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From Home Furnishing Business

I.O. Metro Gets Honored

Home furnishings retailer I.O. Metro was recently recognized as a finalist in the 2014 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards.

The specialty lifestyle home furnishing retailer was honored at a special banquet held at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Ark.

Since 1988, Arkansas Business has honored the state's top executives, small businesses and nonprofits with the annual awards. Readers make nominations, and an independent panel of judges selects the winners.

Headquartered in Lowell, Ark., I.O. Metro sells modern furniture, art and accessories online and in retail stores. Through its in-house development team and network of sourcing options, I.O. Metro is able to differentiate itself. 

"We are honored to be among so many successful and recognized Arkansas brands," said Lou Spagna, chief executive officer of I.O. Metro. "We are proud of our Arkansas roots and are happy to make Northwest Arkansas our home."

What started in 2005 as a single store and warehouse in Bentonville, Ark., the company has expanded to 18 locations in eight states across the South and Midwest. The company plans to broaden its footprint over the next few years, doubling the number of states in which it does business.

Spagna said the key to the company's growth is expanding the footprint without losing what made I.O. Metro special in the first place. A new e-commerce Web site will launch later this spring, and the company has invested in advertising and merchandise to attract new customers.

I.O. Metro surpassed its 2013 revenue goals, experiencing increases in same-store sales and average sale per customer.

"We are excited about upcoming opportunities that will allow us to reach more customers," Spagna said. "It's a balancing act. We are transitioning from a startup to a stage two growth company, but we don't want to dampen the entrepreneur spirit of the company. As we move forward, we won't forget who we are and what's made us successful."


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