Specialty Retailer Focuses on Luxury
By Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, 7/6/2009 12:00:00 AM
Las Vegas —
She wanted sun, year-round golfing opportunity as well as a significant work environment.
Pam Sellars achieved all three objectives moving from Canada to the United States just a over 10 years ago as the proprietor of two luxury linens stores — here and in Scottsdale, Ariz. She first opened a 2,000 square foot store in Scottsdale and followed that store with a 3,000 square foot store here about four years ago. "Las Vegas had no luxury linens stores here then," she said, adding that the communing distance between Las Vegas and Scottsdale "is manageable."
She did not come to the United States without knowledge of the business. Before she moved south, she also operated two luxury linens stores in Canada. Unlike big volume retail stores, Sellars believes an important facet of her operation is allowing customers to "touch and feel" everything on display, including floor stock. "I take everything out of their packages — it's more inviting."
Another key merchandising approach is the way beds are presented. "We have six or seven beds, and I display a mix of product from different manufacturers on each bed." And since bed displays are changed on a regular basis, "and we're constantly getting in new merchandise, everything always looks fresh. I try to keep the atmosphere luxurious, but warm and inviting," Sellars remarked.
Asked to describe the overall design look of the stores, Sellars said, "It would be a mistake to define our look. Our strength is our ability to make looks special and work for anybody." The complete product mix includes bed, bath, bath furniture and gift items, she said.
Del Adora also offers custom work with its own local workroom able to fabricate special items like super-shirring on bed skirts — "many of the manufacturers' bed skirts are not shirred fully. There's basically nothing we can't do in our workroom." Other important custom elements include bed skirt drops to measure and cut corners for certain beds.
Del Adora uses local magazines for impact marketing with full page presentations, and when suppliers advertise in national magazines, they typically list her stores. The stores use no newspaper advertising and will begin to market on the Internet in the next four or five months, although there is a website at present.
The Internet presents a challenge for the retailer — as well as for many others with stores versus Internet sales only. "It's a constant problem with other retailers on the web with lower prices. Also customers come in to us to touch and feel and then buy on the web."
Key vendors for Del Adora are Anichini, Ann Gish, Fino Lino, SDH and Sferra in bedding. And while business is "very tough, we've always been upfront with suppliers. We haven't been buying a lot of late — we're in a survival mode and haven't seen a loosening up of buying," Sellars noted.
The stores have an annual sale with merchandise at 10% to 15% off, and also offer discontinued styles on sale on an ongoing basis.
As for hours, the stores are open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and not on Sunday. "We're a destination shopping activity."
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