• Andrea Lillo

Dekor opens first store in Buckhead

ATLANTA -After the initial concept was announced more than two years ago, Dekor's doors will open at its first store in the Lenox Marketplace in Buckhead this Thursday.

"We're very pleased how it's coming together," said Jim Inglis, ceo and co-partner of the retailer with Herb Biggers, president and coo. "It's the right store at the right place at the right time," Inglis said.

Each store will be about 90,000 square feet, holding 25,000 skus of merchandise, with an additional 200,000 plus skus available through catalogs at the store, he said. Dekor's other store locations to open soon include the Mall of Georgia, Buford, GA; Arbor Place Mall, Douglasville, GA; Fayetteville Pavilion, Fayetteville, GA, with plans for a Nashville, TN, store in first quarter 2001.

Soft home constitutes about 30 percent to 40 percent of the store, he said, and will include a soft decor department of bath and bed linens, pillows and bath accessories, rugs in a flooring department, and window treatments in the interior color department. A mix of name brands will be offered-for example, Wamsutta in bedding, Hunter Douglas in window and Karastan in carpet-as well as Dekor's own brands, called Dekor and a step-up label, Starboard Home.

This new retailer focuses on middle America, he said. "We're not trying to be an exclusive boutique or a low-end discounter." In addition, Dekor is not "a category killer with lots of merchandise and no service."

Instead, Dekor will put all of the interior decorating projects-regardless of how they were traditionally sold-together, with the same colors and styles across the store, along with professional design and installation services under one roof.

Even with the recent cooling of the economy, Inglis said that the demographics in the U.S. work well for home furnishings and home improvement, and that the population-particularly Baby Boomers-is still at an age to spend a lot of money on home improvement. Maybe when they were younger they wanted to do projects themselves, he said, but now Baby Boomers want someone to do it for them. "And they have a lot of money-more than any other group in the history of the U.S," he said.

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