Steinhafels Makes News
By: Barry Sigale Published: September 16, 2011 (TribLocal.com)
Vernon Hills Mayor Roger Byrne, village officials, business owners, Gary and Mark Steinhafel, and employees of Steinhafels made it official on Monday, September 12...Steinhafels furniture store is now a member of the Vernon Hills family of businesses and a new neighbor to its residents. They did the honors in front of the new, 101,000 square foot super store, the second largest facility of its kind in the Chicago area employing 100 people.
Opening to rave reviews and brisk sales on its first day August 27, and then on Labor Day weekend, Steinhafels is located in the space formerly occupied by the EXPO Design Center, 569 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, in the Marketplace Shopping Center.
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By: John Roszkowski Published: August 30, 2011 (Chicago Sun-Times)
Vernon Hills resident Beth Loretto has purchased furniture from the Steinhafels furniture store in Kenosha, Wis., in the past so was glad to hear that the company was opening a new superstore in Vernon Hills.
“I think it will be a nice addition to the other stores, drawing people to Vernon Hills looking for furniture,” she said.
Steinhafels officially opened its 101,000-square-foot superstore at 569 N. Milwaukee Ave. to the public on Saturday, Aug. 27. Steinhafels is Wisconsin’s largest furniture and mattress retailer, boosting about $100 million in annual sales, and the Vernon Hills store is the company’s first location in Illinois.
Company president Gary Steinhafel predicts the store could generate as much as $25 million in annual sales in its first year.
“I think initially when we open most of our customers will be local but we hope to become a destination store and pull regionally,” he said.
The company will initially hire about 100 employees at the Vernon Hills store, most of whom have already been hired, and could eventually add more employees depending on the store’s success, he said.
Steinhafel said the customers he has talked to so far seem impressed by the wide selection of furniture and layout of the store. He said the company completely renovated the building, adding windows and skylights to bring in natural light as well as other design features to help create a home-like environment.
Prior to the grand opening on Saturday, the company held an event for suppliers, employees and village officials last Thursday and then held an open house for local business people and community members on Friday.
Sandy Shireman of Lake Zurich and Janet Bacher of Long Grove visited the store for the first time during last week’s open house.
“From what we’ve seen so far, it’s an absolutely fabulous store,” said Shireman. “It’s arranged beautifully and it looks like very good quality furniture.”
Bacher liked the wide selection and variety of pricing of the furniture, including a large clearance section with discounted furniture items.
Libertyville resident and business owner Bob Goodman, who also attended the open house, said he was initially impressed by the size of store and selection of furniture.
“It’s an attractive set up. It looks like it’s nicely laid out with an enormous quantity of furniture,” he said.
Goodman said Steinhafels challenge will be to attract new customers during a difficult time in the economy for the furniture industry. “I know they’ve chosen to open at a challenging time because there’s a lot of furniture stores that have closed,” he said.
Vernon Hills trustee Jim Schultz, who visited the store along with Mayor Roger Byrne and other trustees during a pre-opening event last Thursday, said he was impressed by store’s appearance and hopes it will generate significant sales tax revenue for the village.
“I’m truly hoping it generates a lot of revenue for the village. They feel very confident it will do well in this market,” he said.
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Published: August 29, 2011 (The Business Journal)
Steinhafels, the Pewaukee furniture and mattress chain, expects $25 million in sales in the first year of its first Illinois location, according to the Lake County News-Sun.
The company opened a Vernon Hills store, its first superstore outside Wisconsin, Saturday. The 101,000-square-foot store will employ 100 people, the News-Sun reported.
Steinhafel's operates seven furniture stores and eight mattress stores in Wisconsin.
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By: Robert Channick Published: August 26, 2011 (Chicago Tribune)
Steinhafels, Wisconsin's largest furniture and mattress retailer, is prepared to make its bed in Vernon Hills. The 77-year-old family business is opening a new superstore there on Saturday, its first foray into Illinois.
Based in Waukesha, outside Milwaukee, the company sold more than $100 million in furniture and mattresses last year at its 15 big box and specialty stores through southeast Wisconsin.
The Home Depot The Vernon Hills store is located in a renovated 101,000 square foot building that formerly housed the EXPO Design Center at 569 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The building has been vacant since 2009, when Home Depot shuttered its chain of decorating and appliance stores.
"We were fortunate to get a very fair price on this vacant building," said Gary Steinhafel, the company's president and co-owner, who was busy serving a free Portillo's lunch to fellow Vernon Hills business owners during a sneak peek Friday afternoon.
The company plans to maintain a staff of about 100 in Vernon Hills, with 93 employees already on board, according to Steinhafel.
Beyond a broad selection of name brand manufacturers, Steinhafels features its own line of direct design brands. The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all furniture purchases, and 120 to days to sleep on any mattress purchase, which "takes the fear out of making a mistake," according to Steinhafel.
The move into Illinois was based in part on the success of the company's 12-year-old Kenosha store in drawing customers from Lake County, according to Steinhafel. In the works for several years, the next store opening is slated for Madison, Wisconsin, with no immediate plans for further expansion south of the state line.
"We're not actively looking right now in the market for another location," Steinhafel said. "We tend to grow very steadily. At this point we're going to really focus our efforts on the successful opening of this store, both in terms of sales and service."
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By: Mick Zawislak Published: August 22, 2011 (Daily Herald)
He’ll spend his birthday greeting customers, but Gary Steinhafel considers the opening of the family’s new store this week a worthy celebration.
After an intense eight months and a top-to-bottom renovation of the former EXPO Design Center in Vernon Hills, Steinhafels, the Wisconsin-based furniture and mattress giant, hopes to make a mark with its first Illinois store.
Being ready in time for an Aug. 27 grand opening beat initial expectations, and will allow the company to introduce itself during the busy Labor Day holiday.
Its building at 569 N. Milwaukee Ave. had been vacant for 18 months before the third generation, family-owned business picked it up late last year in a depressed commercial real estate market.
Visitors will see a dramatic change inside and out of what basically had been a 110,000-square-foot box.
Twenty windows, many of them floor-to-ceiling, and four big skylights were added to increase natural light, for example.
“You could have cut doors in the side of that building and made a warehouse out of it — fortunately, that didn’t happen,” Vernon Hills’ Assistant Village Manager John Kalmar said.
The exterior work exceeded what was approved, he added.
