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Welcome to the first edition of the Kids Today Retail Stars

Welcome to the first edition of the Kids Today Retail Stars

 

What is a Retail Star? A star is a store that is doing something creative, constantly innovating and looking ahead.

A Star may be tiny — we have one, Best Baby Organics, who operates in only 600 square feet of space. It may be really big, such as House of Bedrooms Kids, which does more than $5 million in annual revenue. One store was only founded in 2008; another got started way back in 1962.

This first set of 10 Stars represents a broad geographical range, too, and a wide variety of products sold. Single- and multi-store operations are recognized, but all are independently-owned.

To select this first set of Stars, and in the interest of introducing new faces to our readers, we only selected retailers this time who have not been featured in Kids Today for at least three years, either in the form of a store profile or on our advisory board.

 

The 2010 Kids Today Retail Stars


Best Baby Organics


Miami
1 Store; Estimated 2009 total sales: less than $500,000
bestbabyorganics.com
Eco-friendly baby and maternity specialist. Family-owned, established in 2006. Sells online and has 600 square feet of selling space. Has four employees, including two sales associates. Key vendors are Bloom and Naturepedic Organic for cribs; P'kolino, Surfin, Ecotots and Hang Ten for other furniture; Bloom, Organic Toddler, Planet Wise, Mutsy, Kokopax, Ergo and Hotslings for infant gear. Has a social media presence through Twitter, Facebook and a store blog. Extends exclusive offers and promotions to customers via e-mail. Features hand-picked, mom-tested and approved products. Offers no tax, hassle-free returns and free shipping on all online orders over $35. Believes its personalized customer service and quick delivery sets it apart from competitors.

Closic's Baby & Teen Furniture


Wilmington, Del.
1 Store; Estimated 2009 total sales: $1 million to $2.9 million
closicsfurniture.com
Family-owned kids furniture specialist, in business since 1971. Offers product for infants through teens in 14,000 square feet of selling space. The store's first floor is dedicated to the nursery and the second to children and young adults. Also sells online. Has seven employees, including a sales team of five. Is a member of the BFPA buying group. Key vendors include Munire, Bonavita, Romina, Simmons, Natart, Dutailier and Sorelle for cribs; Romina, Dutailier, Oak Designs and Lea Elite for other furniture; Uppababy, Britax and Chicco for infant gear; Pine Creek, Kids Line, Banana Fish, Cotton Tales and Glenna Jean for textiles; Glenna Jean, Green Frog Art and Arts for Kids for accessories. Cribs accounted for 45% of 2009 total sales; other furniture, 50%; other merchandise, including decorative accessories, textiles, gear, toys and apparel, 5%. Serves cookies daily in its customer lounge. Offers in-store and in-home custom design service and delivery. Bills itself as the largest children's furniture store in the state, “helping to imagine and create the world and room where children will play, be cuddled, nurtured and grow.”

House of Bedrooms Kids


Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
2 Stores; Estimated 2009 total sales: $5 million or more
houseofbedrooms.com
Kids bedroom furniture specialist, founded in 1962. Is family owned. Operates two stores, House of Bedrooms and House of Bedrooms Kids. Both are located on the same block and have a combined 40,000 square feet of selling space. Offers bedroom product for newborns through adults. Has 30 total employees, including 12 sales associates. Key vendors include Munire, Stanley, Million Dollar Baby and Creations for cribs; Stanley, La-Z-Boy Kidz, Legacy Classic Kids, Berg, Vaughan-Bassett, American Woodcrafters, Colgate and Serta for other furniture; Timberfish, Lite Source, Bella Casa, Coaster, KidKraft, Levels of Discovery, Pine Creek, Cocalo and Dwell for accessories. Cribs accounted for 25% of 2009 total sales; other furniture, 55%; textiles, 5%; accessories, 15%. Hosts special events and offers delivery. Has a Facebook fan page showing new product introductions.
Kids and infant specialty retailer, founded in 2004. Is family-owned and “created by moms for moms.” Its 4,000 sq.-ft. store features products for children from birth to seven years. Also sells online. Has four employees. Is a member of the BFPA buying group. Key vendors include Bonavita, Romina, Young America and Million Dollar Baby for cribs; Bonavita, Romina, Young America, Million Dollar Baby, Lea, Ragazzi and Little Castle for other furniture; Bob, Peg Perego, Chicco, Orbit Baby, Recaro, Moby Wrap, Ergo and Baby K'tan for infant gear; Pine Creek, New Arrivals, Serena and Lily, Banana Fish and Mudge and Molly for textiles; Smile for the Birdie, Renditions by Reesa, Oopsy Daisy and The Rug Market for accessories. Cribs accounted for 15% of 2009 total sales; other furniture, 20%; infant gear, 11%; textiles, 8%; accessories, 10%; apparel, 10%; toys, 5%; other merchandise, 21%. Special events include Wednesday Grandparents Day, where grandparents can bring in a photo of a grandchild and receive 15% off gifts and apparel. Special events includes classes for expectant and new moms and photos with Santa. Offers design services and delivery. Has an online gift registry and a social media presence through Facebook and MySpace.

