Momentum Builds For Outdoor by Ashley After Strong ICFA Pre-Market and Strong Casual Market Chicago

Momentum Builds For Outdoor by Ashley After Strong ICFA Pre-Market and Strong Casual Market Chicago

On display were several outdoor furniture collections and accessories from Outdoor By Ashley. In addition to viewing the outdoor furniture collections, specialty retailers had the opportunity to talk with company representatives about the business model being offered to the outdoor furniture and outdoor living industry.

P&HPR: Based on the response from specialty retailers at ICFA Preview and Casual Market Chicago, what are the top two or three strongest selling points Ashley has to offer?
Sokol and Sourbeck:We provide incredible value on beautiful outdoor furniture collections without forcing customers to buy containers to get great prices. Customers can buy from our distribution centers and keep little or no inventory. Their cost of inventory is extremely low because we take the risk and cost of holding the inventory in our distribution centers. We have many sales and marketing experts that we make available to help our customers promote, drive business, and succeed in a competitive environment.

P&HPR: Based on the A, B, C business models that you had on display in Chicago, which business model attracts the greatest amount of interest?
Sokol and Sourbeck: The models are different size footprints. We realize space varies from customer to customer, but with the size of our assortment and the values we have to offer, buyers are working to find as much space as possible to present our line.

P&HPR:Where is most of the interest in your outdoor program coming from—single store or multistore specialty retailers?
Sokol and Sourbeck: Interest is coming from across a broad spectrum of companies—small,medium and large.

P&HPR: Describe the process with your Inventory Management system.
Sokol and Sourbeck:We have a team dedicated on forecasting our needs. They look at the demand for each one of our distribution centers and work tirelessly to make sure we have inventory at the right place and at the right time.

P&HPR: Is there a particular region or state(s) that is showing the most interest in Outdoor By Ashley?
Sokol and Sourbeck: The interest is pretty well balanced throughout the United States. Sales vary depending upon the seasonality of different regions, but interest is coming from all regions.

P&HPR:Describe Gross Margin Return on Investment (GMROI).
Sokol and Sourbeck: Gross Margin Return on Investment (GMROI) is a mathematical concept that helps a retailer maximize profitability by finding the balance between inventory and sales. Too much product in a warehouse results in a daily expense due to overhead and cost of goods not sold. By leveraging Ashley’s warehouse and unprecedented rapid distribution logistics, retailers can store more variety and less depth with fast product replenishment—while upholding and increasing excellence in customer service.Our marketing specialists work with each retailer to help support a targeted product selection, strategic marketing and the balance of inventory to help maximize profitability.

P&HPR:What reaction did you get at the ICFA Preview and Casual Market Chicago?
Sokol and Sourbeck: Customers who came to see us at the ICFA Preview show and at Casual Market Chicago, and who shopped our Outdoor line for the first time, gave us high marks on our assortment, value, and marketing presentations.We signed up many new dealers who told us they did not know what to expect but were thrilled they came to see us.

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