“They’ve done a wonderful job with the exterior of the building. We couldn’t be happier.”
The company’s investment, which includes the cost of the building, extensive renovation and inventory, is about $15 million, said Steinhafel, the company president.
Inside, every corner of the spacious interior is visible. Departments are delineated by varying ceiling heights, various styles of flooring and other architectural features.
Offerings include hundreds of brands and about 8,000 individual items ranging from assemble-yourself furniture to pieces costing several thousand dollars. There also is a clearance center.
“There is no consumer who should feel they can’t afford to shop our stores,” Steinhafel said.
The opening is not a push to flood the Illinois market but part of a calculated growth plan for the company that notched $100 million in sales last year. The Vernon Hills store will be the Steinhafels’ eighth superstore and first renovation of an existing building. The company also operates eight mattress stores.
The Vernon Hills location is in the company’s southern Wisconsin/northern Illinois market, which has been served by a store in Kenosha that opened 16 years ago.
“We’ve been marketing in Lake County for most of that time,” Steinhafel said. “It was part of our strategic decision to dominate in the markets we serve.”
Like other retailers, Steinhafels had a banner year in 2007 but took a hit during the recession, absorbing a double-digit loss in 2008 and mid-single digit loss in 2009.
“The last two years we’ve had modest gains. We’re not where we were in ’07, but we’re getting close,” Steinhafel said. Sales the first year at Vernon Hills are estimated at about $25 million.
Furniture retailers were among the leaders in nine major categories that posted sales gains last month, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
While the Vernon Hills move is a risk, the company owns its buildings, inventory, equipment, trucks and other assets.
“We’ve just been a family business with very steady growth,” Steinhafel said. “We’re financially very prudent and conservative. That’s served us well in good times and bad times.”
With its extensive commercial base, Vernon Hills, which is always at or near the top in sales among Lake County communities, also has a stake in what happens.
Steinhafels will receive $729,000 in sales tax rebates over five years, one of several retailers the village has helped in recent years to fill empty big boxes.
“It’s a whole new world and I think our board recognized the need to incentivize some of these retailers,” Kalmar said. “Filling this space was huge.”
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By: John Roszkowski Published: August 8, 2011 (Chicago Sun-Times)
In what is certain to be a boost to the local economy, Steinhafels will open its new 101,000-square-foot superstore in Vernon Hills later this month.
Steinhafels, Wisconsin’s leading furniture and mattress retailer, will open the new store in the former EXPO Design Center, 569 N. Milwaukee Ave., on Aug. 27, according to company president and co-owner Gary Steinhafel. He said it will be the first Steinhafels location in Illinois.
Steinhafel said the company has had a superstore in Kenosha since 1995 and has been marketing in the Lake County area for the past 15 years.
“Entering Lake County and specifically Vernon Hills strategically made a lot of sense for us,” he said.
Steinhafels is headquartered in Waukesha and has 15 locations throughout Wisconsin. The new store will employ more than 100 full- and part-time employees and will generate sales tax revenue for local government units. Steinhafel said the company believes the store could eventually generate more than $25 million in annual sales.
The interior of the new Vernon Hills store has many similar features that are popular at the Wisconsin stores, including a large selection of furniture, mattresses and home furnishings, a children’s play area in the store and a clearance center for discounted and overstocked items. Steinhafel said more than a dozen large windows and skylights have been added to enhance natural light in the building and the flooring incorporates wood and floral-patterned tile to make the store feels like a home environment for shoppers.
Despite the fact many other area furniture retailers have gone out of business or downsized operations, Steinhafel sees a bright future in the Vernon Hills market.
“The economy certainly has taken its toll on retailers throughout the area and country but opportunity exists by the fact that customers choose where they want to do business on a daily basis,” he said.
Steinhafel said the Vernon Hills store is planning a soft opening on Aug. 27 and will begin major marketing efforts for the Labor Day weekend. He said an official grand opening celebration will likely be held sometime after Labor Day.
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Steinhafels supports Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast Cancer Awareness Event Photo Taken: August 10, 2010
The InterContinental Milwaukee hotel launched its Pink Room project in support of breast cancer awareness. Greg Marcus, President & CEO of Marcus Corp, is shown standing next to a Steinhafels Dreams mattress.
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By: Doris Hajewski Published: October 19, 2009 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Mattresses are fueling growth for Steinhafels, one of the area's local furniture giants. The company soon will open two more mattress specialty stores and at the same time is looking at turning its mattress production into a wholesale business.
In the recession, mattresses have been the top performer for Steinhafels.
"Mattresses as a category have been somewhat insulated, somewhat stronger than furniture," said Gary Steinhafel, a third-generation co-owner and president of the Waukesha-based chain.
Steinhafel signed leases this month for space at Grafton Commons and in the former Hollywood Video store just south of Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, where the company plans to open standalone mattress stores in November.
The company first ventured into the mattress specialty store sector this year, after WG&R shut down all of its mattress shops in the area. WG&R, a Green Bay-based furniture and mattress retailer, gave up on its Milwaukee-area initiative after just a year. Steinhafels opened two small mattress stores in spaces formerly occupied by WG&R Sleep Shops, at 5000 S. 76th St. in Greenfield and 2751-B N. Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa.
While Steinhafels plans its mattress store expansion, a new competitor is gearing up for what could be more than a pillow fight. Former Sealy mattress executive Chuck Dawson, of South Carolina, plans to open two Mattress Firm stores in the area in January. It will be the first entry into Wisconsin for Mattress Firm, a Houston-based franchise chain.
"Milwaukee is definitely an underserved market," Dawson said. After leaving Sealy in January 2008, Dawson looked across the country for a good market for his new venture. Mattress Firm, which sells both national brands and a private-label product, has 500 stores in 21 states and is one of the largest U.S. sleep shop chains, according to Furniture Today, an industry trade publication.
Milwaukee doesn't have a major national mattress chain selling name brands, Dawson noted. Instead, mattress sales here are dominated by Steinhafels and other large furniture stores, including Colder's and American TV. That's unusual, Dawson said, because 41% of total mattress sales in the U.S. are made through sleep shops.
A survey from Scarborough Research shows Steinhafels as the top furniture/mattress retailer in the four-county Milwaukee metro area, with 8.5% of people surveyed having purchased from them in the past 12 months. The majority, 73%, did not buy any furniture or mattresses in the past year, and 7% purchased from stores that didn't get a large enough share to show up on the survey. American and Colder's tied for third place, with 5.5% each.
