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16. featuresNOW 16.

What is AR Anyway?


Case Study Office Depot + One Direction


Not All Software is Created Equal


Don’t Forget Customers Without Smartphones


Shaping the Future of Retail


Innovative Mobile On-Ramps


Are You Missing Out on F-Commerce?


Furniture|Today Leadership Conference


A Picture is Worth 1,000 Sales


Get Your Glasses Furniture Retail in 3D


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yourVOICE 14.

Roving Reporter High Point Market


Getting to Know the NextGen


What's Selling Now


Community Today Augmented Reality

66. count onIT 06.

Message from Mary Best Wishes for 2014


From the Association President Brave New World


From the Editor Emerging Technology




FutureWatch with MicroD


Membership Marketplace On our cover and inside look for Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year described as "Captivating, Magical, Enigmatic Purple".

Technology's Race to Retail Inside: Discover new types of tech and how you can use them in your store.

JANUARY | 2014


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JANUARY | 2014

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President's Message

Message from Mary

NAHFA sends you best wishes for a Happy New Year!


s 2014 starts, I had hopes of sharing some encouraging words or profound thoughts or plans that would jumpstart us all to prosperity. Since nothing specifically came to mind (although Jerry Epperson says we have much to look forward to in 2014 and 2015), I’d like to share a store experience that stands out to me.

Mary Frye EVP

North American HFA

I don’t cook. My kids are grown so my husband and I use our kitchen for a sort of launching pad for the day. We do eat breakfast at home, however, and an occasional evening meal so we eventually have to buy groceries. Because we aren’t buying in bulk and aren’t overly price-conscious, we shop where I have the greatest customer experience. In our neck of the woods, that’s Tom Thumb, part of Safeway, Inc. What does Tom Thumb do that others don’t? They make grocery shopping a pleasurable experience. That’s a difficult concept for me because buying groceries involves so much effort that I don’t enjoy. But at Tom Thumb, delight begins at the door. There is usually a greeter, an older gentleman who acknowledges us. Even when he’s not there, the store welcomes me. It’s clean, smells good and is well lit, with product displayed in the most delectable ways.

But the most impressive thing is their staff. Each one greets you and asks how you are doing, if you are finding what you want or if they can help in any way. If you ask where something is located, they know the aisle number and offer to take you there. If the stockers come close to you with their carts, they stop, apologize for possibly inconveniencing you and ask if they can help you in any way. They are neatly dressed, smiling and seem to think that making sure I’m happy is their job. Wow! The cashier makes sure he catches your name, even asking what it is if you pay with cash, and then calls you by it. Their training has definitely made the point that many customers like to be identified by name to be recognized as more than just a basket full of groceries. Making sure that every encounter with us is a pleasurable one ought to be the mission and goal of every one of our businesses. It seems to me that home furnishings companies have more opportunities to provide a beautiful, comfortable and inviting experience than the grocery store. I don’t specifically know what that means for your business, but I bet your employees and your customers know.   Why don’t you start a list of things that make your store and shopping there a great experience? Then, fine-tune those things you are doing and start doing more things like them. Business comes where it is invited and stays where it is appreciated. Let’s make 2014 a year of great experiences.  From your greatest fan,

Mary Frye


JANUARY | 2014

President's Message

from the president

Brave New World

Sharron Bradley CEO

Recently in Toronto, we visited the Art Gallery of Ontario to take in a David Bowie exhibit. I imagined only a group of pictures but I was surprisingly wrong. The exhibit was an eclectic mix of photos, digital clips, sounds, words, music and visuals, all bombarding your senses and sending you into the virtual reality of past moments. What was traditionally a static presentation became an augmented reality. Later, we were in a museum and took a virtual tour of ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon, complete with flyovers and virtual sets of the totally reconstructed palace. We were there, in the past, learning and visiting an ancient civilization.

Mary Frye EVP Executive Committee Chair Howard Haimsohn Lawrance Contemporary President Rick Howard Sklar Furnishings President Elect Marty Cramer Cramer’s Home Furnishings Vice President Steve Kidder Vermont Furniture Galleries Secretary/Treasurer Paul Sanford Jerome’s Furniture Store SHFA President Britt Sams Sams Furniture SEHFA President Wogan S. Badcock III W.S. Badcock Corp.

The future of technology is happening now. Our industry uses tablets to do any and all of the following: organize delivery routes for drivers, Rick Howard, President take pictures, get customer sign-offs and deal with customer’s issues North American HFA all on the spot. In our stores, tablets are hooked up to wi-fi, allowing the customer to see a world of virtual products, sizes, colors, SKUs and available materials. We run our businesses on servers and back them up in the cloud. When the day is done, we come home and consult cyber menus to create dinner and check tomorrow's weather in 3D virtual layers. We Skype with our family and friends. All of this is happening on our tablet while we are kicked back relaxing—and all without leaving the house! So what does the future hold? Medicine is moving forward quickly with virtual imaging, giving doctors the ability to see inside their patients in 3D. Now robots are used in surgery to lessen the trauma associated with traditional or old-style operations. We read about cars that can drive themselves. Drones are here to stay and help us in many ways. Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving forward at a blinding pace; soon we will have robots that will be indispensible. It is predicted that AI will soon surpass our capacity to learn and maintain knowledge. And it was all the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago. The future is bright and full of new opportunities as augmented reality and artificial intelligence converge to give us incredible experiences. We explore this topic further in this month’s issue. Take the stories and dream about the future, and how you can use the technology to your store’s benefit.

Rick Howard


JANUARY | 2014

Editor’s Message

from the editor Radiant Orchid

Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014

Emerging Technology When I was a child, I used to churn out papers on a typewriter. Not because that was the current technology of the time, but because I truly loved it. I still do—the satisfying pounding of the keys on ink and paper will always make me smile. In any case, my family didn’t have a computer. It was still a relatively new concept and for all we knew it wouldn’t last. So imagine my frustration when I reached the point in school for submitting essays. I constantly had to scramble, either going to the library or staying late at school to get things typed up in an efficient way. I flirted with the idea of late homework, trying to type things up on the typewriter in the meantime and making so many mistakes from the pressure that I had to restart. (I’m sure some of you know how that feels!) My happy pastime had turned into one big ball of stress. Times had changed almost instantly, and I was behind. We eventually did get that computer, and as I sit here, typing on my laptop and using my smartphone, I’m reminded that technology is an awfully funny thing. It’s good for us and for our business, but miss the boat on the next most popular one, and it can be a major headache. In this issue, we want to take the worry out of whether you’re making the grade in customer technology needs. We’re introducing the next big thing, augmented reality, which is a way to bring your displays and advertisements to life. We’ve also got the basics of near field communication, a technology that gives users information with just a swipe or tap of their phone. And overall, we show you how to involve every customer in interactive experiences—not just the ones with smartphones. Your website and social media may already be booming. This issue is here to take you to the next level. This month we have another submission in our “Where are we now” campaign. Here we are scattered across a desk at the corporate offices of Netsertive in Morrisville, North Carolina. Thanks for reading, and everyone keep the pictures coming! RetailerNOW!

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What technology are you using in your store? Let us know at!

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Instant Webcam Are you using iPads in your store, but you don’t have security cameras? This is the app for you. You can instantly turn the camera on any Apple device into a webcam. Just point the device’s camera in the direction you want to watch, start the app, then head home and go to the private URL the app gives you to see what’s happening. Available on Apple; Free

This site is like candy for business owners worldwide. Every day, London-based Springwise posts three new business ideas or developments to spark your creative energy. Put your entrepreneurial mind to use and find a way to implement those ideas in your business, or put your own unique spin on it. If three ideas aren’t enough, sign up for the weekly newsletter.

Tech-Savvy Retailing, an online retailer with one showroom in Notting Hill in London, is creatively solving the “can’t try it before you buy it” problem faced by web-only furniture stores. The company recently signed on with Sayduck, a company that produces interactive experiences from a static “marker” image, to promote its products. All MADE customers need to do is download the marker image or get a printout of it from the showroom, place it on the floor at home where the new furniture piece should go, point the phone at it and voilá! A life-size virtual version appears right above the marker.

TalkTo Users love this app because it makes it easy to find information about any business. Someone can ask a question on TalkTo and the app will seek out the answer by either looking through a database of registered stores or calling the stores themselves. Register your store at and your info will be right at your customers’ fingertips. Available on Android and Apple; Free CamScanner Finally, you can stop relying on bulky paper receipts and purchase orders. With CamScanner, the camera on your phone becomes a scanner. Everything you scan gets put on a website for you, where you can search, edit, share and otherwise manage the documents. Available on Android and Apple; Free What apps do you use to help run your store? Let us know at:

Top Tweets @MartinFurniture: @RetailerNOW What a great article about @kathyireland providing solutions for busy moms! #busymoms #solutions #home @LuxuryfortheHom: Kitchen Luxury: Cabinet hardware is the jewelry for your kitchen. Make your kitchen sparkle. #luxuryhome @MelissaGalt: Are you focused on your mission statement or the #mission of your #clients? Think about it. 12

JANUARY | 2014

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High Point Market 2013

Roving Reporter HANNAH ROWELL High Point University Student


ou know it’s market when the seemingly empty streets of downtown High Point are filled to the brim with sophisticated business people from all over the world and the crowd in the elevator makes you realize that all of these people are here for one thing. Every year thousands of people in the furniture industry congregate to enjoy yet another furniture market full of diverse and unique displays in the “furniture capital of the world.” With this being my first time encountering such an event, I was amazed at what I saw. As a freshman studying visual merchandising and design at High Point University, let’s be honest—I had no idea what the furniture market had to offer. Not only that, but I hadn’t a clue what I was getting myself into when I signed up to job shadow a professional there. All I knew was that I would get to have lunch with some of the best professionals in the industry, and then job shadow someone. So I said, “Why not?” My day began with a slightly longer than normal bus drive to the International Home Furnishings Center in downtown High Point, where I had the good fortune of being able to have lunch and listen to a discussion, hosted by editor-in-chief of Furniture Today, Ray Allegrezza, including speakers like Kerry Lebensburger (president of sales at Ashley Furniture Industries), Seth Goldberg (VP of business development at Raymour & Flanigan) and Rod Gordon (VP of technology at MicroD Inc.). They gave ample insight into what it takes to be a professional in the industry and shared their personal stories of how they made it to where they are now. After lunch, I was able to job shadow Lael Thompson, COO at Broyhill Home Collections in the greater Denver area. Luckily I was paired with the right person. Not only did Lael show me some of the most amazing showrooms including Michael Amini

and Surya, but he also introduced me to some truly unique professionals. Our most memorable stop was at the Nourison Industries showroom, where I met Jeff González, director of furniture and store sales. As we walked into the chic showroom full of rugs, pillows and other textiles, I must admit I was a bit skeptical. But after a minute and a lesson later, I realized why Lael brought me there. There’s more to interior design than just picking out pillows and slapping down a rug. No, interior design is much greater than that. There is a whole industry that devotes its services to creating not just a room, but also a complete and cohesive atmosphere, including textiles, lighting, accessories, furniture, electronics and so much more. It was impressive to see all these industries come together in one place to network and share their ideas. As the day progressed, Lael eventually led me to Ashley Furniture’s Urbanology display. This quickly became my favorite part of the day due to the displays and outlook on design. It is exactly what I want to do with my career. It was fitting that earlier in the day, one of the panelists at the luncheon suggested we “present a lifestyle, not just a price,” because Urbanology displayed a convenient and unique lifestyle that most Americans can afford. The displays included elements showing creativity and out-ofthe-box thinking. The use of raw materials and upcycled items such as old books, paint-chipped doors and worn-out shutters brought a new and inspirational aspect to the idea of design. Design doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go out and buy the most expensive items on the market. No, design can be created out of almost anything, including items you could find at a flea market or thrift shop. Taking everything into account, the day was full of new experiences, acquaintances and opportunities. I was able to mingle with some of the most inspirational professionals in the industry, including designer Barclay Butera and Satya Tiwari (president and founder of Surya). I got the opportunity to shadow someone with real experience and wisdom in the furniture industry and I was able to experience, for the first time in my life, what it’s like to go to my first furniture market. Not a bad start to my career.

Are you visiting a show or new market event? Let us know at!


JANUARY | 2014

Emerging Technology

What is AR anyway?

Augmented Reality: A Retail Marketing Game Changer? By Sue Masaracchia-Roberts


n every industry, marketing and advertising must adapt to keep pace with

changes in technology trends and in the ways consumers digest information. As messages bombard people from

the moment they turn on their electronic devices, advertisers must work to reach consumers in unique ways they can relate to. Augmented reality (AR) does just that, as it injects a playfulness—an element of the unexpected—into an everyday product or experience.

To use IKEA’s app, a customer places the open catalog on a spot in their home where they envision a piece of furniture, then points their mobile device at the specific piece on the catalog page. An image will appear to size on the phone in whatever color or fabric the consumer wants to see.


JANUARY | 2014

“Augmented reality is a new, innovative technology that provides ways for consumers to experience a product like they never have before,” said Ryan Darbonne, marketing director at AR provider Gravity Jack. “It packs an extremely powerful, low-risk product experience for customers. It allows them to interact with, experience, share or discuss a product virally with their close networks on social media. This is an extremely rare opportunity to provide a fully immersive and completely new experience. It is a perfect fit.”

