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How a Brick-and-Mortar Furniture Shop Struck Ecommerce Gold

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This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Start Up.

Like many brick-and-mortar retailers during the Great Recession in 2008, Goedeker’s, a Ballwin, Mo.-based appliance and furniture store, saw sales drop significantly and lost  to big-box competitors such as and Lowe’s. At the time, owner Steve Goedeker decided he had to expand his market to survive, and since opening new physical stores was out of the question—no one was doling out capital—he decided to launch an site. 

A DIY guy, Goedeker taught himself as much of the site-building process as possible. He attended a Search Engine Strategies marketing expo and an Inter-net Retailer design conference. Then he hired a web designer to coach him through building his site and adding some of the 2,500 product listings to the initial online store. 

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