Merino's Home Furnishings buys Winston-Salem, N.C., property
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today -- Home Accents Today, 3/6/2013 1:27:57 PM
Merinos Home Furnishings has closed on the former Hanesbrands textile mill property here, paying $3.2 million for what will become its fourth large showroom.
The retailer, which opened in a 119-year-old, Mooresville, N.C., mill in 2011 and also has other large stores in Jefferson, Ga., and Fort Lawn, S.C., will begin construction work on the 850,000-sq.-ft. Winston-Salem facility in early May, said owner Michael Bay.
The plan is to open in two phases, beginning in early July and wrapping up in September and October. Bay said the starting wage at the store (Merinos doesn't have commissioned salespeople) will be $10 an hour, well above the $7.25 minimum wage and above the $9 minimum wage that President Barack Obama called for in his recent State of the Union address.
"I think it's against human rights to work for $7 or $8 an hour, let alone $9," Bay said.
Among the features planned for the second phase is a frame and fabric area, where customers will be able to choose from frames the retailer will buy from various frame makers and marry them to a large selection of fabrics, or a fabric the customer supplies.
Merino's will upholster the pieces on site, and invite customer to watch when their items are ready to be made, Bay said, comparing the operation to that of a tailor.
"This will be custom-made furniture, but made in front of you," he said.
Bay has projected the store could do about $24 million in annual sales once it is completely built out.
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