"You know, you can't control the world but at least you can control your closet or your pantry or your home," Tindell said.
Their core customer is a woman, 35 to 65, leans in the older part of that range. They are very active, either at home or in business. They are very involved and are looking to save time, so the entire store is designed to save them time.
The "touch factor" is crucial. Every section has displays, with products out of the packaging. Research says when customers can touch something they're more likely to buy it.
Every tag on products has information and uses for the product, not just the price. They call the price tag their "silent salesperson." Plus every campaign is highlighted with a display at the front of the store. The goal is to have the store look like their catalogue.
The company's two founders started the store in 1978 as a place to sell the weird, funky and multifunctional products that no one else in retail was selling, or products that weren't doing well. Many thought the company would flop.
Some of the stores' most popular products are from its first year in 1978, such as the dairy crate or the popular toy barrel. The toy barrel was sold as a device for people in the country to burn trash in, but they turned it into one of their best sellers by slightly redesigning it and calling it something to put toys and soccer balls in.
There are 48 stores, each has 10,000 products and introduces 1,500 new products a year.
Its busiest time of the year is right after Christmas, when they put their top-selling Elfa closet system on sale. They try to capitalize on a common new year's resolution: get organized.
The store sponsor in-store "college nights" in July to help parents and students prepare for dorm life, offering demonstrations and discounts on various products.