Shopping Centers Today International

APR 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 33 of 63

use to make sure our products last outside," said White. The catalyst for the new store strat- egy came in 2014 when White brought Cross in to help run things. Cross was entrusted with devising the structures, processes and systems that would double the business within three to five years. "Bew is the design impresario, and I know a lot about how to take a company from one stage to another," said Cross. Some of the changes Cross has been helping to initiate are sparking no little interest among people like Bruce Er- ickson, owner-operator of the new SC Home store in Highland Park. Erick- son was introduced to Summer Classics nearly 20 years ago as a sales rep for the company in the Illinois area. He later worked as a manager and buyer for a retailer that sold Summer Classics fur- niture. When Erickson began thinking about opening a store of his own, Sum- mer Classics seemed the logical place to start. "I have always admired Bew's vision for the company and how he wanted to brand it," said Erickson. The company offers some exclusive product lines, including a number of patented designs and trademarked products. Walking into an SC Home is unlike entering the patio furniture section at a Home Depot, say, according to Erick- son. "They sell disposable furniture, and we sell furniture that is going to last a customer for 15 to 20 years — or however long they want to keep it," said Erickson. "It is good, quality furniture with styles that tend to last over time." Summer Classics is an ideal com- plement to the tenant mix at Renais- sance Place, says Christiane Fischer, the shopping center's general man- ager. "There is nothing remotely like Summer Classics in the downtown shopping area," she said. "They'll ap- peal to everyone's taste." Summer Classics is concentrating on metropolitan areas with popula- tion upwards of 1 million and in which household income is at or near the top 1 percent. Freestanding stores measur- ing about 8,000 square feet are pre- ferred, and the company is taking care to choose locations that will not com- pete directly with its own existing inde- pendent dealers — some 300 authorized Summer Classics dealers and about 1,200 Gabby dealers. The company seeks to open three or four stores this year, and perhaps as many as one store per month starting next year, according to Cross. "If 2016 turns out the way we think it will," he said, "2017 could be a very aggressive growth year for us." SCT 34 S C T / A p r i l 2 0 1 6 r e T a i l i n g T o d a y Shopping Center Management n Leasing n Redevelopment Bruce Strumpf, Inc. 2120 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL 33765 727-449-2020 • Fax 727-449-2212 email: Jill Strumpf, CSM President John F. Stoner, CCIM Director of Leasing MEMBER T u r n Y o u r P r o p e r t y O v e r T o T h e E x p e r t s S e r v i n g F l o r i d a f o r o v e r 3 0 y e a r s w i t h o v e r 3 . 8 5 m i l l i o n s q u a r e f e e t

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