Sweet Deals Mattress & Furniture
Uses Acima’s lease solution strategy to increase sales and revenue.
In its fourth year of operation, Sweet Deals Mattress & Furniture, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, increased its sales by 25 percent while being awarded one of the top furniture companies in the state of Indiana—in large part thanks to the 'no credit solution' Acima option available to customers.
“Acima’s program is fantastic. It’s affordable, which allows people to obtain things they want. It gives better approval rates. And it’s fast in funding.” – James Phillips, Owner
“Competitive.” That one word, says Sweet Deals Owner James Phillips, sums up the entire home furnishings market—speaking for the thousands of mom-and-pop stores who struggle to stay in business while big box stores gobble up more and more market share.
But if there’s one ace in the hole that a small business like Sweet Deals Mattress & Furniture has in their favor staying competitive despite the odds, says Phillips, it comes down to this: “Financing. That’s the biggest differentiator.”
Typically, people shop for mattresses when there’s a need, explains Phillips. Furniture, on the other hand, is an instinct buy. “They’ll make a quick decision on a piece of furniture,” he says, “and they need the money to purchase it, right then. If they don’t when it’s fresh on their want list, you just don’t sell. It’s as simple as that.”
That’s where the financing comes in. Phillips explains how Sweet Deals knew a good financing option was an important part of their future success. During their first few years in business, however, they tried out multiple financing companies who were, essentially, a disaster.
“They made things so complex to get funded,” says Phillips. He admits that Sweet Deals had some success working with a couple of these companies, but it didn’t last. And some were a joke. “Basically, they were ripping people off,” he says. “By the time the customer finished the payments, they were paying four or five times more than the cost of the furniture. And guess what happens to your customers after that? They never come back.”
That winner-take-all model may have worked in the short term, Phillips says, but quickly it caught up with them and started negatively affecting their returns business. “I had no problems selling, but once they basically had paid the price of a car, for a sofa, those customers were gone for good.” Gradually those negative experiences started affecting Sweet Deals’ reputation in the community as well—while the only people making money in the end, he added, were the financing companies. “Our customers were getting abused, and we were the face. In that situation, no one wins.”
Undaunted, Phillips knew there had to be a better way. “We are always looking for how to improve our business—whether it’s how to get our business name out there through advertising, or any new options to provide our customers, so they get what they need. But in this case, we didn’t have to go find the financing solution. Acima came to us.”
Phillips tells about that day the Acima sales rep, Joseph Stepke, stopped by his Indianapolis store.
“There were two things that caught my attention right way,” says Phillips. “One was the overall financing system and formula. It was better.” But it was the personal service that was “up, up and away better,” as he describes it. “I’m talking service way above anything we had experienced before.”
That superior customer service, says Phillips, was in the form of three options for Acima, to be used at any given time: “They gave us a hotline, a chat bar, and best of all, we have an account rep, Joseph, who gives us his personal number and we can call him any day of the week, any time of day. And he’s so easy to work with.”
“Acima’s program is fantastic,” says Phillips. “It’s affordable, which allows people to obtain things they want. It gives better approval rates. And it’s fast in funding.”
The customer approval process is very simple, says Phillips. “When a customer is ready to see if they qualify for financing, they can do that through the portal website, which Acima set up for us, or through our in-store associate, who can enter their information into the portal for them.” The questions asked include employment information and two personal references.
Fast funding, the other big benefit of Acima, is particularly important for small businesses, explains Phillips. Once the customer receives their merchandise, and their funding is accepted, the money hits Acima’s account either same-day or within 24 hours. “That’s remarkable in this industry. That’s what sealed the deal for us.”
Since using Acima, Phillips points to the big picture for how much positive impact it’s had on his business.
“I’m doing more deals out of my store than anyone in the state,” he says. “Acima has given me special privileges, accommodated my needs, hooked me up with tools that have benefited my business, and basically made it as easy as possible for people walking into our store to walk out with that piece of furniture they want or need. And when that happens, everyone is happy.”
In the first year of using Acima, Sweet Deals Mattresses & Furniture’s gross income has gone up 25 percent. As a payment form, financing has gone up by more than 60 percent. And word has spread throughout the city, region, and state. That increase in sales and reputation has led Sweet Deals, in its fourth year of business, to be awarded as one of the top furniture stores in Indiana.
“I would recommend Acima to every business” says Phillips. “You owe yourself the favor of at least trying it. Basically, there’s zero risk, and such a great reward.”
And that, says Phillips, is how you beat the competition.
James Phillips, Owner
5333 North Keystone Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220(317) 220 - 8084