Wight’s Home and Garden just outside Seattle has been attracting customers from miles away for most of its 47 years of business. Its vastness in size – 23,000 square feet inside and another 45,000 square feet in outside nursery – and in product mix lures customers all year long.
According to Maria Fox, general manager of Wight’s, the store moved into home décor sales about 12 years ago and began its relationship with IMAX not long after.
“IMAX product works for us for several reasons,” Maria said. “The pricing is good allowing for additional markup on certain items. At the mid-range price point, it is appealing to a large customer base and savvy decorators can buy at retail and still increase the price if inclined to do so.”
Maria also likes the product mix. “IMAX is really great with plenty of new items, and surprisingly so in this economy, as so many other vendors are limiting new SKUs and showing many items of past seasons.”
Wight’s has diversified into many categories – gift shop, boutique, kitchen and bath shop etc. – and Maria estimates home décor is about 15% of total sales. To satisfy all those categories, Maria and her buyers shop Atlanta, Dallas and the local show in Seattle.
In addition to Wight’s longtime customer base of loyal and avid gardeners, the diversification has attracted younger home owners and Baby Boomers interested in both the inside and outside of their homes.
Holiday is a major draw at Wight’s, especially Christmas. “Our Wight’s Wonderland of Christmas is a regional destination for everything holiday,” Maria said. “We transform the entire sales floor into a showcase of themed Christmas trees (last year 31 themes) with all the accompanying trimmings.”
Coming to see the trees “is a family tradition for thousands of families,” Maria said. “It is not uncommon for three to four generations to all come together as a holiday tradition. Our advertising reaches out hundreds of miles and customers make a day trip out of the visit and some even come from neighboring states for their annual visit.
In addition to its reputation in the Northwest and advertising in traditional media, Wight’s has a beautiful Web site, www.Wights.com, compete with information on decorating trends and tips.