Motherly devotion paid off for entrepreneur and company founder Alan Gladstone. Anna's Linens (which is named after Gladstone's mother, Anna) is a specialty retailer of discounted home furnishings, including bed linens, kitchen textiles, area rugs, window coverings, bath accessories, and housewares. The company's stores average about 10,000 sq. ft., but larger spaces (some are more than 100,000 sq. ft.) allow it to experiment with its lineup of home décor offerings. Founded in 1988, the fast-growing retailer operates more than 300 locations in nearly 20 states as well as an online store. Chairman, president, and CEO Gladstone envisions Anna's Linens eventually growing to 1,000 storefronts nationwide.
Anna's Linens operates stores in 18 states. California is its largest market, followed by Texas, and Florida. Combined the three states account for more than half of all the company's stores.
Sales and Marketing
Anna's Linens' target customers are African-American and Hispanic families with household incomes between $35,000 and $75,000. In addition to growing in number, these demographics' home ownership rates are rising more quickly than those of the rest of the US population.
Anna's Linens built its business on providing value-focused merchandise, focusing on decorative window coverings and fashion bedding. Sheets, towels, and bath accessories are also key merchandise items. The retailer is extending its merchandise mix to include home decor, such as framed art. The chain is able to keep its prices low by buying merchandise from manufacturers after larger retailers cancel orders.
To reach its goal of 1,000 stores, Anna's Linens is expanding in the Northeast, and adding stores in existing markets where it is underrepresented. It continues to build on its base in Texas, where the chain has outperformed stores in other states. Anna's also has its eye on the Southeast for growth, and is evaluating possibilities in Canada and Mexico.
To improve speed to market, Anna's Linens has added to its distribution network and is upgrading its existing facilities. In 2011 it leased a 410,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Fontana, California. The company also made improvements to its Houston facility in 2012, and is in the process of updating its Charlotte, North Carolina, facility (slated for completion in 2013).
Anna's Linens has turned its attention to licensing opportunities in recent years. The company inked a licensing agreement with Domenica Brazzi, host of Univision's "Decorando Contigo." The deal encompasses a bedding and bath collection designed by Brazzi, which debuted in 2011. – less