Linen Boutique boosts in-stocks to meet demand
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, March 3, 2012
Dallas - Not long after Joanne Walgren opened her high-end luxury linens shop Linen Boutique here in 2007, she realized she was going to need to take a more stock-ready approach.
Over the past few years, her broad clientele - ranging from the area's affluent residents to well-to-do, college-bound students at the nearby Southern Methodist University - have increasingly demanded more in-stocks on their favorite items, such as sheets and towels.
So much so, in fact, she said, that the store recently had to expand availability on in-stock basics by double or more.
"We are stocking more than we used to, and we have more things on the shelf for our customers," Walgren told HTT. "It's not so much the top of the bed, because people usually want that personalized, and we do that for them. But now we are stocking more sheets, for example, as well as more pillows. My customers more and more want instant gratification, which is why having in-stocks has become very important."
This proved particularly true this past holiday season, when more than ever before, Linen Boutique's carefully-planned in-stocks closely met customers' demand, Walgren explained.
"I watch the turns pretty closely and now have it automated so I can keep a minimum on shelf," she added. "So if someone comes in on any particular day, I can fill that need."
Custom-made pillows crafted on-site also serve this growing need, she said, citing her alliance with The Pillow Bar, a patented producer of side-sleeper, king and queen, and travel pillows that are filled to customers' personal liking and comfort level.
Located in the upscale Highland Park neighborhood, the 2,600-square-foot Linen Boutique's main focus is bedding, and the business is largely led by Sferra Bros. "They are a really great partner, and I carry a lot of their stock," she said.
Other major bedding programs for Linen Boutique include collections from Ann Gish and Matouk. "They are wonderful, and we do very well with [both of] them," Walgren added.
Peacock Alley and Home Treasures are also mainstays. "And then there are a couple of new lines we are looking at picking up, but we're still waiting for approval."
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