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The Harden Home Studio™ Rolls Out to Dealers

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Harden Furniture’s first branded in-store exhibit and customization studio for consumers begins its roll-out this month to 25 dealers nationwide. The Harden Home Studio™ was introduced during the spring International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, North Carolina, where Harden dealers participated in informational seminars given by Al Wight, president of research firm Strategic Decisions – whose company conducted consumer research to support the new concept – and by Martin Roberts, president of GRID2, the award-winning firm responsible for the consumer-interactive exhibit. Financial results from a five-month, three-store test last fall and winter of Harden Expo, the precursor to Harden Home Studio™, were monitored by Wight and presented to interested dealers in April. Wight also conducted ongoing interviews with the test dealers to determine effectiveness. Additionally, in-store consumer video audits conducted by GRID2 in the test stores were used to fine-tune the original design, and a summary of conclusions was also shared. “The response from our dealers to include a Harden-branded footprint in their stores has exceeded our expectations,” says Greg Harden, president, Harden Furniture. “The test phase for this concept provided critical feedback for us, and for our dealers, to proceed with confidence,” he adds. “The test market dealers experienced a 62 percent increase in sales during the five-month period and all improved their gross profit margin.” The Harden Home Studio™ consists of 1,000 square feet of Harden branded space, including a collection of furniture from the casegoods and upholstery manufacturer. GRID2’s layout creates a comfortable place for consumers to select from easily organized fabric swatches, hardware options, wood finishes and upholstery trim, for the customized furniture they desire. Informational and collateral elements reflect a cohesive brand message using signage, lighted kiosks, product catalogs and other printed materials. The test was conducted at stores of varying sizes and locations, including Gallahan’s Furniture of Fredericksburg, Virginia, The Woods at Colts Neck, New York, and Interiors in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. August installations include Carl Harz, Elmer, NJ; Pasadena, Pasadena, MD; Colonial Gallery, McMurray, PA; Maynard’s, Belton, SC; and Barrymore in Toronto, ON.

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