Clever measures at the start of the pandemic pay off for the interior designer | Business Observer
Shipping and supply chain issues have plagued businesses of all kinds over the past year. Furniture and interior design company Clive Daniel Home is no exception. But smart thinking has helped the company overcome the logistics nightmare a little better than other companies.
When the pandemic began, the Naples-based company foresaw the potential for shipping and inventory issues. So she rented two additional storage spaces in Fort Myers and stocked them with furniture. “Going into COVID, we thought our supply chain might get a bit difficult,” says Daniel Lubner, CEO of Clive Daniel Home. “We had no idea it would be as disrupted, convoluted and chaotic as it is now – and will be for at least the next 18 months.”
Having these warehouses stocked has helped the company “deliver immediate gratification to our customers,” says Lubner, 47. And that’s been especially important as Florida’s real estate market has remained hot, racking up more sales and higher median sale prices in 2021 compared to 2020, according to data from Florida Realtors.
To make a decision like that, the company had plenty of experience to draw on. Clive Daniel Home was founded in 2011 by a father-son team of furniture and interior design industry veterans. Clive Lubner served as CEO of Robb & Stucky until its liquidation in 2011. Clive’s son, Daniel Lubner, started the company’s hospitality division.
Father and son decided to go it alone in 2011. “We’ve been part of the community since the 1970s,” says Daniel Lubner. “This is our home. The idea behind this name was to let everyone know who we are. We were involved with the previous business and all the good and bad…and we wanted to make sure people knew that was us.
The company started with a store and a showroom in Naples and kept realistic ambitions. “I just wanted to do payroll,” Lubner laughs. He did, and the business continued to grow, thanks to the efforts of his dedicated staff. “Any success we have is [from] people in the organization,” says Lubner. “We’re just lucky to have our names on the side of the building.”
Any success we have is [from] people in the organization. We happen to be lucky enough to have our names on the side of the building. Daniel Lubner, Clive Daniel Home
In 2016, Clive Daniel Home opened a second showroom he built in Boca Raton. A three-to-five store strategy had always been part of the company’s plan from the start, and this available land in Boca Raton allowed it to build exactly what it wanted.
Now, Clive Daniel Home is approaching competition from its third Sarasota location, in the mixed-use Fruitville Commons project just east of Interstate 75. Lubner expects it to open in May or June. Both sites serve to expand the reach of the business in a logical way. “These markets are just perfect locations for our brand and the type of design work we’re looking to do,” says Lubner.
Clive Daniel Home made $87 million in revenue in 2021, despite the fact that its designers had to learn to operate differently when personalized options for customers weren’t as easy to come by. Being able to turn to this warehouse stock was a huge plus.
“Demand is at an all-time high and supply is at an all-time low,” Lubner says. “And I don’t know who else can confidently raise their hand and say they stayed ahead. Our merchandising team really went to great lengths to make sure that not only do we have products that we can deliver, but that they are at the forefront of fashion and it is the quality and type of products that will delight Floridians and our designers.
Lubner admits that having multiple warehouses isn’t ideal in the long run. “The next thing on the radar is to identify buildable land where we can, over the next few years, build a 200,000 square foot warehouse,” he says.
With a current workforce of 218, plus approximately 60 new hires for the new Sarasota location, Clive Daniel Home knows the importance of a strong company culture. This includes ensuring internal growth opportunities and offering competitive salaries and benefits. It also means not being afraid to rethink business practices as the world and the industry continue to evolve. “If we run our operations a year from now the same way we run them today, we haven’t scaled the business,” Lubner says.
Clive Daniel Home has received hundreds of awards and accolades over its decade of operation. Most recently, it won Best Furniture Store – Multiple Locations from the Dallas Market Center and ART, a network of interior design professionals, at the 32nd ARTS Awards Gala. Lubner calls the honor particularly meaningful, as the company had received the “rising star” award from these same organizations in 2013. “It gives us an opportunity to slow down and recognize what our team has accomplished,” he says. .
And they’re not finished yet. Lubner says other stores are likely down the road, and the company is also working on an idea for a concept store which he won’t say much more about at this stage. “We need to make sure our logistics and warehousing are ready for future growth and expansion,” says Lubner. “But we are excited to continue to slowly and responsibly grow the business.”