Verlo, a major player in mattresses in Wisconsin, sells its own brand.
The International Sleep Products Association, a trade group, expects the mattress industry to see gains next year, after a multi-year slump, according to a report in Furniture Today. The report says the industry expects to finish 2009 with a 10.5% decline in units sold, making it one of the worst years ever for the bedding industry.
U.S. furniture sales, meanwhile, have dropped by 12.7% in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Steinhafels, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has been hit by the recession, but not as badly as the industry as a whole, Gary Steinhafel said. He expects the chain of seven furniture stores and two mattress stores to finish this year at just under $100 million in sales, which would be a 6% to 7% decrease from 2008.
Steinhafels laid off workers and cut staff by attrition during the depths of the recession last winter. But in the last four months, sales have picked up, and the company has started hiring again, Steinhafel said.
The company opened a 28,000-square-foot temporary store, offering mattresses, leather and bedroom furniture, in East Towne Mall in Madison while working on a plan for a furniture superstore at a nearby site.
"It's exceeding our expectations," Steinhafel said. If the company sees growth in the first quarter next year, construction will start on the new Madison store. The temporary store will close when the new one opens.
Steinhafels makes its own brand of mattress, Dreams, at its New Berlin warehouse. The production facility started in 2008 in 20,000 square feet, with about eight people from Evans Mattress, which went out of business. Since then, the company has added equipment and increased the production staff to about 30 people.
Steinhafel is talking with other retailers, health care companies and hotels about making mattresses to their specifications for sale at wholesale. He is prepared to expand production if he signs a major contract.
The company also is looking for more locations for Steinhafels mattress stores, including in Beaver Dam, Janesville and Vernon Hills, Ill.
Dawson said he also is looking for more sites for Mattress Firm, including in Madison.
Both cite research that shows consumers don't like to travel far to shop for mattresses. If both companies get their way, Milwaukee-area shoppers won't have to.
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By: Jane Burns Published: October 10, 2009 (Wisconsin State Journal)
WAUKESHA - As a business that began during the Great Depression, Steinhafels has a tradition of taking calculated risks while reinvesting in modest growth.
That kind of approach has kept the Waukesha-based furniture business around long enough to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year and grow in a down economy.
Part of that growth is being seen in Madison. Steinhafels, which opened its store at 2164 W. Beltline in 1995, opened an East Towne store in August at the former Steve and Barry's site. There are plans to replace that with a 100,000 square-foot-store at 2100 E. Springs Drive, between Interstate 39-90-94 and East Towne Mall, in two years.
Gary Steinhafel, grandson of company co-founder John E. Steinhafel, is president of Steinhafels and part of the third generation of the family that is running the business.
"The probability of a family business making it to the third generation is under 1 percent, I think," Steinhafel said. "Most businesses don't get through the first, much less the second."
Steinhafel is one of five members of his generation in the business. His sister Ellen Steinhafel-Lappe is chief financial officer; his cousin, Mark Steinhafel, is chief operating officer; his cousin Steve is customer service manager; and his cousin Tom is team lead at the Menomonee Falls store. Gregg Steinhafel, Gary's brother, is chairman and CEO of Target.
Q: How has the economy affected your business?
A: I would say the furniture industry in our country has suffered as severely as any industry because we are a big-ticket investment, we are a postponable investment. The No. 1 trigger for buying furniture is buying a new home, so the industry has been victimized by the lack of housing movement. Then, to complete the perfect storm, furniture purchases often rely on financing and credit limits and lines have been reduced so it's been more difficult to get credit for some customers.
Q: Yet you've opened a new store in Madison.
A: Because of the values that are out there in commercial real estate, we've been looking for opportunities and the opportunity to lease space in East Towne Mall was advantageous for us.
It's a smaller store than our showroom format but it introduces our company and our products to the East Side of Madison, and within a quarter mile of the store we plan to build. That's what we're working on now.
Q: Why did you get into East Towne right away and not wait for the other store to be finished?
A: There's an expression: Retail is a series of momentary opportunities. And the opportunity that we are planning to open a beautiful new store in Madison is at least two years away. East Towne approached us when Steve and Barry's went out of business and had a mall entrance that was boarded up on either side, an economy that meant there weren't many retailers that were looking to expand. We both went into the negotiations knowing this would be a temporary store.
Q: Madison has the strongest economy in the state. How has this market been for your company?
A: Our business in Madison has been fantastic. We've seen increases more than decreases in Madison, so the decision to open a store on the East Side was pretty easy to make.
Q: Are there any particular trends you're seeing in furniture right now?
A: Most customers can't afford to replace furniture or a car in a few years, so the practical Midwest customer is pretty savvy and we've found that our solid wood products' business has never been better, our leather furniture business has never been better. I believe it's the durability. A little more gets you a lot more.
We're fortunate as an industry that consumers are spending more time at home. They're not eating out as much, they're not vacationing as much. They're entertaining more at home. Consumers who entertain or cocoon at home are more likely to spend much more on furniture. That's helping the furniture business.
Our mattress business continues to grow - the luxury part, Memory Foam and better quality mattresses. I'm sure it's partially an aging baby-boomer population that understands the benefits of getting a good night's sleep and that's maybe one indulgence that consumers are investing in.
Q: Do you get a different business perspective from your brother at Target?
A: That's at a scale and organizational structure that puts everything in perspective. When we finally hit $100 million in sales six or seven years ago, I was so proud of that number. I mentioned it to my brother Gregg, who I think was president of Target at the time, and he said, "We sell that much in toilet paper every year."
Q: What was your first job within the family business?
A: My first job was weeding the flower beds outside our warehouse. I'd weed and cut the grass. Every Wednesday, my father would take me to work in the summer. I wasn't driving because I was 12 or 13. Once I got done, I got to go inside where it was much cooler and sweep the floors.
Q: Will there be a fourth generation in the family business?
A: There is a fourth generation and they've been working as interns and such. I welcome the fourth generation.
Q: Are any of them weeding?
A: No, none of them are weeding, they're in IT. They're smart, young, computer children.
