At Mattress Closeout Center, the staff uses negotiation skills to continuously replenish a diverse inventory of brand-name mattresses—many of them culled from factory overstocks, liquidations, last-year models, and overruns. While grazing through one of the brand-name liquidation center's four locations, guests can sip a cup of complimentary Starbucks coffee or bottle of Coca Cola and research consumer reviews and retail prices on the store's iPad. Mattress Closeout Center also provides exact lists of inventory and pricing online, with a comparison of the store's discount prices beside the normal retail prices. The store's well-established rapport is also backed by myriad testimonials from satisfied sleepers and bounce-happy trampoline enthusiasts.
Ironton Cottage & Cabin Furniture & Home Décor fills floors with 10 brands of furniture made in America from cedar, pine, aspen, and reclaimed barn wood. Customers can clothe wooden beds ($799–$3,999) and rustically furnished limo backseats in patchwork bedspreads ($150–$350) or stock bedrooms with dressers and nightstands ($499–$3,500). Furnish living areas with sofas ($729–$2,195 each) and other upholstered furniture available in more than 200 different fabrics while, in the kitchen, a wine holder ($29–$89) hugs a bottle of vino as tightly as an epicurean grizzly bear hugs its last pot of artisanal honey.
English Gardens began as a single, family-owned nursery in 1954, and has since blossomed into a full-service landscaping and garden center with multiple locations, all owned and operated by second-generation family members. Each location facilitates both indoor and outdoor gardening projects. The florist department brings the outdoor flourish inside by arranging fresh-cut floral bouquets and gift baskets for all manner of occasions. Workshops and in-store presentations also allow the green-thumbed experts to impart advice on common gardening and decorating topics such as building a kitchen herb garden or housetraining a dogwood tree. During the summer season, English Gardens holds a summer planting sale as well as weekly in-store gardening tutorials every Saturday at 10 a.m.
The shopkeepers at Birmingham Design Studio pair an inventory of luxurious home goods with decades of experience and sharp eyes for tasteful design. Birmingham Design Studios' rugs pass rigorous tests by certified Oriental-rug appraisers for quality, beauty, and value, showing off hand-knotted flanks, complex patterns, and rich colors in the showroom. Small 2'x3' rugs ($350–$2,000) stretch through hallways or welcome guests at doors, and midsize mats ($900–$5,000 for 3'x5' rugs; $1,200–$6,000 for 4'x6' rugs) draw a room together. In addition to stocking many one-of-a-kind carpets, Birmingham's certified interior designers can also collaborate with clients to fashion a custom-made rug, working from a handful of fabric samples, a sketch, or a photograph of a favorite corn maze.
The hibernation experts at Mattress & Futon Shoppe help foster deep sleep with cushions from top brands such as Sealy, Stearns & Foster, and Corsicana. Well-versed in all forms of sleep habits, the store employees are happy to expound on the finer points of each mattress they keep in stock, which range from traditional innerspring beds to high-tech gel memory-foam mattresses. If your new mattress doesn't feel right or already has a family of monsters sleeping under it, Mattress & Futon Shoppe has a 100-day Don't Worry Sleep Happy comfort warranty, and you can return the unwanted item to one of 13 convenient locations.
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.