Emerging Technology

“The whole point of retail is to make advertising actionable.” Beck Beseker, Marxent Labs

AR enhances someone’s view of the world by using a device, be it an iPhone, a webcam, any mobile device or even glasses with a camera and/or computing power. The real world is replaced by adding or changing the data about what is being seen. “Augmented reality is just a technology that allows you to learn something,” said user Troy Dunn, president of Dunn&Co, a Florida-based advertising agency. “It uses something like a mobile device that is a portal into a world that really isn’t there, but it is once you go to that portal screen. Augmented reality allows you to manufacture an experience for a customer in a way you could never do in the real world space, affordably or any other way. We are now able, with AR, to create a portal that transports the user into this very unusual and unexpected experience space.”

could create and experience AR through one app: “On one hand science fiction books gave us the idea, as well as Japanese anime. These showed us how the near future reality could be part of our current world. We see it as a way to view the world differently—an amazing way to link paper/print products to their digital experience and their world, to bring people closer and create a better experience.” Marxent Labs CEO Beck Beseker agreed and noted that in the retail space, AR can be invaluable.

“The whole point of retail is to make advertising actionable,” said Beseker. “That is what AR does.” As an example, this vendor explained, “You get a catalog or a magazine in the mail and you really like a [specific] product. Instead of dog-earing or ripping out the page, you hold your phone over it. It takes you online and you buy it. It is like a AR’s beginnings and big shortcut hyperlink. The greatest benefit applications to retailers will be to make the entire store First envisioned by Wizard of Oz creator actionable.” L. Frank Baum around 1901, the idea of projected reality actually was patented as a But AR is more than just a service that links “Sensorama Stimulator” by cinematographer users to a website. According to Darbonne, Morton Heilig in 1962. The actual term stores can base their campaigns on unique “augmented reality” was first coined in the user information like past purchases to early 1990s, reputedly by Boeing researcher provide product videos and images of new Tom Caudell, for use by workers to show items they may find interesting—effectively how to separate bolts. From its modest be- allowing physical stores to sell products to ginnings, where it added audio, animation, shoppers in the shopper’s own home. video or graphic layers, AR has progressed to a time that allows readers to use custom IKEA’s entire 2013 and 2014 catalogs exdesigned software and a webcam to see 3D emplify this. A customer can open to a page, put the IKEA catalog on the spot in their images and video content. home where the consumer may want to One of AR’s pioneers, Layar, began in place a piece of furniture, for example, and the AR industry nearly five years ago. Co- then point their mobile device at that piece founder and U.S. general manager Maarten on the page. An image will appear to size in Lens-FitzGerald said the company saw the whatever color or fabric the consumer wants possibility of a platform where anyone to see. This allows them to know before ever

going to the store if the piece fits in their space and if they will like it when it arrives. IKEA retail services communication manager Mattias Jöngard said, “We want the IKEA catalog to be a great source of inspiration as well as a tool to show solutions to people’s dreams and needs. We’ve tied [this catalog] to a mobile app since 2011 and started to use AR for the 2013 [issue]. Customers see their portable devices as tools. The [2013] app downloaded 9.7 million times throughout the year.” Byron Colby, senior vice president of digital commerce at retailer Cornerstone Brands, began to work with Marxent Labs when he realized his customers wanted to meld the impact and inspiration of the print catalog with the benefits of mobile online use, like social sharing, product reviews, images and video and the ability to track favorites. “Catalogs are inspirational with great imagery, but are static,” Colby said. “We needed to find [a way] to make them more dynamic and accessible while on the go. AR has the potential to do that. Customers are demanding a lot more. What we’ve done using this tool is [allow you to] point your phone at a catalog and instantly see couches, their different colors [and] video.” AR technology is also effective at trade shows and other events. Dunne explained, “Our intro into using AR technology had to do with exploring how to make intriguing connections to our customers’ customers at trade shows. A customer will come into our booth space and we’ll hand them a mobile device like an iPad, and we’ll use AR to bring the booth space to life. We’ll actually put graphics around the space at the booth, whereas in the past, a booth was always populated by artwork and messaging. One JANUARY | 2014


Emerging Technology

AR is more of a comprehensive upgrade to the complete advertising and retail experience. It brings together location, buyer history, demographic information, analytics, experiences and convenience to create a powerful opportunity for retailers. of the things we envision is to make that Before looking for an AR partner, LensAn AR shopping experience booth into anything you want it to be. In FitzGerald encourages businesses to know by Ballard Designs. the future, it could be a different booth their objective and how much time they space for different audiences. Rather than have to reach their objective, and ensure having a theme or one key message, you those objectives are smart. Consider how could have multiple pathways of key much budget you have and who your ‘innovative’ techniques is the lack of a messages. We can program something in target group is. Are your users mobile downside,” he said. “QR codes were supsuch a way that when you hand an iPad to savvy? See what is best for you based on posed to be a massive overhaul but came somebody, they can select where they are marketing basics. with terrible design, requiring space and from (country or industry) and that will having extremely high limitations of what automatically give them a different booth “Begin with a small project, like an event,” can be conveyed through a code. AR is experience from somebody else.” said Beseker. “Keep it focused and learn more of a comprehensive upgrade to the from it. Then you will learn what is really complete advertising and retail experience. possible. You can take a little bit of a risk It brings together location, buyer hisFinding the right vendor to with an event and get immediate feedback. tory, demographic information, analytics, create an effective experience The biggest mistake we see is trying a very experiences and convenience to create a “Custom software, including augmented broad plan that takes 18 months to com- powerful opportunity for retailers.” reality, is perhaps the truest example of plete. After you are two months in, you ‘you get what you pay for,’” Darbonne want to start over.” AR drives campaigns and creates consumer explained. “The right vendor will bring loyalty and brand interactivity, said Wright, three critical things to the table: experience, Pontus Sjöberg, the product manager for and a strong AR campaign can enable vision and comprehensive delivery. If you the digital IKEA catalog, noted the impor- product visualization before buying, drive select a team that doesn’t [understand these tance of finding a vendor who can make the traffic to retail locations, support cuscapabilities], you run a very high risk of functionality work in varying light condi- tomer acquisition and retention, elevate gimmicky campaigns with low impact and tions. If the technology isn’t built to work awareness and brand affinity and increase high attrition.” in less than optimal light, users with those downloads, leading to sales and brand issues will see the experience as a failure. engagement. Hollis Murphy, the webmaster and graphic designer for industrial manufacturer AR vs. Quick Response (QR) “Two years ago when we first started,” said Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of codes looking forward Beseker, “one out of 1,000 people had America (SMA), contracted with Gravity heard of augmented reality. Now about 10 Jack to help develop its application and Of those interviewed, most agree that AR out of 1,000 have heard of AR. It is still transform it into a mobile version. “What seems to hold more promise than the more very early. The ability to hold your phone this has done,” Murphy said, ”is pull back static QR codes (the small square-shaped up and see digital content in 3D space— the curtain and reveal what we have to codes, read with a phone’s barcode app, that that is effectively what AR is. Within offer rather than distract our customers. bring you to a specific website). the next five to six years, when you see a It’s gotten the industry excited. Our sales magazine or a poster or an ad or billboard, reps, customers and people can really see “The two are very different,” said Jay Wright, anything with an image, you will hold up and engage with products instead of flip- vice president of product management at your phone and if it doesn’t do something ping through a catalog. It gives a memo- vendor Qualcomm Vuforia. “QR codes interactive, you will be irritated. When rable experience.” offer a quick and easy portal to product that happens everyone will understand details. On the other hand, AR delivers a what AR is, but it’s a few years out.” Colby further suggested that a partner highly immersive, sophisticated and comcompany should help educate people how pelling level of customer engagement that “Right now,” added Darbonne, “retailers to use it and make it as simple as possible. goes far beyond what QR codes can offer.” have an extremely rare opportunity to It needs to pass his mom test: “If you captivate consumers in a way they’ve never cannot explain it to your mom, it’s not Darbonne explained further. “One of experienced before through augmented the real reasons AR stands out from past going to fly.” reality.”


JANUARY | 2014


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Emerging Technology

1D+OD Together Against Bullying Campaign

How Office Depot Used Augmented Reality to Shift Transactions into Interactions by Megy Karydes

Background Information: Office Depot provides office products, services and solutions for every workplace environment. Its goal is to be a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture and school essentials. Today’s Retail Challenge: Delivering an integrated shopping experience across all channels Being a brick and mortar and e-commerce retailer isn’t cutting it anymore. Smartphones are becoming increasingly important as a retail marketing channel. More than 70 percent of consumers use a smartphone in-store to help them shop and more than 75 percent are likely to take an action after seeing a location-specific message. Realizing this retail dynamic, and in an effort to appeal to a younger audience and create a more interactive shopping experience, Office Depot created a partnership with popular boy band One Direction to create the campaign “1D+OD Together Against Bullying.” It used augmented reality to bring the campaign to life. 20

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Goals of 1D+OD Together Against Bullying Campaign According to Emery Skolfield, senior director of marketing for Office Depot, the goal of the 1D+OD Together Against Bullying campaign was to increase interactivity, interest and share-ability. “We wanted it to be something people used, were delighted with and told others about,” he said. Here are the main directives of the campaign. • Build a full-scale plan to expand awareness of exclusive 1D + OD products and the campaign, which should be available across platforms (owned and external), devices and media to support physical touch-points • Appeal to One Direction fans and influencers through exclusive content, unique experiences and #hashtag-driven actions • Keep audience engaged by creating mobilefriendly interactive experiences that are easy to use and inherently shareable • Influence spending by reaching key customer segments (young students) and affinity groups (fans) through targeted marketing efforts

Emerging Technology

Office Depot’s partnership with One Direction was about developing an exclusive, limited-edition product collection that differentiated Office Depot from back-to-school competitors. “The collection delivers teens something they can’t find anywhere else—beautiful supplies that tie back to Office Depot’s ongoing anti-bullying efforts,” said Skolfield. “We added augmented reality to the product as a layer of interactivity to make it even more interesting and to enhance the exclusivity. We want to create experiences with the product, moments that are inherently share-able and, thus, social.”

Another example AR in use included a notebook, featuring a picture of Harry Styles from One Direction, which triggered media simply by placing a smartphone over the image and activating the technology. Office Depot also brought awareness to the campaign by sponsoring a 70-second video message by One Direction, encouraging fans to join the campaign and help end bullying in schools. The video was played at each of the band’s U.S. concerts.

Approach Reaching that younger audience was crucial for this campaign to How Augmented Reality Brought the Campaign to Life “These products are about way more than utility,” said Skolfield. succeed. “When you look at a normal notebook or binder, it’s for the most “The idea was to appeal a younger audience, knowing they are part one-dimensional. With our 1D+OD products, users can achighly influential on the parents’ purchase decisions,” said Skolfield. cess exclusive video content like interview footage triggered off of “Exclusivity was critical. Again, create something they can’t get never-before-seen imagery of the guys from One Direction. Bring anywhere else, make it highly interactive and create an emotional it to Life simply refers to the transition from still image to moving picture, from photo to video. That’s what Aurasma enabled for us connection with every touch.” through image detection technology embedded into Office Depot’s Office Depot’s limited-edition back-to-school offerings included smartphone application.” items such as 3-ring binders, spiral notebooks, a 5-pack of pens, composition notebooks and memo pads, as well as other collectible items like decal sets, wristbands and nail polish in the custom campaign colors. All products were appropriately priced under $10, with most under $5, making it accessible to any student to participate and support the anti-bullying messaging in school. A percentage of the products’ sales would be donated to support anti-bullying education.

Campaign Support “Aurasma created a technology kernel that was embedded into Office Depot’s smartphone app through partnership with their IT team,” Skolfield said. Office Depot marketed the program on products with trigger images and off a special fixture in Office Depot stores. An interactive store fixture, with a life-sized image of the One Direction boys, also triggered a video and engaged the key audience.

Watch a video from the campaign here! Results Initial results are promising. Since Skolfield doesn’t have a benchmark or any history with augmented reality, he admits it’s hard to pinpoint any specific successes or challenges throughout the campaign. He and his team were impressed, however, with the level of use within only six weeks of the campaign’s launch: • 150,000 video views triggered off product • 300 percent increase in app usage • 65 percent click through rate • 30,000 store fixture scans In fewer than two months since Office Depot launched the “Bring It To Life” experience on its app, which housed the exclusive One Direction content, daily usage of the app doubled.

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Emerging Technology

Not All Software is Created Equal

What You Need to Know by Shelley Parlin

We carry smartphones and iPads, and have the internet at our disposal. But how has all of this affected the retail game? Recently I had a layover at LaGuardia Airport. I could eat at a restaurant in the airport, use the restaurantprovided iPad to shop any of the airport’s stores, make a purchase and have it delivered to me at my specific table. Now THAT is a great use of technology. Retail home furnishings isn’t the same thing as selling trinkets in an airport, but it does show what kind of service customers are becoming used to. How can you compete with that in your operation? While many retailers have adopted iPhones, iPads and even online banking into their personal lives, they are reticent to do so in their professional ones. They struggle or give up entirely in their efforts to really embrace technological advances and the efficiencies that they bring.


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Emerging Technology

One of the most important aspects of technology in a home furnishings retail store is the enterprise software system. The question is, are all software packages created equally? The answer: A resounding NO! Buying an off-the-shelf package is really doing a disservice to your business. Off-the-shelf packages just don’t hit the needs of the home furnishings industry for one main reason: They weren’t designed to. These are designed to be as general as possible to accommodate the largest possible customer base.