Kids N Cribs


Brentwood, Calif.
1 Store; Estimated 2009 total sales: $1 million to $2.9 million
kids-n-cribs.com
Kids furniture specialty store. Is family-owned, in operation since 1982. Store encompasses 3,200 square feet, offering product for newborns through teens. Also sells online. Has seven employees, including five sales associates. Member of Baby News and Baby Furniture Plus buying groups. Key vendors are Babys Dream, Munire, Bonavita, Baby Appleseed and Young America for cribs; Best Chairs and Dutailier for other furniture; Britax, Graco, Chicco, Bob, First Years, Bumbleride, Orbit, Teutonia, Baby Jogger and Combi for infant gear; Cotton Tales, Cocalo, Lambs and Ivy and Kids Line for accessories. Cribs accounted for 50% of total 2009 sales; other furniture, 15%; infant gear, 25%; textiles, 10%. Offers delivery and an online registry. Has a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page. Is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.org, a discussion forum on child passenger safety.

Kid's Stuff Superstore


Sioux Falls, S.D.
3 Stores; Estimated 2009 total sales: $3 million to $4.9 million
kidsstuffsuperstore.com
Kids furniture specialist, founded in 1981. Currently has two generations of family working in the store, including the founding couple, daughter and son-in-law. Operates one store each in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. Stores have a combined 45,000 square feet of selling space and offer product for infants through seven-year-olds. Has 20 total employees, including 18 sales associates. Is a member of NINFRA buying group. Key vendors include Babys Dream, Creations and Westwood for cribs; Million Dollar Baby and Legacy Kids for other furniture; Graco, Britax, Bob and Chicco for infant gear; Kids Line, Cocalo and Crown Craft for textiles; JJ Cole and Halo for accessories. Cribs accounted for one-half of 2009 total sales; other furniture, infant gear and textiles, 15% each; accessories, 5%. Offers design services and delivery. Online, has a gift registry and virtual store tours. Social media presence includes Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Believes its selection, information and price sets it apart from competitors.

KooKoo Bear Baby & Kids


Roswell, Ga.
1 Store; Estimated 2009 total sales: $3 million to $4.9 million

Kids furniture, home furnishings and gift specialty store. Family-owned, established in 2003. Offers products for infants through 10-year-olds in 7,000 square feet of selling space. Also sells online and through a catalog. Has 20 total employees. Key vendors include Young America for cribs; Lea Furniture by La-Z-Boy for other furniture. Cribs accounted for 20% of 2009 total sales; other furniture, 40%; textiles, 20%; apparel, 10%; other merchandise, including gifts, 10%. Offers classes for expectant or new moms, design assistance, delivery and monogramming services. Wraps gifts in its signature yellow box with matching ribbon. Website has a gift registry and live chat capabilities. Social media efforts include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

Lanser's The Natural Way


Granger, Ind.
2 Stores; Estimated 2009 total sales: $500,000 to $999,999
thenaturalway.org
Furniture specialist for babies and children. Family-owned, founded in 1997. Operates one store each in Granger and South Bend, Ind. Stores offer products for infants to teens in a combined 7,500 square feet of selling space. Also sells online. Began as a home-based business, allowing the owner to stay at home with her six children. Has six employees, including four sales associates. Key vendors include Bonavita, Ragazzi, Status, Westwood and Young America for cribs; Maxtrix, Bolton, Best, Little Castle, Badger Basket and Green Frog Art for other furniture; Peg Perego, Baby Jogger, Phil and Ted, Bloom and Baby Bjorn for infant gear; Fireside Comforts, Pine Creek Bedding, Serena and Lily, Sweet Kyla, Hoohobbers and Doodlefish for textiles; Oopsy Daisy, A is for Art, Dream Catchers, Lipper and Burton and Burton for accessories. Website includes a company blog. Offers design services and delivery. Prides itself on offering products not found in “big box” stores.

Simply Baby and Kids


Monroe, Conn.
1 Store; Estimated 2009 total sales: $1 million to $2.9 million
simplybabyandkids.com
Kids furniture specialist. Is family owned, in operation since 1992. Offers products for infants through 13-year-olds in 8,000 square feet of selling space. Renovated last year, allocating 2,000 square feet of space for a Young America Signature Shop. Has nine employees, including six sales associates. Is a member of BFPA buying group. Key vendors include Young America, Munire, Bonavita, Creations, Romina, Relics and Oeuf for cribs; Best Chairs, Dutailier, Newport Cottages, Romina, Munire, Bonavita, Creations, Classic Collections for other furniture; iCandy, Uppababy, Bugaboo, Maclaren, Mutsy, Bumbleride, Baby Bjorn, Hotslings, Clek, Sunshine Kids and Britax for infant gear; Serena and Lily, Pine Creek, Maddie Boo, Caden Lane and New Arrivals for textiles; Slip and Kids Line for accessories. Offers design, delivery and personalization services. Its online store, active since 2001, features a personal shopper, gift registry, Facebook fan page link and a blog. Bills itself as “everything luxe for baby and child.”

Twinkle Star Baby


Cambridge, Mass.
1 Store; Estimated 2009 total sales: less than $500,000
shoptwinklestar.com
Kids specialty retailer featuring “uncommonly cool baby gifts and clothes.” Is family owned, founded in 2008. Offers products for infants through seven-year-olds in 1,200 square feet of selling space. Also sells online. Has six employees, including four sales associates. Key vendors include Svan for other furniture; Micralite, iCandy, EasyWalker and Lillebaby for infant gear; ABC, Halo and International Smiles for textiles; Petunia Pickle Bottom, Flensted, Go Ga Ga, Boon, iPlay, JJ Cole and Balboa Baby for accessories. Infant gear accounted for 17% of 2009 total sales; textiles, 6%; accessories, 5%; apparel, 67%; other merchandise, 5%. Features an in-house photo studio. Special events include music classes, events to help find nannies and a transition to kindergarten event. Has a social media presence through Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and a company blog. Owners are parents of three small children and have personally tested every item in the store.

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