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By: Marv Balousek Published: June 15, 2009 (Wisconsin State Journal)
Steinhafels Furniture will open a temporary store at East Towne Mall in August, said company president Gary Steinhafel. The 30,000-square-foot store, the company’s second Madison location, will occupy the former Steve and Barry’s retail space until a 100,000-square-foot new store opens on East Springs Drive, probably in 2011. Construction is expected to begin next year.
Steinhafels has six furniture stores — four in the Milwaukee area, one in Kenosha and one in Madison at 2164 W. Beltline.
Due to its small size, Steinhafel said, the temporary store will focus on the company’s most popular categories of mattresses, bedroom furniture, leather and contemporary upholstery. The store will have holiday offerings and patio furniture next spring.
"Our Madison business has actually been the strongest of all of our stores and it continues to grow," Steinhafel said. "That is why we decided to open another location."
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Steinhafel’s Furniture preparing to add a second store in Madison.
Company President Gary Steinhafel said today that the Waukesha, Wisconsin based firm will sign a short-term lease to occupy the former Steve and Barry’s retail clothier location in Madison’s East Towne Mall. Steinhafels is planning to build a new furniture superstore nearby, so Steinhafel called the move a natural development.
“East Towne Mall presents a unique short-term opportunity for us to enter the east side of Madison with our best selection of products. The location will make shopping more convenient while planning our new store,” he said.
The Madison Urban Design and Planning Commission recently approved Steinhafels plan for building a free standing 99,726 square foot furniture store on approximately 14.5 acres of land adjacent to East Towne Mall. The new superstore will be located on East Springs Drive, across from Menards. In addition, the company has received conceptual approval to develop 2 outlets on the site.
Steinhafels plans to develop the property as a home center destination, featuring pedestrian friendly walkways, abundant landscaping, and an environmentally friendly building. The company is seeking related businesses to join them in the development. "A retailer selling flooring, kitchen cabinets. lighting or pools and spas would be an ideal compliment to our furniture business,” Steinhafel explained.
“The temporary East Towne Mall store will feature our most popular categories, including mattresses, leather, contemporary upholstery and bedroom furniture,” Steinhafel said. “We anticipate that the East Towne Mall customer traffic will create a strong opportunity to showcase our home accents and seasonal products, such as Christmas accessories in fall and patio furniture in spring.”
Steinhafels will officially occupy the East Towne Mall location in August.
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Set priorities and get started with a few essential pieces
By: Nancy A. Herrick Published: May 30, 2009 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Home prices have moderated, interest rates are reasonable, supply is abundant - and then there's that $8,000 tax credit.
Yes, it's a great time to buy your first house.
If you do, you'll have to furnish it, and that can be a challenge, especially if you have put much of your disposable income into a down payment. But you're a grown-up now, and your first real home is no place for that grungy old futon or bookcases constructed with bricks and boards. It deserves better.
So what's the best way to go about furnishing your new home? We've asked a variety of experts for their ideas on what to do after your offer has been accepted. Here are their ideas:
Make an assessment
"Before you get carried away, take some time to determine what you have, what you need and what you want," says Milwaukee-area interior designer Susan Michalek of Desumi Design Inc. "Deal with what you need first. That should be your highest priority."
Wanda M. Colon, a designer who can be seen as host of TLC's "Home Made Simple" and HGTV's "24-Hour Design," suggests that any assessment should include the amount of money you have to spend.
"It's easy to overspend or make impulse purchases if you don't have a budget," she says. If you watch what you spend and stay within your limits, "as a bonus you might have money left over to purchase some extra goodies."
Evaluate each room, says interior designer Jane Klein of Fox Point, and figure out how you plan to live in the house, considering: "Where you will spend most of your time, what you will do in each room? Will you want a table in the family room for work space, for example, or a comfortable chair and good lighting in the bedroom for relaxing and reading?
"Also think about the size of each room and the appropriate scale for the furniture," Klein says. "You might fall in love with a sectional, but the reality is that it might not fit in a small room."
Gary Steinhafel, president of Steinhafels Furniture, with six locations in Wisconsin, agrees.
"Not long ago, manufacturers were producing furniture designed to fill oversize great rooms," he says. "Now many manufacturers are offering furniture on a smaller scale than ever for smaller homes and for people who are downsizing. Be aware that there are choices and figure out what works best for your home."
Go shopping, but leave the plastic behind
Your early shopping trips should be a way to gather ideas, not furniture. As you walk up and down the store aisles and view furniture groupings, pay attention to colors, furniture styles, wood choices and more.
If you're shopping with your significant other, have some discussions about what you like and don't like, and what you think works well together and with the style of your home.
"You don't have to choose strictly contemporary or strictly traditional," Steinhafel says. "More likely the choice will be made based on whether you are going for a casual or more formal look."
But remember that while an "eclectic" look works, that doesn't mean anything goes. There should be some continuity or unifying elements so that the result isn't a hodgepodge.
Colon suggests that you visit a variety of stores to see what's available.
"Don't buy everything in one place," she says. "This allows you to compare styles and prices."
It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and to learn what goes into a quality piece of furniture.
As you peruse what's available, take pictures of what you like, Klein says. "If you think it might work, take a picture, at stores, consignment shops, wherever you go. Then look at the pictures when you get home to remind you of the choices and to see which pieces work together."
Get to work
It's easier to paint a house when it's empty and to refinish or replace flooring or knock down walls when you're not living there. So if there's work to be done, allow time for that after closing but before you move in.
"The biggest change you can make for a minimal amount of money is with color on the walls," Michalek says. "Buy good quality paint with no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and if you do the job right you won't have to paint again for a while."
The colors you choose should coordinate with what you plan to buy and what you already have, of course, so take along strips of paint samples from the paint store or home center. Often furniture stores will allow you to take a fabric sample or sleeve cap home to help match colors. Make sure to look at them in a variety of lighting situations and at different times of the day to get a true idea of how well the colors coordinate.
Make major purchases
At minimum you will need: a good mattress and box spring and a bed or headboard to give the room a polished look; a quality sofa and chairs; a console unit for the television; and a table and chairs for dining (either for the kitchen or dining room).
Bette Kahn, spokeswoman for Crate & Barrel and CB2 stores, says microfibers are a good fabric choice for sofas because they're so durable.
"They take cleaning or washing well and never show wear," she says. "If you're getting another fabric, make sure it's fabric-protected. Solid colors are classic, but not as interesting as tweeds with small touches of color."
