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AUGUST 2012

INSIGHTS FOR TODAY’S HOME FURNISHINGS PROFESSIONAL

THE RETAILER

DEATH OF A SALESMAN AUGMENTED REALITY USING WORDS TO CONNECT NHFA

National Home Furnishings Association

WHFA

Western Home Furnishings Association

www.RetailerNOWmag.com


SERVICES • INVENTORY • MERCHANDISING • PRODUCT • TECHNOLOGY • COMMUNITY

SURYA IS SIZZLING! VISIT OUR SHOWROOM TO SEE WHY LAS VEGAS WMC

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TUPELO COMPLEX 5

JULY 30 - AUGUST 3, 2012

5044

AUGUST 16-19, 2012

To become a Surya dealer, please call

1.877.275.7847 or email us at info@surya.com

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INSIDE featuresNOW 12.

Death of a Salesperson

16.

Two Steps Back

21.

The Power of Connection

26.

The Mobile Commerce Train

28.

Augmented Reality

38.

Using Words to Connect

09.

yourVOICE

09.

10.

Roving Reporter Retailer2Retailer

18.

Fresh Perspectives

30.

Affiliate Highlights

36. 34.

41.

Community Today What’s Selling NOW

count onIT 04.

A Message from the SEHFA President

06.

08.

TechNOW—Inbox

Editor’s Letter

32.

Membership Marketplace

41.

Product Focus—Rug Trends

43.

Quick Fire Marketing

44.

Industry Scoop

46.

Calendar

48.

The Now List

TM

30.

on the cover 21

THE UNCONNECTED RETAILER The Power of Connection

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thePlayers

Q: Would you rather be hot or cold?

RetailerNOW

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

HOT!

Editor melissa@retailerNOWmag.com

Lisa Tilley Art Director lisa@retailerNOWmag.com

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 larry@retailerNOWmag.com

Tim Timmons Associate Publisher tim@retailerNOWmag.com

Cindi Williams Business Development cindi@retailerNOWmag.com

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 HOT!

High Point NC 27265 Online: retailerNOWmag.com Phone: (800) 422-3778 Advertising: (800) 888-9590 Social: facebook.com/retailerNOW

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

Twitter.com/retailerNOW Pinterest.com/retailerNOW

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 unsubscribe@retailerNOWmag.com. If you would like to only receive an electronic version of RetailerNOW, please send an email to gogreen@retailerNOWmag.com. © 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

Would rather be cold than hot any day

For a complete Board of Director listing, visit retailerNOWmag.com 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

NHFA

National Home Furnishings Association

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AUGUST | 2012

www.retailerNOWmag.com

WHFA

Western Home Furnishings Association

England SEHFA SHFA New Chapter

South Eastern Home Furnishings Association

Southern Home Furnishings Association


TECHONOLOGY HAS CHANGED

OUR COMMITMENT TO GREAT SERVICE NEVER WILL

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!

Wogieiii@badcock.com

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www.retailerNOWmag.com


Editor’s Message

from the editor

E

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

Melissa@retailerNOWmag.com @retailerNOW

What I’m Loving… Poufs! 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. Blog: www.retailerNOWmag.com www.pinterest.com/retailerNOW


Tech

TechNOW Hot Idea

Connect with us @ retailerNOWmag.com

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 www.highpointmarket.org/countdown to check out this hot idea.

Good to Know

Reg i Mar ster for ket, Fall 13-1 O 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 Boticca.com, 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! 8 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 — www.google.com/catalogs

www.retailerNOWmag.com

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! Like: www.facebook.com/RetailerNOW Tweet: www.twitter.com/RetailerNOW or just mention us @RetailerNOW Pin: www.pinterest.com/RetailerNOW

Inbox 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 LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the 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 DesignCamp.com

T

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— margaritaville!! 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 acquired more space and the vendor booths were exquisite. After the Sustainable Furnishings 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 shows. 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 dwellondesign.com. Learn more about DesignCamp at www.designcamp.com All photos by Peter Willliams, dwellondesign.com

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Your Voice

2

Retailer Retailer Qď ˝ 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 industry.

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.

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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.

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Software for Retailers 5 SMART Steps Business Consulting Performance Groups Continuing Education Freight Savings Getting Started Right Program

Welcome to Your Future.

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800.888.5565 www.profitsystems.com


THE DEATH OF A

SALESMAN 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

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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 message”.  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!

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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.

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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

www.retailerNOWmag.com


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 bill@social4retail.com, (612) 217-1297 or www.social4retail.com.

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Unconnected

Two steps back Is it a customer disconnect or a retailer disconnect? By Kyle Doran

A

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.

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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 DrJerryKennedy.com, offers seven reasons why we as a society reject change:

Fear Weakness Too Much Pleasure Not Enough Pain Unorganized Laziness  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 www.retailerNOWmag.com

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 www.ramarketing.com or email us at info@ ramarketing.com.

