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Bruce Peterson is in-store manager of Ozark Mountain Time Clock, which is on pace to meet 2010 sales expectations of $335,000.
Bruce Peterson is in-store manager of Ozark Mountain Time Clock, which is on pace to meet 2010 sales expectations of $335,000.

Business Spotlight: Keeping Up with the Times

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Branson has built its reputation on nostalgia, tradition and family fun.

Perhaps that is why a clock shop that features heirloom grandfather clocks has been a fixture in the IMAX Entertainment Center in Branson for more than a dozen years.

“Grandfather clocks bring back a lot of memories for a lot of people,” says Mitch Long, director of retail sales for ITEC Attractions Inc., the company that owns the IMAX

Entertainment Center and Ozark Mountain Time Clock in the complex. “Many people grew up with grandfather clocks in their grandparents’ or parents’ homes.”

Larry Kerwin, a sales associate with Ozark Mountain Time Clock, agrees. “It’s the chimes that make a house a home for some people,” he says.

Long says Ozark Mountain Time Clock opened in May 2008, but like many other retail stores with luxury home décor, it didn’t exceed 2009 sales expectations, falling short about 10 percent of goals when the year closed with receipts of $275,000.

“Home furnishings have taken a hit overall in this down economy,” Long says. “We haven’t reached our goal, but I’m not disappointed in our sales.”

Year-to-date sales through June show a 26 percent increase compared to the same time last year, putting the store on track to meet sales expectations of $335,000 this year, Long says.

“Clocks are no different than any other luxury item,” says Matt Schnaare, regional sales representative for Howard Miller, one of the clock manufacturers sold in the store. “Sales are starting to go back up in general, and Ozark Mountain Time’s sales have improved this year.”

Ozark Mountain Time Clock is the second clock store to occupy the 750-square-foot retail space in the entertainment complex. Long says Branson-based ITEC Attractions purchased some inventory from David Futch, who owned Father Time Clocks & Collectibles for more than a decade in the IMAX Entertainment Complex, which draws about 1.3 million visitors a year.

ITEC Attractions, owned by Paul and Ann Bluto, operates the IMAX Entertainment Complex and runs three other retail shops in the 50,000-square-foot building, as well as the IMAX theater, a live theater and the McFarlain’s Family Restaurant on site. There are also leased retail spaces and several franchises such as Quiznos, Baskin-Robbins and Breadeaúx Pizza. Off site, ITEC Attractions owns two Montana Mike’s steak houses and Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano, and it recently reopened Branson Meadows Cinema, a first-run movie theater.

Long says Ozark Mountain Time comprises about 20 percent of ITEC’s retail sales in the complex. About 75 percent of its business is in music and motion clocks – priced between $175 and $485 – 15 percent is in mantel clocks, novelties, watches and cabinets, and about 10 percent is grandfather clock sales. The store carries clocks from such makers as Howard Miller, Seiko and Rhythm.

Long says when Father Time operated in the space, the shop carried mostly high-end grandfather clocks, as well as some music and motion clocks.

Since Ozark Mountain Time Clock took over, Long has added more novelty clocks, as well as
watches. “The clock shop will draw the men in first,” he says. “We’ve added some watches, money clips and other items for men.”

Carol Ferguson, who lives in Sulphur Springs, Ark., and visits Branson frequently with her husband, David, confirms this theory. “My husband loves clocks, he would have a whole house full, if we had the room,” Ferguson says.

The Fergusons have purchased both a grandfather clock and mantel clock from the store.
“The drop-shipping straight to our house was very convenient,” Carol Ferguson says. “You really have to be careful when packing and shipping grandfather clocks.”

Kerwin has worked for both operations and says Father Time carried clocks that sold for up to $15,000. The most expensive clock at Ozark Mountain Time is $6,000. “We have a lot of novelty clocks and gift items,” Kerwin adds.

One of Long’s goals is to increase traffic to the newly built Web site,, to more than 250 hits per day.

This year, the store also added ventless Real Flame fireplaces to its inventory. Long says they haven’t sold any of the fireplaces that average $750 a piece yet, but are hoping sales will light in the fall. “We felt they fit with our line of clocks, which brings a comfortable, warm feel to a home,” says Long.[[In-content Ad]]


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