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Baybrook Square Retail Center At 1207 W. Bay Area Blvd.


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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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