She suggests going with neutrals for big pieces, "but if that's too basic, they can always be made more interesting with pops of color through pillows, which can be changed."
Steinhafel is a fan of leather for sofas.
"It wears three times longer, and prices have come down significantly because the tanning process is more sophisticated," he says. "There's a ton of variety in color, but shades of brown are very popular. It's the new neutral and works well with other colors and with wood floors."
"Make sure the frame of your sofa or chairs is high quality," says Kahn, adding that if the piece wears out or looks outdated, it can be slip-covered or reupholstered if necessary.
If you buy high-quality pieces, you can build a room around them for years to come.
Fill in creatively
After you've found the big pieces that serve as the foundation for a room, it's time to fill in with smaller pieces. This is where you can have some fun, save money and add a touch of personal style.
Consignment stores, estate sales, resale shops and even Grandma's attic are great places to find furniture, especially if you're willing to fix it up.
For example, if you've purchased a bed but need a dresser or two, you might be able to find used pieces with similar lines. You can refinish or paint the dressers to match (assuming they aren't valuable antiques, in which case the original finish should be preserved) and change the hardware for a coordinated look.
In the dining room, a horizontal dresser also can work as a server; the drawers can hold flatware and table linens. Antique chairs, even if they're mismatched, add interest around a dining room table.
An odd-shaped table can find a new home in the corner of a living room or a foyer; add an oversize vase for visual interest. Don't be afraid to rough up the surface and paint it so that it coordinates with the colors you've chosen in the room.
"America tends to be wasteful and often will replace a perfectly good piece with something that's new," Michalek says. "But you can find all kinds of new uses for older pieces of furniture that are built well."
Area rugs, artwork and accent pieces are fun to shop for and also add personality to a room.
"Sometimes people spend a lot of time shopping for the big pieces but don't do much to make the space their own," Klein says. "A piece of art can do that, or an art furniture piece. They don't have to be expensive but can wind up being a special focal point for a room."
It probably took awhile to find the right house. It stands to reason it won't be furnished in a week, a month or perhaps even a year.
"Many purchases can be put off, especially the decorative pieces," Kahn says. "Besides, you'll have more fun collecting those as you go through life."
Colon warns first-time homeowners to take their time. "Don't impulse-buy and end up feeling stuck because you acted too hastily," she says.
Klein says: "Give yourself a little time. When you make a decision, use your head and your heart. Look at different options, ask lots of questions.
"When you see it, you'll know when it is right."
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By: Doris Hajewski Published: March 25, 2009 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Steinhafels Furniture plans to open three small mattress stores this spring, in space that was formerly occupied by WG&R Sleep Shops. Waukesha-based Steinhafels is taking over the former WG&R shops at 2751 N. Mayfair Road, in Wauwatosa; 5000 S. 76 St., in Greenfield; and in the Wal-Mart shopping center at Hwy. 83 and I-94 in Delafield. Steinhafels aims to open the stores in May, but the Delafield location is pending municipal approval, president Gary Steinhafel said.
WG&R, a Green Bay-based furniture chain, entered the Milwaukee area with five sleep shops in 2007, just as the economy turned down. The company closed the stores a year later, in November 2008.
Dirk Stallmann, marketing director for Steinhafels, said the company wasn't interested in the former WG&R locations in Germantown and Waukesha because they are too close to Steinhafels Furniture Superstores.
"This is a trial, and we are going to test a lot of things," Stallman said of the venture into smaller stores. The Steinhafels Mattress stores will offer metal headboards, sheets, pillows and accessories, in addition to mattresses, but will not carry furniture.
If the first group of mattress stores is successful, Steinhafels will open more of them, Stallman said.
Steinhafels sells both national brands and those made in its New Berlin distribution center. Steinhafels started making its own private label mattresses a year ago when it acquired the mattress production business from the former Evans Mattress and Furniture.
Before that, Steinhafels had purchased private label products from WG&R. Steinhafels ended the relationship with WG&R when the Green Bay chain entered the Milwaukee market to compete with Steinhafels.
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By: Geoff Colvin Published: January 8, 2009 (Fortune Magazine)
There's no script for running a company in this historic downturn. So what the heck do you do? Here are ten ways to weather the storm.
(Fortune Magazine) -- Exciting as it is to be living through historic economic drama, you can't just stand by and watch. You have to act - yet you have no script.
So much of today's turmoil is unprecedented that we can't find much guidance by looking to the past. For managers across the global economy, as well as for Team Obama on its way to Washington, today's great question is, What do we do now?
Managing in any recession is difficult; managing through this one is especially hard because it's different from previous ones in multiple ways. Most immediately significant, employment is plunging more steeply than in a long time - by more than two million jobs last year, more than during the previous two recessions, and this one is far from over.
At the same time, U.S. consumer spending is falling sharply. In the third quarter it sank at a 3.1% annual rate, the steepest decline since 1980 - meaning that managers who have made it through the past four recessions have never confronted anything like it. Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) president Brian Dunn said recently, "In 42 years of retailing, we've never seen such difficult times for the consumer."
The drop is worrisome because consumer spending is more than 70% of America's economy, and while it may rise quickly or slowly, it almost always rises. During the whole of the last recession (2001), consumer spending never declined at all; its growth only slowed.
Compounding the problem, consumers are more deeply in debt than ever, an immediate concern for companies that lend to consumers; American Express (AXP, Fortune 500) CEO Ken Chenault calls this "one of the most challenging economic environments we've seen in many decades."
Longer term, consumers' balance sheets are so ugly that many executives believe this recession may linger as people slowly rebuild their finances. Dunkin' Brands chairman Jon Luther says, "This downturn will not have a typical V-shape, where it bounces right back. It could be a couple of years before consumer spending goes up again."
Consumers aren't the only ones deleveraging. Companies are too, and on a more massive scale than ever seen before. That means business-to-business firms are also suffering. Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500) CEO John Chambers predicts that his company's sales will decline for the first time in five years.
Deleveraging is typical in a recession, but because boom-time leverage had reached unprecedented levels, the reverse process may become particularly violent. Deere (DE, Fortune 500) CEO Bob Lane cites current deleveraging as a main difference between this recession and previous ones: "The U.S. economy has never been through anything like this, and we don't know what the effects will be."
