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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall A Growth Opportunity for Frame Stores by Jim Daniel L ook into any frame store frame stores are uniquely positioned est in mirrors as a decorative tool. these days and it’s not surpris- to deliver this product to consumers. ing to see yourself looking Why Frame Stores? back. More and more frame shops Home Design Trends Customers are realizing they can get across the country are featuring mir- Pick up a design magazine, and the best mirror selections at frame rors as part of their product mix. you’ll see that the use of mirrors in stores, where moulding in a variety Mirrors have become big mon- home decor is one of today’s hottest of sizes and styles is readily available. eymakers for framers. In some Better prices and endless design shops, mirror sales now account for options are also key reasons cus- as much as 15 to 20 percent of busi- The use of mirrors tomers are heading to frame stores. ness, according to Jim West of Cash Consumers are also flocking to Moulding, a framing distributor in in home decor is frame shops for their mirror pur- Birmingham, Alabama, where mir- chases because they can match mir- rors have been sold for more than 10 one of today’s ror moulding to other framed art- years. “Mirrors are a positive influ- work for a unified decorative look. hottest decorating ence on sales,” West says. “In our While furniture stores and chain stores that offer mirrors, their sales trends. stores compete for mirror sales, they are a direct improvement to the bot- can offer only ready-made products; tom line.” therefore, an integrated design look At TC Moulding, based in St. decorating trends. Mirrors not only with other framed artwork is not Paul, Minnesota, mirror sales went provide a open and airy feel to a possible. In frame shops, mirrors can up a whopping 208 percent within a room, but a hint of elegance as well. be custom-designed or ready-made, one-year period, says John Richards, And as mirrors become an integral giving customers a greater variety of Vice President of Sales and Market- component of interior design, furni- options. ing. Despite this fact, mirrors still ture stores and home decorating “As a designer and educator in represent an untapped resource for chains have responded with larger the framing industry, I stay abreast many frame shops. “When my sales selections. As a result, consumers are of up and coming trends as well as reps go see framers who haven’t yet more exposed to mirrors as a deco- the trends that slip up and surprise sold mirrors, they offer to send them rating option. us,” says Kaye Evans, CPF, a design a framed mirror to hang in the store. Richards is even seeing framing and educational consultant. “Selling Usually, that results in a sale, and designs that combine mirrors and mirrors is just such a niche trend. the framer realizes the potential.” artwork into one piece as well as Framers should be able to sell cus- Mirror sales are growing at mirrors framed with sconces and tom-framed mirrors for a lower price frame stores for two primary rea- candelabras for maximum play with than most stores sell ready-made sons--the use of mirrors in room light reflection. These unique design mirrors. Most important, the con- decor is a huge design trend, and ideas highlight the consumer’s inter- sumers receive the same valued trust 64 PFM i June 1999 Mirror, Mirror as with custom art framing. This receive them as part of their regular very profitable niche could be ‘just glazing product orders. what the doctor ordered’ to spark current business.” How to Sell Mirrors Promoting mirror sales can be as sim- Benefits of Selling Mirrors ple as putting a sample on display in Richards says there are three reasons your store to let customers know dec- frame store owners should consider orative mirrors are available and can selling mirrors: be matched to other frame jobs. • The high perceived value of Some frame shops use direct mail and mirrors, particularly those with coupon offers to bring customers into ornate or custom designs, allows the store. Because the demand for framers to increase their profit mar- decorative mirrors is high, simply gins. incorporating them into normal mar- • Mirrors diversify a frame keting efforts often brings about store’s product selection and position immediate results. the store as a destination shopping So if you’re looking for a profit- location for home decor. • Frame stores can offer better designs than the ready-made ver- Because the sions available at furniture and chain stores. demand for Ancillary benefits include the low labor investment in ready-made decorative mirrors as well as the greater visual mirrors is high, appeal of the frame shop with a vari- ety of mirrors hanging on the walls. incorporating “Mirrors brighten and open up frame stores just like they do them into your homes,” Richards says. “They are good visual merchandising for frame marketing efforts stores.” could bring about Profits and Pricing immediate results. Mirrors can run the gamut in con- sumer pricing from $150 for a ready-made, standard-sized wall mir- builder that’s easy to order, market, ror to $800 or $900 for a highly handle and sell, just look in the mir- ornate mirror. The benefit to frame ror. s shops is in the profit margin, which can be as high as 70 percent. Jim Daniel is President of Operations As a result, glass suppliers have for Sandel Glass, Clovis, California, a started offering mirrors as part of full-line glass supplier to the picture their product lines so framers can frame industry.
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