABOUT lately?  Have you seen all of the advertisements in the magazines, newspapers and online? Just take a stroll through Target or go to to see that you do not have to be a specialty casual furniture retail establishment to display patio furniture in an upscale designer fashion.

    Target has joined forces with Pottery Barn Williams Sonoma Crate & Barrel Frontgate  Restoration Hardware and many more who have jumped feet first onto the band wagon! Now you do not have to go very far to find outdoor living solutions. From the low end to the high end you can find exciting fabrics, throw pillows, outdoor trims, outdoor drapes, outdoor throws, a variety of outdoor furniture and it all looks impressive.

    A visual delight that compliments your home can be designed by a homeowner as easily as a designer. Flowing alfresco drapery will add warmth, as well as color, drapes can also add privacy or simply a beautiful and graceful design element to your home and backyard. Plush courtyard pillows add a very strong design element, utilizing texture, trims and color to accent the furniture.

                                                                Pottery Barn

    Now you may be asking what you can do to differentiate your specialty casual furniture store with the competition? First and foremost you must offer the finest in quality and service to entice your customer. Always try to be a little different, not ordinary. Offer design consultation either in your store or at the customer’s home. Create an EXPERIENCE that you cannot find elsewhere.  Show how you can transform a setting into an extraordinary scene. Learn how your products are eco-friendly and promote these attributes. Show how being upscale can be down to earth or tres chic, whatever your customer desires is easily attained if you offer this assistance.

                                                                      Restoration Hardware
    All it takes is a little help to create the perfect outdoor setting for your lifestyle. Offer a complete creative solution to your customers from the design concept to installation. A consumer cannot walk into Target, Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware and choose the fabric that best suits their space. You offer these services already, so just let your savvy shopper understand that you can do it with flair so why settle for less. Get out in front of your rivals, appeal to the consumer and make sure they know that design considerations are very important when planning a lifestyle space and you can assist them in the design of their dream outdoor living space. Don’t settle for less, EXPERIENCE the difference, there is a choice, encourage your customer to choose the best!


    These are my outside views, write and tell me yours. Marcia Blake