The shining stars of home accessories retail
What do you do when you have so many great Retail Stars finalists that it would be painfully difficult to pare the list to 50?
You bend the rules a bit and make room for a few more, of course.
Meet 2019's Home Accents Today Retail Stars. This year's listing is super-sized, with 55 of the best independent retailers in home accents and accessories in the U.S. and Canada. Here's a brief look at their stats.
This year's honorees call 23 states and one Canadian province their home, though many also have stores beyond those borders. Moe's Home Collection, the retail arm of the manufacturer and importer from Vancouver, B.C., for example, has stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Mexico, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Texas leads the way this year with five Retail Stars, including a cluster in the greater Dallas area. Ohio, Colorado and New York have four Stars each while Virginia, Arizona, Florida, California and North Carolina each have three honored stores. Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, Washington and Connecticut have a pair of Stars while Iowa, North Dakota, Mississippi, Indiana, Arkansas, British Columbia and Oregon each have a single Star.
This year's group was pretty evenly split when it comes to date of establishment. Thirty opened their doors after the turn of the century while 24 welcomed customers prior to 2000. Garber's Interior Design is our oldest Star, as it first opened in 1935 while The Tin Roof has served customers since 1945. Barbara Stewart Design has been around since 1952, Ireko claims 1967 as its first year and Cherry House, Inc. and Furnitureland South are celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year, as each started business in 1969.
Moe's leads the pack in store count with 13 while Mecox boasts eight stores and the Paul Michael Company and The Furniture Warehouse each have six. They're the outliers among the Stars, as most, 39, only have a single location.
Facebook remains the social network of choice for our Stars, as all but one admitted using it to help promote business. Instagram was right behind with 52 selections. Pinterest got the nod from 33 Stars while 17 each told us they use YouTube and Twitter.
In addition to selling product, many of our Stars see opportunity in offering interior design services. Of the 55, 47 of them say these services are part and parcel for business.
While our annual Retail Stars list isn't based on sales volume, it's an interesting business barometer if nothing else. Twenty of this year's retailers have sales between $1-$2.9 million while five of them say their sales exceed $10 million annually. Leading the way is Furnitureland South's $166 million in total sales for 2018.
The biggest point of differentiation remains online sales. Most of our Stars (32) say they don't include e-commerce in their sales mix while 23 indicated that consumers can purchase product online.
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