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Hancock home decorating shop drives sales

New York — After introducing its store-within-a-store home decorating concept three years ago, Hancock Fabrics said the area now represents 29 percent of its sales, and the company believes it may reach 40 percent within a short period of time, Larry Kirk, chairman and ceo, told analysts at McDonald Investments' Consumer Growth Conference here.

"We will put more emphasis on the home decorating and specialty side of our business," he said. "Decorative fabrics and home accents are high-ticket, high-margin products in a high-growth segment, and our customer count as well as the average ticket size is moving up."

With finished home decor products and Waverly fabrics in 1,200 square feet of space, the concept attracts a larger customer demographic of customers who sew and customers who don't sew, though Kirk stressed that Hancock will not ignore its traditional sewing customer.

All new and renovated stores will incorporate the new concept, which is currently in 225 out of its 435 locations and is expected to be in some 280 to 300 stores by the end of the year.

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