What People Want
With 75 years of knowledge and expertise in the textile market, Altmeyer’s Bed, Bath & Home offers a diverse portfolio of products at affordable prices. The company has created a wide selection of bedding, home decor, kitchen linens, bathroom accessories and window treatments.
“Consumers want convenience and they want service from a knowledgeable staff,” Altmeyer says. “If you’re selling custom window treatments or sized items, it is hard to pick them off the rack. We offer very good value to our customers, and we blend in a lot of closeout products and assortments in our mix. That gives us a lower cost basis, and we can pass the value to customers. We provide customers with an appealing store, and that brings us regular visitors. We give them a unique product difference.”
At its traditional brick and mortar stores, Altmeyer’s has earned the trust of its customers by satisfying their needs in terms of price, selection and service. The company believes that being a superior business requires providing exceptional service before, during and after the sale. The company can not only help customers in need of bedding, bath accessories and curtains, it can also help with home décor such as custom windows and custom table pads.
“Our company has built a strong window business, and we have unique offerings such as cut-and-sew ready-made drapes,” Altmeyer says. “We can tailor our ready-made products for our customers. In addition, we know our market well and offer good value in nice stores that offer a personal shopping experience. Additionally, we’ve built good relationships with manufacturers because we have been buying for decades.”
Its strong ties with manufacturers are important for Altmeyer’s success. The company has excellent credit and a strong payment record, so manufacturers can have confidence when working with Altmeyer’s. The company also does not put conditions on what it buys from manufacturers, whereas deals at larger retailers might have some strings attached.
“Manufacturers know working with us means a clean deal from the get-go,” Altmeyer says. “This allows us to work off of a different cost structure, because we have a cleaner and quicker approach. We can move very quickly, and we watch our inventory levels very closely.”
Always looking to do better, Altmeyer’s has been making improvements to its stores. The company is in the midst of transitioning to chip credit card technology to make life easier for staff and customers, as well as to help with data security. Altmeyer’s also renovates and updates the floor plan of its stores every few years.
The Future is Now
Beyond the physical world, Altmeyer’s has been a player in the virtual world for many years. The company first launched its BedBathHome.com website in 1997, and it also has a presence on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Ebay, Sears and Houzz.
At BedBathHome.com, the company offers the same merchandise selection that can be found in its stores, as well as free standard shipping on orders over $49. By creating an online shopping experience that is informative and easy and coupling it with phone support provided by experienced customer service representatives, Altmeyer’s has been able to expand its business to serve customers far beyond its Pennsylvania footprint.
“We have a very robust e-commerce website that was just redone at the end of May,” Altmeyer says. “Our website and new online shopping cart are critically important for us.”
Altmeyer’s knows this may not be the best time to aggressively pursue expansion due to factors such as an unstable economy and an election year, and while many in the retail world face declining numbers. But Altmeyer says the company is comfortable taking a conservative approach for the time being while keeping its eyes open for opportunities to grow.
“We know that we have to stay on top of consumer styles and trending colors, and we know that retail is very seasonal now and we need to push seasonal items early,” Altmeyer says. “Our focus now is on fine-tuning the brick and mortar stores so we can increase their profitability and then eventually expand to new similar markets. We want to streamline our operations so all of our stores have similar looks, merchandise and presentations, and then look to expand beyond the market when the time is right. Our online presence and technology is also an area where we look to be ahead of the market, and a big part of future will be making sure we are a viable online retailer.”