I.O. Metro Plans Expansion, Releases First Print Catalog

by Serenah McKay  on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 8:45 am  

I.O. Metro, the Lowell-based furniture retailer, plans to open at least 10 more stores over the next three years, according to a recent article in Furniture Today.

The company also released its first catalog this fall. The glossy, 40-page publication started going out to customers in October, and an online version is posted at www.iometro.com.

Founded in 2005 by Jay and Christine Howard with partners Bill and Helen Benton, I.O. Metro currently has 18 stores in eight states.

The company was acquired in January 2011 by private equity firm Consumer Growth Partners and an investor group that includes Banyan Mezzanine Funds of Miami and Diamond State Ventures of Little Rock. Jay Howard remained with the company as CEO.

Howard told the magazine that some stores, such as one in Dallas slated to open in February, will replace others where leases are expiring.

The company expects to open two stores in 2013, four in 2014 and six in 2015, Howard told the magazine. He added it’s looking at more than 20 markets, but mainly waiting for the right real estate opportunities.

The furniture chain had 21 stores before it was purchased by CGP. The closures included a Bentonville outlet store.



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