The Best & The Brightest

Home Accents Today is proud to present its 13th annual 50 Retail Stars list.

Sponsored by AmericasMart Atlanta, the Retail Stars list honors independent brick-and- mortar retailers of home accents and accessories. The list includes furniture stores, home décor boutiques and interior design retailers that are creative in their merchandising, contribute to their communities, and stand out from their competition.

This year’s Stars represents a bit more of a cross section of the country than in recent years, as 27 states have at least one representative on the compilation, up from last year’s total of 25 states. Regionally, the Southeast has the heaviest representation in this year’s list with stores in 11 states, followed by stores in six states each in the Northeast and Midwest regions while five Western U.S. states are included. California leads the way with eight Stars while Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Kentucky have three stores each. Washington, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, New York, Maryland, Oklahoma and Louisiana each have two stores listed.

The 2017 Stars have a mix of old and new shops. Seventeen have been in business for less than 10 years, three stores have been in business for at least 50 years, and 17 have been open for between 20 and 49 years.

Of those legacy retailers in this year’s mix, Oskar Huber Furniture & Design, with stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has been in operation since 1927 and is in its fourth generation of Huber family ownership. Other notables include Barbara Stewart Interiors, which has been in business since 1952, and California powerhouse Jerome’s, which first opened in 1954. Speaking of Jerome’s, it has by far the highest sales volume among this year’s Stars with more than $230 million. It’s one of nine stores with sales exceed- ing $10 million, although the majority of Stars (37) posted annual sales at $5 million or below.

Another store with a larger sales volume, Nadeau, is easily the most widespread, with 32 stores nationwide. It’s one of 12 retailers that have multiple stores in this year’s list.

Interior design services continue to be a sales generator for our stores. In this year’s list, the ratio of stores that offer the services versus those that don’t is around 8-to-1.

E-commerce sales took a slight dip from last year’s list, as 21 retailers reported selling home furnishings online, versus half in 2016. Most reported online sales at less than 5 (Cornerstone Shop & Gallery, Sunnyland Patio Furniture, Smallhome and Modern Market each reported 1% of volume), while Biscuit Home said e-commerce accounts for around 40% of its total sales volume.

Social media is a part of every- day life in America and that’s reflected in the stores’ presence on a number of key channels. All 50 of this year’s Stars are on Facebook while Instagram – with a photo-based platform that plays well at the retail level – is next with 47 users. Thirty-six stores have their own Pinterest pages while 27 are on Twitter.

In the coming issues of Home Accents Today, we’ll share more of our Stars’ retail strategies, ideas and other areas that make them stand out from others. Until then, we hope you’ll find inspiration in the photos and summaries on the following pages.

Costa Mesa, Calif.
1 store
Estimated 2016 Total Sales: $1 million to $3 million rugsandcarpets.com

Home furnishings specialist, founded in 1995. Offers middle to high price points in 3,700 square feet of selling space. Total sales per square foot, $784. Home accents accounted for 35% of 2016 total sales; other merchandise, 65%. Has five employees, including four salespeople. Home accent products carried include accent furniture, lamps and area rugs. Other merchandise includes Miele vacuums and coffee makers. Key vendors include Uttermost for accent furniture; Knot & Company, Amer, Dalyn, Karastan, Masland, Fibreworks and Stanton for area rugs; Uttermost for decorative accessories; Surya, Uttermost and Safavieh for lamps and lighting. Attends High Point Market and Las Vegas Market. Has a social media presence through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and Houzz. Offers interior design services. Visual merchandising scheme includes a custom made flip board holding display more than 1,100 carpet samples and a custom wall mounted rug rack that holds 200 rugs.

About hemphillbrett
Floorcovering specialist

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