the death of a salesman retailer


the death of a salesman retailer
National Home Furnishings Association
Western Home Furnishings Association
JULY 30 - AUGUST 3, 2012
AUGUST 16-19, 2012
To become a Surya
dealer, please call
or email us at
[email protected]
Death of a Salesperson
Two Steps Back
The Power of Connection
The Mobile Commerce Train
Augmented Reality
Using Words to Connect
Roving Reporter
Fresh Perspectives
Affiliate Highlights
36. 34.
Community Today
What’s Selling NOW
count onIT
A Message from the SEHFA President
Editor’s Letter
Membership Marketplace
Product Focus—Rug Trends
Quick Fire Marketing
Industry Scoop
The Now List
on the cover
The Power of Connection
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 1
Q: Would you rather
be hot or cold?
What we are so passionate about. . .
To have the courage to pursue purposeful
dialogues that challenge conventional
thinking, to engage and entertain our
readers by delivering content that creates
a fervent following ready to change the
landscape of our industry.
Melissa Dressler
[email protected]
Lisa Tilley
Art Director
[email protected]
RetailerNOW is the magazine for
today’s home furnishings professional.
Developed for a specialized community,
RetailerNOW brings a unique editorial
focus on progressive and relevant issues
concerning the home furnishings industry
in the retailer’s voice, with a focus on
issues impacting retailers NOW.
Larry Carroll
Account Manager
[email protected]
Tim Timmons
Associate Publisher
[email protected]
Cindi Williams
Business Development
[email protected]
Contact Information:
Editorial Collaborators:
Mailing – Editorial:
Andrew Tepperman, Tepperman’s
Carol Bell, Contents Interiors
Donny Hinton, Colortyme
Marty Cramer, Cramer’s Home Furnishings
Rick Howard, Sklar Furnishings
Travis Garrish, Forma Furniture
500 Giuseppe Ct., Suite 6
Roseville CA 95678
Mailing – Advertising
3910 Tinsley Drive #101
High Point NC 27265
Phone: (800) 422-3778
Advertising: (800) 888-9590
2012 National Home Furnishings Association Officers
Marc Schewel, President, Schewel Furniture, VA
Dianne Ray, Chairman, Garden City Furniture, SC
Cherie Rose, President Elect, The Rose Collection, CA
Rick Howard, Sr. Vice President & Treasurer, FL
John Wells III, Sr. Vice President, Wells Home Furnishings, WV
2012 Western Home Furnishings Association Officers
Chris Sanders, President, Everton Mattress Factory, ID
Valerie Watters, President Elect, Valerie’s Furniture & Accents, AZ
Lael Thompson, Vice President, Broyhill Home Collections, CO
Chuck Kill, Treasurer, Bedmart, AZ
Tom Slater, Secretary, Slater’s Home Furnishings, CA
Southern Home Furnishings Association
Robert Dossenbach, President, Dossenbach’s Finer Furniture, NC
Subscription: $70/year
Retailer Now, ISSN# 2166-5249 is published monthly (except March
and December) by the Western Home Furnishings Association, 500
Giuseppe Court, Ste 6, Roseville, CA 95678. Application to Mail
at the Periodicals Postage Prices is Pending at Roseville, CA and
additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: please address changes
to: RetailerNOW, The Western Home Furnishings Association, 500
Giuseppe Court, Ste 6, Roseville CA 95678.
If you would like to stop receiving RetailerNOW, please send an
email to [email protected]
If you would like to only receive an electronic version of RetailerNOW,
please send an email to [email protected]
© 2012 National and Western Home Furnishings Associations. Published by the National
Home Furnishings Association and Western Home Furnishings Association. Material
herein may not be reproduced, copied or reprinted without prior written consent of
the publisher. Acceptance of advertising or indication of sponsorship does not imply
endorsement of publisher or National and Western Home Furnishings Associations.
The views expressed in this publication may not reflect those of the publisher, editor
or National Home Furniture Association, Western Home Furnishings Association and
Western Retail Services Corp. Content herein is for general information only; readers
are encouraged to consult their own attorney, accountant, tax expert and other
professionals for specific advice before taking any action.
Southeastern Home Furnishings Association
Wogan S. Badcock III, President, W.S. Badcock Corporation
be cold
hot any
For a complete Board of Director listing,
NHFA Staff
Steve DeHaan, NHFA Executive Vice President • (800) 888-9590 x6124
Karin Mayfield, Sr. Director of Membership • (800) 888-9590 x6154
Jordan Boyst, Member Services Rep • (800) 888-9590 x6132
Dianne Therry, Member Services Rep • (800) 888-9590 x6167
WHFA Staff
Sharron Bradley, WHFA Executive Director • (916) 960-0345
Karpice Crawford, Membership Director • (916) 960-0346
Mike Hill, Member Services Rep • (916) 960-0263
Eric Malone, Member Services Rep • (916) 960-0291
National Home Furnishings Association
AUGUST | 2012
Western Home Furnishings Association
South Eastern Home Furnishings Association
Southern Home Furnishings Association
furnishing life's greatest connectionssince 1962
Space 201 | Center Point Bldg | Oct 13th - 18th | High Point
Contact your Emerald Home sales representative or call 253-922-1400
President’s Message
A Message from the SEHFA President
As the dog days of summer are upon us, it may be easy to drift into an “unconnected” lifestyle, which
could become very harmful for your business. You can lose your edge very quickly if you become
unfocused in today’s competitive retail environment. Years ago my grandfather hit upon this very
important issue when he developed the business model that we still use today.
Wogan Badcock Sr., in the midst of the Great Depression, came up with the idea of having his route
salesmen establish retail locations in the communities close to his warehouse in Mulberry, FL. He
believed that if he brought the merchandise to his “associate dealer,” the dealer could stay and
become more connected to his community. Great service goes beyond the doors of the store. It’s
being there to assist when needed, be it product-related or community-related. Today that still rings
true. Our dealers are involved in many activities within the small towns and
cities where our stores are located because we understand the value of
relationships. Whether it is a request from a church, school, local charity, or in
times of crisis, we are there—as both Badcock & More and as a neighbor.
Wogan S. Badcock III
W.S. Badcock Corporation
SEHFA President
Today’s consumer has a wealth of information available to them with the use
of the Internet. They have many choices and we have to be ready when they
are ready to shop. From assisting Ms. Smith in creating “her perfect home,”
to helping Mr. Jones (who was referred to us by Ms. Smith) get his grandson
set up in his new apartment—each and every customer is our most important
customer. Many retailers offer competitive pricing. But the retailer who provides
real customer service, genuine caring, and is involved in the community is the
retailer we all want to go back to.
The corporation and dealers share in the cost of our contributions. Our dealers
are the face of W.S. Badcock Corporation and it is important to us that they be
involved, so we assist financially. Many of our dealers have received numerous awards in recognition
of their acts of kindness and service in their communities.
For Badcock, being a retailer in eight different states in the Southeast poses a big challenge for us in
Mulberry. Because of that we use ALL of the tools available to us. Some old—like our bi-annual dealer
show allows us to come together to discuss product offerings and operation issues and community
opportunities with our suppliers and vendors. And some new—like our own internal portal to get
information and ideas out to our dealers as quickly as possible.
Members of our management team go to conferences such as NHFA and WHFA’s Home Furnishings
Industry Conference and Furniture Today’s Leadership Conference to interact with other like-minded
storeowners and operators. We often find that a problem facing one, is a problem facing all. It’s an
opportunity to work together to find reasonable solutions to the issues we all face. Our team has
served on national and state level retail boards. When you understand that all retailers in America
account for two out of five jobs, the importance of being connected becomes much clearer in my
eyes and I hope yours, too.
So in closing, it is our wish that as we wind down our summer days and look forward to planning for
our biggest selling season, that we, as retailers, focus on being connected to our customers and
others in our industry. That being said, I hope to see you at the next conference!
[email protected]
AUGUST | 2012
Editor’s Message
from the editor
ight years ago I worked in the tech industry editing a Facebook-esque website for
I.T. professionals. I was reading (and learning) about high-tech topics such as data
warehousing, CRM systems, Java coding, etc. Six months later, the call of home (and
the sunny state of California) beckoned, I left the company and started my adventure into the
furniture industry… and wow, what a difference.
I went from speaking to I.T. professionals on a daily basis to trying to convince retailers that
they needed to have a website (yes, only seven years ago many of you were grumbling and
saying you didn’t need a website). I went from an industry that was
adept to communicating via instant messenger and emails, to one that
loves the fax machine (don’t even get me started on my opinion about
the fax machine!). Honestly, I felt like I was transported to a different era.
Thankfully, many of you have seen the light and recognize that
technology is a vital part of your business: Almost all of you have
websites (and if you still don’t think you need one, call me and I will
convince you otherwise), are venturing into social media and utilizing
technology in the showroom. But we are still behind—will we ever be
able to catch up?
Melissa Dressler
Editor, RetailerNOW
Some retailers are hiring new employees to create tech-savvy
companies, while others are still scratching their heads, trying to
figure out where to start. Whatever your business is doing, make sure it includes technology
(mobile-friendly websites, iPads on the showroom floor, social media marketing, etc.).
The tech tool you decide to choose is up to you, but it will be vital to connect with today’s
consumer, and tomorrow’s.
(916) 960-0385
[email protected]
What I’m Loving…
First, I love that they are called
Poufs… but that isn’t the only
reason why I love Surya’s Summer/
Fall 2012 Pouf Collection. A variety
of materials are used to create fun
poufs that can make any place
cozy. I’ll take the Red Rose Pouf
(Pouf-27)—what girl doesn’t love
roses? Even if it is a Pouf! (Ahem…
I do have a birthday coming up.)
Follow other products I love on
my blog and on Pinterest.
Hot Idea
Connect with us
Looking for a fun way to countdown to your next big, in-store event?
Follow in High Point Market’s footsteps—create an interactive calendar
countdown. To mark the launch of registration for Fall Market, High
Point Market created excitement by highlighting exclusive information,
content, tips and market tools each day (yours truly was even featured
on a few days). This also gives you a great opportunity to connect with
your customers through social media outlets and build excitement for
the big day.
Visit to check out this hot idea.
Good to Know
Mar ster for
8, w ctober
are a hile you
t it!
Pinterest vs. Facebook
Pinterest has been the big social media buzz in 2012—especially in the
furniture industry. So how does it stack up compared to the other big
player, Facebook?
According to a study done by, Pinterest users spend more
money but less time browsing a site. Here are some interesting findings:
• Pinterest users spend on average $180 on a site, versus Facebook users who
only spend $85.
• Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook, influencing 10% of transactions
versus 7%.
• Pinterest users are less engaged than Facebook users. 65% spend less time
on a site versus Facebook, and 70% spend less time on a site versus most
site averages.
So what does all of this mean? While they might spend more with you,
many consumers are now using Pinterest to “window” shop before heading
to your site, whereas Facebook users will spend time “window” shopping
on your site.
Put it to Use
Everybody Loves a Pinner
Hammary is capitalizing on
the Pinterest trend, offering
consumers the chance to win up
to six home furnishing pieces
just by pinning their products.
The “Everybody Loves a Pinner”
campaign has consumers creating
a Pinterest board based on six
items featured on the Hammary
website. Once the pieces have
been pinned, consumers simply
share the link to their pinboards
via Hammary’s Twitter and
Facebook page. What a great
way to get consumers to see your
products, and it is fun!
AUGUST | 2012
Cool Apps
Google Catalogs (iPad & Android)
Looking to standardize all of your
manufacturer catalogs for tablet
viewing? Google has come out
with a new tool to
help: Google Catalogs.
You can easily create
beautiful, interactive
catalogs through a
simple drag and drop interface, and
then share with your customers on
the showroom floor.
Learn more at —
Connect with Us:
Have you connected with RetailerNOW online?
Whether you Like, Tweet, or Pin, you can connect
with RetailerNOW, experience more content and
continue the conversations online!
or just mention us @RetailerNOW
Our Readers Email
What a great, great spread in
the July issue of RetailerNOW
on “GenerationNext”.
I love the new look of the
magazine. It looks fresh and
hip. You are a rock star! Keep
up the good work.
All the Best,
Nancy Ottino
President, The Idea Group
Marketing Specialists
newest issue of RetailerNOW.
It’s great. You’re doing an
amazing job... keep it up!
Pam Rudolph, Rudolphs
Furniture, Butte, MT
Your Voice
Dwell on Design
Roving Reporter LORI DENNIS, Co-Founder
he Design Camp Girls (Kelli
Ellis and I) were busy bees at
the Dwell on Design Show in
June. I spoke on two panels:
Kitchen Trends and What’s Happening
in Green Interior Design. After a day
of meetings, Kelli and I hit the ASID
and Dwell on Design VIP parties—
Dwell on Design really looked like an
interior designer managed the visual
content this year. The aisles were larger,
the room
was well
lit, they
more space
and the
booths were
After the
Council: What’s Happening in Green
Interior Design panel, with Dwell Editor
Micheal O’Conner Abrams, Angelo
Surmelis and Susan Inglis, we caught up
with Angelo. Kelli and Angelo go back
to their days at TLC’s Clean Sweep, one
of television’s first top interior design
Some of my other favorite exhibits were
the modular house by Eco-Fabulous’
Zem Joaquin. I especially loved the
master bedroom wall cover and the
adorable, vintage ruler chalk board
in the girl’s room. The chalk board
paint by Sydney Harbour comes in a
handful of colors, not just the routine
chalkboard black.
Equally impressive was the Kishani
Perera and West Elm designed modular
home. Short on square feet, the home
was full of style, with a place for
everything you needed to live well—
even a wall of closets in the bedroom.
For more information on Dwell on Design,
visit Learn more about
DesignCamp at
All photos by Peter Willliams,
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 9
Your Voice
Retailer Retailer
Q Why is it important to connect with others in the industry?
Paul Sanford,
Jerome’s Furniture,
San Diego, CA
Networking at the Home Furnishings Industry
Conference 2012 in Palm Springs
Next HFIC will be held in New Orleans, June 2013
The home furnishings industry
is unique in that there are
very few national players.
This affords each retailer
the opportunity to share
information on how we do
business without the fear
of our competition using it
against us. I have found that
I can learn from retailers that
are smaller than our company
as well as those larger on
a variety of issues including
finance, marketing, sales
management, HR policy,
merchandising and inventory
management. The people in
our industry all are hungry to
interact and share their best
ideas. This sharing of ideas
is invaluable to growing our
Mike Root,
Furniture Sales of Mid-America,
Omaha, NE
Networking within the industry is one of the most valuable things
you can do to watch industry trends.
Here are five quick ideas to consider:
1. It allows you to find out what is selling to craft your product or
your sales and marketing messages to attract new prospects.
2. Networking can help identify new opportunities such as new
factories or suppliers.
3. It can help you learn different ways of doing business such as
the new social media craze.
4. Talking with successful companies within the industry will give
you a means of comparison to benchmark results against.
5. This could also help identify new profit centers beyond your
current offerings that can add dollars to your bottom line.
Here are four easy ways to get started networking:
1. Attend industry trade shows and ask vendors, sales
representatives and other retailers what is working and what
lines are selling.
2. Join a trade group like WHFA or NHFA and take advantage of
the Retailer Resource Centers they sponsor at market as well as
other resources throughout the year.
3. Find or form a mastermind group of peer retailers to share ideas
and problems to be solved.
4. Look for industry forums that offer topics of interest to your
business. Invest the time and energy to attend and meet the
presenters as well as other attendees.
*Editor Note: While this column is titled Retailer2Retailer, we feel other
industry perspectives are important to include when the topic is pertinent.
This month we have included the viewpoint of the furniture sales rep.
AUGUST | 2012
Is the Way You’ve Done Things in the Past
Stopping You from Being Profitable Today?
Problem Solved.
Our roots go back to 1897 when we were furniture retailers just like you. That’s why we know what it takes to be
successful in this industry. When we started, an order was placed by shaking hands and inventory was tracked
through ledger account books. Today, customers can purchase from unlimited sources. The only way you can earn
their business is by standing out from the crowd. That’s why we developed the industry’s only Total Retail Success
System. We help retailers like you solve your critical business issues and generate greater profitability.
Our Total Retail Success System is:
Software for Retailers
5 SMART Steps
Business Consulting
Performance Groups
Continuing Education
Freight Savings
Getting Started Right Program
Welcome to Your Future.
software | consulting | performance groups | freight savings | e-solutions
I remember
when I watched
this iconic
play by Arthur
Miller. I was
just embarking
on a career
in sales and
it thoroughly
scared and
depressed me.
By Bill Napier
AUGUST | 2012
Death of a Salesman
It’s a story
about Willy Loman; a traveling salesman
whose career is failing, which quickly
infects his relationship with his family. It’s
an in-depth character study that all people
should see at least once. I was so afraid
I would become that person, selling a
product using old methods that continued
to fail and becoming detached and sad
as he was. Fortunately, it inspired me to
NOT be that guy back in the day, but
sadly, that day is quickly arriving for many
of us, if it hasn’t already.
So why is a marketing guy writing about
The Death of a Salesman you ask? Simple,
any marketing person worth their weight
MUST be the best salesperson within the
organization, period. Think about it.
 They must clearly define and articulate the brand and
its products and services.
—They must also “sell” this to all stakeholders with vision, passion and conviction.
 They must have a thorough understanding of the
products and processes to take a product to market and
create the excitement necessary to create leads for the
sales force.
 They must clearly define the features, benefits and
attributes of that product and articulate the “selling
 They must continually improve and innovate within
the company to keep the brand, and products, fresh and
relevant and continually sell these insights too.
 They must be the inspirational leader whose passion is
the brand and it must be infectious!
—And a lot more!
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 13
Death of a Salesman
When I was a kid,
I’d go on vacation, and I’d get a couple cool mementos
to bring home and show off to my friends. I could
do that because back then, you were only able to buy
things that were unique to that area. Not anymore.
Go anywhere and you’ll find the same selection of
furniture, clothes, fast food and stuff in general. There is
nothing unique about the products or the messaging to
attract a consumer to your brand or store. It’s all being
commoditized and that’s why online retailers are quickly
taking away market share because they have the unique
“stuff” people search for and want.
Back in the day, I was taught that great marketing
created the sales proposition to: inspire, educate,
motivate and engage.
So brands and retailers play it safe and the result is so
obvious. Today’s marketing geniuses focus their entire
brand platform around the discount or sale—yep, the
race to the bottom—50-70 percent off and more, if they
could. Everyone seems to be watching everyone else at
the expense of building a unique sales and marketing
proposition. Go ahead, ask anyone when the last time
they were inspired or engaged with any marketing
platform that motivated them to purchase a product…
from an impassioned salesperson.
This coupled with the “automation” of marketing
information (there’s an APP for that) has relegated
great marketing to a “gate keeper” rather than a leader.
Everyone wants that MBA leading their team. I’ve
always wondered why an MBA is more important than
vision, passion,
knowledge and
experience. Both
would be great,
but I’d take the
latter before the
former any day.
You can teach
knowledge, a BA or MBA, but you can’t teach vision,
passion and the creative execution that consumers
relate to. Everyone knows that a great salesperson
has an “infectious passion about their job/product”,
and the marketing guy isn’t giving them anything
to be passionate and excited about anymore. Today,
companies are more concerned with the educational
degree, a pedigree, even if that degree, or lack of, was
obtained before computers, the Internet, cell phones,
and more. These and other changes have transformed
everything in retail today, especially as to how the sale
is ultimately made.
AUGUST | 2012
That is why I believe we are
witnessing the death of sales
as we know it. The role of
sales has become more of
vendo-salesperson: show,
tell and sell. Why? Because
their best sales leader, the
marketing guy, is NOT
leading, innovating and
creating the excitement that
used to infect salespeople
with passion for their
brand. Gone are the days
of inspirational creativity,
taking a chance and
differentiating one self from
the competition. Just look at Target. They used to
be Tar-zhay. Their same store sales have started to
fall because they aren’t unique anymore. Best Buy
commoditized their brand and that’s causing them
to fail miserably in store, and especially on the
Internet. Look at furniture stores, all of them are
all clamoring for that $399 sofa in three different
colors, because the other guy has it too. I have
many more examples of this happening everywhere
in retail.
The marketing guy is helping
to kill the great salesperson
because they aren’t performing
their five basic functions (see
page 13). Any marketing
person worth their weight
knows that their customer of
today is NOT their customer
of five years ago… yet they haven’t adapted to
this new “wired consumer” with a great Internet
and social marketing strategy. They have ignored
this dynamic change and by doing so, they are
not delivering sales opportunities, which is their
“primary job!”
Let’s talk about furniture for a minute. I know this
industry well, serving as Ashley’s Chief Marketing
Officer for years, as well as many others. Home
furnishings has been severely commoditized.