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BY: HEATHER HANLEY

Photo by: Ryan Lindberg, www.ryanlindberg.com 18

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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 opportunity. 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 disposable. 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.

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Connection

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.

T

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.

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THE KNIGHT WAY 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 Before Christmas, all of the requests were fulfilled, and even For the last few years, Knight Furniture has partnered extra items 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 that these families would have on me,” David added. “We ranging from big screen TVs to gift cards. Not only is set up everything that was bought and donated Santa this a fun way of bringing people into the store, but it Claus-style in our showroom, and then we allotted a time also gives people the opportunity to shop. “We have for various families to come in. Most of the time it was just done it a number of years, and this year was our best the parents coming 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.” 22

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Connection

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 National 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 intimately.” 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.

BUILDING A PRESENCE

Follett’s Furniture

Nader’s LaPopular Furniture

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Connected

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. 24

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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.”


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Connected

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?

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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

www.retailerNOWmag.com


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 (www.squareup.com). 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 train! 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: kim@designinsideinc.com.

make sure you include a mobile shopping cart


Connected

The Future of Furniture Retail Augmented Reality By Mikko Martikainen

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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?

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A

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! www.retailerNOWmag.com


Connection

aug·men·ted re·al·i·ty

noun

a. A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view PL

AY

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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 stevesilver.com

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Affiliates

CLICK!

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 www.retailerNOWmag.com under “Click”. NHFA New England Chapter Annual Golf Outing

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Affiliates

A: Golfers enjoying the New England Golf Tournament

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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

B.

D.

F.

E.

SHFA Convention and Willis Award of Merit Recipient

G.

H.

www.retailerNOWmag.com A U G U S T | 2 0 1 2

31


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NHFA

National Home Furnishings Association

32

WHFA

Western Home Furnishings Association

Retailers East of the Rocky Mountains, call (800) 888-9590 SEHFA SHFAwww.nhfa.org

South Eastern Home Furnishings Association

AUGUST | 2012

Southern Home Furnishings Association

Retailers in the 12 Western states, call (800) 422-3778 www.whfa.org

www.retailerNOWmag.com

NHFA

National Home Furnishings Association

WHFA

Western Home Furnishings Association

SEHFA

South Eastern Home Furnishings Association

S


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.

RetailerNOW:

Why is our industry behind when it comes to technology?

RetailerNOW:

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 incorporate technology into your retail stores?

Selden’s Home Furnishings

Tacoma, Washington Founded in 1940 Stores: 3 www.seldens.com Tepperman’s Furniture

Ontario, Canada Founded in 1925 Stores: 4 Tepperman’s, 3 Bargain Annex www.teppermans.com 34

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. www.retailerNOWmag.com


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 www.retailerNOWmag.com

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.

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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: 36

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 less 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 www.retailerNOWmag.com

Container Product


What’s Selling

THURSDAY–SUNDAY

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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 / DWolf@WolfFurniture.com alleghenyconsignment.com

www.retailerNOWmag.com A U G U S T | 2 0 1 2

37


Connected

Can The Right Words Really Make a Difference in Your Furniture and Design Service Sales?

I

beautiful amazing color well-designed gorgeous fabric eye-catching focal point unique hand-crafted sophisticated comfort

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: http://fashiondecor.com.   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 furnituredealer.net 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 level?)  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 leslie@tkpartnership.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ TheKaleidoscopePartnership, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ tkpleslie and on LinkedIN at http://linkedin.com/in/LeslieCarothers. You can also call her at (713) 705-2482.


Lessismore. ( 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.

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800.937.3876

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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 pattern. 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 naturals. 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.jaipurrugs.com.

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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. Aspenhome 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 DĂŠcor-Rest Furniture Ltd. Delivery Solutions Diakon Logistics Diamond Mattress Co. Dom Granat DSI Companies Ekornes Elements International Elite Leather Emerald Home Furnishings

Flexsteel Furniture of America Furniture Options Furniture Wizard FurnitureDealer.net 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 Hooker Horich Parks Lebow Advertising Impact Consulting Services, Inc. Innovative Delivery Systems James Parker Insurance Associates Jofran Sales, Inc. Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate, Inc. Kincaid King Hickory Furniture Co Klaussner Home Furnishings Lane Home Furnishings Lazar Industries Lea Leggett & Platt, Inc. Liberty Furniture Lifestyle Enterprises Linon Home DĂŠcor Products Magnussen Home Mail America Massood Logistics Med-Lift Mobility MicroD, Inc. Mohawk Finishing Products, Inc.