Yet another important difference - the credit crunch - affects even those companies that are reducing debt, but especially those that aren't. Virtually all firms depend on a constant flow of credit to carry them smoothly through the ups and downs of business fluctuations. While it's entirely typical for lenders to get more cautious in a downturn, the near freezing of credit is something else again. Even companies able to pay higher interest rates may find that credit isn't available from the usual sources at any price.
Making this recession unique above all is its sheer interconnected complexity. Consider this sequence: The U.S. housing bubble bursts, pushing U.S. consumer spending down, leading to less demand for imports from China, causing slower growth of the Chinese economy, thus decreasing demand for copper, pushing copper prices down to their lowest levels in almost three years, causing big problems for you and your warehouse full of copper. You can conduct pretty fancy scenario planning and still not be ready for that - and it's safe to say we've barely begun to see the rippling effects of a recession in an information-based, truly international economy.
Yet that's the environment in which you must manage. How? Insights and practices from global executives, consultants, and others suggest several steps you can take now.
As usual in these situations, much will depend on how quickly you move. It's human nature to avoid confronting bad news and to imagine that today's troubles will pass more quickly and easily than they really will. Virtually everyone Fortune spoke to recommends the opposite: Assume conditions will be worse than you actually expect.
"You identify areas where you think you can be more efficient by assuming the worst-case scenario," says Intuit (INTU) CEO Brad Smith. "Then you end up saying, Why don't we just do that anyhow?" Facing the coming reality before your competitors do can make a big difference in which of you stays healthy or even who survives.
It must be said that some of the most effective moves you can make for prospering through a recession are ones you established a long time ago. In times like these the strong get stronger and the weak get eaten. In the tumultuous third quarter, while Washington Mutual and IndyMac Bank were failing, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) - which got out of subprime mortgages in 2001 - attracted $21 billion of new consumer deposits as consumers ran to safety. When the Wickes furniture retailing chain filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, more than 100 truckloads of furniture were on their way to its stores; a Milwaukee retailer that had remained financially solid, Steinhafels, bought the contents of several at bargain prices.
Remember that for next time. For now, what's done is done. No matter what shape your business is in, it will benefit from following these ten recommendations.
- Reset priorities to face the new reality.
- Keep investing in the core.
- Communicate like crazy, balancing realism and optimism.
- Your customers face new problems, so give them new solutions.
- Don't rush to cut prices.
- Focus on capital - how you're getting it and where you're using it.
- Reevaluate people - and steal some good ones.
- Reexamine compensation - what is it offering incentives for?
- Think twice about offshoring.
- Be smart about mergers and acquisitions.
It's hard to be upbeat in a recession, but it truly is an opportunity. Marathoners and Tour de France racers will tell you that a race's hardest parts, the uphill stages, are where the lead changes hands. That's where we are. When this recession ends, when the road levels off and the world seems full of promise once more, your position in the competitive pack will depend on how skillfully you manage right now. Reporter associates Steven Gray, Christopher Tkaczyk and Yi-Wyn Yen contributed to this article.
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By: Mary-Liz Shaw Published: December 27, 2008 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
In a cloudy economic climate, some homeowners may be inclined to postpone redecorating. But children don't stop growing in a recession. Slow economy or no, when a child outgrows her crib, her parents will have to find the means to fix up her room to fit her.
This is one reason that children's furniture and decorating accessories have kept apace in an otherwise contracting industry.
"It's a huge market right now, and a huge part of home furnishing," says Kate Barrette, owner of Home Market, a furniture and accessories store in the Third Ward.
Several of Barrette's suppliers have ventured into children's furnishings and accessories in the past year, taking a cue from major retailers such as Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn that have launched collections for children and infants - and showcase the lines in separate, glossy catalogs.
Parents do decorate differently in leaner times, however. They favor more substantial furniture in sophisticated color palettes. This can cost more initially, which seems counterintuitive in a slow economy, but it makes sense if you think of a child's room as a place he or she can grow into.
"Kids should totally grow with the room," says Barrette, who recently helped a customer redecorate her 6-year-old daughter's bedroom. "I tell parents to think that way when picking pieces, unless you plan on redecorating the room every two years."
Parents save over time by selecting pieces that are durable and don't have to be replaced because they're painted with out-of-date colors or babyish cartoon characters.
Children's furnishings have turned away from character themes; you don't see many "Hello, Kitty" bedrooms these days. Instead, they're following design trends apparent in the rest of the house, especially the "cottage look," with rubbed white finishes, and "shabby chic," says Dirk Stallmann of Steinhafels.
"In the last year or two, we've definitely seen a change away from the fairy princess beds for little girls and the truck beds and the ship beds for boys," Stallmann says.
In their place, parents are opting for adult-scale wood pieces in rich finishes, stained in deep browns, reds or black.
"Again, it's a more sophisticated look," Stallmann says. "It can suit a lot of different tastes, and it looks good not only for a kids' room when the kids move out and you want to keep that room. It can become a guest room."
The trend holds even for infant furniture, says Deanna Inniss, who owns Freckle Face in the Third Ward.
"I find in a lot of ways, it's like parents dressing their children. They want it to be a reflection of their style," Inniss says. "If they're very modern or very sophisticated, they're always looking for the latest thing; and they tend to do the same thing for their children, whether it's in their clothes, their strollers, their gear, as well as their rooms."
And it's worth looking around, Inniss says.
"There are so many companies out there now doing beautiful, modern, non-traditional furniture for children," she says. "And (parents) are responding to that."
Experts identified several other components of children's decorating:
• Adaptability. Select furniture that could live in other rooms of the house eventually, or look for flea-market finds that could be dressed up to suit a child's room. Essentially, children's decorating follows two parallel tracks: solid, upscale furniture, and accessories that are chameleon-like, with paintable finishes or fabrics that can be swapped out to change a room's look easily. Children grow out of their tastes quickly.
One reason shabby chic works so well with children's rooms is because it mixes and matches different styles and uses accessories in a variety of colors - the very definition of adaptable design. The same is true of relaxed classic or "antique white," says Tiffany Angotti Becker, store manager at Racine's Artistry Furniture and Gift Gallery. "That is still very popular for children's rooms," she says, because white goes with anything.