Most furniture retailers do not understand the
power of a great website, the need for tons of
content, product descriptions and more. They
think showing pictures will do it but they won’t
because the marketing guy isn’t investing in
Death of a Salesman
What are you doing different to inspire “me”, to engage me?
inspirational photography that would inspire a consumer
to “imagine” what that item could look like in their
home. Most product photography is bland/boring and
“done on the cheap”. Many shots are just plain ugly, shot
overseas in China to save money and it looks like it. That
doesn’t help sell the product, it hurts it, and the poor
salesperson is along for the ride.
They are not writing copy that is unique and relevant,
and they are not delivering the number one engaging
element: videos! Think about this for a minute. If you
have “better goods” and you’re selling a name brand
leather sofa at $1,999, why would a consumer want to
buy that when that same store is selling a “bonded leather
—look-alike” for $399… and HELLO—it’s NOT real
leather—it’s Vinyl. A video explaining what you’re buying
would in fact raise the expectations of the consumer and
the sales ticket. But the chief marketing guy isn’t doing
that, so the tickets are smaller, the commissions less and
the sales person is expected to do it all without any help.
This isn’t just about furniture. This is about all retail.
Take an honest inventory and see if you’re destined to
become irrelevant like so many past iconic brands that
stagnated and now are scattered across the junkyards
of retail.
There is so much more. Just think about it. Why are
you different? What are you doing different to inspire
“me”, to engage me? Are you where I want to find you?
The salesperson can’t do it all. They need a leader with a
vision, a leader with passion, a leader on a mission and
because we as marketers are not leading as we should,
we’re witnessing the death of a salesman.
Bill Napier has been a leading marketer for over 30 years. He is a
specialist in creating, guiding and deploying successful marketing B2B
& B2C solutions integrating traditional media, the web and social
media for retailers and brands. Contact Bill at [email protected],
(612) 217-1297 or
PFP’s highly qualified
executive team
attends every market!
We’ll be there at the Vegas Market...
and we’ll be there for you when you need us!
“We like to keep our finger on the pulse
of the industry. This enables us to provide
the most comprehensive, current and
complete solutions for our client’s needs.”
Listen to our clients on our website
and hear what they have to say
about PFP. Visit
to learn more.
In High Impact Events
Make that first step.
Call or Click today!
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 15
Two steps
Is it a customer disconnect
or a retailer disconnect?
By Kyle Doran
sk anyone inside the furniture
industry their opinion of the
“progressiveness” of the industry
and they’ll probably say, “It’s two steps
behind everyone else.”
Ask a potential customer how far
behind the furniture industry is and
their answer will probably be, “I don’t
know, I haven’t had to replace our
furniture since I just bought it in 2006.”
And, therein lies the problem. There
is a disconnect somewhere between
the perception of what we believe our
industry should be doing, and what we
actually are doing. Keep in mind, since
furniture has a long buying cycle, our
industry has the luxury to sit around
idly while everyone else is changing to
meet consumer demands.
Nonetheless, let’s say a consumer
wanted a better, more technological
experience to furniture shopping. We
generally think she has to settle for
the old-fashioned showroom buying
experience because there are no other
means to shopping for furniture.
However, that is changing, and
changing fast.
Online companies are getting really
good at learning how to sell furniture
online and in mass. According to a
Forrester Research Study conducted in
2010, approximately 10 percent of all
home furnishing sales happened from
the click of a mouse, phone call or
tablet device. That number is expected
to increase to 33 percent by 2020,
according to the same study.
AUGUST | 2012
Yet, with these promising statistics, why
is it that the single biggest objection
we hear from current and prospective
retailers in regards to online selling
is, “Well, that’s not happening in our
market?” This sort of thinking can
turn a very profitable selling tool into
one that has completely lost touch
with the consumer marketplace. Ask
the Yellow Pages if they would have
changed their opinion when they were
told, “Everyone was using Google to
find things.”
Dr. Jerry Kennedy, from, offers
seven reasons why we as a society
reject change:
Too Much Pleasure
Not Enough Pain
 Ignorance
At their core, these words can hurt
and the use of them as constructive
comments seems far from the truth.
However, when it comes to change
and the use of technology as a selling
tool for furniture, we need to take a
different approach, as illustrated below:
 We believe that EVERYONE in
this industry understands what is
happening in the world. They may not
know how to execute it. They may not
know how to capitalize off of it, but
they know it is there. Flip through this
magazine or attend a seminar at the last
several markets and furniture retailers
are aware that social media, online
media and all media is available to
improve their business.
 We believe that the long buying
cycle of the industry creates barriers for
this industry to change. This is because
retailers are not feeling the same
pressure that other, shorter buyingcycle industries often face.
 We believe that because the furniture
industry is a “Cash on Delivery”
business model and what you sell you
have to first buy; there are a lot of
self-made retailers who worked hard to
get to the top. As a result, admitting
that there might be another way or
approach would be admitting that the
way they built themselves up for years
cannot work anymore. That’s a tough
pill to swallow.
Ask the Yellow
Pages if they would
have changed their
opinion when they
were told, “Everyone
was using Google to
find things.”
How can we as an industry combat our
success in the past and flourish in the
future? Here are five surefire ways to utilize
technology in our store environment to
generate sales and growth:
 Use Social Media: Create a personal profile on
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The only way for you
to understand the impact social media can have on your
business is for you to understand it, digest it and implement
it personally. Follow your friends—and your competitors.
You don’t have to tell the world what you ate for lunch, but
spend some time listening to the online conversation.
 Buy Online: Online holiday sales were up 13 percent in
2010, according to the Wall Street Journal, which was more
than experts expected. Nine percent of all home furnishing
sales were made online in 2008, and these numbers are also
climbing. As you decide how to implement eCommerce
in your business model, make 12 personal purchases from
various industries and online sellers. Study the strengths and
weaknesses of your personal shopping experience, from the
product catalog, ease of checkout, delivery options, follow
up and customer service.
 Find someone YOUNG to do YOUNG things:
You’ve got enough to do without trying to figure out how to
update your Facebook page, post a blog, send an email blast
and create an online store while learning the buying habits
of Millennials. Hire someone young to manage these young
technologies. They intuitively understand social media and
can aptly share your vision with a massive audience.
 Know your market: Market research is an expensive
investment, not an expendable expense. The Ms. Jones that
bought from you five years ago is gone, and a new woman
has taken her place. Do you understanding her wants, needs,
desires and media choices? Use this perceived fear as an
opportunity to envision the customer you want to buy from
you by simply doing your homework.
 Use Traditional with Digital: Experiment
with placing QR codes on your newspaper ads or by
experimenting with a mobile text program in your electronic
advertising. Utilizing these tools will give you insight into
what your potential consumer base is like and it will help
you understand how these new technologies fit into your
marketing strategy.
“To succeed you must first improve, to improve you must
first practice, to practice you must first learn, and to learn
you must first fail.”-Wesley Woo
Retailer’s Comment
Contents Interiors has been pushing its staff
forward to embrace the new technologies
available for interior design and retail furnishing
sales. Our staff graphic artist used to hand-render
and colorize our presentation drawings of floor
plans and room elevations. He is now using an
iMac computer, Google Sketch Up, and Adobe
Photoshop CS5 to produce drawings that give
customers excellent visuals of what their rooms
can look like. (see above)
We have been building and using our email list
actively for several years, and recently have been
converting our email subscribers to Facebook
friends with special promotions.
Some of our vendors have developed apps or
websites that keep their current products easily
accessible, so our staff can sit at a computer
or use their iPad to browse online catalogs. We
especially like the ones that allow us to private
label the site and control what pricing is visible.
Our staff has also started using their smartphones
and iPads to do more work-related tasks.
Tamara Scott-Anderson, Contents Interiors, Tucson, AZ
Armed with more than 25 years of furniture retail marketing experience as a
full-service traditional and digital marketing company, R&A is the industry’s
premier agency for retailers in the home furnishings and appliance/electronics
industries. Visit us on the web at or email us at [email protected]
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 17
Photo by: Ryan Lindberg,
AUGUST | 2012
Obstacle or Opportunity?
Fresh Perspectives
By Heather Hanley
Niccolo Machiavelli said, “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that
there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity
and are able to turn both to their advantage.”
s we are all looking forward towards
signs of recovery, signs of customers
returning to old spending habits
and signs of better times, I think it’s
important to look back at the last few
years and grow from what we learned from those
obstacles that the downturn presented.
When the “doom and gloom” started in 2009, I
decided to look at the downturn as an obstacle
that presented an opportunity. Many of my
competitors were
going out of
business, many
more chose to
stop advertising,
better lines were
opening up, and
customers were
looking for more
enticing “deals”
and more enticing experiences. For a young
person in business, this presented a golden
I had come into our family business in 2000.
The business was changing, rapidly. We’d just
expanded our store in Spokane, WA, adding
more furniture (the business started out in
1945 as a radio and appliance shop across the
street from our current location) and electronics
and appliances were taking a back seat to the
growing department of furniture. Times were
good then—the economy was up, people were
buying and buying, and buying. By 2004, when
we officially changed the name of our business
to “The Tin Roof”, we were in the middle of a
real estate “boom”—big houses, big furniture
and big spending. I jokingly referred to it as the
“McMansioning” of America.
People seemed not to care for quality and
substance, why did it matter when they were just
going to sell the house they were in and move
again in two years? They’d buy all new again for
the new house. People wanted it fast, cheap and
And then—it stopped. The economy took a
nosedive. The foreclosures started, people were
no longer “real estate rich” they were suddenly
“house poor”. People were stuck. And while it
seemed like doom and gloom, if you look back
on it, the economic downturn really brought
about a shift in the way we think and the way we do
business. I think as a whole, the recession forced us
“back to our roots”.
My grandfather used to say, “The bitterness of poor
quality lingers long after the sweetness of a cheap
price.” I believe that we, as a nation, learned that lesson
the hard way. The economic downturn forced people’s
spending habits to change. They no longer wanted
something disposable, they wanted something to last,
something they were not going to have to replace in
six months.
The generation that grew up
in the 80s and 90s, munching
on hot pockets and Cheetos
and cruising the mall, is now
leading the sustainability
movement by shopping at
farmers’ markets and raising
chickens in their backyard—
voting with their dollars to
spend locally at main streets instead of mega malls.
We’ve returned to our roots in so many ways—all while
embracing change, technology and a “new norm”.
This sense of fiscal patriotism and localism presents a
huge opportunity for our industry—we need to take a
cue from consumers and return to our roots. Embrace
the fact that consumers are shopping consciously
for American-made products. Embrace the fact that
consumers genuinely care about shopping locally, and
give them a reason to buy in your store. No, you can’t
compete against the Internet, but what you have (and it
doesn’t) is personality and substance. You have people.
