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Photo by Fred Pollard
Doug and Margot Huber prepare the customer service area of Margot’s new Alton’s Real Deals on Home Décor shop in Alton. The franchised location will be open on Thursdays and Saturdays.
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Photo by Fred Pollard
Real Deals offers clocks, lamps, pottery, home furnishings and more in a theme-based style.
ALTON – When Margot Huber was asked by the Real Deals on Home Décor company what she wanted her new store to be called, she knew the name had to reflect her community.
“They asked me if I wanted to make it Huber’s Real Deals, and I told them I wanted to brand it to the town and stay loyal to the town that will support us,” Huber said.
Alton’s Real Deals will open its doors next Thursday, Feb. 27, at 237 E. Delmar, next to Target.
“Real Deals is home décor, offering clocks, lamps, pottery, home furnishings and more in a theme-based style,” Huber said. “We like to theme our sections to help people who may not be as creatively minded. You can come in and find everything themed for cowboys, outdoor, wine and many others.”
There also will be seasonal items for holiday décor and gift-giving, and furniture pieces available include dressers, tables, accent chairs and more.
“We have warehouse pricing,” Huber said. “We are priced to move, so a customer can walk away knowing they got a good deal.”
To conform to other Real Deals locations, Huber installed pegboard around the showroom and installed a corrugated metal front counter.
Margot previously had worked at Marquette Catholic High School for 11 years, and says her public relations background, coupled with husband Doug’s experience as a CPA and auditor, have prepared the couple for this new endeavor.
“Doug’s family is in the state of Washington, and I would go to the Real Deals there whenever we visited,” Huber said. “Doug asked me if I wanted to try our own business, and my youngest child is graduating from high school, so the timing seemed right.”
Huber says it has been a group effort, with friends and family helping with the planning and preparation.
Alton’s Real Deals is the only Real Deals location in Illinois and Missouri.
Huber says the unusual hours of operation (Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.) is a corporate standard, based on when customers are most likely to take advantage of the shopping experience.
“In their success story of 12 years, they have learned that family time is important,” Huber said. “Being open two days a week will create an urgency, and we will have new inventory every week to keep people coming back.”
When Margot contacted the chain and said she was interested in opening up a local shop, Real Deals flew out, met the Hubers, did a geographic study, and after a few months of talks and preparation approved the location.
Five sisters in Twin Falls, Idaho, launched Real Deals on Home Décor in 2006 and today it is one of the Top 500 Franchises of Entrepreneur Magazine with more than 75 stores across the country.
Alton’s Real Deals will hold its inaugural weekend introduction Thursday, Feb. 27, Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1. For information, call (618) 433-9960 or visit the Facebook page at Real Deals on Home Décor-Alton.