Inventory is pretty much the only way retailers make money. Every other department in the store is an expense. By utilizing software that will help you get the highest gross margins and turns achievable, your profitability will soar. Technology to make things easy is so prevalent in everyone’s daily lives; customers have expectations that need to be met. They are accustomed to scanning a QR code or buying with ease online or on a mobile device. Even though it probably won’t cost you a sale if a ticket is handwritten, it will leave a perception that your business is behind the times.

If you look into the wonderful world of industry-specific enterprise software, what will you find? Packages specifically created to meet the needs of the home furnishings industry. First, you are in the retail business, not just any ‘ole business. Retailers need to track An effective customer relationship management (CRM) system product more in-depth than just what is carried and how many is necessary to manage today’s customer experience. CRMs can items are sold. You will need much more detail if you want to cre- be found in most software designed for our industry. You will ate as much sales volume and gross margin as you possibly can. A not only be able to help your customers in a more modern and professional manner, but you will also be able to get reports on few of these details are: the customer experience. Imagine how useful it would be to know what advertising medium brought them in and why they didn’t buy today—reasons like price, selection or spousal approval. Even information about the sales team will be at your fingertips. You Custom purchase tracking with options will know their closing ratio, average sale size, average gross marin the hundreds if not thousands gin and even revenue per up. This information can help you buy better, more effectively coach the sales team on where they could improve, and help build repeat business through quality follow-up.

Customer sales history

The point is, when you utilize software created with the unique needs of your industry in mind, you will get far better tools and resources than if you go for a more basic version thinking it will be good enough. Just because you can get basic accounting or point-of-sale doesn’t mean you have anywhere near the power you need, or that you can build processes into your business that will save time and money.

Inventory turns Gross margin and GMROI at the SKU, category and vendor levels Reorder level recommendations based on lead times, in/out of stock, recent sales trends and more

Another great advantage to using software for the home furnishings industry in your store is that most integrate with other industry-specific programs. By combining the power of your enterprise software with other powerful software, you can create a better customer experience and streamline your operation. Picture a world where your customers can visit your website, pick out product and create a wish list or even make a purchase. Then, have that purchase integrate directly into your software for delivery scheduling. Prices and availability will match what you have in the store because your website and software share information. 

When you utilize software created with the unique needs of your industry in mind, you will get far better tools and resources than if you go for a more basic version thinking it will be good enough.

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Emerging Technology

continued from page 23 Let’s take it one step further. When you schedule the delivery, that information might go to another software package to optimize the route, saving 10 to 15 miles per day per truck. This mobile application allows you to capture job completion details such as status, pictures, notes, signatures and customer surveys. At the end of the day, it uploads the delivery data back into your enterprise software and you can finalize deliveries in a snap. All of this will give your customer the most professional level of service you can provide. So how do you select the right system for your business? Start with one designed for your industry. It will provide metrics, analysis and process specifically with your needs in mind. `` Clarify what key areas are automated in your current software.

Right now you might be wondering if you even need a new solution. Ask yourself these six questions:

1. 3.

`` Identify what works in your current solution that you cannot live without. `` Record all manual operations that should be automated.

Is the productivity of you or your team reduced by inefficient processes? Do you have manual or slow reporting processes?

2. 4.

Are you lacking key information to help you make informed decisions? Are you missing industry-specific requirements?

`` Detail current challenges that need to be solved. `` List what information is currently available in your software and what else is required. `` Determine the level of accounting and computer experience that is needed for potential users. The most important thing you can do when looking for software is to be willing to change your current processes! Often people will look at the various software packages available because their current system just isn’t cutting it any more. Then, totally frustrated, they give up and stay with a bad solution. Why? Because the new ones don’t do things in the exact same manner as their current one. If your current system isn’t working, don’t try to replicate it elsewhere. Doing the same thing with different software won’t work either. Yes, it will take time and effort to switch to a new system but ultimately the benefit that you will receive is worth the effort.


Does your system lack flexibility?


Do you need to automate core business processes?

If you answer yes to any of them, it is probably time to see what our industry has to offer you. A key element to consider when looking at new business management software is not simply operational, but strategic. It is important to ask whether your current system can deliver the kind of competitive market advantage you need. At the end of the day, that may be the single most important decision you make.

Members of The North American Home Furnishings Association can stop by the Retailer Resource Center during the Las Vegas Market and pick up a copy of the 2013-2014 Retail Furniture Software Comparison guide, or call us at (800) 422-3778 to find out how we can help. Shelley Parlin has been with PROFITsystems since 2007 and is currently their Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining PROFITsystems, Shelley gained 21 years of experience as a storeowner and general manager in her family-owned furniture business, making her intimately familiar with the ins and outs of running a home goods retail operation. 24

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Is your current software taking you nowhere fast?

Problem Solved. If you find yourself without the crucial information required to make important decisions about buying product for your showroom, like which manufacturers, categories, and items that are your money makers, then your current software hasn’t kept up with your company’s growing needs. The main purpose of a great business management software is to provide you with real time information that is easy to access. You should be able to depend on complex analysis of your company’s unique sales trends to help you forecast what to expect in the future. Without knowing what has sold, what advertising brought customers in, and maybe even why they didn’t buy during a visit, you are left making “seat of the pants” guesses rather than informed decisions. If you are ready to look at a more robust system give us a call.

We have found the single most important benefit we’ve gotten from using RETAILvantage is the ability to gather metrics quickly on a variety of different areas of the business. You can easily pull the reports you need and take that data and information and move with it.” Laura Crowley Crowley Furniture Independence, MO

software | consulting | performance groups | freight savings | e-solutions


Emerging Technology

Don’t Forget Customers Without Smartphones

Store interactivity should involve everyone, regardless of equipment by Duncan Clapman


e are now in a retail environment driven by smart shoppers who want value for their money. To help them make the best choices, shoppers want easy access to more information about products, promotions and prices from both online sources and stores. These smart shoppers are using technology and a variety of information sources and new services, in whatever ways and mixes they choose, to research and buy products.

To complete the picture they also want shopping to be an easier and more engaging experience. By implementing an omni-channel strategy, retailers will be able to respond quickly and easily to shoppers’ current and rapidly changing needs by implementing joined-up technology and using consistent data online, in stores and beyond.






Customers want everything—they want the advantages of online, including a wide range of products, rich product information and recommendations plus customer reviews and ratings. They also want the benefits of physical stores, where shopping is an experience and comes with personal service and the ability to touch and feel products. And of course, they also want the best value, good prices, great offers and the new processes and technology that make shopping easier, quicker, less risky and more interesting. It’s not unreasonable if you are a customer, but it’s pretty challenging to deliver if you are a retailer. It is not necessary for people to have the latest smart devices to benefit from interactive technologies in retail stores. When properly deployed, interactivity should be all about creating an experience.


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Therefore, retailers should be striving to create experiences in-store that enhance or improve on what can be found online and in other shopping environments. Fantastic experiences can be created with smartphone or tablet devices, but in-store experiences using larger displays and PC- or similar-based solutions allow for greater processing power and greater visual and interactive impact. It is also worth noting that, with the use of video content analytics, laser cameras, touchscreens and other new technologies, you really can take these experiences to another level. At the same time, these experiences are enabled for use by everyone and therefore, everyone is able to engage with the experiences— not just smart device users. However, we must remember that when merging technology into existing retail environments, the technology and solution has to fit within the setting and not the other way around. Technology doesn’t have to fill every empty space. Many retailers, in the early deployment of digital technologies, simply distracted customers from the purpose of their visits to the stores: shopping. A real “wow” is generated as much by the subtle and unexpected as by the excitement of the interaction. By creating an interactive experience you are allowing the customer to become immersed in an engagement that feels spellbinding, so make sure that your experience really connects with the vital message you are trying to push across. The new omni-channel environment ensures that, even without a smart device, a customer is likely to have researched the product they want in some way before they come to the store. This may have been done through a website, social media or even a magazine. The customer has entered the omni-channel ecosystem. In turn, this means that a path has been taken to reach a retail destination. Retailers need to grasp the importance of convergence across all these engagement points, enabling customers to better flow through their interaction and transaction journey. If a customer has engaged with a retailer online, the retailer should know this and every effort should be made to connect with that information in-store. This is where the integrated world meets retail to complete the customer experience. Duncan Clapman is the founder of C-Instore, a unique ‘innovation consultancy’ focused on helping retailers realize the omni-channel experience. Duncan is a thought leader in the fields of immersive experience, augmented reality and disruptive technology.

Emerging Technology

How People Will Shape & Be Shaped by by Rick Liebling

5 RULES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS Have a purpose Mobile, social and digital platforms can help you accomplish many objectives, but success hinges on understanding which of those goals you are aiming towards.  Know what success looks like Be prepared, in advance, to measure your efforts. Set concrete goals and stay laser-focused.  Don’t fear trial and error You may be surprised by what your audience is interested in or responds to. Don’t be afraid to alter your plans as you receive feedback.  Engage in culture Believe it or not, people are more interested in what’s happening in pop culture than in your semiannual clearance sale. Figure out how your brand is relevant to what’s happening in the world, but don’t force things!  Don’t broadcast Retweet, share, like, follow, pin, favorite. They’re actions you want from others, but are you doing it? You should. Show how much you appreciate your community and it will grow strong. … And Two Tips About Content  Use high quality photography Don’t use stock photos from your catalog to showcase your products. Invest in professional photography that is artistic, stylized and has a personality. That’s what stands out on Facebook, Instragram and Pinterest.  Showcase personal stories Who makes your products? What sort of craftsmanship is involved? Where are your products made? 28

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erhaps more than anything else, the 21st century has been marked by its ability to disconnect long-held paradigms from what were previously perceived to be sturdy moorings. Many of the things we’ve long held as truths—be they in relation to work, family, religion, media or technology—have been blown apart by cultural upheaval and scientific advancement. The result has been that people—let’s do away with terms like ‘consumers’ for now—have been thrown into a new reality. (Or, depending on your viewpoint, emancipated from the old one.) This sort of disruption inevitably benefits some and hurts others, especially in the short term. But as equilibrium is achieved, people learn how to maneuver the system. Online business publication PSFK’s Future of Retail report, not unlike a William Gibson novel, provides a provocative peek into the very near future. As Creative Culturalist at Y&R New York, it’s my job to observe and, ideally, directly experience these trends to help our agency and, by extension, our clients, make sense of them. Having digested an executive summary of the FoR report, I’d like to propose a sort of macro-macro trend. One that speaks to the larger societal evolution we are experiencing, manifested within the retail category. I call it: untethering.

As retailers slough off the physical back end of manufacturing via off-shoring and outsource other soft-cost functions such as tech support, we’ve seen the retail industry ‘untether’ from local communities in many ways. I think we’ll see this continue and, combined with other advances in technology, the untethering will also appear at the front of the store as the very notion of ‘store’ itself changes. We’ve seen the dramatic effects on retail as the way people buy products has changed, first from home computers and more recently from their mobile devices—the showrooming trend. Now as content becomes a sales channel via mobile and secondscreen technology, the very nature of the storefront changes. Is a shoppable music video a piece of content, an advertisement or a digital shop? The answer is “yes.” Omni-point-of-purchase, as the report refers to it, blurs lines and removes friction from previously discreet interactions. An intriguing knock-on effect of this could be how it alters the roles of employee, customer and brand advocate, that elusive yet highly sought after superfan that has been the Holy Grail of corporate social media efforts. You could also easily throw in ‘producer’ to the salesperson/customer/advocate mix. Sites such as Etsy now allow virtually anyone to become their own retail brand, further untethering individuals from the systems of last century.

Emerging Technology

Can a retail brand exist purely in the digital world? If so, what does it mean to be a salesperson of such a venture? Does that role cease to exist? Or does that person become untethered? Could there be a new role, in the vein of an Avon representative, where you become affiliated with a number of brands, earning money for selling and promoting products? Now a person can use the entire arsenal of social networks and tools to act as a salesperson, customer service rep and brand advocate—and it could be done anytime, from anywhere.

The untethered retail environment opens new interpretations and opportunities for loyalty programs as well, another trend noted in the report. We’ve come a long way from the ribbon-cutting ceremonies of old. Ramified social experiences disconnected from a retailer’s physical space, if they even have one, will encourage new and novel partnerships. There will be an opportunity to re-imagine the loyalty program from the individual to the community—especially in an untethered world where people will have a greater need than ever to connect.

Retail brands have long courted influencers with large networks, but the efforts usually lacked real strategy and it was difficult to track success. Now, the tools exist, from real-time big data dashboards to personalized customer profiles that recall purchasing histories, to allow a new type of employee to really drive the bottom line for retailers while providing retail value.

The role of advertising and the advertising agency will—and must—evolve. The same pressures weighing on retail will also be evident in the world of marketing. Communications will need to be further customized, personalized, relevant and delivered in real-time. But the nature of the message will need to change as well. Instead of a brand sponsoring a movie, perhaps a movie will sponsor a brand? Young directors will offer to make films about a retailer or their product, imbed sales opportunities directly within the film and receive a percentage of the sales.

We’ve seen the rise of the curator in recent years, those clever and resourceful folks with impeccable Pinterest boards and finely appointed email newsletters. In an untethered world these people will become retail consultants—perhaps getting paid a commission from a company, but perhaps also benefitting from a customer subscription service. The purchase funnel is now a purchase network and those savvy enough to understand the game from all sides will surely figure out how to benefit from it.