Bring your people back to their roots, with good “old
fashioned” manners and customer service.
As one of the last great industries that is still
predominately made up of small, independent and
multi-generational companies—I see this renewed
interest in Main Street and Made in America as a huge
opportunity for furniture manufacturers and retailers.
Give your customers a reason to buy locally—great
service, outstanding products, inspirational showrooms
and vested interest in your community. Don’t view the
Internet as an obstacle, but rather an opportunity to
show your talents for design, selection, and above all
else—outstanding customer service. Remind America
what shopping on Main Street really means.
Business will never be what it was during the “boom”—
that was a fake reality. This is the new norm —and the
new norm is really a return to our old roots.
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 19
AS SEEN ON Designing Spaces on Lifetime Network-AIRING JULY 27, 2012
• Distributor Points/Pricing
• Reseller Points/Pricing
Patent Pending
• National TV Advertising
• Bulk & Drop Shipping
• Same Day Shipping
• Made in the USA
Discover the latest and hottest accessory for any television. Introducing, The TV Shield; the all new one
of a kind universal accessory that works with any television and is designed for consumer and business applications. Never before has an affordable indoor and outdoor TV enclosure been available that protects from rain,
water, impact, scratching, breaking, tampering and theft. Use of The TV Shield allows the end user to place their
Television in harsh environments inside or outside.
The TV Shield is easy to use, handle and install. This lightweight full TV enclosure is durable and versatile
allowing you to watch the tv with the front panel open or closed. When in the closed position, the front panel is
able to be locked using two keyed and chambered weather resistant metal lock mechanisms.
Built with ultra-durable and long lasting outdoor plastics, the durability of The TV Shield is second to none.
The front panel is manufactured with optically clear LEXAN, which is the same material used in manufacturing bullet proof glass. We have put The TV Shield to the test with impacts from dozens of household items as well direct
impacts from hammers and high speed projectiles from air guns and more.
We have great programs available for distributors and resellers. Drop shipping, bulk shipping, bulk discounts,
wholesaler and reseller pricing and more. We mass produce The TV Shield in a state of the art facility located in
the USA and have thousands of units in inventory and available at most times. So what are you waiting for? Be
one of the first retailers in your area to carry this exciting new product.
Call: 1-800-331-2628 for more information
By Melissa Dressler
Connecting with other human
beings is a powerful thing. Franklin
D. Roosevelt realized how powerful
human connection was in the 1930s
when he started his Fireside Chats.
Sixty million Americans would sit
by their radios to hear the personal
addresses from the President—and
felt much better about the recessionera world they were living in.
oday, the ability to connect with others is even easier,
and the benefits are larger. Facebook was built around
the idea of connecting with others, and forming new bonds
within an online arena. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg
understood that humans have a basic need to be loved and
recognized, and connecting with others is a primary way to
satisfy those needs.
Connecting not only strengthens our ties to one another,
but it helps build a community. Businesses that connect
with their local communities form bonds with current
and future customers. By giving back to the community
in which they serve, businesses are strengthening their ties
to the people that support them. Not only is this good for
business, but recent studies have shown that giving back
to the local community is beneficial to the health of the
contributor. An article in Psychology Today said volunteerism
can reduce stress and mortality rates by 40 percent, while
increasing ones empathy and compassion for others.
Whether your business is big or small, connecting to
your community is vital. See how retailers from across
the country have connected and learn how the power of
connection could benefit you, and your business.
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 21
Knight Furniture, a 100-year-old company based in
Sherman, TX, has always believed in supporting and
developing a relationship with the people of their small,
rural community. “Participating in the community is
essential for everyone to fully know who we are,” added
Owner David Gunn. “We don’t want to just sell furniture;
we want a relationship with them on an ongoing basis. We
feel the best way to do that is for them to know us and trust
us. They feel the benefits that we bring to their community.”
Active in many local organizations, David and his team are
most proud of their signature event, The Knight Before
Christmas. Playing off their store name, Knight Furniture
partners with a local classic rock radio station, KMAD, and
hosts a monthlong event that gathers donations for families
in need. “In the month of December, we select numerous
families based upon recommendations from local school
districts,” David added. “They suggest names of families
that they know are underprivileged and unable to provide a
great Christmas.”
Each family member is asked to provide a wish list of
items they would like for Christmas. For the entire month
of December, the radio station hosts “The Knight Before
Christmas” and anonymously shares the family’s stories
and wish lists. Listeners can then visit the Knight Furniture
website and choose to adopt an entire family, one family
member, or send in a specific item or cash donation.
Whatever isn’t donated, Knight Furniture donates along
with new furniture for any room the family might need.
“When we did the Knight Before Christmas the first time,
I was blown away that the number one requested item
was underwear,” David said. “For adults, the second most
common item was cleaning supplies. Even children were
typically asking for minor items—the things most of us
take for granted.” The second year saw the addition of a few
iPod and gaming system requests, but that was at Knight
Furniture’s encouragement. The week before Christmas,
David and his team head down to KMAD to hold a day
long phone-a-thon to raise awareness and funds for the
event. In the two years that they have held The Knight
Knight Id ol
Christmas, all of the requests were fulfilled, and even
For the last few years, Knight Furniture has partnered
were donated.
with a local radio station to host Knight Idol the
weekend prior to the crowning of the new American
“I have to tell you the reason we did it the second year was as
Idol. The store brings in 15 contestants to sing in a
much because of what I got out of it, as what it did for the
competition that is judged by local celebrities and
families. I really wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact
at the end the winner, and runner up, recieve prizes
these families would have on me,” David added. “We
ranging from big screen TVs to gift cards. Not only is
everything that was bought and donated Santa
this a fun way of bringing people into the store, but it
in our showroom, and then we allotted a time
also gives people the opportunity to shop. “We have
to come in. Most of the time it was just
done it a number of years, and this year was our best
in, but a couple of them brought their
year ever. We saw a great benefit in having that many
children. To see grown adults, that weren’t very different
people in our store—the cash register did ring. At
any given moment, we had over 200 people in the
from me, literally fall down to their knees crying when they
store for the event,” added David.
recognized that they could provide something very cool for
their kids—it was extraordinarily touching.”
AUGUST | 2012
A Cause Close to the Heart
From an early age, George Nader’s father taught him and his
brothers that they needed to give back to the community—
not just money, but also their time. And while George’s
father passed away 15 years ago, his philosophy of giving
back is still alive with his sons.
With their father’s philosophy in mind, George and his
brothers have been involved with the Kiwanis Club and the
local Chamber of Commerce in each city they do business.
If they aren’t active members of a club, then they find other
ways to support it, such as donating the Nader’s Classic Barn
for events. “The Barn holds about 300 people, and we will
donate that to the city and different clubs for them to host
various events,” George said.
One event years ago led Nader’s
LaPopular Furniture to become heavily
involved with the City of Hope, a
Cancer Institute-designated
in the Community
Comprehensive Cancer Center and
Greg Follett, owner of Follett’s Furniture in Lewiston, ID, has always believed
research facility. “Larry Furiani from
in being a face to the community. “I wish I had more time and resources to
Coaster was here for an event in The
support every event in town,” he said. “I try to be visible around my town.
Barn and suggested that we have a
For instance, if there is a new historical marker being put in, or if they are
fundraiser there for the City of Hope.
doing something for baseball, I try to show up and support it. I have found
He planted the seed in our heads,
that being able to talk to anyone really helps. In a small community of
George said.”
30,000, people have gotten to know me.”
Since their father passed away from
For the last 15 years, Greg has been a part of the Lewiston Historic
cancer, and many other family
Preservation Commission, ensuring that their town’s rich history lives on
members had survived it, the cause was
and can be enjoyed by all. Along with supporting local community events
close to the Nader brothers’ hearts. For
like the annual reenactment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Greg has his
the next five years, the Nader’s Classic
team pitch-in and “get their hands dirty” at local activities. “I have found that
Barn hosted parties for the City of
many times instead of just giving money to a charity, we will donate our team
Hope. “We raised about $15,000 to
or a truck to help the charity move things,” he said. “Everyone will nickel and
$20,000 at The Barn—just for having
dime you for money, so if there is another angle of giving back, where you are
a party for the furniture industry. It is
actually getting your hands dirty, then that is the best. Many times you might
something that my dad would have
not even get noticed for helping, but later on you might. People will say, ‘Hey
loved, he always wanted to have a party
you were helping us with your pick up’. I don’t try and stamp my logo out
for the industry in The Barn.”
there as much as my face. People know me, and they act like they know me
Eventually the City of Hope went
back to their annual golf tournaments,
A guy with the community in his heart, Greg recently purchased a
which George and his brothers
1922 trolley and gifted it to the territorial capital project. He enjoys the
continue to support. George’s brother
community he lives in, and contributes whatever he can to it.
Fred is on the committee and in the
last year, they helped the City of Hope
raise $740,000. “It is a personal cause
for us. We have been to the City of Hope a number of times, and
we really believe in what they are doing. They are on the cuttingedge of science and health breakthroughs. It isn’t just about cancer,
they are also working on cures for diabetes and Alzheimer’s; they
are working on making people healthy,” added George.
Carrying on his father’s philosophy, George believes everyone
should give back, no matter what level they are at, “Bill Gates
is filthy rich, and he gives at the level he is at, giving millions of
dollars back. Wherever you are in life, you are never too small to
help. We believe it comes back to us. They support us because we
Greg Follett,
Fred & George Nader,
support them,” he said.
Follett’s Furniture
Nader’s LaPopular Furniture
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 23
Fore Charity
“In today’s world of chain-store and national-store
mentality, local retailers have to differentiate
themselves. It also gives us a chance to help people
and do nice things for the community.”
Ne w Eng l a nd Ch a pt e r Go l f To u rna m e n t
For the last five years, the NHFA New England Chapter
has been hitting the greens to support The Home For Little
Wanderers, a nationally renowned, private, non-profit child
and family service agency. “Our New England Chapter
is pleased to provide a venue through which those of us
associated with the home furnishings industry can find a
way to come together for a day of enjoyment that results
in aiding such a worthy cause,” said Chapter President, Joe
Quintal, Rotmans.
Originally founded as a orphanage in 1799, The Home
today plays a leadership role in delivering services to
thousands of children and families each year through a
system of residential, community-based and prevention
programs, direct care services and advocacy. “When I was
a youngster growing up in upstate New York, my mother
came from Boston and she always told me The Home for
Little Wanderers was a really wonderful charity, and I never
forgot it. When I moved to New England, it became an
obvious charity of choice,” Joe said.
