Loft plans to expand showroom
March 1, 2013
By JIM MAYFIELD
GREENFIELD — University Loft Company has obtained county approval to expand its retail sales hours, a move that over time may move the company’s local in-store sales operation to six days a week.
The Hancock County Area Plan Commission Tuesday approved the company’s request to allow retail sales from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its 2588 Jannetides Blvd. manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters.
The company currently sells retail on the third Friday and Saturday of each month through its Varsity Loft Club, a furniture direct outlet platform at its showroom off I-70.
The Plan commission unanimously approved the request as an “accessory use” to the company’s operations.
Alyn Brown, company general counsel, said the new sales operation will be grown slowly as demand increases.
“We’ve been pretty successful with our monthly sales. We’d like to expand the operation, drive more sales and hopefully bring more jobs to the area,” Brown said.
“We intend to grow it steadily and probably add a couple of full-time sales associates, but I can foresee over the course of the next couple of years increasing to five or 10 people, depending on the demand,” he said.
The company’s footprint will not be expanded to accommodate the new operation, Brown said. Instead, a portion of Loft’s 58,000-square-foot showroom that features full-room setups of the company’s furniture will be dedicated to a retail showroom.
University Loft began building bed lofts, chairs and other space-saving furniture units for college dorm settings in 1986. Since that time it has added military barracks, universities and other government service contracts to its list of clients and also sells through several big-box retail platforms, according the company’s website.
Initially, the Greenfield retail outlet offered excess, overstock and floor stock to the public; however, with expanded hours, the company intends to sell a full catalogue of the company’s front-line products, Brown said.