Celebrating 50 years, Pottery World in Rocklin, California, finds success with unique mix of merchandise

Celebrating 50 years, Pottery World in Rocklin, California, finds success with unique mix of merchandise

Longtime outdoor retailer Pottery World of Rocklin, California, has taken a DIY approach to growth over the years, starting out at the Denio’s open-air auction almost 50 years ago.

“Pottery World has deep familial roots, initiated by my father-in-law’s vision of selling pots in 1974,” says Justin Garrett, general manager. “Over the years, this vision evolved, eventually encompassing patio furniture offerings at our flagship store in 2000. Today, Pottery World remains a family-operated enterprise, with my wife, Ann, and myself overseeing daily operations alongside our dedicated staff.

“As we approach our 50th anniversary this June, we reflect proudly on our journey and the growth that has led us to where we are today.”

These days, Pottery World has a combined 50,000 square feet of floor space and features one of the largest selections of outdoor living furnishings, fountains, pottery, interior furniture and accessories in Northern California, along with a five-star restaurant on-site. And customers can look forward to an anniversary celebration next month.

“Pottery World anticipates celebrating with our loyal clientele through a series of special events featuring live music, patio bars and exclusive sales across our entire inventory, including delicious specials in the café,” says Garrett.

Success this year

Garrett says that the most important priorities for success in 2024 are three-fold.

“In our view, the pillars of merchandising, product assortment and lead times all hold significant weight,” says Garrett. “At Pottery World, we prioritize maintaining a vast warehouse inventory, boasting a diverse array of aluminum, steel and rattan furniture exceeding $1,000,000 in value.”

To sell the goods, the store takes a comprehensive approach to marketing.

“We utilize an in-house team to orchestrate media buys across various platforms including TV, radio and social media,” says Garrett. “Additionally, we leverage print ads in luxury home magazines. A significant feature of our marketing effort involves the transformation of our freeway frontage with oversized vinyl prints showcasing our products, integrated into custom walls.”

In addition, the store has intensified its social media marketing endeavors, complemented by targeted Google ads focusing on keywords reflective of its product offerings.

Garrett says the store doesn’t offer online purchasing, because it firmly believes in providing clients with the opportunity to experience its products firsthand.

“While we’ve experienced a deceleration in sales following the peak years of the Covid-19 era, we remain proactive in adapting to market shifts,” says Garrett. “As consumer spending trends towards experiential endeavors and vacations, we counter with enticing incentives, underpinned by our commitment to delivering high-quality products at competitive rates.”

Success comes from continual improvement

“We continuously innovate, recently rolling out increased sales across multiple product categories including patio, pottery, fountains, interior furniture and accessories,” he says. “Furthermore, our women’s boutique introduces a unique element, showcasing clothing and jewelry not typically found in larger retail outlets.”

Part of that effort is to take special care on choosing merchandise.

“Our selection process revolves around extensive market research and firsthand experiences gained through global market visits,” says Garrett. “With decades of industry expertise, we discerningly curate partnerships based on criteria of quality and value.”

Preparing for the marketplace

To further differentiate itself from its competitors, Pottery World keeps a substantial on-hand inventory, which means that customers don’t have to wait for special orders to come in.

“Moreover, our emphasis on providing high-quality products at competitive prices resonates strongly with our discerning clientele,” says Garrett.

Those differences mean that Pottery World is well-positioned to compete with both full-line furniture retailers and online sellers.

While such developments may introduce heightened competition, Pottery World remains resilient by catering to a niche clientele seeking premium, long-lasting outdoor furnishings. Our focus on high-end, oversized items distinguishes us within the market landscape,” says Garrett.  “Given our status as a destination establishment offering both indoor and outdoor, unique and curated items, alongside a five-star rated restaurant on-site, Pottery World’s value proposition transcends mere online transactions.”

Any advice for struggling casual retailers?

“We advocate for differentiation and a thorough understanding of one’s target market,” says Garrett. “Embracing a high-end positioning and delivering exceptional value during economic downturns can be instrumental in weathering challenges.”

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