Pilgr im Furni ture Ci ty
Connecting with the local community was such a priority for Pilgrim Furniture
City in Southington, CT, that owner Mike Albert hired an outside consultant to
facilitate and organize their events. Nine years ago, Nancy Ottino, owner of the
The Idea Group, was hired to find ways to connect to the local community. “I
think one thing that is wonderful is that Mike and Debbie Albert are both very
cognizant of the community and being a part of it. It amazes me that they hired
me to find ways of giving back to the community because it is so important to
them,” she said.
Since starting, Nancy has found numerous ways to give back, but their number
one event each year is the annual golf tournament. This year’s event on August 8
marks the eighth anniversary, which has raised over $200,000 for charity over the
last seven years. “Our annual golf tournament has to be the most fun day of work
all year,” Mike said. “Employees volunteer for the day, lots of employees play in
it—it really brings everyone together for a good cause.”
The last few years, that cause has been the American Lung Association. The cause
is close to many hearts in the Pilgrim Furniture City family. Mike lost his mother
at the age of 65 due to lung disease, and, “Recently we had two young employees,
in their 40s and 50s, die of lung cancer. So it is close to all of our hearts because
we have had people close to us who have suffered from lung cancer. That is one of
the reasons we chose to support them,” Nancy added.
Scheduled at the Lake of Isles in North Stonington, CT, the sell-out event brings
in vendors, employees and local community members. Approximately 144 people
tee-off for a good cause and last year’s event raised $35,000 to help the American
Lung Association free people from the addictive grip of cigarettes and the
debilitating effects of lung disease.
“In today’s world of chain-store and national-store mentality, local retailers have to
differentiate themselves. It also gives us a chance to help people and do nice things
for the community,” Mike said.
AUGUST | 2012
Most participants in the New
England area have come to look
forward to the event (note: mark
your calendars for June 11, 2013),
as it is a time for them to network
while raising money for such
a great cause. On average, 72
players attend the tournament
and enjoy a shotgun start golf
tournament, luncheon and
awards ceremony. Joe and a team
of five plan every detail of the day
and gather sponsorships from the
industry. Over the last five years,
their hard work has helped the
Chapter donate close to $40,000
to The Home of Little Wanderers.
“I believe that you need to give
back to the community a certain
share of what comes to you,” Joe
said. “Otherwise you are not a
good corporate system. I wanted
to find something that not only
worked in my local area, but
worked in New England, which
is the area that our Chapter
represents. This event allows us to
give back while highlighting our
Chapter and the industry.”
Get on the Mobile Commerce train
before it leaves the station… and leaves you behind
By Kim Miller-Hershon
There’s never been a better time to get
on the mobile commerce (also known
as ‘mCommerce’) train. It’s an emerging
field, with emerging technology and incredible opportunity for retailers. First
things first—what the heck is mobile
commerce, anyway? Mobile commerce
is the buying and selling of goods on a
mobile device, such as a smartphone
or tablet. Why should you care? Internet Retailer estimates mobile sales will
increase to $17.5 billion by the end of
2012 from $10.7 billion in 2011. There
are many ways to incorporate mobile
marketing and mobile commerce into
your marketing mix, thereby increasing
your sales and profits.
Is your site mobile friendly?
And do you have a brand
strategy for your mobile site?
AUGUST | 2012
Typically, when we talk
about Internet marketing,
our goal is to drive traffic
to your website. Then your
prospective customers are
so blown away by your
fabulous site that they drop whatever they are
doing and run to your store! And, if you sell
something on your website, they will be excited
enough to buy your items, right? With mobile
marketing, we encourage you to take a similar
approach, with a twist. Make sure your mobile
website, or even better, your own mobile app, is
set up with mCommerce so your customers and
prospective customers can buy from you right then,
on the go.
Some of the big retailers have had to learn this
lesson the hard way. Pier 1 Imports spent a lot of
money on mobile advertising this spring, driving
traffic to their website. What they forgot to do
is optimize their website for the mobile platform
and add mCommerce, so customers could buy
the items right from their phones or tablets. They
squandered a major opportunity to convert lookers
to buyers. In fact, Google recently stated that 80
percent of their largest advertisers do not even
have a mobile-enabled website! When we look
at the remaining 20 percent who have mobilefriendly sites, most of them don’t have a brand
strategy that engages the mobile user to make a
purchasing decision.
This does not need to be you. You can divert
some of your marketing dollars to the mobile
marketplace. If you need any more convincing,
Facebook has added “want” and “purchased”
buttons to their developer code. They won’t
confirm or deny yet that they are planning to bring
these to the Facebook user. My advice: set yourself
up right now with a mobile strategy to capitalize
on these inevitable changes. Aren’t you just jumping out of
your chair with excitement about the possibilities for your
business?! I am!
There are two ways to engage your customer: wherever
your customer is and in your store. Let’s address the
opportunity in your store to incorporate mobile commerce
first. You can equip your salespeople with iPads. They
can easily and quickly provide customers with additional
information about products right on the sales floor. They
can also check inventory, pricing, place special orders and
if you set it up, process purchases from the iPads. There
are very sophisticated point-of-sale systems available that
are extremely secure and give those of you with multiple
locations bandwidth. The best part is there is access for
everyone. If a sophisticated system isn’t in your budget, use
Square ( It has all the functionality
you will need to get started, and it’s free! Z Gallerie is
successfully using iPads in all of their 55 stores. They are
having such success that they plan to incorporate point-ofsale transactions next.
Other ways you can use iPads in a store would be to do
on-the-spot gift registry, registration for customer loyalty
programs and events, and suggestions/recommendations
for return shoppers. I know you’re going to love this next
use. The biggest complaint that I hear from retailers and
designers who sell product is customers Internet shopping
for the lowest price. Use the in-store iPad to compare
prices and then have a live person there to tell the customer
why they should buy from you!
Now that you have tons of
ideas on how to use mobile
commerce in the store, here
are a number of ways to
entice and engage your
customers and prospective customers from wherever they
happen to be. Advertise on the mobile platform. Then
make sure your website is optimized for mobile use. This
step is critically important because you want to make it
easy for your customer to engage and buy from you. As
we talked about last month, the best way to encourage
interaction and loyalty to your brand is to create a mobile
app. Either way, create a landing page specifically for a set
of items that you want to promote. Make sure you include
a store locator with GPS. Also, enabling a mobile shopping
cart adds value to the consumer. You can also create a way
for them to reserve an item, pay for it and pick it up at
the store. Want to give the customer even more value? Use
coupons as a part of the ad. When they click on it, they see
the offer and then come to the store to redeem it.
You also want to encourage your clients to interact with
your brand and your merchandise. One way to do this is to
make sure your social media share buttons are prominent.
I highly recommend Pinterest because it focuses on
visual and lifestyle, making it perfectly suited to your
marketing purposes.
The last word here is to remind you that marketing works
best if it’s targeted. Mobile sites and apps tailored to a
specific demographic will yield the best results. In other
words, you need to know who your customer is. Be
patient too—as any marketing campaign will need time to
gain momentum.
The opportunity here is huge. When you act now, you can
capitalize on a growing market while it’s new, exciting and
growing like wildfire. If you need help, there are a bunch
of us out there who can help you succeed and make your
marketing dollars work for you. Have fun on the gravy
Kim Miller-Hershon is founder & chief empowerment
officer of DesignINSIDE, where she is a Business
Development Coach and creates mobile marketing
apps. You can reach her at: [email protected]
make sure you include
a mobile shopping cart
The Future of Furniture Retail
Augmented Reality
By Mikko Martikainen
Augmented Reality and Fashion
The international fashion industry has
started to embrace the concept of
augmented reality—allowing customers to
“try on” anything from an engagement ring
to the latest fall fashions. Hugo Boss at the
Westfield Stratford City in Britain features a
26-foot media wall, which allows customers
to “dress” onscreen models who interact
with consumers. Some shopping malls are
experimenting with virtual dressing rooms
that lets you try on additional styles only
available online.
Ikea Gets Augmented
The 2013 Ikea catalog gives consumers the
chance to unlock videos, tips and additional
information to improve their home, through
augmented reality. Consumers simply
download their app, and on pages marked
with a special icon, the pages come alive
with information to inspire them. How can
you incorporate this technology into your
showroom, website and catalogs?
AUGUST | 2012
ugmented Reality as a technology has been around for a long
time in academic circles and in esoteric uses such as military
displays and industrial environments. Over the past couple of
years, with the increase in computing power in smartphones and tablets,
the technology has become more available for everyday use. Wouldn’t
it be great if consumers could see how your products would look and
fit with their existing decor? Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR)—
overlaying information and images on a live view of the real world—
does exactly that.
So how does it work? The most common way to trigger an augmented
view of a product is to use a tracking image—basically just a piece of
paper that the user puts on the floor where they want to see a virtual
representation of the product. They then launch a mobile app that
utilizes the live camera feed, point it at the tracking image and the
virtual object appears.
To online retailers, the advantages of MAR are obvious; despite the use
of images, videos and other rich media experiences it is still very difficult
for a consumer to get an accurate idea of how the product looks in
reality. But even for more traditional retailers it’s a great way to engage
their customers. Imagine going shopping for a chair—you find a few
that you think would look great in your home but you’re not quite sure
which one to go for. You pick up brochures—these also function as the
tracking image—for both of them, go back home and lay the brochures
on the floor where you would have the new chair. Then you just launch
the app, and you can see the chair from any angle through your mobile
device, sitting on your floor as if it was already there!
aug·men·ted re·al·i·ty
a. A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image
on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view
Combining this core functionality
with social media, by providing
the ability to take ‘photos’ of the
virtual products in your home and
sharing these on Facebook, Twitter
and Pinterest, creates even more
engagement. All of a sudden, instead
of just visiting your store, the
consumer has spent considerable time
interacting with your products and
even involved their social circles in
the experience.
With efforts like Google’s Project
Glass, Augmented Reality is breaking
into the mainstream. So even though
current users of this technology are
the early adopters, it won’t be long
before even the less savvy consumers
are able to benefit from this exciting
new retail experience.
Mikko Martikainen is the CEO of Sayduck—a
startup providing a mobile Augmented Reality-based
platform for showcasing products from furniture
and home decoration brands and retailers. Prior to
co-founding Sayduck he ran his own visual effects
consultancy serving the advertising sector in London.
Leona Collection
At Steve Silver Company we are passionate
about providing our customers with a
dependable product package of innovation,
quality, value, and service.
