By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
DeSears Appliance and Home Entertainment plans to unveil its first 45,000-square-foot retail space here at the end of the month.
The renovated store, formerly a Haverty's Fine Furnishings, will be located on South Tamiami Trail, which is considered the center of Sarasota's shopping district. Nearly twice as large as DeSears' typical 25,000 square foot footprint, the new unit will house major appliances, an outdoor cooking center, consumer electronics, home entertainment furniture and mattresses.
Specifically, the store will boast 10 custom kitchen vignettes, a 60-foot custom built-in refrigeration and wine storage wall, and up to 20 home entertainment vignettes, replete with seating, TV cabinetry, electronics and decorative accessories.
The store will also feature 160 linear feet of built-in cooking products in a "live" functional setting, and an extensive video wall. The video wall will consist of 110 linear feet of digital projection TVs ranging in screen size from 42 inches to 73 inches, plus 50 linear feet of standard CRT TVs in screen sizes ranging from 9 inches to 36 inches.
DeSears is partnering with other regional businesses to offer custom cabinetry and kitchen design in its new location. It will also devote a large section of the new store to a Clearance Center, which will be used to liquidate scratch-and-dent appliances, closeout electronics, re-furbished furniture, factory overruns and floor models.
The new unit will bring DeSears' store count to four. Founded in 1947 by the DeSears family, the retailer ranked 39th on TWICE's 2002 Top 100 Major Appliance Retail Registry, having sold an estimated $23 million in white goods last year. DeSears had been a member of the Nationwide TV & Appliances buying group, but changed its affiliation to the MARTA Buying Cooperative effective last month, according to president/CEO John Rice.
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