Houston-based Chair King Backyard Store has grown to 21 locations in Texas, including nine in the Houston region.
Chair King Backyard Store marked a milestone with the opening of a new showroom Thursday in Hedwig Village to serve the Memorial and Spring Branch areas. The store, which occupies a former Pier 1 location, represents the 50th location for Chair King and its subsidiary Fortunoff Backyard Store, which operates in five states in the Northeast.
The 10,745-square-foot store at 9421 Katy Freeway sells outdoor seating and dining sets made of materials such as resin wicker, polymer, teak and cast aluminum, plus umbrellas, pillows, space heaters and other accessories. With the opening, nine of the 21 locations in Texas are in the Houston region.
The Houston-based outdoor specialty retailer said it is positioned to grow to meet heightened demand for outdoor living areas as people spend more time at home during the pandemic.
"In 2020, people certainly spent more of their time at home compared to the previous year," said Curt Littlejohn, president of Chair King Backyard Store. "Things have changed in a way that’s going to stay with us for a while. That lends itself to what we do, which is to help people enjoy their backyards and furnish them like they furnish their homes."
The growth has come with challenges as the company navigates supply chain issues ranging from backlogs in container shipping, escalating shipping costs, COVID surges that have impacted furniture production in areas such as China and Vietnam and longer lead times for fabrics using in making furniture.
"It is extremely challenging to keep merchandise in stock," said Joe Weisman, executive vice president of merchandising. "We're constantly on the phone with suppliers trying to find new ways to get merchandise here."
Weisman, who is the grandson of company founder Marvin Barish, says the company has maintained its "customer first" focus and strives to communicate with customers about any delays up front. The company has worked to keep products in stock by finding closer suppliers in Latin America and the U.S.
Chair King Backyard Store was founded in Houston in 1950.
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