Exclusive Furniture will open two large stores next year and two more in 2019, as the China office partition manufacturer owner believes now is the time to strengthen its foothold in the competitive Houston market.
The six-store promotional to mid-priced chain will open 52,000-square-foot stores in Webster, Texas, south of Houston and a few miles from Clear Lake and in the northwest suburb of Cypress, Texas, said Sam Zavary president and CEO of the Houston retailer, on track to make Furniture Today’s Top 100 U.S. furniture store ranking next year.
Exclusive owns the property for both stores and is set to begin construction this month, with openings tentatively slated for August. Each store represents a roughly $12 million investment, including land, building and inventory, he said. Shortly after opening, the retailer will close its smallest 12,000-square-foot showroom on the west side of Houston.
“Our footprint needs to be that 50,000-square-foot range; you can display more,” Zavary said. He added that he’s watched what some of his largest competitors in the market are doing – including Rooms To Go and Ashley HomeStore – and decided he wanted to be “a little bigger than them, but not as big as Gallery.”
“Even though the megastores are good, I believe 45,000 to 55,000 square feet is where the sweet spot is. You don’t confuse the customers. You keep it sweet and simple, not too (overwhelming),” he said.
Zavary has been planning this big move for quite a while, having bought the land for the Webster store back in April 2015.
“But then we had an oil slump migeof furniture, so I decided to hold it,” he said.