Lots more 'Loot' after move
A MOVE to new premises has paid off for the owners of Linda's Loot Homewares and Furniture in Cairns.
Business has grown by 15 per cent since the shift about 1km south on Mulgrave Rd at Westcourt five weeks ago.
Director Sam Marino said the need for bigger premises and a higher-profile site were the reasons for the change.
"Compared with the corresponding period last year there has been a 15 per cent increase," he said.
"People were knocking on the door before we even opened."
It's the third move for Loot which originally started at the Cairns Central shopping centre then opened in the Showgrounds shopping centre.
Mr Marino and his wife Linda bought the business about 18 months ago.
"We were running out of space and we're running out of space here now," he said.
Mr Marino said the Showgrounds store covered 500sq m and the new premises were 600sq m.
"We need to expand again and will use the warehouse at the back for retail. That will give us 750sq m all up," he said.
"We've been here five weeks and business has grown. It's all good news."
Mr Marino said there were 3500-4000 lines, specialising in furniture, soft furnishings, gifts and decorator pieces and the stock mix had improved.
He said Mrs Marino kept in close touch with what was wanted by customers.
"Linda is very acutely aware of what customers like and is on the floor all the time," Mr Marino said.
"We go to all the trade shows and know what is coming up, including current trends," he said.
Mr Marino said furniture was the most popular item, including lounges, dining tables, bookshelves, buffet cabinets and TV cabinets.
"We have traditional to modern styles.
"Giftware is popular, artworks and figurines.
"Business is skewed towards females but we are now getting a lot of males with furniture number one, followed by buying gifts for their wives.
"There's also a lot of wrought iron which people like."
The Marinos also own Beacon Lighting which is next door.
"The rent is up marginally but the move has been good for Beacon's too," Mr Marino said.
We've seen an increase at Beacon and the move has been a win-win all round."
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Fruitful change: Sam and Linda Marino bought the business 18 months ago and have enjoyed an upswing in trade. Picture: STEWART McLEAN