Dining | Occasional | Home Office | Leather Upholstery
Visit us at
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 29
June was a busy month for NHFA affiliates. Multiple conventions and a golf tournament had
members connecting, creating memories and helping others. At the SEHFA Convention
at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, FL, members attended great educational
sessions and then relived the 70s at a disco-inspired final night. Members attending the SHFA
Convention at Pawleys Plantation, Pawleys Island, SC, shared best ideas and strategies
for the future, and the 2011 Willis Award of Merit was presented to Gary Woodham, Colfax
Furniture. The New England Chapter Golf Tournament and members swinging for charity—
raising $11,000 for the New England Home for Little Wanderers (for more information on this,
read our story on page 24).
View more photos on under “Click”.
NHFA New England Chapter Annual Golf Outing
A: Golfers enjoying the New England Golf Tournament
B: Frank Clark, Serta with Don & Teresa Perkins, Kith Furniture
C: Disco Fever at the SEHFA Convention
D: Attendees smiling for paparazzi
E: Janice Coleman, Tupelo Furniture Market, and Marty
Libowsky, SEHFA Advisory Board Member
F: VM Cleveland, Kith Furniture; Julie Jackson, Ashley
G: The Woodham Family at the SHFA Convention
H: Max Garner and Gary Woodham
SEHFA Annual Convention
SHFA Convention and Willis Award of Merit Recipient
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 31
Member Marketplace
Member Marketplace
In-Store Financing with GE Capital
Lowest financing rates in the industry, plus rebates
back to you!
Save 10% or more on your check guarantee
Access to a dedicated marketing and client
relationship team that makes this financing program
surprisingly simple.
This complete check guarantee program allows you
to process your single check transactions, all at
member pricing.
 One page dealer application
Check Guarantee
 Enroll today and transact in less than 7 days
 Checks authorized in seconds
 Funds deposited immediately
 All equipment supplied by CrossCheck
Equal Payments
Deferred Interest
With Payments
Member Pricing
Member Pricing
6 Months
12 Months
18 Months
24 Months
18 Months
24 Months
36 Months
48 Months
60 Months
New Rebate Program Based
on Your Quarterly Volume
$25,000–$99,999 $100,000–$249,999 $250,000–$499,999
Check Solutions
Multiple Check Options
Now you can offer a 90-day multiple check option.
This no recourse, non-credit based approval
process gives you the ability to let customers pay
over 90 days.
Bankcard Processing
you get .20% Back
you get .25% Back
you get .35% Back
you get .40% Back
Easily establish your lowest bankcard rate with no
hidden fees.
 Deposit into your own bank
 No conversion or set-up fees
Alternative Financing
Help credit challenged customers.
Get a second chance at making the sale by offering
alternative financing.
 Advertise “No Credit Check”—increase traffic by 50%
 No dealer recourse
 Quick approvals
 Members only pay a flat 6% discount rate
 Set-up fees are waved
 No minimum volume required
 No monthly statement fees
 Only $.10 per qualified Visa/MasterCard
Only $.15 per qualified Visa/MasterCard check
card transaction
Quick, seamless transition with no interruption
in business
National Home Furnishings Association
Western Home Furnishings Association
Retailers East of the
Rocky Mountains, call
(800) 888-9590
South Eastern Home Furnishings Association
AUGUST | 2012
Southern Home Furnishings Association
Retailers in the 12
Western states, call
(800) 422-3778
National Home Furnishings Association
Western Home Furnishings Association
South Eastern Home Furnishings Association
Your Voice
Have you ever noticed that our industry is a little behind when it comes to
things like technology? Why is there a disconnect? RetailerNOW recently
sat down with Scott Selden and Jake Cross, Selden’s Home Furnishings,
Tacoma, WA, and Andrew Tepperman, Tepperman’s, Ontario, Canada,
to discuss the furniture industry and technology.
Why is our
industry behind
when it comes
to technology?
Scott: My first comment would be it’s because of the fragmentation of the
industry for manufacturing and retail; a large percentage of the retail market is still
smaller, family-owned independent stores which is really unique for the amount
of volume the industry does. Typically smaller retailers don’t have the capital
or infrastructure to invest and experiment with advancing technologies. I also
believe, as a whole, the overall profitability of the industry doesn’t allow for a lot of
experimentation in technology.
Andrew: One of the things I have noticed with our company is that many of our
long-term employees, who have grown up within the business, are really good
merchandisers and retailers, but they just don’t have any cutting-edge technology
experience. I really noticed a difference when we started hiring technology people
from the automotive industry. They have a very different approach to business. It
is process management, and it almost creates a combative nature between the
merchants and technology people. I know from our past, it was not having those
people on board that really understood where we needed to go with technology.
What are
you doing to
into your
retail stores?
Selden’s Home Furnishings
Tacoma, Washington
Founded in 1940
Stores: 3
Tepperman’s Furniture
Ontario, Canada
Founded in 1925
Stores: 4 Tepperman’s,
3 Bargain Annex
AUGUST | 2012
Andrew: About three years ago we started talking about a major ERP
upgrade—we are on the STORIS system today. We just launched the new
R9 system at the end of May. That was a huge financial investment and it
is going to take six months to really understand the return on investment.
Out of everything we have done, that has definitely been the biggest thing.
We also updated our websites, and are now trying to figure out how to
get eCommerce on our website. We have just started experimenting with
EDI as well with some of our suppliers, and we are experimenting with
handheld tablets for our salespeople to use so they don’t have to run to
a computer. We are also looking for special handheld tablets for delivery
drivers to use.
Scott: I recommend the tablets for delivery drivers, Andrew. It really
helps! Our biggest investment is what Andrew had mentioned earlier
with bringing in people from the automotive side—we have one and
a half positions that are committed to technology advancement in our
company. We have an industry software program that runs our operating
system but we are able to branch out from that with custom reporting and
custom analysis of some of our sales and merchandising. We allow all of
our salespeople to connect to our operating system and every designer
has a computer on their desk. It gives them access to our operating
system and manufacturer’s websites for stock information. We are also
encouraging individual social media contact for our designers to showcase
jobs they have done. We are trying to build a culture that everybody has a
computer, everybody utilizes it, and we are trying to get some of our older
designers less fearful of technology.
Scott Selden, Selden’s Home
Furnishings, Tacoma, WA
Andrew Tepperman,
Tepperman’s, Ontario, Canada
RetailerNOW: Why do you think it is important
for retailers to know what is happening in the
world around them, and how the customer is
utilizing technology?
Andrew: Knowing the source is vital—how are they
finding us? Are they searching on a smartphone, or a
computer? I was getting complaints about a year ago
because on our website because we only had about
20-30 percent of our products online. After hearing
that trend, we decided to ramp up our website so
now we have about 80-90 percent of our products
online. I am still trying to figure out the importance
of smartphones. We are experimenting a little with
Foursquare, where customers can check in, but it
is such a small niche group right now. Kind of like
with social media, we don’t have a lot of fans, but
we are very active with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN
and blogs—while we are putting information out
there, a very small group seems to be engaged and
participating, but it is still a group out there. It is
growing, very slowly for us, but we want to know how
they are communicating and what message they are
looking at.
Scott: I am putting a little bit of a twist on this
but it is our responsibility to make the shopping
experience enjoyable, easy and how the public wants
to shop with us. What I mean by that is the public
is demanding more and more technology because
they are shopping or researching from home, and
the stores in our industry have to provide access
Jake Cross, Selden’s Home
Furnishings, Tacoma, WA
Find out what Scott, Andrew and Jake predict
will be important in the future when it comes
to technology at
to product and store information electronically or
through different website portals. One example is
consumers are always pressured for delivery, asking
if they are running late, or for a one-hour delivery
window. Through technology, a customer can now
log-in to our website and visually see through a
mapping program where our delivery trucks are and
how far out they are from their home. They can also
email our trucks to ask questions like, “How much
longer until you make it to our home?” and things like
that. The public is forcing us to improve our systems,
and technology is one of the best ways to do that.
Jake: We also need to pay attention to where they
are finding us online. I see PDAs growing pretty fast
on how they are searching and viewing our website.
Making sure we have a good mobile site to make a
good first impression is crucial.
Andrew: One thing I forgot to mention was that we
tried using iPads at the last High Point Market and
it was great. It was so much more efficient when we
got back to the office to match the photo with the
notes. We used an app called Goodnotes to write
the notes right on the photos.
Jake: I use Notability to take pictures and write
notes on them.
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 35
What’s Selling
What’s Selling
Every month, What’s Selling Now features best sellers from across the country—
in different styles, categories and price points. Here’s what’s selling now…
Submitted by: Kathy Crank
Submitted by: Bo Coconis
Store Name: Lippmann’s Furniture and Interiors
Store Name: Coconis Furniture
Location: Peoria, Illinois
Location: South Zanesville, Ohio
Manufacturer: Ekornes, Stressless
Manufacturer: Ashley B697
Product Name: Any of the chair and ottoman styles
Product Name: Porter Bedroom
Is the product:
Made In America: No, Norway
Warehouse ready: Some styles
Container Product: No
Is the product:
Made In America: No
Warehouse ready: Stocked in warehouse
Container Product: Available
Cost: Queen Storage: Bed $381
Queen Storage Bed, Dresser, Mirror, Nightstand: $917
Cost: Average: $1,200-1,600
Retail Price: Average: $2,095-2,595
Retail: Queen Storage Bed: $799
Queen Storage Bed, Dresser, Mirror, Nightstand: $1,899 –
King $1,999
Product level: High-end
Why do you think it is a successful seller: Quality of the
product, and patented design and engineering.
Product level: Medium
How available is the product from the manufacturer: Very
quick delivery if it is stocked in New Jersey—colors
coming from Norway may take up to four months.
Additional information about the product: The product is
unique and staff must be trained to sell it. It is all about
fitting your customer properly. Also pricing structure of
minimum retail pricing is a definite plus.
Look for these symbols to
let you know more about
the products:
Made in America
AUGUST | 2012
Why do you think it is a successful seller: It sells because of
the storage bed, style, finish and hot price point! Great
look, and value, for the money.
How available is the product from the manufacturer: Product
is available in Ashley warehouse—ships in 2-4 weeks or
Additional information about the product: One of the best
values we have in our store. It is also available in a panel
bed. The Porter Collection is available in dining, home
office, occasional and entertainment.
Warehouse Ready
Container Product
What’s Selling
SEPTEMBER 20–23, 2012
MMPI_RetailerNOW_Half_Page_Horizontal.indd 1
6/12/12 5:42 PM
Your salespeople are already
referring your customers
to consignment stores...
why shouldn’t it be yours?
