In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
A cascading wall of illumination welcomes customers to Lighting Liquidators & More's bustling warehouse space, which brims with overstocked interior and exterior fixtures. Armed with an arsenal of Promethean products forged by Kichler, Alico, and domesticated lightning bugs, radiant staff members guide guests through a labyrinth of floor lamps ($75.99+) and wall sconces ($33.60+) that inspire envy among the most luminous roadside flares. Landscape lighting ($44.80+) spruces up nocturnal hours by elucidating shadow-bound walkways and redirecting leaky dirigibles toward the nearest helium vent.
Four generations of family have manned Kaplan's Furniture & Mattress Gallery since 1936, keeping its expansive showrooms stocked with name-brand pieces and designs from Klaussner Home Furnishings. Customers can count sheep or the ghosts of sheep past on mattress and box-spring sets ($149+) from Serta, Sealy, and Restonic memory foam. Serve spreads on a complete dinette set ($199), or curl up into the cushions of a Designers Mark, Ashley, Lane, or Southern Motion recliner ($199+). Klaussner’s wide selection of fabric choices allows customers to customize many products to match their personal interior-design style or the color of their favorite eye, with Klaussner sofas available in more than 100 fabrics. Kaplan's also has complete living room and bedroom packages available, as well as a wide selection of kid's furniture including loft, bunk, and trundle beds ($299+).
When Seymour and Esther Fischgrund founded Fish Furniture in 1925, the couple personally stained, painted, and housebroke each piece before sending it home with a customer. Today, Fish Furniture operates a bit more efficiently, but with the same attention to detail and quality. In the eight-plus decades since opening, the business has grown from 2 employees to 70. It features a pair of 40,000-square-foot show rooms, inside of which sit upholstery, bedroom sets, and office trimmings bearing solid-wood construction and the names of well-known manufacturers. Outside the show rooms, Fish's staff travels to homes to provide interior-design advice, and its courtesy touchups mend scuffs and scrapes in a more fashionable manner than haphazardly placed band-aids.