Calico Corners home market.

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa.–Calico Corners claims to be unique among major

national fabric chains.

The 87-unit retail fabric chain based here “is not just another

fabric store,” noted Bert Kerstetter, chief executive of Calico

Corners’ parent, Everfast Inc. “We are in the decorating

business.

“We are 100 percent home furnishing fabrics,” Kerstetter

said. “Our customers are serious about their homes, and we are

serious about the challenge of decorating their homes.”

The retailer offers an enormous variety of fabrics, both in-stock and

special-order. Individual stores, which range in size from 2,500 to

10,000 square feet, carry 1,000 to 2,000 bolts in stock, and each store

tailors its assortment to the needs of the local market.

Each store carries full-size, 54-inch samples of the company’s

Brandywine Express special-order program, which features up to 2,000

additional fabrics. Brandywine fabrics are stocked at the company’s

Pennsylvania headquarters, and special orders are shipped within 24

hours.

Any Calico Comers store has access to the fabrics carried in any

other Calico Comers location–among them, about, $20 million worth of

fabrics, or about 8,000 SKUs.

“We keep track of every bolt shipped and record sales of

yard-age by pattern and by color,” Kerstetter examined.

“Computers in each store tell the sales associates where we have a

particular pattern or color, and how much is available.

“We also keep rank of every bolt of fabric against every other

bolt every day, so we know what the top sellers are in Mount Kisco,

N.Y., or the top sellers in New England New England,