All futures are possible at this time, but this we know for sure: Those who don’t embrace the future, be they retailers or not, will find themselves in a world in which they struggle to succeed. Rick Liebling is a marketing consultant, frequent speaker at industry events and guest columnist. You can read more of his social media insights at

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Emerging Technology

INNOVATIVE MOBILE ON-RAMPS in the Retail Environment by Sydnee Seites

Near Field Communication (NFC), geofencing and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) are technologies that are built in to smartphones and used for communication between mobile and other devices. While they probably do not sound familiar, they have most certainly been around for a while, and are worth the attention of retailers now more than ever. Near Field Communication (NFC) NFC functions as a much-improved QR code—instead of scanning a QR code, simply tap or wave the smartphone over an NFC tag to access information, no app necessary. NFC is also more secure, can carry more data and, most notably, is two-way, allowing an NFC-enabled device to both send and receive information, in turn allowing you to track information to a specific person or account. Mobile payments are the most widespread and well-known use of NFC technology, but there are a great deal more uses for it in retail. Retailers can communicate product information, reviews, availability and delivery options for products embedded with NFC tags/labels. The tags start out at about 10 cents apiece. Marketing, ad campaigns, promotions, discounts, customer loyalty or membership benefits are almost endless including coupons, fixed-time special offers, lotteries or feedback channels via NFC tags or terminals. Read on for resources that can help you implement some of these ideas:

Augment your merchandise tags: use NFC tags or labels to communicate product information, discounts or ratings—NFC label manufacturers like MPI Label System,, Tappinn and RapidNFC can customize NFC labels to deliver simple promotional offers, encode labels to perform specific functions like request assistance, or create inlays to connect the user to reviews or enable check-ins and sharing on social media. Reward your customers: Deliver offers to your consumers at checkout—Point of sale and payments specialist Merchant360 has introduced a software plug-in for Ingenico and VeriFone terminals that enables merchants to send marketing messages and coupons to customers via NFC, without the retailer needing to partner with wallet providers like Isis and Google. 30

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Emerging Technology

Enhance existing ads: NFC inlays & smart posterss—An NFC smart pay only when consumers elect to hear more about their deals and promotions. Pricing varies depending on industry and poster, offered by companies like Web Evolved or Tapinn, can geo-targeting criteria, however most merchants pay about contain coupons, information about a product, or loyalty points $1.00 per signup—far less than the cost of click in a search without the customer having to even enter your store. It can also advertising campaign. help customers find your business by linking to online directions, make a purchase, or instantly “like” or “follow” you with the simple While geofencing does not require the physical activation of swiptap of their phone. ing a smartphone on a tag or terminal like NFC, it only allows communication on an opt-in basis, meaning a smartphone user Geofencing has to opt into this “service” on your website or by sending a text message to your promotional number. However, most if not all Geofencing is also a technology that allows retail stores to com- recent polls and research reveal more than half of consumers with municate with consumers, the idea being to target those that are smartphones say they’d trade their phone number or location prinearby. A geofence is a predefined virtual boundary around a vacy for discounts. This puts retailers that much closer to seeing physical location, like a two-block radius around a retail store. It success with getting consumers opting in. can be any size or shape, and when a shopper enters or leaves that area, stores can send text or push notification on an opt-in basis, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) offering a geo-targeted ad, coupon or marketing message about BLE, which is supported on iPhones and newer Android the store or specific products. phones, can be used for communicating with devices in very Although only big names like Best Buy and Kmart have made head- specific locations inside your store, and allows detailed tracking lines trying versions of geofencing, small business owners should and data exchange without a conscious physical activation (like swiping a phone over a terminal). Bluetooth is nothing new, not assume that this is accessible only to major retailers. There are but the low-energy (LE) standard has been getting a lot of buzz multiple mobile advertising platforms that offer geofencing tools since Apple’s release of iOS 7 along with a quiet announcement aimed directly at small businesses: of a feature called iBeacon, which utilizes BLE for data transfer 1. Moasis (
The Moasis Smart GridSM offers “a between devices. better way to connect businesses and consumers in local spaces.” Companies like Estimote (a company which just launched to sell Moasis specializes in helping businesses to target consumers in beacons) and Shopkick (a shopping rewards app) have already a certain neighborhood, city, or even in the street blocks near developed “beacons” for retailers to install in their stores and their stores. Business owners bid for ad space just like they use to push personalized micro-location based notifications and might with Twitter Ads or Google AdWords, making it easy actions to shoppers. Estimote is taking pre-orders at the price of to stick to a campaign budgets. Moasis ad rates typically run $99 for three beacons, but has yet to announce any retail trials. at $40 CPMs. Shopkick’s ShopBeacons run $40 per, and have been installed in Macy’s Midtown Manhattan and San Francisco locations for a trial 2. Thumbvista (“Thumbvista offers mobile marketing services for small business,” reads, and initiative which allows Macy’s to track shoppers inside their store, their range of no-contract services including “Do It Yourself ” “wake” customers’ compatible phones upon entrance and send difTexting, “With or Without App” location based services and ferent offers at any given time based on the floor or department geofencing services start as low as $100.00 per month. Custom customers are in. projects and strategy consulting services are also available. 3. AdLeads (
AdLeads is a service for geo-targeted in-app mobile ads. Retailers choose the neighborhoods, cities, states, or countries where they want their mobile ads to appear and use the ad builder tool to create their own ads in minutes. AdLeads funnels those ads to top mobile apps and businesses

Because of BLE’s range, it has been touted as an “NFC-killer” by many, but it’s all a matter of perspective. BLE beacons look like they’ll be a winner for large retailers with already-popular apps, or those that can invest in an app developed with BLE or beacon integration capabilities. If this is you, check it out.

The next frontier of retail is here, but it does not revolve around any one particular technology. Research and polls have been telling us for the past year that anything with the ability to engage a consumer with their smartphone or mobile device will be a winner. In the spirit of the new year, take a calculated risk by implementing one of these technologies into your retail operation…and don’t forget to share with RetailerNOW!

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Emerging HighTech Technology

ARE YOU MISSING OUT ON F a c e b o o k c o m m e n t re t a i l s a l e s a re o n t h e r i s e — h e re ’s how other retail segments do it and why you should, too.


t’s a common assumption that on- to people picking up their items and grabline shopping hurts local businesses. bing a few more things while there. However, many local retailers across the U.S. are proving that assumption “We’re seeing our customers in person on a wrong and are finding great success at sell- more regular basis because they’re buying ing their wares via Facebook comments— from us on Facebook. Comment selling all while boosting their in-store foot traffic, has grown our in-store sales by 100 percent,” increasing in-store sales, ironing out sea- added DeMaria. sonal lulls and turning their merchandise Turning Merchandise More more quickly.

Selling via Facebook comments is a fairly new form of e-commerce, often called “fcommerce,” where all sales are managed and take place within Facebook, with customers purchasing a product by simply commenting “Sold” below the picture of the item. Sellers often call them Facebook auctions and Facebook flash sales. “A major misconception is that the internet hurts local retailers and small businesses, when in reality, many stores have found that selling on Facebook actually supports and increases their business,” said Chris Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Soldsie, the leading app that automates the posting, scheduling and invoicing process for these Facebook auctions.

Boosting In-Store Foot Traffic & Additional Purchases Jennifer DeMaria and Kristin Maynard, owners of Jenny Boston, a five-location boutique selling purses, accessories and other women’s fashion apparel in the Boston suburbs, began posting and selling items on Facebook in October 2012. Since then, Facebook sales have exceeded those of most of her physical stores...without cannibalizing their sales. In fact, DeMaria and Maynard say that foot traffic and in-store sales have increased due


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Clothing, along with her store manager, Chelsea Edgar, turned to Facebook last year to maintain relationships with summertime customers throughout the year and give them reasons to patronize the boutique from wherever they are.

“Our business really slows down during Chatham’s offseason. We rarely see customers walking through our doors in the middle of winter,” said Cabral. “But thanks to our Quickly, Less Discounting Facebook sales, that is no longer the case. We Amy Blevins, owner of Bead & Glass are now able to reach and sell to our summer Boutique in Pitman, New Jersey, uses customers year round, which has really helped Facebook to help move merchandise more even out our sales and cash flow.” quickly. She posts her newest items first on Facebook, before they’re available in stores. Additionally, through the viral nature of Facebook, Sundance Clothing has seen a “Selling through Facebook helps move more bump in the number of customers who’ve products off my shelves in a shorter time never stepped foot in the store, because they’ve frame, leading to a faster ROI,” said Blevins. seen their friends comment or “like” their “Since adding Facebook sales, I don’t have merchandise. as much product lingering on my shelves collecting dust as I did before.” Adding a New Sales Channel Many local retailers like selling via Facebook Like Jenny Boston, Facebook flash sales also comments for the same reason that online-only help drive in-store foot traffic for Bead & retailers enjoy it: it makes money. In Houston, Haute Mommies & Bella Babies’ owner Darcy Glass Boutique. Santala has experienced a 57 percent increase in overall sales since she began selling maternity “Many of our Facebook customers come into and baby clothing on Facebook. Like other our store to pick up what they bought the retailers, she’s also seen an uptick in in-store night before on Facebook. I’d estimate seven foot traffic and sales when customers pick up out of 10 times the customer ends up buy- their merchandise. ing something else,” Blevins said. “Even if those additional sales are small or impulsive, Can this work for the furnishings industry? it was a sale that we probably wouldn’t have It’s worth a shot. After all, a new sales avenue had otherwise.” brings just that: sales. Here’s what to do: Post a picture of an accessory in your store and capSmoothing Out Seasonal Lulls tion it “Facebook Flash Sale – the first person to In the idyllic East Coast summer vacation comment ‘sold’ purchases the item,” along with town of Chatham, Mass., many local retail- a price. Then sit back and watch the comments ers struggle to manage the seasonal lulls come in. Try it out and go to our Facebook page that hit their businesses when the tourists ( to let us know what go home. April Cabral, owner of Sundance happens!

Grant Laidlaw VP of Sales Eric Clarke President

Locations: Puyallup, WA Mira Loma, CA • Morganton, NC Fax: 828-764-4461 • Phone: 855-208-6377 Email: Please contact Grant Laidlaw VP Sales at 778-549-3188 or to review your transportation needs.

The Northwest Furniture Transportation Leader

Industry News

1. Furniture Today Leadership Conference NAHFA attends FT Conference with Honors The 17th annual Furniture|Today Leadership conference in Naples, Fla., enjoyed a record turnout for the show. From December 3-5, 2013, more than 470 industry leaders descended on the RitzCarlton Beach Resort to enjoy an itinerary packed full of panels and presentations, all following the theme of “Mastering the Game.” NAHFA held a strong presence among the attendees, with several of the association’s members being honored with awards. Four out of five recipients of the Masters of the Industry Award are members: Art Van Elslander; Art Van Furniture; Warren, Michigan Jake Jabs; American Furniture Warehouse; Englewood, Colorado Bernie Moray; Gorman’s; Farmington, Michigan Ron Wanek; Ashley Furniture HomeStores; Arcadia, Wisconsin


Simon Kaplan of Dayton, New Jersey-based Crest Furniture also received this award. The Masters of the Industry Award is presented to retailers who have been industry visionaries, taking leadership to a new level and acting as ideal role models for the furnishings world. The next generation of retailers also came out on top, with three out of the five of the Furniture|Today – Leggett & Platt Rising Star Awards going to NAHFA member stores:


Jessica Tubman; Circle Furniture; Boston Will Daughtrey; Badcock Home Furniture; Mulberry, Florida Seth Goldberg; Raymour & Flanigan; Liverpool, New York

1. Kim Yost, CEO of Art Van Furniture, Warren, Mich., and another NAHFA member, encourages attendees of Furniture/Today’s Leadership Conference to “inspire, grow and become more.” 2. Ron Wanek, left, of Ashley Furniture, Bernie Moray of Gorman’s, Art Van Elslander of Art Van Furniture, Simon Kaplan of Crest Furniture and Jake Jabs of American Furniture Warehouse received lifetime achievement awards at Furniture/Today’s Leadership Conference and Masters of the Game Awards dinner. 3. Tackling the subject of attracting young consumers and employees to the furniture industry. Seth Goldberg, left, Raymour & Flanigan; Will Daughtrey, Badcock Home Furniture & more; Jessica Tubman, Circle Furniture; Mark Mueller, Mueller Furniture; and Becca Sudbeck, Nebraska Furniture Mart. 34

JANUARY | 2014

Non-member store winners were Becca Sudbeck of Omaha, Neb.based Nebraska Furniture Mart and Mark Mueller of Bellville, Ill.-based Mueller Furniture. This award is specifically for young retailers who display exceptional levels of leadership, creativity, vision and innovation. Congratulations to these shining NAHFA stars!

Words of Wisdom The FT conference panels offered some easy-to-remember tips to success. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorites.   If you take risk out of life, you take opportunity out of life.   The magic lies in execution, not in ideas.   Be relentless with your quest to change the world.   Execute or be executed.

Breakfast and a Break Join us in the Buyers Club for a full breakfast, gourmet coffees to order and cold beer in the afternoon.



