Jerome's plans to enter Los Angeles market

Heath E. Combs, August 6, 2013

SAN DIEGO - Top 100 furniture retailer Jerome's Furniture plans to enter the Los Angeles market later this year with a store opening in Torrance.
     The opening - slated for the fourth quarter - will give the 59-year-old retailer nine stores. For this location, Jerome's is renovating a former Wickes store at 18850 Hawthorne Blvd.
     The 50,000-square-foot retail center will offer indoor and outdoor items. It will include a Jerome's Dream Shop, a store inside a store that allows consumers to learn about better sleep from Certified Sleep Specialists and sample different levels of bedding.
     The retailer has been moving closer to Los Angeles in recent years. Last April, it opened a showroom in Rancho Cucamonga in another former Wickes location.
     While they did not give a projected estimate for Torrance, company officials last year projected sales in Rancho Cucamonga at $10-to-$12 million in the first 12 months. Company officials said Jerome's will bring a different strategy than other competitors to the market.
     "We are different from local competitors in so many ways, but consumers find the most refreshing aspect to be our wide selection of styles and our honest pricing policy. We don't have phony sales or gimmicks. Jerome's offers customers the same low price every day for furniture," said President and CEO Lee Goodman, in a press release.
     The company says that Jerome's sells 25% of all mattresses sold in the San Diego marketplace. Its website lists bedding vendors including Sleep Therapy, Simmons Beautyrest, Primopedic, Serta Perfect Sleeper, and Sleep Care.
Competition in Torrance includes Living Spaces, among others. Company officials declined to comment on whether the retailer has any immediate plans to expand further into Los Angeles.
     The Torrance location will also have a Jerry's Bloopers store, a "treasure hunt" concept whose merchandise changes daily and which features slightly distressed pieces, overstocks and vendor over runs at competitive pricing. The bloopers store is named after chairman Jerry Navarra.
     Hiring will begin in the third quarter and bring about 45 new jobs to the area. Jerome's was ranked 53 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 listing in May with an estimated $112.7 million in sales.
     Earlier this year, it transformed its flagship store in Murrieta into its first Jerome's Furniture Marketplace, with three storefronts and an extra 10,000 square feet of selling space.
     The move won't open up a new media market, company officials said, since the opening Rancho Cucamonga opened up advertising in Los Angeles.
     Key vendors include Diamond Mattress, Robert Michael, Michael Nicholas and E.J. Lauren.
     Founded in 1954, Jerome's Furniture is a family owned and operated business headquartered in San Diego. In addition to its stores, the retailer has seven clearance centers located across Southern California.
     Jerome's offers same day delivery, interior design services and financing. The promotional to mid-priced retailer's strategy doesn't offer sales - but has same pricing every day, company officials said.

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