By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
ARVADA, COLO. — After extending its Southwest reach last year with new stores in Arizona and New Mexico, Conn’s is now turning its attention to Colorado.
Beginning in the first quarter, the multiregional furniture, bedding, majap and CE chain plans to initially open six to eight Denver-area stores and has leased a 264,000-square-foot distribution center in nearby Aurora, Colo., to support them.
The first showroom will be located in a 42,000-square-foot storefront here in this Denver suburb, and will be followed by stores in Aurora, Cold Springs and Greeley, Colo., Conn’s retail division president David Trahan told TWICE.
Trahan described the Colorado market as a natural fit for the company, with many credit-constrained and underserved consumers who can utilize the chain’s in-house financing.
The move was preceded by nearly two years of planning, and follows successful incursions into Arizona and New Mexico, he said. The move into Denver would make Conn’s the first multiregional big-box CE and appliance chain to serve that market since Ultimate Electronics, which closed shop in 2011.
In Arvada, Conn’s will occupy the former site of a HomeBase store, a local home-improvement chain that went belly-up in 2001. The new showroom, like all new Conn’s locations, will be a HomePlus format store, which dedicates increased floor space to furniture and bedding, and generates 10 percent to 15 percent more sales volume than older-format stores, the company said.
At 42,000 square feet, the showroom is also larger than the typical 35,000-square-foot footprint for Conn’s HomePlus locations.
The retailer signed a long-term lease for the distribution center and has the option to expand its space as needed, Trahan said.
The new Colorado beachhead may also serve as a jumping off point for other nearby markets, he noted.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.