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Thomasville Furniture Enters Textiles

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, May 7, 2007

The opening of its first corporate prototype store by Thomasville Furniture also highlights the new emphasis the company is putting on non-furniture merchandise, including home textiles and rugs, to create a complete home decorating story.

The 15,000-square-foot store in this Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb offers consumers a complete array of home furnishings, as well as a full Design Lab that is structured to help answer design, color and product option questions, said Nancy Webster, Thomasville president.

The 12,300 square feet of net selling space houses the debut collection of the company's sheet and top of the bed collection in a space called Dream Shop. Included in the collection are 460 count cotton sheets, silk quilts and bed pillows — all designed and sourced by the Thomasville staff.

The company also has top-of-the-bed ensembles designed to complement each of its new furniture collections and shown on the beds in each grouping, Webster noted.

The Dream Shop also showcases the exclusive Thomasville mattress program by Simmons Beautyrest.

Another important addition is the growing rug collection with individual items featured in each furniture collection's setting as well as on a new rug rack fixture.

The expanded offering of home textiles, rugs, lighting and accessories was designed not just as added glamour for the furniture, but "to encourage cash-and-carry purchases" and more frequent store visits, Webster explained. To facilitate these purchases, the store has a check-out desk with special packaging and wraps.

Thomasville has 15 corporate stores and 141 dealer-owned, dedicated stores. The corporate units are in the San Francisco, Minneapolis-St-Paul, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. markets "which gives us a market perspective and we can approach each area with a national marketing perspective," Webster added.

The company will not add more corporate stores at this time, instead concentrating on getting the other 14 "up to the standards of merchandising and presentation that are evident here." But Webster added that the prototype will not be a static model. "These stores will always be evolving. Retailing is always changing," she said.

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