ATASCADERO — After starting out in the family business at 14-years-old and now celebrating 15 years with his own company, Floyd Harrington knows how to help customers tie a room together.
Harrington Home Furniture Outlet opened in 2004, in their current spot on El Camino Real just south of Del Rio, and they don’t plan on going anywhere. With some of their most popular sofa and accessory sets on sale through May, he’d be happy to see some new faces, but there’s no pressure.
“Furniture isn’t like selling used cars, there’s no point in trying to sell people something they don’t want; because customers already have all the information to make up their own minds,” he said, adding that the family business benefits from maintaining a casual atmosphere.
With social media — Pinterest, in particular — a growing force in cultivating consumer culture over the last decade, folks already have a good idea of what they want before they set foot inside.
Graesyn Harrington, the third generation of her family to start learning the ropes as a furniture sales associate, is helping keep the shop’s offerings connected to people’s online view of the world via an Instagram account. But a window looking out onto Highway 101 and some prominent signage also keep the brick and mortar shop in the minds of daily commuters as they pass through.
“We’ve gotten very good at what is basically a free interior decorating consult,” Floyd Harrington said, adding that smartphone snapshots with a few rudimentary measurements from home, taken before a customer drops by, lets his team match style and offer set pieces with existing or at least ideal decor.
If something isn’t in stock a large touchscreen catalog offers thousands of options in hi-res as well.
Their pricing and sourcing practices are described a bit more on the company's website where it’s noted they seek to offer, “the best deals in top quality, name brand furniture and bedding...by searching the wholesale furniture markets for new products at introductory prices, factory overstocks, closeouts, and slightly blemished models. We are extremely selective in order to provide you with the durability, function and style that fit your lifestyle.”
Most of the actual information about the products, materials and manufacturer, is available to the customer directly already if they care to crawl Google results though, so there's an increasing interest in unique and custom pieces.
An example is in the bar which serves as home to their office Keurig coffee machine. A style popular in India, the piece is the repurposed grill and bodywork of a 1970’s shipping lorry, a truck front complete with functional headlights for interior lighting.
While whimsy is available, more conventional sofas and customizable sectionals, perhaps paired with a reasonably priced throw rug, are the most popular offerings still.
“Everybody needs those and they get replaced the most,” Harrington said, “especially if you have kids or pets, anything that jumps or spills.”
Give the store a call to wish them as Happy 15th Anniversary at 805-464-0420 or go online to harringtonhomefurniture.com to see what they’re up to next.