Interior Views LLC
Interior Views offers quality products for home decorating featuring first quality decorator fabrics, related drapery hardware, pillow forms and other sewing notions, as well as home accessories and select antiques to complement the home’s interior. The store is also a resource for the “do-it-yourselfers” through hosting associated classes that focus on the use of fabric, as well as for the “make-it-yourself” customer who is able to take advantage of the craftspeople who will use their fabrication and upholstery services based on the fabric purchase of the customer. The intent of the store and its website is to be considered the premier choice for these products and services within our market and beyond.
2.1 Company Ownership
Interior Views is a Limited Liability Company. It is owned by two couples, the Williams at a combined 70% ownership and the Swansons at 30% ownership. Judy Williams is president, Doug Williams assists her in select areas of marketing and store layout. The Swansons take a “silent partner” role in the venture.
2.2 Company History
The business has had a surprising journey since is opening on December 16, 1996. Certainly, none of the shareholders would have guessed its course.
The past revenue performance table summarizes the annual performance for the past three years. After a slow but steady increase in revenues, year five showed a disappointing reduction in total revenues. This was particularly evident for in-stock fabric revenues while special order fabric, particularly higher end purchases, held its own. This reduction in revenue has caused the store to limit purchases and minimize expansion in new product areas that offer potential, but require cash for this product line expansion. The “Oval Office Iron” line is one example of this.
On a more tactical basis, the following categorizes our marketing activities as “Do It Again” and “Did Not Work.” This was determined on the return on investment (ROI) based on trackable sales that resulted from these marketing efforts.
Do It Again
- Quarterly Newsletter containing three elements:
- Sales Event – Ten-day sales running from Wednesday, through week, and ending on the following Saturday.
- Fabric Oriented Classes – Predominately sponsored without an associated fee to get people into the store.
- Events – open house, demonstrations, and/or charity fund raiser.
- Co-sponsorship of the local broadcast of “Martha Stewart” on a consistent, ongoing basis throughout the year.
- Select sponsorship of the local broadcast of “Interior Motives” on the local cable channel.
- Explore the use of local craftsmen, including our success with Mike and the “Oval Office Iron” product line we created, versus using unreliable manufacturers.
- The Antique Bureau has been a perfect fit in terms of bringing a steady quantity of qualified customers and Teresa herself has been a tremendous addition.
Did Not Work
- Advertising and sponsorship of local ballet and opera performance programs.
- Advertising in Pleasantville Junior League Newsletter.
- Advertising in the Downtown Athletic Club Newsletter.
- Local television advertising on talk show formats, news shows, and general audience programs.
- Hilton Hotel “In-room” book advertisements.
- The slip covered furniture line–too costly and people did not see the value.
- Architectural storage and shelving pieces–value was a major question here as well.
- Don’t bring people on board who don’t understand the essence of the store. Assess if they would be customers themselves.
- Screen sub-lease candidates as closely as you would an employee.
|Gross Margin %||46.00%||44.70%||44.66%|
|Other Current Assets||$2,250||$2,350||$2,300|
|Total Current Assets||$155,705||$153,675||$153,500|
|Total Long-term Assets||$2,000||$2,150||$2,150|
|Other Current Liabilities (interest free)||$5,000||$940||$1,150|
|Total Current Liabilities||$114,457||$113,580||$31,150|
|Total Capital and Liabilities||$157,705||$155,825||$155,650|
2.3 Company Locations and Facilities
Interior Views is located in Pleasantville, Ourstate. It is not situated in a typical retail location. This older, warehouse-type section of downtown continues to emerge as a retail area and does hold promise. REI is across the street, a dance and theater retail store has just recently moved next door, and a fitness center remains active around the clock. The location was selected due to the “destination” aspects of the target market–they will seek out these types of stores regardless of location as long as there is parking and it is safe. The look and feel of the street environment continues to improve with recent parking and landscape enhancements. The attractive aspect is the cost of the space and it’s “warehouse” charm. The challenging aspect is the lack of foot traffic and drive-by exposure.
The 5-year lease is up in December and potential relocation or reductions in the lease are both a possibility with one of the highest vacancy rates of commercial and retail space in the market the past decade.