Fire House Casual Living Store Selected for 2020 Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award

February 27, 2020
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) presented this year’s Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award to The Fire House Casual Living Store. The four-unit operation has stores in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C. plus a store in Greenville, S.C.
Grant Henegan, president of The Fire House Casual Living Store (second from left), received congratulations from Retail Genius Award judges Brian Lawrence, Mariah Maydew and Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee after receiving the honor at ICFA’s 2020 Educational Conference in San Diego.

The retailer was lauded for its bright, colorful merchandise assortment that was shown in accessorized settings and featured creative signage. Of special note was the display of 17 live burning fireplaces in the Raleigh location.

High marks were also given to the company’s “Fermob Ain’t Flimsy” promotional campaign including “cheeky table talker” on-product signage to educate consumers about the line of classic, French bistro chairs and tables plus images and video used on Facebook and Instagram.

The award was established by the ICFA Retail Council in 2017 in memory of Mary Fruehauf, whose Colorado outdoor furnishings store was known for its imaginative visual merchandising and entertaining promotional events.

All ICFA retail members were invited to compete for the award by sending information reviewed by a team of judges, who included industry veterans and close personal friends and colleagues of Fruehauf: Mariah Maydew, who succeeded her as president and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, Colorado, Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee, owner of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Brian Lawrence, president of Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, California.

The sassy plexiglass trophy was previously presented to Village Green Home and Garden in Rockford, Ill., and Great Gatherings, with stores in Virginia and Maryland.