Saturday, May 26, 2018
Business

Spring Hill furniture store signs agreement with HGTV

SPRING HILL

When mystery shoppers came browsing through Smart Interiors, the full-service furniture store emerged with flying colors.

Neither the owners, Delores and Murray Smart, nor their daughter, manager Kimberly Backman, noticed when representatives of HGTV visited the store in Spring Hill last fall.

It wasn't until a couple of weeks later that Backman was summoned to the phone.

A representative from the network was on the line.

How would Smart Interiors like to become a partner in the channel's popular home design and furnishing shows?

Of course it would, Backman said. And she was even more in favor of the deal after she learned that only five stores in Florida had been chosen.

The selection allows Smart to showcase the network's furniture line, launched in October. The new deal is just in time to join in a $50,000 HGTV home-makeover sweepstakes.

Backman, 46, who holds a certificate from the International Academy of Interior Design, has long been aware of television's impact on customer choices, she said. "People come in saying, 'I saw this on TV. Do you have it? Can you show it to me?' "

Now, with this partnership, Backman and her sales representatives can say "yes."

After offering the partnership, HGTV invited Smart Interiors' designers to the network's annual furniture show in High Point, N.C. Once she had seen the merchandise, Backman said, "We knew it would be a good fit."

One reason is that HGTV, like Smart Interiors, designs complete rooms, Backman said.

"Many people are visual. They want to see it all in place."

The first display of the HGTV line at Smart Interiors features five groupings of bold color furnishings for living room and dining rooms designed to fit Florida lifestyles. "It's more casual — simple, clean lines," Backman explained.

Today's shoppers, Backman said, are "a little more mindful of style (and) that they can totally change a room with pillows and other accents. It's all individual. It's more customized, but that doesn't mean it's expensive."

Backman said the HGTV furniture line is moderately priced, and its quality is, "How do I say this? Better than good, not as good as best."

Smart Interiors' designers are able to visit customers' homes to suggest choices for a desired look. They adjust their recommendations based on customers' lifestyles. People with pets, for example, might need washable fabrics; households with young children often require sturdy furniture."

Renee Loper, vice president of marketing for HGTV home furniture collection, based in Greensboro, N.C., was among the mystery shoppers who visited Smart Interiors. In recommending the partnership, Loper said, the store's staffers "offer a lot of choices and they're design-oriented. Their designer team can really help the consumer re-create the HGTV look."

Also chosen to feature HGTV galleries in Florida are stores in Orlando, Jacksonville and a Naples-based chain with multiple stores in South Florida, Loper said.

Smart Interiors, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has stores on 5141 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill, as well as in Lecanto and in the Caribbean on Aruba.

To celebrate the launching of the HGTV furniture line, Smart Interiors will accept entries in the channel's Make It Mine sweepstakes through April 12. The prize is $25,000 in cash and $25,000 in HGTV home products.

Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected].

   
Comments
An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

It began, as so many plane debacles seem to, with strange sounds in the bathroom.They were the noises of Jason Felix, one of the passengers on Wednesday’s American Airlines flight out of Saint Croix, according to a FBI affidavit recounting events lea...
Published: 05/26/18
Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Hope of another Stanley Cup has dissolved, and soon the ice will follow. Yet even if sorrow is the price of devotion, the true hockey fans will still buy in when the next season comes around.That concept may not be unique to Tampa Bay, but it does se...
Published: 05/26/18
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Published: 05/25/18
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Published: 05/25/18
U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

LONDON — U.S. news outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel and The Arizona Daily Star abruptly blocked access to their websites from Europe on Friday, choosing to black out readers rather than comply with a ...
Published: 05/25/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is appealing a recent citation by federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit the utility with a $76,050 fine and a "serious" violation in April following its investigation into an accident in ...
Published: 05/25/18
Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Don’t use the cruise control

Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Don’t use the cruise control

Associated PressDETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare but terrifying circumstances, drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The company is warning owners not to use cruise control until...
Published: 05/25/18
Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Associated PressFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fed’s independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system. His re...
Published: 05/25/18
Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Tim Butler’s first car was a Ford Model A pick-up truck — a pearl fawn and cherry red pick-up he got his senior year in high school from his dad, who renovates antique cars. That’s why as Butler waited for a table at the Ford’...
Published: 05/25/18
St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

TAMPA — A St. Petersburg man was fined $507,513 and permanently barred from participating in the offering of a penny stock in a case involving a scheme to manipulate the price of Aureus, a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada, officials said Fr...
Published: 05/25/18