June 11, 2009, 12:00 AM

Executing the basics helps Cymax Stores go head to head with bigger rivals

While other home furnishings e-retailers are facing flat or declining sales, Cymax is growing by keeping a lid on expenses, adding a bigger selection of merchandise and deploying better technology, CEO Arash Fasihi will tell attendees next week at IRCE.

To compete more effectively against bigger companies, smaller merchants need to execute flawlessly on the basics of e-commerce and keep their pulse on the wants and needs of customers, Cymax Stores Inc. CEO Arash Fasihi will tell attendees next week at IRCE.

In 2009, Cymax, No. 200 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is on track to grow web sales by about 80% to more than $90 million. While other online retailers in the home furnishings and housewares space are facing flat or declining sales, Cymax is growing by keeping a close eye on expenses, adding a bigger selection of merchandise in core categories such as TV stands and deploying better technology.

“To stay at the top of your particular segment, you have to anticipate where to look for inefficiency and think of better ways to eliminate it,” says Fasihi, who will be speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 15-18 in Boston, in a session entitled Small Retailers: Beating the Big Guys Without Breaking the Bank. “Even in a small organization the right use of personnel is critical,” he says. “Managers need to make sure each task is clearly spelled out and that the right people are on the right project.”

Cymax specializes in building individual sites, each with its own web address, for narrow niches like sofas at EverySofa.com, game tables at FoosballSelect.com and dining chairs at MoreDiningChairs.com. One of the retailer’s more recent sites is MoreCurioCabinets.com, and it plans to introduce sites for cookware and is considering jewelry and apparel, Fasihi says.

“We have seen bigger competitors come and go in some of our core categories but we’re still among the leaders in niches like TV stands,” he says. “We stick to the basics, give customers the selection they want and maximize our technology and marketing programs for the best results we can get. It’s a straightforward approach, but it works for us against bigger competitors.”

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