• Walls have power. Barrette suggests using the walls to express the child's personality. Chalkboard paint, now available in a variety of colors, can change a look instantly from childish to sophisticated, depending on how it's used. A recent innovation is to block off a section of the wall with chalkboard paint as a built-in message board or "creativity corner." Large-scale murals and wall decorations are popular in adult design right now, but these may be impractical in a child's room. Brewster Home Fashions, a venerable wallpaper manufacturer in Massachusetts, came up with WallPOPs, peel-and-stick posters in kid- and teen-friendly designs that can be easily moved. WallPOPs use the same technology as Post-it notes. They'll stick to the wall and stay there but can come down fast for the lightning-quick room décor shifts that are common among teenagers.
"Tweens and teenagers today are very concerned with how they look, how they dress. They're into decorating, and they're into self-expression and personalization," says Paula Berberian, creative services manager at Brewster. But, she adds, "their tastes change every year." Which brings up another issue for parents: Make sure to involve children in design choices and try to accommodate their preferences using accessories. Some children may not have preferences, but there are just as many who do, Inniss says. "I see it all the time with clothing," she says. A parent will select an item in the store and then the child will reject it - and often for very specific reasons: 'Oh, I don't like that because it has pockets.' Or the color is wrong. Or the sleeves are too wide. "It doesn't surprise me at all that we're hearing the same things in décor and home furnishings," Inniss adds. "We form opinions at an early age, even if those opinions change every couple of months."
• Storage. Children accumulate a staggering amount of stuff, which grows in piles as they get older. Yet in most houses, children's rooms are the smallest. "Under-bed storage, maximizing that square footage," says Stallmann at Steinhafels. "We don't all live in McMansions and there is just not a lot of square feet in a kid's room. "Trundle units are still very popular," for the same reason, he says. Barrette favors a line of storage bins by Habel Construction that have wire frames and fabric for a more relaxed look. Bookcases are essential, too, with adjustable shelves that can accommodate different size tomes as the child gets older, Becker says. Artistry makes custom-order furniture, which means parents can get fixtures that suit a room's dimensions and a child's needs perfectly and will last through several years.
• Strong, sophisticated colors. The browns and slate blues popular in adult décor within the last couple of years are also big choices for children's rooms, Stallmann says. Primary colors can turn sour quickly, shifting from adorable to cloying to babyish within months. Think about what the children will become, not what they are at the moment. "I tell parents never to be afraid to use a sophisticated palette in their children's rooms," Barrette says. "Because they won't be babies forever."
• Going green. The trend that is sweeping through all interior design has hit children's rooms, too. If anything, it is stronger in this facet of the market, because young parents and children today are more environmentally conscientious than previous generations. Inniss says there is a range of "green" collections, from companies such as Argington, which uses sustainable woods and eco-friendly stains, up to Q Collection, which operates at the highest level of sustainability.
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Photo By: Benny Sieu
By: Doris Hajewski Published: November 1, 2008 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Pewaukee - Steinhafels employees, their children and even one of their dogs will appear in the furniture chain's new "Home Happens" ad campaign that starts this week.
In better times, the company would have actors, not staff members, snuggling in their beds in an ad. But times aren't good, and this is a way to cut expenses that is fun for the staff.
Other cuts have been less pleasant: some job loss, elimination of the staff Christmas party and the company's Milwaukee Bucks tickets.
"It was suggested and supported by the employees," Gary Steinhafel, president and co-owner of the business, said of the cancellation of the party. Steinhafels' employees have been pro-active in coming up with ideas to save money, he said.
All of it, combined with the company's solid financial footing, is allowing Steinhafels to weather the stormy economy.
"Everybody wants to protect their jobs," Steinhafel said. "Everybody's working together to be smart and strategic."
Steinhafels' work force is now at about 500, down from a peak of about 635 in September 2006. Most of the reduction has been achieved by not replacing people who left voluntarily, Steinhafel said. The company had a small layoff in January, in the midst of a miserable winter selling season. From December through February, there was either a Packers game or a snowstorm every weekend, Steinhafel noted.
Furniture retailers have been among those hit earliest and hardest by the downturn in the economy, suffering early on from the slowing of the housing market.
The U.S. Census Bureau report for September showed a 10.7% decline for furniture and home furnishing stores, compared with September 2007. The only segment with a bigger drop for the month was auto dealers, down 20.2% from the previous year.
Steinhafels' sales were declining by more than 10% for most of this year, Gary Steinhafel said. When the stock market plunged in October things got much worse, he said.
Other furniture retailers are reporting similar problems. Last week Williams-Sonoma, the publicly traded parent company to Pottery Barn, said same-store sales were down 20.1% in September and 26.6% in October. This latest downturn follows bankruptcy filings in the past year by a number of national home furnishing chains, including Wickes, Bombay and Linens 'n Things.
But even with all of that, Steinhafel is looking ahead and is expecting to weather this recession better than many other competitors.
The company owns its real estate and has a fixed-rate mortgage, Steinhafel said.
"Over the last five years, we've reinvested our profits in the business," he said.
The stable financial position has made it possible for Steinhafels to buy truckloads of furniture that have been diverted by manufacturers away from other retailers who can't pay their bills.
Britt Beemer, who leads America's Research Group in Charleston, S.C., and works as a consultant to Steinhafels, expects to see more bankruptcies in the coming months among all types of retailers. Beemer estimates that there were as many as 100 truckloads of furniture on the road heading to Wickes locations when that chain filed for bankruptcy. Steinhafels was able to get four or five truckloads at a discounted price, Beemer said.
The furniture has been showing up in Steinhafels ads as limited supply special purchase deals.
Mattress sales have held up better than furniture, declining just in the last six months, Steinhafel said. The company started making its own private-label mattresses this year, after buying the mattress operation from Evans, a local chain that went out of business.
Across the country, mattress sales are down for the 10th consecutive month, according to the International Sleep Products Association.
Mark Rupe, senior research analyst with Longbow Research, said regional mattress specialty stores that sell both private label and name brand mattresses were taking market share from both traditional furniture retailers and mattress chains that sell only their own private label. Rupe said Steinhafels' strategy of carrying both brands and private label puts the chain in a better position to compete with the mattress superstores.
Steinhafels is continuing with expansion plans, despite the economy. The company presented plans last month to the City of Madison for a 99,000-square-foot store to be built on 14 acres just east of the East Towne mall. It would be the second store in Madison for Steinhafels, which operates a smaller store on the Beltine highway, near Todd Drive.
