Interior Views focuses on selling decorator fabric for use in the home. It is available through the purchase of in-stock fabric and through a special order arrangement. Other fabric-related complementary products include trims, pillows, ribbon, and thread.
Additional products now available in the store include:
- Hunter Douglas products including a variety of hard window coverings.
- Interior shutters made of wood and a plastic/resin product called "polywood."
- An in-house line of drapery hardware (replacing "Antique Drapery Rod" products) locally manufactured products that we design and market under the product name of "Oval Office Iron" offering wrought iron drapery hardware (We have plans to expand this to also include other metal home decor products and potentially outdoor garden products.).
- Home accessories through a "percentage" relationship with "The Window Seat" and Sarah Melvin.
- Antiques through a consignment arrangement with Joyce McMillian.
- Antiques through a sub-lease revenue arrangement with Teresa Mitchell and "The Antique Bureau."
Initially, our eBay store will focus on fabrics and home decorating products and accessories. The size, weight, and custom dimension shipping constraints on our "Oval Office Iron" wrought iron drapery hardware will initially preclude our offering this product line on the eBay store.
3.1 Product Description
Our primary points of differentiation offer these qualities:
- The most extensive access to in-stock, first quality decorator fabrics, at affordable prices, within 100 miles of our primary geographic market.
- The largest selection of special-order fabrics, with arrangements to have most of those products shipped to the store within 10 days of placing the order.
- Personal assistance from a design-oriented staff that is qualified and capable of meeting the needs of discerning customers with high expectations.
- Complementary product offerings, including hard-covering window treatment, hardware, home accessories, made-to-order upholstered furniture, and antiques that are designed, selected, and displayed in a way to emphasize the use of fabric in home design.
Interior Views will qualify for the most attractive retail discount through these suppliers, offering greater profit margins and more competitive pricing for bolt purchases in quantities of 50 to 60 yards, or in half of that yardage with a "cutting fee" that often increases cost per yard by $.50 to $1.00 depending on the source. The primary product lines will include fabrics from the following textile sources:
- Robert Allen Fabrics
- Waverly Fabrics
- Art Mark
Complementary accessories, including fabric trims, drapery hardware, and hard-covering window treatments, are supplied from the following sources:
- Hunter Douglas: Hard-window coverings
- Kirsh: Rods with selected window hardware and accessories
- Conso: Trims and Fabric Accessories
- Petersen-Arne: Trims and Accessories
- Graber: Selected window hardware
- Grumman: Threads
Again, we have also created a line of metal drapery hardware called "Oval Office Iron" that has replace the Antique Drapery Rod line. A local craftsman, Mike Overman, produces these products based on our specifications and requirements.
3.2 Competitive Comparison
Our competition has changed. When we opened the store, we considered the classic fabric stores within the state to offer the greatest amount of competition. The competitors have increased primarily due to expansion of nationally recognized businesses.
- Bed, Bath and Beyond moved into the market recently, within one mile at an excellent location.
- Discount stores including Target, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot have expanded their fabric, bedding, pillow, and ready-made drapery selections often representing lines including Waverly and in some cases, with the same fabric.
- Norwalk continues to make purchasing "blank" furniture and making a fabric selection an attractive option to recovering furniture.
- Catalog sales continue to be a strong force with a list including Pottery Barn, Calico Corners, Ballard Design, and Eddie Bauer expanding purchasing selection.
- The list of competitors for home accessory competition includes Pier 1 and local competitors including Reed & Cross, The Shamrock and a list of other furniture, accessory and gift stores.
- Web sales of fabric has expanded dramatically and is easily available.
3.3 Sales Literature
Our most significant piece of literature continues to be the newsletter. This "federal-style" newsletter goes out three times each year and features:
- Sale events
- Class schedules
- Fabric design suggestions
- "Dear Decora" with useful, but meant to be humorous, decorating advice
The newsletter is sent bulk mail and we also send postcards to promote a special sale and/or event.
Our informational website will now display our newsletter online, and have an archives of previous issues. We will use our eBay customer database to send email newsletters to those who opt-in to the service.
All of our new literature and reprints of current material will include listings or active links to our home site and our eBay store site.
A majority of the fabric is purchased through 12 major fabricators. Reps visit regularly, they are available by phone, and are present at the four major trade shows that occur throughout the country.
Trims and Notions
There are three major sources of trim and notion providers.
Drapery and Window Treatment Goods
Hunter Douglas is the primary source of hard window coverings including duettes, vignettes, verticals, shutters, and other products. The "Oval Office Iron" line is created by local craftsman.
Our eBay store sales will be fulfilled from Interior Views' main inventory.
Technology has changed the industry and the business through the Internet. Information about product availability and pricing is easily available. The low cost and easy process of shipping fabric has made this more interesting.
With the establishment of its eBay store and through better utilization of its existing website Interior Views will leverage this new retail channel to its advantage.
3.6 Future Products
Future products may include:
- Expansion of the "Oval Office Iron" line to include metal home accessories and garden-like accessories, lamp fixtures, and other metal fabricated products.
- Other furniture lines that complement fabric sold in the store.
- Patterns that enable the "do it yourselfers" to complete their project, such as the resin chair pattern.