PINELLAS PARK — Kane's Furniture on Friday opened a store in Naples, its first new showroom since the housing market crash clobbered the furniture industry.
The Pinellas Park-based chain designed the store at 15100 Tamiami Trail as a prototype with improved lighting and signage and more space devoted to mattresses and bedroom sets.
Kane's chief executive officer Irwin Novack said increases in new and existing home sales made the timing right. People who buy a house buy furniture.
"The housing market is starting to come back, and we've been fortunate enough to capture more than our fair share of it," he said. "We've been looking at Naples for a long time now. The opportunity presented itself and we took advantage of it."
The 65,000-square-foot store has a new layout that groups together leather furniture and fabric furniture. It has more floor space than other stores for mattresses and bedroom sets, which are larger and have more pieces than they used to.
Kane's built the Naples store to be more attractive from the exterior by adding windows all around, rather than just the front. It's the first location with LED lighting, and Kane's worked with light bulb manufacturers to ensure shoppers see the true color of the products.
Founded in 1948 in St. Petersburg, Kane's has 18 locations, all of them in Florida, including three under the Savon name. Novack said Naples was a natural extension for the company, which also has a location in Fort Myers.
Kane's does about $150 million in sales a year and employs 1,000 people, including about 50 at the new store.
Along with the opening of the new store, the chain is converting the Savon stores in Port Charlotte, Fort Myers and Sarasota to the Kane's name.
Furniture was one of the industries hit hard during the real estate bust when consumers scaled back on discretionary spending and developers stopped building houses.
Furniture Today, an industry website, said furniture and bedding sales improved in the last months of 2013 and are expected to keep pace this year, with sales increasing 3.5 percent to $98 billion. While modest, that figure is still better than the 1 percent growth estimated last year.
At Kane's, leather chairs, sofas and sectionals that recline are especially popular right now.
Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110. Follow @susan_thurston on Twitter.