Real space meshes with cyberspace at the Home Gallery in Carytown. Owner Lee Krumbein of Home Gallery created a company Web site that connects shoppers with dozens of manufacturers, but when he decided to open a 3,500-square-foot storefront on Cary Street, he knew that he couldn't showcase every piece of furniture that he sells online. His solution? Add two 50-inch monitors with high-speed Internet connections to the mix, allowing in-store shoppers to visit the company Web site.
"We carry top-end manufacturers — American Drew, Century, Kathy Ireland Home, Stanley Furniture, to name a few — in our showroom and [on our Web site]," he explains. "[This] was a great way to add sales to our present store volume."
The store is fully decorated with samples of accessories, lamps, Oriental rugs and paintings, all of them divvied up into groupings that highlight different color, fabric and composition combinations. Groups range from $999 to $10,000.
If customers can't find what they want in the store, the Internet terminals give them access to more than 50,000 items on the Web site. "It's really the next step up from the catalog business," Krumbein says. Shipping charges vary depending on the manufacturer, with some pricing including shipping, while in other cases customers pay the shipping company upon delivery. (All shipping costs include setup in the customer's home.)
Krumbein believes that Carytown is the ideal location for his new concept. "It's an edgy idea that will be accepted faster there. If people find us, they buy from us."
For more information, call 249-4444 or visit www.homegallery.us.