Steinhafel said he hopes to break ground in a year or 18 months in Madison. The store will be the seventh for the company. Steinhafels also owns 14 acres in Grafton near Highway 60 and I-94 as a site for a future store and is looking for a site for a new store to replace its 40-year-old location on Layton Ave. at S. 84th St.
Steinhafel aims to double the company's sales in the next 10 years and triple them in 15 years. Annual sales are now $108 million, down from a peak of $115 million before the recent decline in the housing market.
The company could achieve its long-term goals with stores already in the planning stages and with expansion into the Fox Valley, Steinhafel said.
A move north would put Steinhafels in more direct competition with WG&R furniture and mattress stores, based in Green Bay. In the past, Steinhafels bought mattresses made by WG&R to sell under Steinhafels' private label. That relationship ended when WG&R came into the Milwaukee area with mattress specialty stores that compete with Steinhafels.
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By: Barry Adams Published: October 14, 2008 (Wisconsin State Journal)
Steinhafels is planning a second store in the Madison area.
The Waukesha company, which has a 65,000-square-foot store at 2164 W. Beltline, near Todd Drive, will present plans Wednesday to the Madison Urban Design Commission for a 99,000-square-foot showroom near East Towne Mall.
The $10 million project could be completed sometime in 2010, said Gary Steinhafel, president of the company founded by his grandfather in 1934.
"Our business in Madison is terrific," Steinhafel said. The existing Madison location "is one of our top stores and continues to grow and we feel strongly the market will support a second store," he said.
The proposed store, in the 2100 block of East Springs Drive, would employ about 100 people and be visible from Interstate 39-90-94. It would be just north of Lien Road. The 14.5-acre parcel would contain two other buildings, with 8,000 and 18,000 square feet, respectively, for retail and restaurant use.
The store also would be adjacent to Starkweather Creek, a situation with which Steinhafel has experience. His Waukesha store at Highway F and Interstate 94 is adjacent to the Pewaukee River. Steinhafel said he has been in discussions with the Friends of Starkweather Creek and will meet with them Wednesday.
"The experience we learned developing the Waukesha site (in 2004) will help us," Steinhafel said.
The new Madison store will be designed to have a reduced carbon footprint. Features include high-efficiency lighting, skylights and windows to allow for more natural lighting.
In addition to Madison and Waukesha, Steinhafels also has stores in Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls, Kenosha and Greenfield and has purchased land for a store in Grafton.
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By: Clint Engel Published: February 11, 2008 (Furniture Today)
Waukesha. Wis. — Top 100 company Steinhafels is entering the factory-direct bedding business with its acquisition of Evans Mattress and Furniture.
The move gives the six-store, midpriced Steinhafels room to grow its bedding business with a fresh line at starting price points and new appeal toward consumers drawn to the value story of factory-direct product, said President Gary Steinhafel.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Evans, which has been manufacturing mattresses for 60 years and makes Steinhafels' private-label line, will continue to be led by Jeff Tennyson and his sister Kristin Finco, third-generation owners of the business prior to the deal. Steinhafels is moving the production equipment to its old warehouse in the Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, Wis.
A new line at starting price points — $299 to $699 for a queen set — should be ready for the retailer's stores in about 60 days, Steinhafel said.
"We've been growing our mattress business over the past 15 years and do really well with Sealy, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic and most recently ComforPedic (owned by Simmons)," Steinhafel said. "They've all been great partners."
Steinhafel said the company sees "this as nothing more than an opportunity to attract more promotional customers into our store and hopefully expose those folks to the benefits of branded mattresses and specialty sleep options."
But at the same time, the retailer expects to expand its promotional, private-label business to 10% to 20% of its bedding sales, from less than 5% today, he added.
Six-store Steinhafels does about $30 million in annual bedding sales, accounting just over 20% of its total sales, Steinhafel said. "We see this as being an expansion of the pie."
He said his sister, Ellen Steinhafel-Lappe, the company's chief financial officer, had the idea to enter the factory-direct mattress market. She "saw this not just as an opportunity to expand our business, but to do so in a way that would allow us to stamp the product with our standards of excellence that customers have come to trust."
Steinhafel said the purchase gives the company "a long-term opportunity to consider opening free-standing bedding stores, but at this point, we have no immediate plans to do so."
Selling to other retailers also may be in the cards down the road, he said, but the first goal is to design the line to meet Steinhafels' "high standards of both quality and value.
"Once we're confident the products are right, we would consider a strategic alliance with other non-competing area retailers," he said.
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By: Doris Hajewski Published: February 5, 2008 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Steinhafels furniture chain will enter the factory-direct mattress business by buying Evans Mattress and Furniture's production business.
Steinhafels will buy equipment and hire the production staff from Evans, which is going out of business.
Evans operates a mattress assembly facility at the company's store at 3350 S. 108th St., Greenfield.
Jeff Tennyson, grandson of Evans founder Bob Evans, along with his sister Kristin Finco, will supervise mattress assembly at the Steinhafels facility in New Berlin.
Steinhafels' entry into the factory-direct business comes at a time when competition among mattress retailers has become more intense in the Milwaukee area. WG&R, a Green Bay-based furniture chain, recently opened mattress stores in metro Milwaukee. WG&R sells both national brand mattresses and its own brand of mattresses.
Gary Steinhafel, president of the Waukesha-based chain, said the WG&R store openings weren't a factor in his decision to buy the Evans business.
Steinhafels is the largest seller of mattresses in Wisconsin, Steinhafel said. Mattress sales at Steinhafels totaled about $30 million, just over 20% of the chain's total sales, he said.
Steinhafel said his stores have sold mattresses made by Evans for years, carrying the Steinhafel label. The Steinhafels private brand mattresses accounted for less than 5% of mattress sales, he said.
By purchasing Evans' manufacturing equipment and hiring the Evans staff, Steinhafels will eliminate the middle man, Steinhafel said.
"We'll take the markup out of the equation," Gary Steinhafel said. That will allow him to sell Steinhafel brand mattresses for less.
Steinhafels is developing a new line of private label mattresses with a wider range of choices. The stores also will be able to offer Steinhafels mattresses in custom sizes.
Evans also has made private label mattresses for other retailers. Steinhafel said he hopes to continue with that business.
The mattress production will be moved to Steinhafels' former headquarters at 16250 W. Rogers Drive in New Berlin. The Steinhafel family owns the building and leases part of it to other companies.
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