• Susan Dickenson

Retail Profile: Mathews Furniture Galleries, Atlanta

Since the late 1970s, Mathews Furniture Galleries has served Atlantans as a high-end source for traditional, Mathews Furniturecontemporary and antique-reproduction furniture and accessories along with a full-service interior design studio.

Stephen Mathews, the son of founders Stu and Bobbie Mathews, runs the business with the goal of providing a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere in which customers can select pieces "they can be proud to hand down to their kids and grandkids someday."

An inventory of approximately 70% furniture and 30% home accents are sold in the company's 17,000-sq.-ft. showroom on West Paces Ferry Road. A retail and design staff of 15 includes interior designers/buyers/merchandisers Nina Nash and Joe Gallo who, over the past couple of years, have added a youthful, contemporary vibe to Mathews' showroom vignettes.Mathews Furniture2

"Although we're both fairly new to Mathews - I've been here since October 2010 and Joe since December 2011 - I've been doing interior design professionally for about eight years and Joe over 10 years," Nash said. "I started off working as an assistant under one of the best interior designers in Atlanta, Don Easterling. As Mathews continues to evolve, we remain focused on giving our customers high-quality products, memorable experiences and the exceptional service that is the core of Mathews Furniture."

Nash and Gallo discussed the store, and their work, with Home Accents Today.

How has business been over the past year? Very well. People say we are the last "high-end" furniture store in Atlanta - we've been in business for over 30 years and are still going strong.

Since you're in Atlanta, do you shop Americasmart year round? Yes, we shop it as

Nina Nash and Joe GalloNina Nash and Joe Gallo
needed, which is about four times per year. We go through a lot of furniture and accessories at our store! We also shop High Point and are planning some buying trips to the furniture markets in Europe this year.

How much of your business is retail, how much is interior design? About 50/50.

Describe how your store merchandises: Our in-store merchandisers, who are also staff interior designers, work on the floor daily. We sell off the floor as well as special order so things are constantly moving. We do major changes in our displays seasonally as well.

What's hot in home accents for your customers? We've noticed a trend with light blues and turquoise colors, and also various shades of cream, gray and tan. We have such a mix. High-end traditional is our foundation and what we're known for, but through the years it has morphed into a clean transitional look.

Describe your average customer: We have a great mix of clients from the Atlanta area and all over the Southeast. They all have a love for fine, good quality furniture.

How do you reach your customer? We advertise in magazines such as Veranda and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and run an occasional TV commercial. We are currently in the process of scheduling appearances and book signings by several Mathews Furniture Galleries, Atlantawell-known interior designers.

What makes you different from the competition? We don't have much competition! We have a unique mix of high-end brands, from traditional to contemporary, and everything in-between.

What categories of home accents do you carry? Accent furniture, upholstery, lamps, wall decor, decorative pillows, throws, rugs, mirrors, permanent botanicals, tabletop and decorative accessories.
Who are some of your home accents vendors? John-Richard, Arteriors, Global Views, Cyan Design, Two's Company, Go Home, Oly, Lazy Susan, NDI, Speer, Mathews vignetteMade Goods, Currey & Company, Fine Art Lamps, Chapman Lamps, Visual Comfort, Wildwood, Arte de Mexico, Mottega, Wendover Art, Trowbridge, Mirror Fair, Friedman Brothers, French Accents, Modern History, Safavieh, Feizy, Fiberworks, Schonbek, Theodore Alexander, Habersham, Highland House, Hickory Chair, Hooker, Baker, Ralph Lauren

Do you use social media to promote your business? Yes, we are on Facebook and some of our design staff promote Mathews Furniture on their individual websites.

Are you experimenting with any new technologies? We are using iPads with our clients.

What are your hopes/plans for the next 12 months? We'll continue to transform our store and expand our list of close to 200 vendors. We are always looking for the best of what's out there, and if it's available, we want access to it. We want to offer as much variety to our clients as possible so they don't need to go elsewhere; we want to do the whole house - from the floor to the ceiling!

Website: mathewsfurniture.com

Address: 1240 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Ga., 30327Mathews Furniture Galleries, Atlanta

Susan DickensonSusan Dickenson | Editor in Chief

Susan Dickenson is the editor in chief of Home Accents Today, where she has spent more than a decade covering trending topics, best practices and news items pertaining to the manufacturing, retail and interior design segments of the home furnishings industry. A graduate of UNC, Dickenson spent 15 years in the Washington, D.C., area, writing and researching in both the public and private sector. After relocating to her native North Carolina in 2003, she freelanced as a writer of general interest, business, garden and home items for local and national publications before joining Home Accents Today in 2006 as retail editor.

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