Imagine the goodwill, sales, and additional profits you’ll earn if you
own that shop. AFC is a turnkey system that includes everything you
need to operate a successful consignment store. From training and
operations manuals to web support, from store graphics and advertising materials to a complete, integrated, custom consignment business
software package and advice on how to prospect for, prep and display
the high-value furniture that customers are looking for.
Don’t miss this ground floor opportunity!
Exclusive markets being negotiated now.
For more information contact Doug Wolf
(814) 742-4380 x1127 / [email protected]
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 37
Can The Right Words Really Make a Difference
in Your Furniture and Design Service Sales?
amazing color
gorgeous fabric
focal point
n today’s market, buyers of furniture
and interior design services are reading
carefully phrased, emotionally evocative
descriptions on eCommerce sites.
eCommerce players are paying top dollar to the
best writers to add just the right furniture and
design keywords to help consumers find exactly
what they’re looking for when they search and
to make it as appealing as possible to “buy
furniture with one click”. How can you employ
this same strategy in your brick-and-mortar
stores to increase your own furniture and
interior design service sales?
First, though, is there any statistically significant
evidence that the right words really do make
a difference? Let’s take a look at a study
conducted for a related industry by real estate
economist Paul Anglin between 1997 and 2000.
Anglin’s study analyzed more than 20,000
real estate listings to determine the effects of a
listing’s wording and phrases on sales price and
market time. He found that homes described
as “beautiful” sell for 5 percent more than the
average home. But listing a home as a “good
value” may result in a 5 percent discount.
According to his study, “beautiful” cut the time
a home was on the market by 15 percent and he
also found that real estate listings mentioning
“landscaping” sell 20 percent faster than the
average home.
Used together, he found “beautiful” and
“landscaping” can also boost the final sales
price of a property by 5 percent over the
average home.
How can you use Anglin’s findings about the
impact of the right words to increase the sales in
your own furniture business?
Here’s an idea for your
sales manager:
Arrange a sales meeting with each of your
furniture retail sales associates and have a tape
recorder present. (You can also do this in a group
setting but the results may be different).
By Leslie Carothers
 Ask this question: “In your own life,
how does the fashion industry influence
you with words?” If you want to add a
little extra fun, show them this new site:
 Record your furniture retail sales associates
talking about how the fashion industry
influences them with its choice of words. Ask
them about how they think fashion trends
influence furniture trends. It’s fun for women
and men in our industry to talk about fashion
and fashion trends!
 Next, show your furniture retail sales
associates some of the descriptive phrases being
used on any site run by
which excels in keyword enriched, descriptive
language. (No doubt, many of your retail
furniture sales associates are already very aware
of this—but perhaps only on a subliminal
 Lastly, ask them if they could add more
descriptive words in their conversations with
their furniture customers and keep the same
level of excitement in their voices that they had
when you tape recorded them sharing with you
about fashion!
Let’s run our own experiment: Does helping
your retail sales associates learn to tie together
the language of fashion, and fashion trends,
while talking with your customers about a
particular piece of furniture (with passion and
excitement in their voices) have an impact on
your sales?
Leslie Carothers is the CEO of The Kaleidoscope Partnership, a
global social media agency for the furniture and design industry.
Leslie is an international speaker, the writer of Furniture
Today’s *Retail Ideas* blog and has been in the furniture and
interior design industry for 30 years. You can reach her at
[email protected], on Facebook at
TheKaleidoscopePartnership, on Twitter at
tkpleslie and on LinkedIN at
You can also call her at (713) 705-2482.
( More savings, that is. )
port of call. make it world class.
At Zenith Global Logistics, we utilize only Tier 1 rated ocean carriers to reduce border wait time and to ensure your requirements and
schedules are met. When paired with our full range of supply chain services, our international shipping expertise allows you to focus on
selling furniture rather than managing freight – all with full inventory visibility. Our bonded warehouses in key Asia markets enable you to
procure product from multiple countries, and our Split Container programs help you reduce overall inventory exposure. The Zenith Ocean
Shippers’ Association (ZOSA) provides smaller shippers with the same great discounts enjoyed by the high volume importers. So when you
need a world-class partner who specializes in meeting the requirements unique to furniture importing, call on Zenith Global Logistics. We
fully understand that to achieve uncompromised performance at every port of entry and exit...Every Move Counts.
PO Box 969
Conover, NC 28613
Domestic LTL Freight // Domestic Warehousing // Domestic Home Delivery // Ocean Transportation // International Warehousing & Consolidation
Product Focus
Trends in Rug Design
The trend for natural surface sand finishes in home &
retail environments is evolving.
Texture remains key in textile and rug
design and has become as important as
Modern textures are being created through
expressive, innovative weaving techniques
or through unexpected yarn combinations—
such as high/low, thick/thin, matte and shine.
Soft and luxurious yarns are used create a
sense of comfort and ease.
Shades of mineral and metallic from soft
silvers through rich coppers are being
used as complimentary accents to the
Open spaces and hardwood floors are being
warmed by the emergence of this season’s
brights—bringing with them a sense of
optimism and hope.
Sorbet shades and array of bold brights
are skillfully used to create interesting
accents to or become a focal point in a room.
Antique finishes give a feel of nostalgia and
heirloom thus the truly modern environment
becomes less hard-edged and more eclectic
and livable.
Jaipur provides thoughtfully crafted lifestyle-driven products that are
beautiful, comfortable and socially responsible. Based in Atlanta with
distribution across North America, we offer a growing spectrum of
offerings ranging from traditional to contemporary, sophisticated handknotted to whimsical inspired outdoors. To learn more, visit our website
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 41
Our Associations gratefully recognize all of our supporters whose
dedication and committment has strengthened our industry.
Acuity A. Mutual Insurance Company
Advertising Concepts of America
Affordable Furniture
AICO/Amini Innovation Corp.
Aireloom Beding
American Express
American Leather
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
Associated Volume Buyers
Banner Marketing
Becker Designed, Inc.
Bernards, Inc.
Best Home Furnishings
Braxton Culler, Inc.
California Furniture Manufacturers Assoc.
Capital Marketing Concepts
Cargo Consolidation Services
Celerant Technology
Century Furniture
Century Lighting
Coaster Company of America
Color Ad
Cory Home Delivery Service
Craftmaster Furniture, Inc.
Cramco, Inc.
Davis Direct
Décor-Rest Furniture Ltd.
Delivery Solutions
Diakon Logistics
Diamond Mattress Co.
Dom Granat
DSI Companies
Elements International
Elite Leather
Emerald Home Furnishings
Furniture of America
Furniture Options
Furniture Wizard
GE Capital
Great American Furniture Services
Guardian Products
Guardsman/The Valspar Corp.
Harden Furniture Company
High Point Market Authority
Holland House
Homelegance USA
Home Furnishings Business Magazine
Horich Parks Lebow Advertising
Impact Consulting Services, Inc.
Innovative Delivery Systems
James Parker Insurance Associates
Jofran Sales, Inc.
Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate, Inc.
King Hickory Furniture Co
Klaussner Home Furnishings
Lane Home Furnishings
Lazar Industries
Leggett & Platt, Inc.
Liberty Furniture
Lifestyle Enterprises
Linon Home Décor Products
Magnussen Home
Mail America
Massood Logistics
Med-Lift Mobility
MicroD, Inc.
Mohawk Finishing Products, Inc.
National Home Furnishings Association
Western Home Furnishings Association
Myriad Software
Natuzzi Americas, Inc.
Nourison Industries
Okinus Credit Solutions
Pacific Furniture Dealers
Phoenix A.M.D. International, Inc.
Profit Management Promotions
Restonic Mattress Corp.
SAP Retail
Serta Mattress Companies
Source International, Inc./4 Sales Finance
Sourthern Motion
Sphinx by Oriental Weavers
Standard Furniture
Steve Silver Co.
The Uttermost Company
Tropic Survival Advertising & Marketing
TruckSkin, LLC
TV Shield
Twin Star/Classic Flame
Tyler Net, Inc.
United Furniture Industries
Valassis, Inc.
Vaughan Furniture Co.
Versatile Systems
Wahlquist Management Corporation
World Market Center
Zenith Global
South Eastern Home Furnishings Association
Southern Home Furnishings Association
New England
To become an industry partner contact:
National Home Furnishings Association | 800.888.9590
Western Home Furnishings Association | 800.422.3778
Quick Fire
The influence of a Tweet!
When Twitter started in 2006, it was a platform for technology-savvy
people to communicate with each other in a quick and easy manner.
Six years later that has all changed.
First let’s learn some quick facts about Twitter:
`` A third of monthly Twitter users are 25-34 years old—the next generation to buy your products.
`` U.S. Twitter users have higher incomes than the general population.
`` More than half of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
With more than 200 million users and 1.6 billion searches per day, Twitter has become one of the
largest, and most successful, social networks in the world.
However, there in lies the question. How can my retail store use Twitter to capture more customers?
The answer is much more varied than you would expect. Twitter is a social media tool that has
extensive business opportunities. Let’s take a look at four unique ways you can use Twitter’s
community for your business.
XX Customer Service: Call centers and online chats can be good for customer service questions,
but what about the quick questions that customers don’t want to have to sit on hold in order to
get answered? Enter Twitter.
YY Lead Generation: Twitter can be a great source for lead generation. Share blog posts, run
Twitter contests and promotions with your Twitter community. Make sure you are using your
website to collect emails from customers so they can get a special coupon or offer.
ZZ Search Engine Optimization: Social media will only become more and more important in
search engine optimization. Bing for example has a deal with Twitter to display data in its
search engine and also uses Twitter data in its ranking algorithm.
qq Growing Other Social Media Communities: Make sure to cross promote your Facebook and
Pinterest pages on your Twitter account. Provide opportunities for fans of your business to
engage with your business on their preferred network.
This is by no means ALL of the ways you can use Twitter for business, but it is a solid start.
Keep in mind… social media alone won’t drive traffic into your store. The key to being truly
successful is digging beyond the typical ad speak and spotlight your strong points and what
makes you unique in a world of strong competition.
We challenge you to start being social and learn how you can start driving social sales today!
Quick-Fire Marketing is brought to you by R&A Marketing. Armed with more than 25 years of furniture retail marketing experience
as a full-service traditional and digital marketing company, R&A is the industry’s premier agency for retailers in the home furnishings
and appliances/electronics industries. Visit us on the web or email us at [email protected]
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 43
The Scoop
the scoop
Morris Home Center Opens New Store
Room & Board Opening New Store in Boston
Morris Home Center cut the ribbon and unveiled their
new home furnishings center in Florence, KY in June.
