Hardware Stores Win Customers and Improve Sales with the Remarkably Relaxing Hanging Furniture from Outback Chair Company

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“Outside-the-Box” Outdoor Living Product Helps Retailers Battle the Big Box Giants

April 5, 2006 -- During the National Hardware Show® in Las Vegas, Nev. (May 9-11, 2006), thousands of hardware store owners, managers and buyers will flock to Lawn & Garden Word®, the specific area of the show dedicated to high-margin lawn and garden and outdoor living products and accessories. They should be sure to visit Outback Chair Company, Inc. (booth #52105). Why? Outback’s complete line of hanging furniture has proven to be a winner for hardware stores intent on competing with Big-Box mass merchants by offering their customers distinctive products that enhance the casual living experience.

Established by owner Howard Adelman’s father in 1960, Turney’s Ace Hardware, Chesterland, Ohio, is located in the state’s wealthiest county in a semi-rural area near Cleveland where expensive homes sprout up on three- to five-acre lots. “I take chances on unique products that my customers cannot find elsewhere. I want to keep my customers coming in to look for what’s new and different,” said Adelman. “I saw Outback’s hanging furniture at a hardware show in 2003. I tried the chairs and like them immediately.”

Adelman’s wife, however, was skeptical and doubted that Turney’s would sell even half of the initial order they purchased. “I was so confident that I bet her a diamond ring that we would sell every Air Chair and Charleston Cushion Chair in our first order,” recalled Adelman. He won the bet but graciously gave his wife the ring as a present. Today, Turney’s also offers Outback’s Charleston Rope Chair and Hammock. “Outback’s hanging chairs sell. Our customers love them,” he said. “And I like doing business with Outback Chair. It’s a super company. When we need a special order when a customer wants a chair in a color we are out of, they rush it to us right away.”

Owned by the Ingalls family since its founding, GNH Lumber, Inc. has served contractors and do-it-yourselfers in Greene County, N.Y. since 1937. Its two stores are located in the small, rural towns of Greenville and Windham, N.Y., about 30 minutes south of Albany. Historically, Greene County has been one of New York’s poorer counties. As Albany continues to expand southward, developers are building clustered townhouses and single-family homes in the area. Eying the growth potential, Home Depot opened a store in Catskill, N.Y., less than 20 miles from Greenville.

“We don’t want to get into competing with Big Boxes on price,” says Steve Rossback, store manager, GNH Lumber. “I go to the Big Box stores to see what they are selling. We look for unique products that our customers will not find at a Big Box.”

GNH first met with Outback Chair at an Orgill, Inc. show in 2000. “We thought that hanging chairs and hammocks from Outback would complement the picnic tables and other outdoor furniture we sell,” said Rossback. Today, GNH Lumber offers a range of Outback Chair products, including Air Chairs, Charleston Cushion Chairs, Outback Loungers and Charleston Rope Hammocks. According to Rossback, the Charleston Cushion Chair is the top seller. GNH hangs the furniture on Outback’s merchandising display system at the center of its stores. “The display provides a focal point that everyone notices. When customers try the chairs, they sell themselves because they are so comfortable.”

And his experience doing business with Outback Chair Company? “Outback is a great company, very responsive, and willing to help us,” said Rossback. “I feel like they are on our side.”

Stu Elliott Jr.’s father founded Elliott Ace Hardware in 1957, and they now have four stores in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisc. One of his employees had purchased an Air Chair and raved about, so Elliott decided to take a close look at Outback’s hanging furniture at an Ace show in 2002. Elliott Ace sells plastic stack chairs, metal patio sets in the $150 to $450 price range and hammocks. He concluded that hanging chairs from Outback would complement this merchandise and give him a unique product that customers would not find in the typical hardware store. “We checked out the prices that Outback’s products go for on the Internet and determined that we could make good margins at those prices and that we could effectively sell the furniture at even higher price points,” said Elliott. “We’re entering our fourth season selling Outback’s products, and we’ve enjoyed solid success with the Air Chair. We also added Charleston Cushion Chairs to replace a similar, more costly product from a different manufacturer.”

According to Elliott, the Air Chair is a special product. “At the end of July, we discount our other casual furniture products and move them out of our seasonal rotation area. But we keep the Air Chair on display on Outback’s C-frame all year long in our stores and don’t discount the price,” Elliott said. “The Air Chair has proven that it can be an impulse buy, and we’ve had good luck advertising it during the Christmas season to promote the Air Chair as a gift item.”

Thus, for hardware stores across the country, in suburban and rural areas, and serving upscale and more modest-income markets, hanging furniture from Outback Chair Company is a winning category. Outback offers them unique, high-quality and high-margin products and supports the success of these family-owned retailers. “Our dealers in the hardware industry are proving that our hanging furniture helps them compete with mass merchants,” said Jack Bass, founder and president, Outback Chair Company, Inc. “That’s why we’re looking forward to meeting with hardware store owners and managers at the National Hardware Show and Lawn & Garden World.”

About Outback Chair Company, Inc.

When selecting casual furniture, discerning consumers seek exceptional value: imaginatively designed, well-made furniture that provides genuine comfort at a sensible price. For these consumers, and the retailers who serve them, Outback Chair Company manufactures and distributes the most complete line of remarkably relaxing hanging furniture. Suspended from the ceiling of a porch or swaying gently from a frame out back on a patio, by the pool or in the garden, Outback’s hanging furniture – including chairs, loungers, recliners and hammocks – offers lofty comfort that raises relaxation to serene heights. Founded in 1997, Outback Chair Company (http://www.outbackchair.com) is headquartered in San Diego, Calif.

Note to Editors: Outback Chair Company, Inc. will exhibit its complete line of remarkably relaxing hanging furniture at the National Hardware Show® and Lawn & Garden World® (booth #52105), Las Vegas, Nev., May 9-11, 2006. Lawn & Garden World will be located at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. Editorial appointments are available upon request. Outback Chair’s press kit is accessible online at http://www.outbackchair.com/press_kits.html.


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