Stay & Play

Sunday - Wednesday Sunday - Wednesday 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Starts at 4:00 p.m. Join us in the Buyers Club to network with industry professionals


IMC Las Vegas Market 10th Floor, Building B







The Social Spot


22 23




FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting................ 20 The Furniture Training Company................. 24 JRM Sales & Management.......................... 7 Profitability Consulting Group..................... 30


37 16






Retailer Resource Center Floor Plan

ACA/ Advertising Concepts of America...... 11 Knorr Marketing.......................................... 5 MicroD, Inc.................................................. 16 Mail America............................................... 3 Moso Graphics............................................ 38 Netsertive.................................................... 12 R&A Marketing............................................ Social Spot Truckskin, LLC............................................. 37


Best Buy for Business…............................. Social Spot Guardian Protection Products..................... 2 North American Home Furnishings Assoc.. 31 Quarz........................................................... 6 Service Lamp Corporation.......................... 27




14 13


Custom Design Software............................ 25 Furniture Wizard.......................................... 15 Genesis Software Systems......................... 29 FurnServe.................................................... 10 Myriad Software.......................................... 17 PROFITSystems, inc................................... 13 STORIS....................................................... 18

Access From Building C


Entrance Hallway

10 5


28 29



27 32






Cory First Choice Home Delivery................ 22 Diakon Logistics.......................................... 33 DispatchTrack............................................. 34 DSI Delivery................................................. 9 Speedy Delivery LLC................................... .36 United Steel Storage (USSI)........................ 21


8 30



Elevators & Escalators

Buyers’ Club

INSURANCE & WARRENTIES Association Insurance Services.................. 32 Credit Source Insurance.............................. 8

Access From Building A

Restrooms JANUARY | 2014

Credit Source Finance................................. 8 CrossCheck................................................. 28 GE Capital................................................... 14 Genesis Financial........................................ 35 NewComLink............................................... 1 Tidewater Finance Company....................... 4 Trekstone Financial Corp............................. 26


35 Seminar Room



Located in B-1050

NEW this year! Early Riser Sessions to add more value to early mornings at the Market.

Not one to sleep in? Want just a few more ideas to keep you ahead of the game? Join us early morning at 7:30 a.m. for dynamic sessions that will awaken your imagination with how to make your business more successful. SUNDAY, JANUARY 26 7:30 - 8:30am The Effective Salesperson’s Checklist

Philip Gutsell, GutSELL & Associates

9:00 - 10:00am The Omni-Channel Mandate:

Jeremy Gufstason, Kreber

Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management Rene Johnston-Gingrich, Profitability Consulting Group

Denise Keniston, Web4Retail

Joseph Connolly, Lynch Sales Company

12:30 - 1:30pm Reap the Rewards of Advertising with Online Video

Jim Knutt, Sheila Duffy-Lehrman and Delaun Petersen, Tropic Survival/CometAds

2:00 - 3:00pm Evolving Your Mattress Department

Eric Foucrier, Eric Foucrier and Associates

3:30 - 4:30pm ROMI Wasn’t Built in a Day:

Dos and Don’ts in the Interview

Pascal Benyamini, Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP

7:30 - 8:30am Think Like a Marketer, NOT an Advertiser Douglas Knorr, Knorr Marketing

9:00 - 10:00am Double Down on Your Social Sharing


Alvin Wight, Strategic Decisions

10:30 - 11:30am Create a Buying Frenzy with a High-Impact Sale

Sales Compensation Plans

3:30 - 4:30pm Hiring the Best Candidate:

Hear Customers, Focus Resources, Grow Profits

Josh Brown, CEO & Noah Brown, VP, American West Worldwide Express

2:00 - 3:00pm Pinterest: The New Retail Therapy

12:30 - 1:30pm 3 Ways to Connect with Customers NOW!

7:30 - 8:30am

9:00 - 10:00am How to Save Money on Logistics

What Your Consumer Expects

10:30 - 11:30am The Pros and Cons of Different


MicroD, Inc.

Understanding Return On Marketing Investment

Graham Farrell, Lift & Shift, Inc.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29 9:00 - 10:00am Mastering Omni-Channel Engagement

Reshma Nagpal, Dynamic Vertical Solutions

10:30 - 11:30am Improve Your Warehouse & Delivery Operations

Daniel Bolger, The Bolger Group

10:30 - 11:30am 5 Steps to Profitable Mobile Marketing

Tim McLain, Netsertive

12:30 - 1:30pm Best Practices in Retail:

seminar series sponsored by:

One Seminar to Rule Them All!

Wayne & David McMahon, PROFITconsulting

2:00 - 3:00pm Instagram…What the Heck is it and

Why Should I Care About it?

Kevin & Kyle Doran, R&A Marketing

3:30 - 4:30pm Magic Metrics to Move You Forward:

a Working Seminar

Bob George, FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting

JANUARY | 2014


Las Vegas Market

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.


3 Ways to Connect with Customers NOW!

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

René Johnston-Gingrich, VP of Training Development, Profitability Consulting Group

The Effective Salesperson’s Checklist  Philip Gutsell, GutSELL & Associates

When your salespeople can answer all the questions presented in this seminar, thoroughly, they are true professionals. Phil Gutsell, a forty-year home furnishings industry veteran, has compiled the ultimate checklist for your salespeople. Even successful, seasoned professionals need periodic retraining to make sure they are still practicing the techniques that got them where they are today. Attend this seminar and return to your store loaded with the skills that create selling machines. Yes, it’s really that simple!

Customer connection is multifaceted to say the least. This seminar will explore connecting on three levels: store image, marketing message, and the personal connection brought about by your sales team’s expertise. Learn how to connect the dots so you can build the ideal environment with a winning team that will help you capitalize on every opportunity and boost your bottom line.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Pinterest: The New Retail Therapy

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Denise Keniston, Web4Retail

The Omni-Channel Mandate: What Your Consumer Expects Jeremy Gufstason, Sr. VP of Retail & Digital Strategy, Kreber

Today’s consumer expects to be able to engage a brand whenever, wherever, and on whatever device or medium they choose. Most businesses, including retailers and furniture manufacturers, have not cracked the code to fulfill what we term "the omnichannel mandate". Jeremy will provide insight on today's consumer and what you can do to become truly omni-channel. He will also share success stories from key industry retail clients including Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy's.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. The Pros and Cons of Different Sales Compensation Plans Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management

Every retail outfit is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all model for sales compensation. During this seminar, we will cover: • The different ways of compensating • The pros and cons of each system

Pinterest exploded on the social media scene three years ago. Currently boasting more than 70 million users, the popular platform surpasses Facebook in dollars spent, with the average social shopper spending $140-$180. Denise has developed her first-hand experience managing many popular fashion and design boards into a comprehensive 60 minutes of how-tos for the furniture retail store owner. Learn how to gain an audience, start a conversation, drive traffic and—most importantly—convert your activity on Pinterest into sales at this #pinterestseminar.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Hiring the Best Candidate: Dos and Don’ts in the Interview Pascal Benyamini, Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP

As more companies join the hunt for the best candidates to build up their workforce, recruiters and hiring managers should be aware of the dos and don’ts in the hiring process. Hailing from a firm that has been awarded the highest national recognitions in the areas of Employee Benefits and Employment Law by the U.S. News & World Report (2013), Mr. Benyamini will present a best practices seminar that will provide specific tips concerning the hiring process, including:

• How to determine if your method is effective

• The actual job posting

• How to determine the amount a salesperson should earn

• Proper interviewing • Questions interviewers can and cannot ask

• Stress-free ways to change the way you compensate

• The use of social medial in the hiring process • Screening candidates legally Your management team is sure to come away with invaluable tips on how to conduct an effective and legal interview.


JANUARY | 2014

Las Vegas Market


10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

5 Steps to Profitable Mobile Marketing

Think Like a Marketer, NOT an Advertiser Douglas Knorr, Knorr Marketing

Tim McLain, Netsertive

Any furniture company can grow IF your key decision makers are willing to think like marketers, NOT just advertisers. Marketing is a comprehensive, core discipline that, when understood and practiced properly, allows you to uncover new pathways and eliminate waste and inefficiencies in every area of your business.

You’ve been asked hundreds of times, “Is your website mobile-friendly?”

Doug will keep attendees on their toes as he shares key steps and case studies that identify how adopting the marketer mindset can put your business on a path to greater success. BONUS: 3 early bird attendees will catch the worm—a FREE Market Analysis Overview, valued at $895!

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

This session offers you the rundown on mobile marketing from start to finish in five steps that cover everything from strategy and concepts (like geo-targeting) to effective placement and writing mobile-friendly copy. Stop living in fear of the mobile shopper—this market you will come away with all the necessities for converting local buyer spontaneity into $$$$.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Double Down on Your Social Sharing Moderated by MicroD, Inc.

Retailer to Retailer Panel Discussion on winning ways to use social media, blogging, and mobile to attract the next generation of consumers to your store. Numbers don't lie: 62% of fortune 500 companies have stated that social media is necessary for business growth, 25% of shoppers are using mobile devices to access furniture info online, and 95% of small businesses view blogging as an effective marketing technology tool–second only to email marketing.  Join MicroD and our expert panel as we discuss this essential form of online marketing and answer audience questions. #NGNLVMkt #millennials #MicroDinc

While you may have addressed that question, have you addressed whether your mobile site is optimized to convert mobile shoppers into buyers? Mobile shoppers that land on your website are likely to buy from you within the first 24 hours. One of every three clicks to retailer websites now come from mobile devices.

Best Practices in Retail—One Seminar to Rule Them All! Wayne & David McMahon, PROFITconsulting

What are the best operations doing? Having consulted with thousands of industry and non-industry retailers, and lead several best-practice performance groups, this dynamic duo has seen the best-of-the-best, the worst-of-the-worst, and everything in between. In this seminar they will reveal what the best in the business are doing right in areas spanning the entire spectrum of a retail business, from Internet, advertising, and selling to management, finances, and back-end operations. Want a leg-up on your competition? Put this seminar on your calendar! BONUS: All attendees will receive a copy of David’s new book:

Field Tips – Retail Business Improvement Writings

JANUARY | 2014


Las Vegas Market

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Instagram…What the Heck is it and Why Should I Care About it? Kevin & Kyle Doran, R&A Marketing

Joseph Connolly, Lynch Sales Company

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks currently in existence, with more than 150 million monthly active users, 55 million average photos shared per day, and more than 16 billion photos shared so far. If you lack a presence on this platform, you can be sure your brand is missing out on thousands of impressions. Learn how best to utilize Instagram in your marketing and website to effectively showcase your store, your business, and your message. The Doran brothers will share tips, tricks, and much, much more.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Magic Metrics to Move You Forward—a Working Seminar Bob George, FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting

Are you ready to move your store beyond business as usual? Joe Connolly is ready to help you do just that while also showing consumers you’ve stepped up your game. When done correctly, a high-impact sale presents the opportunity to generate the kind of buying frenzy that can revitalize your business while also reinforcing your position in your community. Putting it all on the line for one sale may sound risky, but this seminar will cover all of the rewards that make that risk worthwhile, including profits, boosted morale, increased market share, and much more!

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

This town-hall discussion will showcase the metrics you need to know in order to move your business to the next level and then keep the momentum going.

Reap the Rewards of Advertising with Online Video

Bring some numbers and your best pen, because this is a working seminar. By simply giving an hour of your time, you will begin to get a feeling of what it should be like to work on your business, not in your business.

Research shows a significant increase in brand awareness and brand retention among consumers who have viewed online video ads. US digital video ad spend will rise 41.4% this year and by another 40% next year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that much of this new digital video spend increase will come out of former TV budgets, and that video advertising recall is twice as high as TV spot recall.


7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Jim Knutt, Sheila Duffy-Lehrman and Delaun Petersen, Tropic Survival/ CometAds

Alvin Wight, Strategic Decisions

You will learn how digital video presents increasingly more opportunities for using cross-platform campaigns, maximizing online budget, and attaining meaningful consumer engagement.

The most important asset your business has is your customer base. The best way to leverage this asset is by letting them tell you what is working and what is not.

The single biggest take-away: never underestimate the power of video! Sight, sound, and emotion have been proven to resonate best with your potential customers.

Hear Customers, Focus Resources, Grow Profits 

During this seminar, the president of industry research at Strategic Decisions will guide you through a process for effectively communicating with your consumers. By doing so you will learn exactly what is going on in your market, how to identify your true competitors, and how to acquire and retain loyal customers.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. How to Save Money on Logistics

Josh Brown, CEO & Noah Brown, VP, American West Worldwide Express

This seminar will cover how furniture retailers and manufacturers can reduce the cost of freight, how new CARB law in California will affect all transportation carriers, and how new nationwide driver hour regulations will change transit times. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how transportation carriers base their rates. The knowledge gained in understanding this process will save you money.


Create a Buying Frenzy with a High-Impact Sale

JANUARY | 2014

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Evolving Your Mattress Department Eric Foucrier, Eric Foucrier and Associates

Comfortable is the new word for extinction in retail — even if you’re talking about mattresses! No matter how comfy your bedding products are, attempting to induce relaxation as your customers try them out is an age-old technique that may not necessarily be evolving organically with your mattress department as a whole. Backed by market research with top mattress companies, Eric will share key details of a proven process that, when adopted, will improve closing ratios and average ticket sales, and enhance the customer experience.

Las Vegas Market

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

ROMI Wasn’t Built in a Day — Understanding Return On Marketing Investment Graham Farrell, Lift & Shift, Inc.

Since the earliest days of advertising and mass marketing, retailers have been confronted with a dilemma that keeps many up at night: “I know half of my advertising/marketing budget is wasted, I just don't know which half.” Graham Farrell, 25-year advertising and marketing veteran, will discuss the ins, outs, dos, don’ts, tips, tricks, and best practices for planning advertising and marketing spend in a highly competitive retail environment. After attending, you will once again be able to enjoy a full night’s sleep (well, once you leave Las Vegas).

