Though he doesn't wear an actual crown, Bruce Wiener has earned the title of Bed King thanks to his family's long-standing business and his in-depth knowledge of what makes a high-quality mattress. Still, he rules with a fair hand. At his store, he and his staff share the three things customers need to know when buying a mattress: how it feels, how it's built inside, and what their budget is. They advise customers to test out each mattress by lounging on it for 15 minutes, examining its comfort, support structure, and willingness to share bedtime stories. They also arm customers with know-how on the latest technologies, demystifying industry jargon by explaining, for example, that coil systems impart equal weight distribution over the surface of the bed.
You never know what you’ll find at Buddy’s Small Lots. It might be a rechargeable kids’ go-kart, or a portable, pop-up beach canopy to keep the sun from staring at you in your swimsuit. Or it might be a Sunbeam stand mixer, the latest as-seen-on-TV invention, or a wood patio table. In any case, what it will be is steeply discounted. With a rapidly changing inventory of brand-new items, Buddy’s is just about impossible to sum up. Along with outfitting a home or dispatching holiday shopping in one swoop, customers can leave with the makings of a decent meal—the store also sells popular brands of milk, eggs, canned goods, and other grocery staples.
Back in 1959, Joe Spirko and his wife Linda started a tiny fruit stand, home to fresh-grown fruits and veggies, hand-cut flowers, and some seed packets. From those humble beginnings, Strawberry Blossom & Ploch's grew quickly, expanding and then relocating to accommodate local demand. Today, the home and garden center occupies more than five acres of land, where visitors are invited to meander through greenhouses, ask questions, and stock up on black gold: dirt. Indoor and outdoor plants can be found, as well as ground-cover, bulbs, and everything to make the exterior of your home beautiful, including tasteful lawn furniture and accessories for grilling.
eToys.com makes it easy to find gifts for kids big and small. Search by age group to find name-brand items for babies. For older tykes, opt for action figures and video games, or get hearts pumping with trampolines, bikes, and outdoor play sets. Shoppers can also peruse the online toy shop's goods by theme to find the perfect birthday or holiday present.
Robert Parsly, a lighting designer with more than 25 years of experience, leads a knowledgeable staff at Lightwaves NJ, whose inventory is packed with lighting and home products for every room of the house. To help clients get an accurate picture of how each sconce and chandelier will look, Lightwaves fills its show room with creative displays of both indoor and outdoor spaces.
With more than 100 showrooms and clearance centers across the country, Cort offers a cornucopia of repurposed furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. When merchandise arrives at Cort it is cleaned, reconditioned, and repaired if necessary before being labeled with a letter grade of A–D so prospective buyers can accurately determine each item's value and condition. Stylize sleeping quarters with an Accolade chest ($589.99) or schedule games of Jenga inside a Citrine living-room set ($439.99).