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Furniture Row to Open High-End Store in Booming Denver Market

Retailer Furniture Row, which focuses on promotional to middle price points at its more than 330 locations in 31 states, will soon open a 170,000-square foot store in its hometown of Denver that specializes in upper-end goods.

Called The Showroom @ Furniture Row, the new store will cater to high-income households, interior designers, builders and architects, and will feature about 30 gallery displays from high-end manufacturers.

Furniture Row officials said they’re planning a soft opening in mid-July, and the grand opening tentatively is set for the first week of August.

“We will be doing everything possible to consistently provide the unique, curated assortment this diverse and discerning clientele expects,” said Amy Foster, the store’s lead buyer. “Combined with first-class service, they will have unparalleled access to the very best the industry has to offer.”

Vendors will include Baker, Bernhardt, Century, Chateau d’Ax, Christopher Guy, Hancock & Moore, Jessica Charles, Lexington, Marge Carson, Massoud, and Theodore Alexander.

None of those lines currently are carried by any of Furniture Row’s existing retail formats – Sofa Mart, Oak Express, Bedroom Expressions or Denver Mattress – and Foster believes that strategy will allow the company to reach an entirely new customer demographic.

“We’re not turning our back on our core Furniture Row customer. A portion of the front of the store will have our Sofa Mart lineup … but we’re focusing on some of the leading high-end vendors in the world,” she said. “It’s what the high-end consumer is used to seeing.”

The Connie Post-designed store also will include a 6,200-square-foot design studio – complete with work tables, touch-screen computers and conference rooms – and the retailer plans to hire up to 10 in-house designers who will spearhead the store’s complimentary design services.

Foster, who previously was Furniture Row’s lead buyer for accessories, said the store is developing a partnership program with the Denver-area design community to offer access to services such as logistics, an effort that should give Furniture Row a competitive advantage in the fast-growing Denver market.

“I think what Furniture Row brings to the table that’s different is our scale. We are capable of bringing more services in one location,” she said. “We will be able to offer things that perhaps the smaller retailer wouldn’t be able to offer.”

While the store will be stocking some inventory for quick delivery, she believes a significant portion of the store’s sales will come from special orders.

“We never want to say no to our customer,” said Foster. “And we understand at this level, especially when we’re working with designers, a lot of people are going to want to add their own personal touch. So, there will be a lot of special orders.”

The store also won’t turn away customers who want to purchase online, but she believes the high-end brands will be a drawing card to entice consumers to see the product in person. The galleries, she said, will provide the consumer with an experience similar to what buyers see in furniture market showrooms.

“We’re hoping to show people what luxury feels like, versus what you can see online,” she said. “There’s still a lot of value in that sensory touch.”

Other features of the store are a coffee shop, a jewelry boutique, and “man cave” area called The Retreat that includes a pool table, foosball table, and racing memorabilia related to Furniture Row’s sponsorship of two NASCAR teams.

“Everyone will be entertained when they come in,” she quipped.

She said she believes the company’s high-end concept could work in other markets, but said there currently are no specific plans to open additional locations.

“There certainly have been talks about other markets that we feel are missing out on the high-end consumer, but nothing is in the works at this point,” said Foster. “Right now, we are focusing all of our efforts on this Denver market. We feel the Denver market is ripe for this.”

She said Denver is one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the country, with 100,000 people moving there every year, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

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