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West Road Plaza Developments

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From HBJ on 10/18/04:

Furniture store hopes to attract shoppers with prices, not name

Allison Wollam

Houston Business Journal

A new discount furniture chain is gearing up to open a 140,000-square-foot outlet in Houston next month, and the company president fully expects customers to cringe when they see the name of the store.

The Dump, operated by Virginia Beach, Va.-based Haynes Furniture Co., offers customers deals on off-price furniture by purchasing overstocked items, factory sell-outs and showroom models at distressed prices. The retailer also self-delivers products to keep costs down.

"Only the bravest shoppers will admit that they bought their furniture at The Dump," says E.J. Strelitz, president of The Dump.

Strelitz says The Dump moniker was chosen to set the retailer apart from competitors in the cluttered furniture industry.

The Houston location, at the southwest corner of Interstate 45 North at West Road, will occupy the former Compaq Works building next to Fry's Electronics. It will represent The Dump's entrance into Texas.

Kenneth Katz, a broker with Wulfe & Co., represented The Dump in securing the Houston site.

The 109-year-old family company operates three stores in Virginia, one in New Jersey and two in Pennsylvania.

Ned Scherer, vice president of The Dump, says the company chose the Houston location because of its demographics. Nearly 300,000 cars pass by the site each day.

Strelitz says the company will wait to see how the first outlet performs before making decisions regarding additional stores in the area.

In another retail twist, The Dump is open only on Friday through Sunday. Because the retailer doesn't have a central warehouse and sells 20 percent to 40 percent of its floor merchandise every weekend, The Dump spends the week replenishing inventory.

Strelitz says this gives the retailer the opportunity to keep merchandise fresh.

Strelitz expects the Houston furniture industry to be "extremely competitive" because it is a highly saturated market with a lot of mature players.

Indeed, The Dump will have plenty of competition in the Houston area as several furniture retailers specializing in different price ranges prepare to expand in the market.

High-end retailer Z Gallerie, which currently has locations in Memorial City Mall and Highland Village, is opening a store in The Woodlands in November and is considering expanding to Sugar Land next year.

Additionally, Storehouse Furniture will open a new store in The Woodlands next month and has just signed a 12,000-square-foot lease at Baybrook Square, which is scheduled to open at the end of the year.

Storehouse currently has three stores in the Houston market.

The company is also working on a location in Sugar Land and plans to open additional stores in 2006, says Lilly Golden, a broker with Moody Rambin Interests who assists Storehouse in securing sites in the Houston area.

Meanwhile, Lane Furniture, which is owned by Furniture Brands International, is said to be working on securing sites in Baybrook, Willowbrook and Sugar Land. Furniture Brands also owns Thomasville and Broyhill.

And sources say Haverty's Furniture is contemplating entering the Houston market in 2006.

Haverty's stores typically span more than 50,000 square feet and are located in suburban markets with strong home growth projections.

While the Houston furniture market is attracting new retailers, Golden says it isn't as competitive as the Dallas or Atlanta markets.

"I think more home furnishing tenants will enter the market as they begin to recognize Houston's population growth, record number of home sales and the limited number of furniture retailers in the area," she says.

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  • 3 months later...

Has anyone visited this store yet? I was wondering what the quality of the merchandise was like and if the prices were as good as they claim in their advertising. I'm going to be in the market to replace the hand-me-down sofa I've had in my living room for the last four years pretty soon.

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I went out there out of curiosity. You have to wonder with a name like that. They had a pretty good variety of stuff, but IMO the prices were not that great. Price wise I think you could do better at the Star outlet. Possibly even Brandon's.

If you are on a really tight budget check out the rental return places like Cort. A lot of the stuff is ragged out, but some of it has just sat in models & can be in really good shape.

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I love the Star Outlets, both 45 and the upstairs at I-10. BTW, everything's negotiable...unless it is in stock. We got a really nice entertainment armoire for less than $200 because it was the last one. It was tagged at the I-45 store for $400, and retail was close to $800. The other reason it was so cheap is that originally it was part of a 3-piece set. I have no idea what happened to the other two pieces.

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If it's something that is discontinued but they have it in stock, well, I think it can still be called an outlet?

To each his own, I guess. I do agree that Finger's has a great outlet too, but I have to say I would never buy leather at either place--just my opinion. I would go for more specialty or custom stores, like Norwalk, Crate & Barrel, Storehouse, etc...that's just me being in the furniture biz for a brief stint. Norwalk may be expensive but their leather selection is the best I have ever seen. Incredible. :)

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In my previous life in the apartment biz, one of the duties thrown my way was to spruce up a couple of the clubrooms/offices. Knowing the abuse a C class property office can get, I put leather couches in it from the Cort rental return. There wasn't much money to spend either. Being leather it really wasn't that worn, although it had a couple of flaws. This varies from piece to piece. But it was pretty cheap, for leather anyway. If you tell them you work in an apartment complex, they give you a 20% discount in hopes of getting referrals. The clearance center on Kempwood or the one on 1960 usually have the best prices, although the Richmond store usually has the best selection. If you see a piece you like the style of , but not the condition, they can locate a better one. You can also play one store against the other to get a better price, "well I saw this at the Richmond store for X$..."

I got kind of good at the bargaining game after trying to redo some places with nickels on the dollar.

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I hear ya, 27.  :)  Hubby just got out of grad school.  We won't be seeing leather from anywhere for a long time.  :P  Unless he wins the Nobel Prize!

I have found Star to be great. The service was great and selection was outstanding. Most of my furniture has come from Star. When I bought my townhouse I spent about alot on new stuff and I was able to get zero % financing for 18 months.

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  • 2 months later...
  • The title was changed to West Road Plaza Developments

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