With this new store opening, NHFA member and Top
100 retailer, Morris Furniture Co., Inc., now has 17 stores
across Ohio and Kentucky. Morris Furniture Co., Inc.
started in Dayton in 1947 and currently operates 17 home
furnishings showrooms throughout Dayton, Cincinnati,
Columbus and Northern Kentucky.
NHFA member Room & Board will open a new Boston
store in 2013. Based in Minnesota, this will be Room &
Board’s first venture into New England.
The 39,000-square-foot multilevel store will feature
a modern glass structure at the rear of the building,
as well as a second-floor terrace and sidewalk
area displaying a selection of modern furniture and
accessories from the company’s outdoor line.
The new 100,000 square foot Morris Home Center
includes five stores under one roof. Combined, the five
stores represent Northern Kentucky’s largest single home
furnishings showroom.
Room & Board is also on the verge of opening their first
store in Seattle. Scheduled to open this fall, the 27,000
square foot showroom is filled with design inspiration at
ever corner.
“The new Morris Home Furnishings, Ashley Furniture
HomeStore, The Better Sleep Shop, The Morris Big
TV Store and the Morris Back Room give consumers
one-stop shopping convenience,” said Larry Klaben,
president/CEO of Morris Furniture Co., Inc. “Shoppers
are able to see the area’s largest selection of upholstery,
leather sofas, dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms,
mattresses and HDTVs all in one place. Visitors can enter
any one of the four exterior entrances and visit four stores
and the Morris Back Room through mall-like inter-store
connectivity for a truly unique shopping experience.”
The two new stores are in addition to their 12 store
locations in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois,
Minnesota, New York and Washington D.C.
Combined, the showrooms will be Northern Kentucky’s
largest home furnishings complex that is devoted
exclusively to furniture, mattresses, HDTVs, and gifts
for the home. The store openings have added 60 new
jobs to the company. An estimated $5 million has been
invested in remodeling, fixtures and showroom inventory.
Klaben says, “We are excited to bring our Morris Home
Furnishings, Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Better Sleep
Shop, Morris Big TV Store, and Morris Back Room stores
to Northern Kentucky. We opened our first Morris Home
Center in Cincinnati in late 2010, and the response has
been fantastic. This location allows us bring the same
one-stop shopping concept to Northern Kentucky.”
AUGUST | 2012
Jake Jabs Receives the American Heritage Award
from the Anti-Defamation League
Jake Jabs, president and CEO of American Furniture
Warehouse, was awarded the American Heritage
Award on June 21 in New York City. This distinguished
award was established to honor leaders in the business
and professional world who in their careers and their
communities, personify the ideals of this nation and
the spirit of the Anti-Defamation League, and serve
as a shining example to others for their leadership,
dedication and energy. The founders of the AntiDefamation League were individuals that had a goal
to ensure that America lived up to its promise as a
land of hope and harmony, and to respond swiftly and
decisively when the promise was challenged. The
leaders and supporters of the League who came after
them adopted new strategies to cope with changing
times, but never lost sight of their basic mission.
The Scoop
American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation Announces Six New
Industry Fellows and Nominees for Induction at October Banquet
The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.
announces the 2012 Industry Fellows and candidates for
election into the American Furniture Hall of Fame.
The six nominees who will be made Industry Fellows at
the October 14 banquet are: Howard G. Haas, Jena Hall,
Clement M. Lange Jr., Kevin M. O’Connor, Melvyn L. Wolff
and Thomas E. Wright.
“This year’s slate of nominees is a very impressive group
representing a wide cross section that have made
ground-breaking contributions to their companies and the
industry,” said Randy Ford, president of the Foundation.
“These six individuals have each demonstrated great
Under the new selection system, the inductees will
be determined by the combination of a vote of the
Foundation membership and a points-based rating
system of each nominee by the Foundation’s Industry
Fellow Selection Committee. New members will be
announced and officially inducted into the American
Furniture Hall of Fame at the annual banquet celebration
on October 14, 2012 at the High Point Market.
Howard G. Haas, president and CEO
Jena Hall has created successful
Clement M. Lange Jr. grew Best Chairs
Kevin M. O’Connor worked his way up
Melvyn L. Wolff took Houston-based
Thomas E. Wright is the co-founder and
of Sealy Inc. for 19 years, increased
revenues from $32 million to $550 million
without the acquisition of a competitor
or supplier.
from sales representative to president of
two leading furniture companies before
launching Legacy Classic Furniture
in 1999.
leadership, innovation and generosity throughout their
long careers. They are true industry giants whose
achievements have earned the respect of their colleagues
and competitors alike.”
licensing programs, including Jena Hall’s
Inspirations from the Old Country, which
included thousands of SKUs covering 22
product categories.
Star Furniture—a small, low-end, creditoriented store—and transformed it into
one of the country’s most successful
retail furniture operations.
from a modest, five-person operation
repairing furniture and truck seats into
Best Home Furnishings, a leading
manufacturer of residential upholstery
with five state-of-the-art plants producing
more than 4,000 chairs, recliners and
sofas each day in Southern Indiana.
former chairman of Wright of Thomasville,
a leading supplier of labels, in-store
display graphics, and point-of-sale
products to the mattress, upholstery,
case goods, floor covering and rug
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 45
Edison Furniture & Accessory Market
August 19-21, 2012
Edison, NJ
Maison & Objet
September 7- 9, 2012
Paris, France
Dallas Total Home & Gift Market
September 8-10, 2012
Dallas, TX
Mid-Atlantic Market
September 9-10, 2012
Fredericksburg, VA
New York Home Fashions Market
WithIT 2012 Conference
September 10-13, 2012
August 14-16, 2012
New York, NY
Raleigh, NC
Mexico International Furniture Market
August 15-18, 2012
Guadalajara, Mexico
L.A. Mart Fall Market
September 30 - October 2, 2012
Los Angeles, CA
Tupelo Fall Market
International Casual Furniture
& Accessories Market
August 16-19, 2012
September 20-23, 2012
Tupelo, MS
Chicago, IL
New York Gift & Home Textiles Market
High Point Market
August 18- 23, 2012
October 13-18, 2012
New York, NY
High Point, NC
Pictured Above:Surya, Poufs, Fall 2012
AUGUST | 2012
Ad Index
Allegheny Consignment
(814) 742-4380
Cargo Consolidation Services
(828) 459-3160
Emerald Home Furnishings
(800) 685-6646
High Point Market
(336) 869-1000
International Casual Furniture Market
(312) 527-7764
(800) 964-3876
Back Cover
Inside Back
(201) 368-6900
Phoenix AMD
(800) 661-7313
Planned Furniture Promotions
(800) 472-5242
Profit Management Promotions
(215) 230-9001
(716) 894-1414
(888) 557-3782
Steve Silver
(888) 400-8113
(877) 275-7847
Inside Cover
TV Shield
(800) 331-2628
Zenith Global
(800) 937-3876
NHFA / WHFA Sponsors
(800) 888-9590
WHFA Membership
(800) 888-9590
NHFA Membership
(800) 422-3776
www.retailerNOWmag.comA U G U S T | 2 0 1 2 47
The Now List
A quick dose of fun facts,
random trivia and useful
(or useless) bits of info
The Now List
62% eCommerce
U.S. eCommerce sales will grow
62% by 2016, to $327 billion
(Forrester, February 2012).
51% of people use their
smartphones in bed
The Amazon rainforest
produces more than 20% of
the world’s oxygen supply.
7 in 10 U.S. online consumers
who follow a retailer’s blog said
they also click through to that
retailer’s site. (2012 Social
and Mobile Commerce Study)
France’s Eiffel Tower can
grow by more than 6 inches in
summer due to the expansion
of the iron on hot days.
The average chocolate bar has
eight insects’ legs in it. (Eew!)
Hawaii became the 50th state
on August 21, 1959.
1/3 of online shoppers will
pay a fee for faster delivery.
(ComScore Online Shopping Customer
Experience Study)
$36 Million
Return Policy
63% of online buyers look
at a retailer’s return policy
before making a purchase
(ComScore Online Shopping Customer
Experience Study)
Most Expensive Piece of
Furniture Ever Sold
Badminton Cabinet—18th
century Florentine ebony chest
inlaid with amethyst
quartz, agate, lapis
lazuli and other
stones sold for
$36 million at
a 2004 Christie’s
AUGUST | 2012
There are 20 million babies born
in China every year. With 525,600
minutes in a year, there are about
38 babies born per minute.
There are three golf balls
sitting on the moon.
China has more English
speakers than the United States.
He gave up his house, car, stereo, cell phone, computer,
and even his pet monkey...
But there are some things you can’t give up.
Om is where the Nourison rug is!
One source. Unlimited possibilities...
SHOWN HERE: Nourison 2000 (2318 ROS). Redefine luxury with Nourison’s most popular hand-made signature collection featuring Persian
and European traditional designs. The dense pile, splendid patterns, deeply compelling textures and intriguing aesthetics are certain to
command immediate attention in any setting. 100% New Zealand Wool with Genuine Silk. Handmade.
For over 40 years, Nourison has been the leading manufacturer and supplier of quality floorcovering from area rugs, carpets, one-of-a-kind
originals and custom rugs to hospitality and commercial installations. A fully vertically integrated company, Nourison oversees almost every
aspect of the manufacturing process from wool spinning to dyeing, weaving and finishing.
Call 1.800.223.1110 or visit Permanent showrooms in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, High Point & Las Vegas.
High Point Market
October 13 - 18
Plaza Suites
RRC 1st Fl. Space #2
Premier Websites for the Furniture Industry
For more than 20 years, MicroD has led the way with innovative furniture merchandising solutions.
That’s why more than 85% of the Top 100 furniture brands and retailers rely on MicroD.
We deliver the expertise, technology, and services to transform your online presence and drive
customers to your stores.
• Visually Stunning Product Presentations
• Engaging, Interactive User Experience
• Powerful Room Planning & Personalization Tools
• Integrated Promotions, Incentives & Hooks
• Improved Search Results and Rankings
• Latest Mobile Tagging Technology
• Comprehensive Content Management Services
• Mobile Friendly Website
Upcoming Market Seminar
“Stop the Madness
Open Your New Web Location Now”
An informative overview of the web channel landscape and a discussion on how every retailer can
have an effective and business generating web
presence at a cost you can afford!
[email protected]
800.964.3876 ext. 2