Kittle’s Furniture invests in Zionsville online retail startup

A Zionsville-based online furniture and home decor retail startup is getting a boost from Indianapolis-based Kittle’s Furniture, which is hoping to get a lift of its own from the relationship.

On Monday, Parker Gwen LLC announced a strategic partnership with Kittle’s, in which it will receive an undisclosed amount of funding to help accelerate ParkerGwen.com’s growth.

Parker Gwen, an e-commerce retailer of furniture, decorative products and electronics, was founded in late 2017 by Zionsville resident Matthew Phillips and Tiffanie Rosencranz of Crown Point.

Phillips declined to disclose the terms of the agreement but said he is happy with the investment, which will enable Parker Gwen launch seed round of funding.

Phillips said Kittle’s investment will allow Parker Gwen—which currently doesn’t have any employees—to hire two employees immediately and up to eight in the next six months.

The company has already surpassed total 2018 sales—which the company declined to disclose—and is prepping for a busy holiday shopping season.

Parker Gwen has so far concentrated on e-commerce, but eventually it hopes to create a retail experience for consumers that integrates online with bricks-and-mortar store shopping. Kittle’s can help provide that expertise.

“People want to create their ideal home experience, but many don’t have a trusted partner to help them navigate the complexities of making this desire a reality,” Phillips said in written comments. “With the Kittle’s partnership, we will be able to advance our efforts in becoming a destination for customers to achieve their ideal home experience.”

Kittle’s, founded in 1932, operates eight furniture stores across the state in Indianapolis, Avon, Greenwood, Lafayette, Bloomington and Fort Wayne. Its family of stores include Kittle’s Mattress Max, Kittle’s Below Market, Kittle’s Design Studio and Kittle’s Outlet.

Under the agreement, the companies are looking at ways that Kittle’s could sell some products on the Parker Gwen site.

The partnership also means the two companies can rely on each other to share best practices. Kittle’s has excelled at brick-and-mortar furniture sales but hasn’t been as present online, Phillips said.

“Our investments in Parker Gwen will allow Kittle’s to immediately tap the potential of the e-commerce channel,” Chairman Jim Kittle said in written comments. “The Parker Gwen folks are a great cultural fit, and they have accomplished so much in such a short time, we are excited to be working with them. Together, we think the potential of Parker Gwen increases exponentially.”

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