NHFA

National Home Furnishings Association

WHFA

Western Home Furnishings Association

Myriad Software Natuzzi Americas, Inc. NetSertive Nourison Industries Okinus Credit Solutions Pacific Furniture Dealers Phoenix A.M.D. International, Inc. Profit Management Promotions PROFITsystems Protect-A-Bed Restonic Mattress Corp. SAP Retail Serta Mattress Companies Simmons Sleep-Ezz Source International, Inc./4 Sales Finance Sourthern Motion Sphinx by Oriental Weavers Standard Furniture Steve Silver Co. STORIS Surya Tempur-Pedic 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

SEHFA SHFA

South Eastern Home Furnishings Association

Southern Home Furnishings Association

New England Chapter

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 www.ramarketing.com or email us at info@ramarketing.com.

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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.” 44

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.

www.retailerNOWmag.com


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 industries.

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Calendar

Calendar

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE INDUSTRY EVENTS

Edison Furniture & Accessory Market August 19-21, 2012 Edison, NJ www.kemexpo.com

Maison & Objet September 7- 9, 2012 Paris, France www.maison-objet.com

Dallas Total Home & Gift Market September 8-10, 2012 Dallas, TX www.dallasmarketcenter.com

Mid-Atlantic Market September 9-10, 2012 Fredericksburg, VA www.kemexpo.com

New York Home Fashions Market

WithIT 2012 Conference

September 10-13, 2012

August 14-16, 2012

www.homefashionproducts.com New York, NY

Raleigh, NC www.withit.org

Mexico International Furniture Market August 15-18, 2012 Guadalajara, Mexico www.expomuebleverano.com.mx

L.A. Mart Fall Market September 30 - October 2, 2012 www.lamart.com Los Angeles, CA

Tupelo Fall Market

International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market

August 16-19, 2012

September 20-23, 2012

Tupelo, MS www.tupelofurnituremarket.com

Chicago, IL www.casualmarket.com

New York Gift & Home Textiles Market

High Point Market

August 18- 23, 2012

October 13-18, 2012

New York, NY www.7wnewyork.com

High Point, NC www.highpointmarket.org Pictured Above:Surya, Poufs, Fall 2012

46

AUGUST | 2012

www.retailerNOWmag.com


Ad Index

IMPORTANT GO ONLINE TO UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION OR YOU COULD LOSE YOUR FREE INDUSTRY SUBSCRIPTION www.RetailerNOWmag.com

TM

ADVERTISER

PHONE

WEBSITE

Allegheny Consignment

(814) 742-4380

alleghenyconsignment.com

Cargo Consolidation Services

(828) 459-3160

cargoconsolidation.com

Emerald Home Furnishings

(800) 685-6646

emeraldhome.com

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

http://tinyurl.com/alleghenyFB

PAGE# 37 39

www.facebook.com/EmeraldHome

03

High Point Market

(336) 869-1000

highpointmarket.org

www.highpointmarket.org/facebook

International Casual Furniture Market

(312) 527-7764

casualmarket.com

http://tinyurl.com/casualmarket

MicroD

(800) 964-3876

microdinc.com

www.facebook.com/microdinc

@microdinc

Back Cover

www.facebook.com/nourison

@nourison

Inside Back

Nourison

(201) 368-6900

nourison.com

Phoenix AMD

(800) 661-7313

phoenixamd.com

@hpmarketnews

05 37

47

Planned Furniture Promotions

(800) 472-5242

PFpromotions.com

Profit Management Promotions

(215) 230-9001

pmpsales.com

www.facebook.com/pmpsales

@PowerfulSales

25

15

PROFITsystems

(716) 894-1414

Profitsystems.com

www.facebook.com/profitsystems

@PROFITsystems

11

@sertamattresses

07

Serta

(888) 557-3782

serta.com

www.facebook.com/sertamattress

Steve Silver

(888) 400-8113

stevesilver.com

www.facebook.com/SteveSilverCompany

29

Surya

(877) 275-7847

surya.com

www.facebook.com/SuryaSocial

Inside Cover

TV Shield

(800) 331-2628

thetvshield.com

www.facebook.com/thetvshield

20

Zenith Global

(800) 937-3876

zenithcompanies.com

www.facebook.com/ZenithGlobalLogistics

40

NHFA / WHFA Sponsors

(800) 888-9590

retailerNOWmag.com

www.facebook.com/retailernow

WHFA Membership

(800) 888-9590

whfa.org

www.facebook.com/WesternHomeFurnishingsAssn

NHFA Membership

(800) 422-3776

nhfa.org

www.facebook.com/NationalHomeFurnishingsAssn

@retailerNow

42

@nhfa1

33

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www.retailerNOWmag.com A U G U S T | 2 0 1 2

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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 Shop.org 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 auction. 48

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. www.retailerNOWmag.com

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 www.nourison.com. 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!

www.microdinc.com solutions@microdinc.com 800.964.3876 ext. 2


RetailerNOW—August 2012