‘Garage sale' draws consumers
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, August 12, 2013
ELYRIA, Ohio - Most retailers take pride in their stores' appearance, but Kaplan's Furniture & Mattress Gallery purposefully disassembles its showroom for one month each year. The retailer hosted its sixth annual in-store garage sale promotion in July.
Throughout the month, the store's interior mimics the appearance of an outdoor garage sale. Every year Kaplan's in-store garage sale has grown, becoming an increasingly successful way to sell merchandise that wasn't moving.
One of the store's owners, Steve Kaplan, attributes the success of the in-store garage sale to its aesthetic and relaxed atmosphere.
"The main concept of the promotion is how the inside of the building looks," he said. "The merchandise is still intact; it just doesn't look like it's in its place."
Much preparation goes into setting up the store for the event. Windows are plastered with recognizable orange and black signage. Prices are written on stickers. Furniture is brought in from the warehouse and left in its packaging. Lamps and décor items are displayed haphazardly. Sofas are turned on end and furniture is displayed on shipping pallets. Pop-up tents are even set up over indoor merchandise.
Kaplan believes customers enjoy being able to freely browse merchandise and feel like they are discovering a great deal, without the pressure often associated with salesmen and showrooms.
One way the event is promoted is by placing advertisements in the garage sale section of the local classifieds.
"We don't advertise a certain percentage off - people understand what a garage sale is," Kaplan said. "Customers can easily relate to a garage sale."
Family-owned and operated Kaplan's Furniture & Mattress Gallery opened in 1936. Kaplan's is the largest privately held furniture store in Lorain County, Ohio and serves northeast Ohio and Cleveland.