Improve Your Warehouse and Delivery Operations Daniel Bolger, The Bolger Group

Enhance your profits and customer satisfaction by attending industry expert Dan Bolger’s program. Achieving a perfect delivery on the order you have is the first step to sell the next furniture on your customer's dream list. Bolger will demonstrate at least seven ways you can achieve perfect deliveries while also boosting productivity throughout the warehouse. Primary focus will be on improving existing operations. He will also summarize considerations for a new or relocated facility.


9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Mastering Omni-Channel Engagement Reshma Nagpal, Dynamic Vertical Solutions

Omni-channel has become a new buzzword for retail. Great, we must connect with consumers on all levels, but how does one successfully achieve cohesion across all customer touch points? Through discussion of a variety of topics, this seminar will teach you the ways of navigating this tricky new concept. Subjects will include: • Current retailing trends across national and international markets • The key multiple touch points to engage customers today (physical stores; kiosks; PC/tablet/mobile shopping; social media networks; call center support; email campaigning) • The danger of maintaining a disparate approach • Utilizing each touch point to effectively and correctly promote your products/services • Synergizing customer engagement across all touch points – building brand ambassadors through buying behavior, trends, and preference data triangulation • How to choose and use available technology solutions to effectively execute your strategy • Identifying targeted reach: predictive analytics and effective cross/up selling • Taking action: measuring your results and identifying key differences • Prosperity: how all these moving parts will engage, retain, and delight your customers.

JANUARY | 2014


Las Vegas Market

layouts NOV 13 for nahfa_Layout 1 11/22/13 4:56 PM Page Jan1

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Delivery Hassles? Delivery Schedules, Routing, Worker’s Comp, DOT Compliance,Vehicle Leases, Maintenance, Insurance, High Cost & Service Calls.

Cory Let’s You Focus On What You Do Best For all your internet, brick & mortar and last mile delivery needs call 201.795.1000. In Las Vegas RRC B1050, #22

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CUSTOMER FINANCING For Your Primary Lender Declines Instant Online Approvals No Dealer Recourse $500 to D. $7,500 Credit Lines Same As Cash Available Lara Anthony, EVP (888) 663-1536 |


JANUARY | 2014

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MemberMARKETPLACE MORE Programs – MORE Benefits – MORE Savings


Every Day, Every Dollar

Why go it alone? You have access to the lowest EVERY DAY financing rates in the industry.

Our EVERY DAY financing rates are based on over $400 million in annual volume Program Benefits:

 Rebates back to you  Open-to-buy reports & consumer sweepstakes sponsored by GE Capital

 Furniture industry insights and case studies  Consumer spending statistical data  Members-only holiday specials

MEMBER-ONLY HOLIDAY SPECIALS A simple one-page dealer application will have you transacting in less than 7 days!


Interchange Plus or Tiered Pricing

You Make the Choice Program Benefits:

    


Month-to-month contract Easy application process Dedicated account manager Free equipment Free statement anaylsis

in the RRC B-1050

Call (800) 422-3778 today for a FREE savings calculation! The NEW North American Home Furnishings Association Now offering you MORE than ever.

JANUARY | 2014


Las Vegas Market

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Since 1991


Furniture Software All the Whistles & Bells

Also available in original PC version

Call 800.884.0806

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Delivering Satisfied Customers DSI Delivery’s “Whatever It Takes” approach to customized delivery solutions and distribution services for our home furnishings partners has resulted in long-standing relationships. Kurt Haines - President, Stoneledge Furniture “DSI Delivery’s expertise and professionalism have enabled us to more than double our delivery volume while providing a high level of service to our customers.“ Larry Miller - President/CEO, Sit ‘N Sleep “We’ve been absolutely thrilled with DSI Delivery. We have hundreds of deliveries going out daily. Outsourcing deliveries allows us to focus on what we do best - retailing.” Mike Combest - Vice President/Operations, Sleep Train “Our DSI Delivery account personnel and contract drivers strive to satisfy our customers and our consumer surveys show that they succeed.” • Over 7,000,000 deliveries since 1997 • Clearly Defined Core Values & Mission Statement • Specializing in Last-Mile White-Glove delivery Visit us at the Retailer Resource Center, Building B-1050 and learn how our “Whatever It Takes” philosophy can add value to your home furnishings business.

1-800-335-6557 •


JANUARY | 2014

Las Vegas Market

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RRC Booth 14 GE Capital

WE’RE NOT JUST BANKERS, WE’RE BUILDERS. Let our home furnishing finance experts work with you to build a consumer finance program that brings customers to your store and helps them purchase what they really need. Offer a program that simply works in your advertising, on your website, and for your salespeople. Stop just banking. Start building.

Visit us at or call 1-866-209-4457 today!

Credit is extended by GE Capital Retail Bank © 2013 General Electric Company. All Rights Reserved. J A N U1 A R Y | 2 0 1 4 021193_Furniture_RetailerNOWLasVegas_3.25x4_0114_v3dz.indd

45 PM 11/21/13 12:08

Las Vegas Market

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Sy -to

-u S





Ful |

AFFo Rd AblE

Inventory Control & Accounting Software for Furniture Retailers

Outdoor Furniture is the Fastest Growing Segment in the Home Furnishings Industry. Add revenue and profits with the most comprehensive fully insured outdoor warranty program available in the industry. Combine the warranty with our eco-friendly Outdoor Furniture Cleaner—guaranteed to remove stains! | 804-381-9430

Call for a free info packet or to schedule a demonstration. www


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JANUARY | 2014

RRC_Guardian ad.indd 1

RRC Booth 3 12/6/2012 12:47:05 PM

Las Vegas Market

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 web

design & hosting.  mobile capabilities.  EDI integration.  eCommerce solutions.  digital marketing.  social media management. RETAILER RESOURCE CENTER | B-1050

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Sales are up



* Sofa Select, Google Case Study (8.13)

Our online ads work.

1-800-676-4243 • •


JANUARY | 2014


NAHFA Products Program Helping You Carry the Load We want you to have the right tools for the job. With our extensive product offering we are sure you will find just what you are looking for to help your business and boost your level of customer service. Look no further than your association to help you


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Mattress Lifting Systems

Moving mattresses of any size through doors or up stairs with out damage is easy with the right equipment.

Mattress Lifting Strap Two inch nylon seat belt type strap create a mattress lifting harness designed to reduce back injuries and mattress damage due to dragging. Item # W3300 / Heavy Duty $29.95 (member price)

Pro Series Canvas Mattress Carrier No more dirty and damaged mattresses. This durable doublehanded design allows you to distribute weight evenly for easy and safe handling. Item # 260020 / All Mattresses $21.00 (member price)

Mattress Mover/Lifting Strap Adjustable to any size mattress, lifting straps prevent mattresses from dragging the ground and make it easy to carry mattresses up and down stairs. Item # FFMM / Light Duty $14.00 (member price)


Exclusive pricing for association members! Non-members add 25%.

Phone: (800) 422-3778 or (916) 784-7677 Fax: (916) 784-7697 Website: Email: Address: 500 Giuseppe Ct, Ste 6, Roseville, CA 95678 48

JANUARY | 2014

Las Vegas Market

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JANUARY | 2014


Las Vegas Market

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Working with the Furniture Industry since 2000

day Call to for a ! Quote

Advertise BIG... Use your trucks and windows!! When You Can Drive This!!

Why Drive This?

Delivery Truck Graphics • Vehicle Wraps Wall Graphics • Floor Graphics

Window Graphics 877-866-7546 RRC Booth 31

MARKET SPECIAL You won’t want to miss the NAHFA networking conference. And getting there couldn’t be easier!

MEMBERS: Enter To Win


FREE Airfare, Hotel FREE Airfare, Hotel & Conference Registration & Conference Registration


$1,500 value.

$1,500 value.

Visit an NAHFA Member Representative for your chance to win.

Limited to first 10 applicants that join at market.

JANUARY | 2014


Join the Group. Shape the Future. XX FREE Membership XX Engaging Networking Events XX Continuing Education & Mentoring XX Member Events at Every Market XX Professional Development

@ The One-Six Club Monday, January 27, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. Building B, 16th Floor

XX Cocktails & Bites XX Music with live DJ XX Bar and Casino Games

Passionate, Engaged & Fun

NGN Market Education

Hear from a panel of expert young retailers on winning ways to use social media, blogging, and mobile to attract the next generation of consumers to your store. Monday, January 27, 2014 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Moderated by:

Lunch with Leaders Big-name furniture industry leaders are opening their busy market schedules for lunch appointments with next-generation home furnishings professionals. Build bridges faster than your predecessors did. You will have quality face time with top industry executives who can offer invaluable advice, give feedback on your ideas, and become mentors in your career. GO ONLINE TO PICK YOUR LEADER AND RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY

RRC Seminar Room B-1050

Appointments available from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m For more information email

Next Generation-NOW is a hosted community of

Benefactor Sponsor:

JANUARY | 2014


Las Vegas Market

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The Social Spot



QUARZ- the world’s first nanotechnology-engineered furniture protection surface barrier that repels liquids, dirt and oil. Safe for you. Safe for the environment.

In Cooperation with


Visit us in the RRC to get connected!


JANUARY | 2014

Special Advertising Section


The Gino is a new introduction for our Contemporary World. Personalizing Comfort is easy with individual Motorized Head & Foot Rests. European styling Made in the USA, the Gino reflects the contemporary genre that has become so successful at Omnia Leather. See why Omnia Leather represents the ultimate in styling, value and Personalized Comfort.Â

Omnia Phone: (909) 393-4400 Fax (909) 393-4401 Website: Website: NEW Las Vegas IMC Building A256 & A242

From transitional to contemporary we’ve got you covered in solid wood.


Cresent Fine Furniture Hudson is an urban contemporary design in solid wire-brushed oak featuring a cantilevered platform bed with floating pier nightstands. Paired with sleek cases on inset plinth bases, Hudson is available in two textured finishes, a light cerused Sand and a Black Tea with graphite cerusing. Custom T-bar pulls in a white bronze finish complete the look.

Cresent Fine Furniture Phone: (615) 975-4862 Fax (615) 452-0098 Website: @cresentfurn Showrooms: HP - 220ELM #201 LV - B-554

Emerging Technology

How internet search and display ads work together to boost sales by Regina Dinning

In an ideal situation, your store would have an unlimited marketing and advertising budget. But we all know it doesn’t work like that. The question you need to ask is, “How do we optimize our limited marketing dollars to produce the best return on investment?”


JANUARY | 2014

Emerging Technology


n an ideal situation, your store would have an unlimited marketing and advertising budget. But we all know it doesn’t work like that. The question you need to ask is, “How do we optimize our limited marketing dollars to produce the best return on investment?”

Display ads boost results 25% After you’ve established a solid search campaign, layer on display ads. Display boosts qualified clicks and foot traffic by more than 25 percent over just doing search alone.

Search and display working in tandem

Independently, both a search campaign and display campaign can generate results for you, but how they work together can win your local market online. Targeting for both search and display is critical and produces more conversions.

Think of it as covering both proactive and reactive bases. Search is an active process According to iProspect, a leading digital that prospects undertake to gather informa- performance agency, 50 percent of all intertion. Display ads, on the other hand, are net users react to a display ad by conducting more like billboards or purchased online a search related to the brand, product or real estate on websites that are relevant to service described in the ad. More specifically, exposure to display ads may increase your customers. the number of relevant search queries by more than 25 percent. Not only can display Traditionally, people think of display ads ads lead directly to your landing page, but primarily for brand/store awareness, similar they can also trigger search activity that to image ads that promote brands rather leads the prospect back to your website if Formula for online success than specific products. These ads are still your search campaign is active. My mantra of online marketing success is important, but today display ads also set this: With $5 to spend on marketing you the stage for the sales funnel—they push should put $3 into search engine marketing prospects down the funnel from awareness There is additional evidence that display ads and $2 into display advertising. These to consideration to, ultimately, sales. can impact behavior even if the prospect tactics will effectively drive your marketing doesn’t click on the ad. A University of messages in both text and graphical formats Maryland study showed how consumers Display works at all of those levels to visuto smartphones and PCs. exposed to a display ad (even if they don’t ally represent your product and brands. The The combination of search and display is key is to run co-branded and localized ban- click on it) will change their online shopthe cornerstone of a successful integrated ners that contain a special offer or imagery ping behavior to include searches for the campaign, but you need to start with search. from one of your top brands, with your brand featured in the ad. Search marketers average a 7:1 return on store name, location and custom tracked their marketing investment according to phone number also inserted. You should Although direct click-throughs via display recent studies. direct every click to a conversion-optimized ads provide trackable data, a 2012 study by comScore found that ad viewability and landing (or lead) page on your website. hover time are more strongly correlated In general, purchasing specific local search terms is cheaper than launching right into Display ads generally are available in six with conversions (defined as purchases buying display ads. The key is local since primary sizes and also can be sized to show and requests for information) than clicks most general make and model terms have up over relevant YouTube videos (known or total impressions. In other words, your probably been purchased by the manu- as InVideo Ads). A good web designer can ad being seen is more important than your ad being clicked. facturers. Terms like “luxury furniture” easily produce correctly sized ads for you. or “living room sofa” tend to be more Bid on keywords Selecting the right online advertising partexpensive and broad, so start with more ner is critical. Work with a Google Premier specific keyword phrases like “Serta matbased around your partner with great technology that offers tress Boulder,” “memory foam mattress” or unique product, brand hand-crafted search and display ads, pro“Maytag oven Livonia.” and service lineup. actively tuning up your campaign 400-600 To make sure your store shows up in online Purchase display ad placements on con- times per month to deliver a 70 percent searches that have purchase intent, bid textually relevant websites, whether they’re share of local advertising voice. The best on keywords based around your unique focused on furniture, appliances, mattresses partners collaborate with retailers, rather product, brand and service lineup. With or local news and weather. That hits both than following a script and “setting and analytics, you can see what search terms web shoppers who are interested in your forgetting” their digital marketing. your prospects are already using to find product, and those drawn to popular local your competition and websites like yours. websites with a lot of traffic. Your local ads Regina Dinning is a business development director Leverage this information and be the smart- will be served up on national websites but at Netsertive ( Dinning (rdinning@ est bidder for those specific and related shown only to customers within the local is a seasoned professional with more than 15 years' experience in marketing and long-tail search queries. geography (radius) of your store. advertising, including several years specifically in When considering where to allocate your marketing resources, consider that online awareness of your business, makes, models and services is critical to sales success. A study by advertising expert BIA/Kelsey shows that more than 90 percent of consumers research online prior to buying locally, both from their mobile devices and PCs.

home furnishings.

