By Kylie Sibert
Retail Alliance, the non-profit association representing retailers throughout Hampton Roads, recently announced that Decorum Furniture is the recipient of this year’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement award at their Retailer of the Year event on May 19. The award will be presented to partners Claus Ihlemann and Robert Roman.
“Decorum Furniture is a worthy recipient of this year’s award,” said Ray Mattes, President/CEO of Retail Alliance. “They are a trustworthy, well-regarded presence in Hampton Roads with a successful retail history that spans back to the mid 1970s.”
Decorum Furniture occupies a unique position in Hampton Roads, Virginia as the only retail outlet devoted exclusively to contemporary furniture. This niche has earned them a loyal following for over 40 years. Indeed, they have won The Virginian-Pilot’s Readers Choice Award for “best furniture store” for the past 16 Years. Their three-story store has over 30,000 square feet of showroom space, employs 20 people and is located in the heart of Ghent in Norfolk.
“What you do impacts your neighborhood and your region, and you strive to make sure this is positive and game changing. For us, owning and operating the business is a way of life, and hopefully having a positive impact on other people’s lives,” owner Claus Ihlemann said. “Community involvement and giving back is crucial, and the networking is a great way to build your support. We do this in a variety of ways: Involvement with various organizations, such as Hope House, Tidewater Arts Outreach, Access AIDS among others, supporting events; participating in organizations, and supporting their missions. It has become one of our strongest marketing tools. We believe in paying it forward.”
This year, the Retailer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by MacArthur Center. The Lifetime Achievement Award looks at a variety of criteria, including: longevity; profitability; community involvement; reputation; visual merchandising; aesthetics; and they need to be a retail merchant. Previous winners are: 2015: Goodman & Sons; 2014: Dan Ryan; 2013: Mary Barnett.
Retail Alliance’s Retailer of the Year awards is to be held at The American Theatre in Phoebus, Hampton on May 19th from 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM.