Megastore retailer Garden Ridge offers decorating items for more than just the garden. The company owns and operates nearly 50 stores, each covering some 3 acres and mostly located off major highways in about 20 states from Florida to Michigan. Its headquarters state of Texas is home to some 15 stores. Considered the "home décor depot," Garden Ridge stores sell about 500,000 decorating items, such as seasonal décor, framed art, baskets, silk and dried flowers, furniture, home textiles, and pottery, as well as crafts and party supplies. Garden Ridge, which began as a single store outside of San Antonio in 1979, is owned by an investment group led by the New York-based private equity firm Three Cities Research.
With its large stores, customers can get a workout while they shop. To fuel their shopping trips, some store locations operate snack bars on the premises. Garden Ridge's target customer is an older, upscale female shopper who typically does not work full-time. Buying décor at a discount allows Garden Ridge shoppers to change out home and holiday decorations more often as trends, tastes, and seasons change.
The company's CEO Tom Kibarian has said that Garden Ridge is looking to grow into a $5 billion to $10 billion retailing chain that is the cornerstone of the home décor retailing niche. In 2011, the company is expanding its presence in the Chicago area, where there is little competition. Other new markets for the chain have included Alabama and Indiana. – less