JANUARY | 2014


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: Carol Bell Store Name: Contents Interiors Location: Tucson, Arizona Manufacturer: Jatex International Product Name: Copper Cauldron Tables Is the product: Made in America: No Container Product: No Warehouse Ready: Yes Retail Cost: $750-$1800 Why do you think it is a successful seller? Arizona is the copper state and everyone likes to have a little copper in their contemporary desert home. How soon is the product available from the manufacturer? Depends on the size.

Submitted By: Mike Luna Store Name: Pedigo Furniture Location: Livingston, Texas Manufacturer: Serta Product Name: iComfort Insight Mattress sets Is the product: Made in America: Yes Container Product: No Warehouse Ready: No Retail Cost: $1,299 for the queen set with standard foundation Why do you think it is a successful seller? The Insight offers memory foam benefits and Cool Action technology at an affordable price. How soon is the product available from the manufacturer? As soon as the item is ordered. 56

JANUARY | 2014

Future Watch with MicroD

Savvy Consumers Want it Their Way When my 15-year-old daughter recently chose a new bed, I was reminded of the significance of offering greater product options in today’s marketplace. To make it uniquely her own, she personalized the standard bed with her choice of headboard, trim and a finish. What a fun and rewarding experience for both of us! Today’s consumers are looking for ways to personalize just about everything. It's no longer just picking apps for phones or music for iPods, but customizing everything from the cars we drive to the furniture in our homes. Having greater control over product creativity and functionality appeals not only to younger consumers, it also increases perceived value among more mature buyers.

by Mona Nigam

The most common personalization options An online room planner is also a great in furniture and home furnishings include way to give buyers the ability to arrange upholstery types, colors and finishes. More furniture and furnishings into their precise and more of today’s consumers are look- room shape and dimensions. This not only ing beyond the mass-produced colors and empowers consumers with the creative prints that are available in the stores and control they seek, it ensures them that their are seeking the hottest color, pattern and sofa, lamps, rugs, plants and other design texture trends that are fresh off the New elements will look and fit the way they York runways. This provides manufactur- intended and designed them. ers with an opportunity and a direction to meet customer needs. In the modern era of e-commerce, home furnishings companies must have costOther more sophisticated function and effective options to empower customers to comfort customization options may in- visualize fabric on a frame, build a room clude selection of product dimensions and plan to ensure fit and view other coordiarm, leg and back styles. In addition to nating items through a pleasurable online configuring their piece of furniture, buy- shopping experience. It is clear companies ers are also embracing the opportunity to that provide savvy shoppers with the creuse a website to make accessory choices ative freedom and customization they seek and plan out the room of their dreams. By in an easy-to-use way will be the winners. providing creative suggestions in the area Just ask my daughter. of construction and accessory matching, furnishings companies can provide an even Mona Nigam is executive vice president at MicroD. higher level of value-added service and get She has many years of experience successfully driving global demand generation including email marketing, closer to their customers. Enabling choice campaigns, field marketing, tradeshows, events, gives customers more creative freedom industry marketing and solutions marketing and allows them to tailor their furniture to their space.

Of course, this is hardly a new trend. Apple with technology, Harley-Davidson with motorcycles, Nike with shoes and many other consumer goods companies have been empowering customers to personalize products to their own tastes for years. The mass-customization concept has accelerated over the past 15 years and continues to gain momentum, quite notably in home furnishings. Resources for designing and With recent advancements in technology, it customizing your home are more accessible is getting much easier and more economical for companies to offer this self-design You’ve got the website and social media, than ever. concept. In the simplest form, this online and even iPads in your store. Take it to the Furniture and home furnishings manu- technology enables customers to drape next level with Nigam’s suggestions in the facturers have traditionally developed a variety of fabrics on a product frame story for online enhancement. products based on buying patterns and or select the finish color on case goods, their interpretation of consumer trends. which ultimately helps convert shoppers • Extend customization options As shoppers have embraced the use of the into buyers. To make the experience more • Outfit your website with accessories internet as an important part of shopping meaningful to shoppers, sellers must have and purchasing furniture, many of today’s an online platform where customers can • Provide an online room planner with helpful tips leading home furnishings manufacturers also easily choose from a variety of styling are finding new ways to delight consumers and accessories options using a simple • Offer self-design options online with by putting some of the design, comfort step-by-step process. In addition, highly real-time images and functional choices in the hands of the realistic and real-time visualization of the buyer. Importantly, manufacturers are also personalized products is essential to suc- • Give your buyer plenty of choices leveraging this concept to increase profits. ceeding with online shoppers and buyers.

Straight to the Point

JANUARY | 2014


Product Focus

by Walt Bader

At the fall 2013 High Point Market, the High Point Market Authority enlisted the help of several Style Spotters to scour showrooms looking for the latest hot products and coolest new looks. Here, we offer you their expert perspectives as they consider the styles and colors that are defining home fashion. Organic Glamour

cheerful hues bringing smiles in three different color stories: strong vibrant colors juxtaposed in blocks with white or a contrasting shade; vibrant colors in highly patterned or geometric designs; and on the softer side, color broadcast through hue-infused brushstrokes reminiscent of impressionist watercolors. Zeller favored this softer sensibility, calling for gorgeous layers of subtle shades.

The Well-Dressed Man Comes Home Lisa Ferguson and Jennings Wiebe noted that the haberdasher’s wares are emerging as a design inspiration. Wiebe saw the sharpdressed man arrive in daringly masculine interiors while Ferguson welcomed collections influenced by polished yet wearable menswear.

Brass and Wood are Back Fairly feels the trend pendulum swinging back to the classic, like the timeless combination of dark wood grain and softly glowing brass, as well as pieces with jewelry-like brass adornments. Stacy Naquin also saw brass and gold coming on in a big way. Noting that golden hues add a luxe vibe no other material can offer, Mende tells us to expect this trend to continue rising in importance.

Three Style Spotters found a fabulous fusion of natural materials in glamorous furnishings. Janel Laban of Apartment Therapy sees this trend as our desire to protect and nurture nature evolving into an exalted design direction. For Traci Zeller, natural elements in choice pieces satisfy the urban dweller’s need to connect with the outdoors. Offering examples, Michelle Jennings Wiebe cited burled and exotic woods combined with golden and bronze metals, Everyday Luxury as well as agate, malachite, lapis, onyx, bone and shells displayed Laban identified an embrace of decorations that make time at home in enthralling pieces. a luxurious treat, with subtle sheen, luminous materials, a touch of luxe texture and chic details as this trend’s hallmarks. Ferguson A Full Spectrum of Color Choices saw the idea expressed in layered pieces whose multiple textures Color trends spanned from strong and vibrant to soft and subtle. draw you in and then invite you to explore unfolding dimenShay Geyer saw the full range in shades of blue varying from stun- sions of luxury. Looking at how pieces were decorated, Naquin ning peacock and cobalt on one end to understated slate and moon- loved the way nail heads were used to dress up compositions that light hues on the other. Lisa Mende agreed that we should look might otherwise be plain and found fretwork making bold design for more blue in spring but also tracked an up-swinging trend of statements that served as focal points for entire interiors. If you’re highly saturated reds, pinks, and oranges. Tobi Fairley heard the call looking for jewelry for the home, though, Mende suggests you look of quiet tones in the pairing of a soft amethyst shade with a milky, toward lighting, where today’s trends incorporate agate, gold chains, light jadeite green. Jennings Wiebe offered an expansive view of macramé, beads and medallions into exceptionally luxurious looks. 58

JANUARY | 2014

In all, these Style Spotters point to a season of cheerful colors, warm gold and brass finishes, luxurious decorating details, nature made glamorous and a tilt toward the masculine with a nod to classic styling. We can’t wait to see how these ideas evolve yet again at the Spring High Point Market, April 5-10, 2014—and we look forward to seeing you there!

About Our Style Spotters Michelle Jenning Wiebe, Studio M (, @studiom) Stacy Naquin, Stacy Naquin Interiors (, @stacynaquin) Tobi Fairley, Tobi Fairley & Associates (, @tobifairley) Shay Geyer, IBB Design (, @designershay) Lisa Mende, Lisa Mende Design (, @lisamendedesign) Lisa Ferguson, DecorMentor (, @decormentor) Traci Zeller, Traci Zeller Designs (, @tracizeller) Janel Laban, Apartment Therapy (, @janellaban) Content provided by the High Point Market Authority. images ©VanderVeen Photographers





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Next Gen NOW Member Spotlight


he furniture industry gets younger every year. In order to embrace the new generation of retailers and welcome them into the business, RetailerNOW features a different member of the Next Generation NOW social network in every issue. Next Generation NOW is the premiere social scene for the new era of furniture professionals. Join the conversation at!

For this month’s spotlight, we introduce 35-year-old Lael Thompson, Chief Operations Officer at Broyhill Home Collections in Denver, Colorado.

: Tell me about your industry history. LT: My parents started the company when I was 5, so pretty much

as long as I can remember, I’ve been exposed to the furniture industry. It was everything that accompanies growing up in a family business, from helping assemble and deliver things to cleaning around the store. One of the unique things about our history as a store is that we specialized in unpainted furniture. You could either pick the stains and the materials and complete the project yourself, or we had a finishing department where we would actually finish things for you. It was the original roots of this industry, which was all solid wood, American-made products.

: How have you seen the industry change throughout your life? LT: It’s changed tremendously. The industry used to have a very

deep passion for influencing peoples’ lives at home, and it focused on the end experience that was facilitated through the product. Over time, especially as things have shifted towards imports, the industry really became more about pushing the commodity. The focus shifted from the end experience that would be delivered through the product to just simply focusing on a product at a price. Now it’s kind of become a race to the bottom to see who can make what the cheapest and the industry has lost sight of the role it plays to the end user.

: What do you think needs to be done to get the industry back to where it was, knowing it’s relying on foreign products? Next Generation NOW (NGN or Next Gen NOW) is a community of young, passionate and engaged home furnishings professionals. Next Gen NOW seeks to give a voice to the unique needs of future generations entering the workforce to educate the industry on how to attract and keep young talent. Connect with members online at or on twitter @ngnow.


JANUARY | 2014

LT: We get so focused on the specific details of running our businesses, and I think we need to focus more on that end consumer and the experience we’re providing. In the welcome video for our website, I talk to the public about how when you buy the products, you’re not just simply buying an item to fill a room. These items serve a purpose. Like on Thanksgiving. We’re all going to huddle up around this table. And that table is facilitating these life moments, these lifelong memories. If the industry focused more on the role it plays with the people who are buying the products, then the public would find more value in what we offer.

Next Gen NOW Member Spotlight

When you look at the industries that are doing the best or the industries that stayed strong through the recession, they were the industries that had more of a connection to the consumer and what the consumer was going to be rewarded with experiencewise for having bought that product. We have to get back to delivering and showing the customer what it is we’re doing to improve their lives, and then they’ll look at us as a worthy place to spend that dollar.

: Do you think that the furnishings industry is headed back in that direction?

: Do you think those are the biggest challenges facing store owners today? LT: I think those are probably right up at the top. The challenge

is that it’s self-fulfilled prophecy. We drop prices, we run thinner margins and it reduces our ability to do the things we want to do. So what happens is we’re working harder for less. You have to sell more $200 dressers to make up for the one $400 dresser you used to sell. When we drop our numbers, we have to work a lot harder and do a lot more to make the same amount of money.

MH: I don’t see the industry as a whole moving that way. The

: What advice do you have for older retailers?

industry, at this point, is still finding its way to race to the bottom. MH: I would remind them that things constantly change and In High Point, Jerry Epperson went through analytical data that although their past experience is valued and valuable, it’s not the showed we’re selling furniture at its highest value proposition only way to get things done. When times got tough in the recesthan we ever have. We walked backwards in pricing. Our industry sion, a lot of the retailers fell back to what they knew worked in defies inflation. So the numbers tell us that we’re not focusing on the past, but it didn’t necessarily work as well now. I believe the any other aspect than trying to do it cheaper and cheaper and statistic was that during the recession, the furniture industry lost cheaper. But look at how many retailers it’s put out of business. one out of four stores nationwide. The attrition level through There are only a certain number of retailers who can survive at this last recession was the heaviest this industry has ever seen, such razor-thin margins. So that race to the bottom has actually including the Great Depression. But I think part of what caused done a significant amount of damage to the livelihood and value that was a resistance to change and the fact that they were going of this industry. For people that have spent decades in or grew up to do what they knew, but not try new things. They have to get in the industry, we remember times when the relationship aspect out of that “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality. That was was the core driving force of the industry. And on the back end based on an old business model. To try and do the same thing of the industry, we still experience that between ourselves, but I in a new business model is like trying to put a square peg in a think we’ve lost that connection with the public. round hole. Not everything is going to be perfect all the time,

JANUARY | 2014


Next Gen NOW Member Spotlight

but we have to learn to try things, but be smart about it so that if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t sink you. They have to embrace the change and welcome the technology and find ways that they can be successful with it. The other thing is that almost anyone who’s great in this industry, if you ask them if they had somebody who made a difference in their furniture career, someone who took them under their wing and gave them a leg up, or mentored them or gave some advice that changed things for them, almost anyone you talk to is going to have someone that did that for them. So I would urge them to make sure they’re doing that for the next generation coming in. Find a way to contribute into these new people who are going to carry on the traditions.

