Casual Living named Elegant Outdoor Living and Housewarmings as winners of Best Overall Merchandising in the multi-store and single store categories, respectively, in its 14th annual Merchandising Awards. Elegant Outdoor Living’s Bonita Springs, Fla., location and the Lexington, Ky.-based Housewarmings store also easily won Casual Living’s inaugural Readers’ Choice voting.Casual Living got a little help from its online readers for the first time in selecting the winners of this year’s contest. Readers agreed with the choices of the judging panel in five of the seven categories that were close calls.
The judges’ panel included Home Accents Today Retail Editor Susan Dickenson, Furniture/Today Upholstery/Style Editor Cindy W. Hodnett, Casual Living/Furniture Today Art Director Ronda Whitaker, Casual Living Editor in Chief Cinde W. Ingram and Casual Living/Home Accents Today Assistant Editor Alexa Boschini.
Paine’s Patio in Pocasset, Mass., won the Best Use of Accessories, single store category. Paine’s clever photo of Adirondacks shown in the snow also won the Best Outdoor Display in the single store division. Oklahoma City-based Seasonal Living at Flower City was a close second in both the internal and online voting for Best Use of Accessories, single store category.
Best Use of Accessories in the multi-store category was awarded to Summer Classics at Fortin Ironworks. Judges and readers narrowly selected that Columbus, Ohio-based store over Summer Classics’ original retail location in Pelham, Ala., which had inspired Bob Fortin when he founded his store in 2012, as well as seven other Summer Classics stores and a few other multi-store casual furniture retailers from across the nation.
Elegant Outdoor Living has four southwest Florida locations offering outdoor patio furniture in Sarasota, Bonita Springs, Naples, and Fort Myers.