STORES Magazine - October 2008 - (Page 88)

NUTS AND BOLTS / SUPPLY CHAIN I.O. Metro’s Movers Transplace delivers for upstart furniture chain BY LEN LEWIS G etting a shipment from Arkansas to Missouri is no great trick. But getting a shipment from India and then to Arkansas and on to Missouri is a different proposition altogether. I.O. Metro, a Rogers, Ark.-based cheap, unappealing warehouse environ“specialty lifestyle” furniture importer ment. His vision was to create a group and retailer, has encountered all the of stores with high-quality, reasonably problems and frustrations of dealing priced items, and the name was quickly with both domestic and international changed to reflect this ideal. supply chains since it was started in “We’re a growing company and mov2005. ing very quickly,” Howard says. “We The company is the brainchild of CEO needed solutions like inventory tracking Jay Howard. Immediately after college, to make our supply chain more visible Howard took a job as an account manand a transportation provider that ager for a lighting company; his clients could become a strategic partner, someincluded Target and Walmart. His entreone to grow right alongside us.” preneurial spirit soon emerged, and I.O. Metro offers an eclectic selection after learning all he could about importof furniture, accessory items and art that ing directly from manufacturers, he appeals to customers seeking alternajoined several partners to form the comtives to traditional pieces. The compapany at the age of 22. ny’s first store was an Keeping international The enterprise was iniimmediate success freight costs down tially called Interior Outamong shoppers in Benhas made I.O. Metro let, but Howard felt that tonville, Ark. (home of more comfortable the term “outlet” conWalmart), selling more setting retail pricing jured up images of a than 80 percent of its 88 STORES / OCTOBER 2008 stock on opening day entirely through word-of-mouth. The company’s goal is to revolutionize the furniture business by developing an extensive line of unique residential and commercial furniture and accessory items at extremely low prices. The process begins with an in-house design team that develops new products based on ideas from customers and sales associates. CAD drawings and renderings are created, and each item undergoes a rigorous approval process before the company chooses which of its suppliers is best suited to produce it. DC serves 11 stores The company currently operates 11 stores (ranging in size from 7,000 to 13,000 sq. ft) in markets such as Memphis, Little Rock, Ark., Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., Jackson, Miss., and WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - October 2008

STORES Magazine - October 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Force of a Different Collar
What Shoppers Think
Bagging the Competition
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Favorite 50
Sticky Strategies for Retention
Business Intelligence
NRFtech Wrap-up
Warehouse Systems
Selling Tools
Supply Chain
LOEB Retail Letter
Arts Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - October 2008