Dayton area’s first HomeGoods store to employ 60

Retailer will shake up local home-furnishings market, analysts say.

HomeGoods officials announced last week they will open their first Dayton-area store on March 11 at 2500 N. Fairfield Road in the Beavercreek Shopping Center, across from the Mall at Fairfield Commons in the former hhgregg building.

The 28,000-square-foot store will employ about 60 people, according to Robyn Arvedon, public relations manager for Framingham, Mass.-based HomeGoods.

The Dayton area is an attractive market, despite the presence of three HomeGoods stores in both the Cincinnati area and in the Columbus area, Arvedon said.

“As HomeGoods expands, we are opening new stores in markets where we believe our off-price concept of providing high-quality home fashions at significant values will be embraced,” Arvedon said. “Cincinnati was one of our very first cities that we opened, back in the 1990s, and we are confident that Dayton-area shoppers will welcome our new store to their city.”

HomeGoods operates 325 stores nationwide and the chain is expanding. The most recent quarterly filing by its corporate parent — TJX Companies Inc., which also operates T.J. Maxx and Marshalls clothing stores across the country — shows that HomeGoods’ same-store sales jumped 5 percent through the end of October 2011 from the previous year. Company officials said that the HomeGoods chain could eventually more than double its locations, to 750.

Industry analysts predict HomeGoods will make a splash in the Dayton market, based on the performance of its stores elsewhere.

“HomeGoods has been one of the hottest home furnishings companies in the country for the last three years or so,” said Warren Shoulberg, editorial director for Home Textiles Today, a business publication for the home furnishings industry. “They are perceived as a place where shoppers can get great bargains — and that’s largely true.”

Initially, consumer perception of HomeGoods focused on its offerings of closeouts, irregular items or merchandise from canceled orders elsewhere, Shoulberg said. But that perception has evolved as HomeGoods’ offerings changed, and now its merchandise is much more likely to be made specifically for the chain, Shoulberg said.

“It’s not closeouts anymore,” he said. “That said, it’s still a pretty good value.”

Eben Jose — home-furnishings industry analyst for Los Angeles-based IBISWorld, Inc., an independent industry research firm — said his firm has projected home furnishing sales nationwide will grow 3.4 percent this year, as the economic recovery continues and consumers become more comfortable again making large purchases. The industry starting seeing sales gains in 2010, and, “It’s definitely picking up” now, he said.

Jose said the Dayton and southwest Ohio market “is pretty saturated” with home furnishing stores, citing as examples Ashley Furniture Homestore, IKEA and Ethan Allen. HomeGoods, he said, “does a nice job of combining value and style,” and its arrival in the Dayton market may hurt smaller independent stores more than large chains, although all will see a short-term impact, the analyst said.

“This definitely will affect other retailers in the area — they’ll see a decrease in sales because the market will splinter further. But it won’t be a huge impact,” Jose said.

Clete Buddelmeyer, CEO of the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce, said he is pleased to have HomeGoods land in his city.

“I’m sure they’ve done some market research, and it must have shown that this was a good place to have a home-furnishings business,” Buddelmeyer said. “They have a great reputation. And my wife is very excited that they’re coming.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2258 or mfisher@DaytonDaily News.com.

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