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Clint Engel

New Gallery store features large youth furniture area

Includes products from Berg and other upscale lines

HOUSTON — When Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale opens his 22,000-square-foot satellite store in the Galleria mall area next week, it will feature a large youth bedroom display from Berg Furniture and other upscale lines as the Top 100 company continues to broaden into the high end.

 Gallery Furniture’s Jim McIngvale shows off his “We ain’t joining the recession” T-shirt in the Berg Furniture showroom at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. He is standing on a step of Berg’s twin-over-full Spacesaver group, a bestseller for both Houston-based Gallery and Berg.Gallery Furniture’s Jim McIngvale shows off his “We ain’t joining the recession” T-shirt in the Berg Furniture showroom at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. He is standing on a step of Berg’s twin-over-full Spacesaver group, a bestseller for both Houston-based Gallery and Berg.

"We're excited about getting in there and seeing what we can do," McIngvale said of the new store.

The satellite space will include a dedicated gallery of high-end source Kreiss and other goods from the top tier of price points at Gallery's main 98,000-square-foot showroom in Houston. McIngvale said he's excited about seeing what sales per square foot it can produce, given the high-end bent.

"We'll have a heavy Berg presence over there because it's a high-end neighborhood with a high-end children's learning store nearby," he said.

Berg, which Gallery has been carrying for less than a year, also ties into another strategy Gallery initiated several months ago — sourcing the bulk of its youth furniture domestically. A year ago, the mix was about 50% imports. Now it's more likes 20%, McIngvale said. Gallery's other key domestic sources for the category Legends and Trendwood.

"It's easier to get (domestic product), it turns betters, it's quality, and as far as Berg goes, with higher price points, we're selling $3,000 bunk beds right and left that we could never sell before," he said.

McIngvale added that he can get shipments once a week with the company, and doesn't have to purchase containers of product.

Berg Vice President Almog Lieber had high praise for McIngvale and his team. Lieber said he visited Gallery's main store when the first Berg samples hit the floor in July, and said the retailer quickly accessorized the display with linens and other items for kids.

He said McIngvale is one of the few retailers to realize "too much (furniture) is being done outside this country" (Berg manufactures in New Jersey), and that there is something to gain from selling high-value, higher-ticket items rather than strictly competing at the low end where a large volume is required to turn a profit.

"He was willing to trust the service, the quality, and the uniqueness of the items," Lieber said.

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