Garden Ridge to At Home

This weekend was the grand opening of our At Home location in my hometown.  Growing up Garden Ridge was a big deal, especially as a child it just had oh so much to offer.  As an adult I still loved to visit, they have everything you never knew you absolutely needed.  There are so many varieties in unique pieces of furniture and paintings that inspire the shoppers to completely redesign their entire home if they don’t hold their pocketbooks close enough.

In Houston my big beef with Garden Ridge was the filth and disarray.

  1. Upon entering, all the carts were ages old and had never seemed to have seen any upkeep.  Too touch them sent me into a frenzy of the array of diseases I could be contracting that very moment.  Much less the array of disease that I would expose my babies to when(if) placed in the carts.
  2. Nothing was where it should be on the shelf.  The entire shelf was a jumbled junk store.  The result in this scenario is not so much the searching for items as it is already a store you will become lost in.  It was more the ridiculous amount of broken and stolen product.  Glass shards lined the shelves of the vase, lamp, and planter aisles.  Your favorite print would be scuffed from being jammed in its display or shattered from being dropped on the floor with no exact direction of where anything should be placed to the customer.
  3. Over Stock.  When a store of this nature carries so much in one product they tend to try to just push as much as they can out on the floor, creating a balancing act for customers and employees alike.  An overstocked rack leads to the struggle of attempting not to knock over five products just to retrieve one.  The customer then can attempt to return the overstock but will only grow more frustrated as they just continue to fall all about the floor.

The new At Home location:

  1. I love the addition of mock sets along the aisles to help the customer put together a whole picture form the insane amount of variety around them.  You may come out of the shelving aisle only to find yourself staring into an almost IKEA quality mock room.
  2. As pictured above the racks are perfectly stocked.  Enough that the employees do not have to be on a permanent restocking mission on a Saturday, but not so much that the customers are assaulted by an avalanche of product.
  3. Everything has its place, and like items are all kept together.  The merchandising is a priority in this new location.  Throw pillows line the aisles with ROYGBIV organization.  Wall Decor aisles are organized by media type, size, and then theme.
  4. Fresh clean, trash free carts!
  5. Wonderful friendly staff greeting you upon entering and exiting.

Theres nothing as reinvigorating as a fresh new store location.  There is also nothing more perfect in most cases.  I will return in a month for a check up visit to see how the store upholds upon the exit of the corporate level management.  It will be interesting to see how well their hiring decisions and training shine through.

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