:What benefits do you see in Next Generation NOW? LT: The major ones are being able to find a friendly resource to

help you get plugged in. There’s this kind of network, and that network shares influence, information and best practices. Those

people stay on top because they stay abreast of what’s relevant and what’s working. What I love about Next Gen is that it’s providing an opportunity for young people to get plugged in and access all those resources. We can provide education, networking, information and best practices. Back in 2004 or 2005, we started the concept of this program, and the gist behind it was that we wanted to see young people who came into the industry stay in the industry. A lot of young people come into the industry and after two or three years, they’ll burn out and go elsewhere. They have challenges and problems and frustrations they encounter, and if they don’t get past them, that’s when they leave. We’re able to help people become successful and rooted and planted in this industry sooner. A lot of entrepreneurs, it takes a long time before they get it right. They had to get out there and do it and fail and find what worked, and there was a lot of energy and time and resource that was lost in that process. So what Next Gen can do is avoid that headache. If you have someone telling you, “don’t put your hand on the stove, it’s hot,” they save you the frustration and pain of getting burned. In this industry, we can come in and basically help people be more successful quicker and avoid the burnout—and hopefully have a little fun doing it at the same time.

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See us at:

Las Vegas Market January 26 - 30, 2014

Community Today

Markus Meixner, CEO and founder of ViewAR (

Mike Gustin, director of interactive print services for Quad/Graphics (

Neal Applefeld, founder and CEO of SeeMore Interactive (

How Augmented Reality Can Deliver A 3D Experience Like No Other

By Megy Karydes


e asked three leaders providing augmented reality (AR) solutions to businesses to help us understand how this new technology can help the furniture industry deliver a better buying experience for customers while increasing the bottom line. : Describe AR to those who’ve never heard of

the technology.

NA: AR is an innovative technology that enables a user to trig-

ger interactive digital content simply by viewing an image with their mobile device. This includes 2D, 3D animation and video. Think about the hologram projected from R2D2 in Star Wars. It’s a little different than that, but just as cool.

MG: AR converts static, computer-generated images into engaging, interactive experiences. Those interactive images can be overlaid onto nearly any background canvas, creating additional advertising and business opportunities where previously there were none.

: What types of companies have embraced this

technology and why?

MG: All types of companies have embraced this technology,

which is still in its infancy. Its possibilities are being explored by all types of clients we serve, from retailers to catalogers, direct marketers, magazine publishers and their advertisers, book publishers, even companies that buy consumer packaging. AR is especially valuable to retailers because they can use it to show product features and options, assembly instructions and more.

MM: There are many companies that already understand the

tremendous potential of AR solutions. We are seeing AR activity


JANUARY | 2014

in furniture, automotive, print and publishing, advertising, construction, real estate, consumer packaged goods and many other industry verticals. ViewAR’s clients in the furniture sector include BUTLERS, KARE Design, Artelia, Mahler Möbel and Fama, just to name a few. We have also developed an application for previewing fireplaces that is in use by companies like Vauni, Ecosmart and Brunner. Apps for painting companies like Mantiburi are currently in production, and Leeb, Europe’s largest balcony manufacturer and producer, is offering our AR app to their salespeople to help them show clients how their balconies would look in their homes. Leeb is finding significant cost savings through use of AR. Prior to using the ViewAR app, their sales people had to visit client sites at least twice before receiving a customer decision. By using the Leeb ViewAR app, they are securing customer orders in a single visit, which reduces their costs and shortens their sales cycles. In addition, multiple styles of balconies can be shown easily with just a few clicks, when in the past, somebody at the office had to design a preview for each balcony option based on the measurements that were taken on the first visit.

: How can furniture retailers and/or manufacturers and wholesalers apply augmented technology to their daily business practices? MG: AR experiences are limited only by the creator’s imagination. Customers can:

`` Take a picture of their living room and, utilizing AR, overlay it with different combinations of furniture and accessories before making a purchase.

Community Today

`` Use the actual dimensions of their home to visualize how appliances will fit before they buy. `` Access step-by-step assembly and setup instructions. `` Review 3D visuals of products, including fabric options, from a printed page (which could be a catalog page, retail advertising insert, direct mailer or in-store signage) before purchasing. As a retailer, manufacturer or wholesaler, you could link product images to QR codes so that boxes can be scanned without opening to verify contents, or invoices can be scanned to confirm product type or other details.

MM: AR visualization tools can be used to support sales and marketing efforts both in the shop or showroom, or back at home in the customer site.

It is difficult for most people to imagine how different furniture items might look in their living rooms. ViewAR apps help people see how different furniture items would appear in their home or work environment. A furniture company can offer a catalog of an entire collection that a customer can then preview in actual size. Customers can select from different colors, fabrics and patterns, and they can even piece together modular pieces and preview them. With the ViewAR Assembler tool, modular items like furniture sets can be built, configured and previewed where they might be placed. This is brand new technology, and we are unaware of anyone else being able to do this. For example, one of ViewAR’s furniture clients is using a ViewAR application in combination with their online furniture catalog. From the catalog, a user scans a QR code, the app loads and they see that piece of furniture in 3D right in front of them. They can see multiple pieces at once and can design an entire room if they like. They can also save a picture of the room they designed with new furniture and share it via email or social media. The app also saves the user’s preferences, and can populate a shopping cart with those preferences should they be ready to place an order.

NA: Apps like this remove stress from the buying process, plus it reduces costly returns and increases the speed of purchase.

We also believe AR technology can help eliminate showrooming, which has become a real threat for some brick-and-mortar retailers as ecommerce and mobile technology have converged. In fact, statistics have indicated a 156 percent increase since 2012. Integrating AR can help retailers re-engage their consumers and turn their in-store displays, point-of-sale materials, direct mail, catalogs and other physical collateral into a digital, interactive experience. In addition to browsing and shopping in-store, consumers

See ViewAR’s app in action! http://youtube.viewar. com/?video=assembler-sofa&con=CON20082 can unlock coupons and special discounts, create wish lists, add items to their virtual closet, solicit feedback from their friends and share with their social networks right from their smartphone. With AR, a user can see merchandise in-store, but then re-engage with it at home or see how it would look in their space.

: How can a company use this technology and measure its success? What tools exist to see whether it’s working for them? MG: By overlaying digital buttons on a static image, a company

can seamlessly connect print to the digital world and track a consumer’s experience once that connection is made. This provides immediate insight. Many of our clients are using buttons that encourage consumers to “buy now,” linking them directly to their website’s checkout function. Others use buttons to “share on social media,” which is great for user-endorsed/word-of-mouth advertising. Buttons can link to AR experiences, such as 3D images of a product, and also to photos, videos, articles, an online shopping portal or website, and more.

The really great thing about AR is it delivers sophisticated analytics, so you have clear, actionable data. You can track and quantify data in real time so you know exactly how your campaign is performing. At Quad/Graphics, we have a secure, dynamic web app that delivers campaign response data in easy-to-understand graphics and figures, with customization and export options readily available.

MM: ViewAR has an integrated user action tracking system. This means that our clients can know exactly how many users have downloaded their ViewAR app and how many objects their customers have downloaded. In addition, our advanced metadata and integration capabilities allow us to integrate with catalogs on the front end, or purchasing processes on the back end, and this allows us the ability to further measure conversion statistics. NA: When a retailer mails out a printed promotion or coupon,

they get limited data back. However, if they integrate those promotions and coupons with AR, they can get access to a broader scope of insights, like how long someone looked at an ad or whether they downloaded a coupon. They can also gain invaluable feedback about their catalogs and other collateral. Shopping is also a social experience, and AR can enable shoppers to share their items or even create comprehensive wish lists that can be shared and tracked on social media.

Megy Karydes is a freelance writer who covers retail, travel and food for outlets such as USA Today, Daily Herald and numerous trade magazines. Connect with her at

JANUARY | 2014


Emerging Technology

The ROI is clear. As reported by Crate&Barrel in a recent Chicago Business article, the average order size increases 300 percent when using the 3D Room Designer.


JANUARY | 2014

Emerging Technology


It’s time for furniture retail in 3D! by Arjen Jelsma


he furniture retail market is a highly competitive one. With the economy climbing again retailers are exploring new ways to reconnect to the customer. E-commerce has taken a big flight in recent years, and order online/pick up in store is becoming a commodity fast. Conversely retail brick-and-mortar sales channels are flat or have a slight increase and it is predicted that this will be the same in 2014. So how can a furniture retailer get all of their channels moving in the right direction? Think 3D—movies, printing and screen. The next step for 2014 in customer connection is 3D visualization of furniture, in the actual room of the customer.

3D is Hot; Personalization is a Must Does that sound like the distant future? It is not. 3D printing is hot right now. Even though the technology is 30 years old, mass customer adoption is at hand due to technological improvements. Together with the rise of 3D movies and television it is safe to say; 3D is hot. How can furniture retailers benefit from this perfect storm? Wouldn’t it be great for a customer shopping for a new sofa, rug, chair and lamp to see how it will look in their house before they purchase? Not a bad idea right? And wouldn’t it empower the store associate to better personally assist the customer? It would.

Omni-Channel 3D Experiences 3D design tools like AutoCad are very capable in creating complex 3D representations of a room or product. However, these are specialist tools for specialist designers and are not suited for the average Jane or Joe. The idea behind these tools is to create a relevant experience for the customer. And the experience is what the customer demands these days, preferably in an omni-channel fashion on all devices, with an integrated and engaging customer experience. If a retailer is able to show a 3D representation of their products, in a 3D rendered photograph of the customer’s room, over multiple integrated devices both online and in-store, then the customer gets the personal experience it demands.

JANUARY | 2014


Emerging Technology

It’s time for furniture retail in 3D!

Crate&Barrel and LOFT by NedSense Providing this ultimate customer experience is a technological challenge. Not many software providers offer the entire package. Either their omni-channel integration lacks, or the 3D rendering of a product isn’t optimal or the room it projects it in isn’t 3D at all. There might however be one or two exceptions. Crate&Barrel is using technology in-store and online to provide an outstanding 3D representation of products, and is able to project these in a 3D visualization of the actual room of the customer, based on one photograph. The company’s 3D Room Designer allows customers to use this technology over multiple channels and empowers the store associate to assist in-store. Not only does the customer get an amazing and (most of all) relevant experience, the retailer also benefits. By providing the experience over all channels, the customer is able to enter the sales cycle at any point, and continue to stay at the same supplier. These solutions embrace showrooming and webrooming rather

than fight it by giving the customer the opportunity to do this on solutions provided by the retailer. The ROI is clear. As reported by Crate&Barrel in a recent Chicago Business article, the average order size increases 300 percent when using the 3D Room Designer. Technologies such as this are changing the face of furniture retail, and will flourish in 2014. 3D software is able to create a “wow” experience and connect to the customer in a relevant way, anytime and anywhere. For 2014 and beyond, 3D software technology is emerging as the next step. Arjen Jelsma is Marketing Manager at the Holland-based company LOFT NedSense. LOFT provides 3D software for the furniture retail and manufacturing market.

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Emerging Technology

Go Mobile ``One out of every 10

stores contained at least one mobile enhancement to the retail experience. That means one out of 10 stores promoted a mobile campaign like QR codes or a Facebook page within their stores through printed material.

According to a December 2012 mobile retail engagement survey of 223 brands in four Boston malls:

``36% of the mobile

enhancements offered loyalty programs for customers.

``59% of retailers promoted the campaign in the front window of the store through display art or signs.

``82% of the

campaigns prompted customers to scan a QR code and 23% directed shoppers to text a code in an instant message.

The majority of the campaigns were directed towards young female shoppers. (All statistics courtesy of Nellymoser, a mobile marketing and technology company.)

“The results are way beyond what we would have been satisfied with and actually achieved what we ultimately hoped for - an empty store and money in the bank!” Allan Bragg Bragg’s EA Gallery, An Authorized Ethan Allen Retailer, Huntsville, AL November 25th, 2013 Contact us today or visit our website for a complete outline of our legendary Sale Plans, and receive a special Lynch Centennial gift to commemorate our 100-year Anniversary.

A Century of Integrity and Results.

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Copyright 2014 Lynch Brothers Licensing Corporation

Copyright 2014 Lynch Brothers Licensing Corporation

JANUARY | 2014



Our Association gratefully recognizes all of our supporters whose dedication and committment has strengthened our industry. ACA/Advertising Concepts of America AICO/Amini Innovation Corp. American Express American Leather Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. Aspenhome Associated Volume Buyers Becker Designed, Inc. Bernards, Inc. Best Buy for Business Best Home Furnishings Braxton Culler, Inc. Cargo Consolidation Services Century Furniture Coaster Company of America Cory Home Delivery Service DĂŠcor-Rest Furniture Ltd. Diakon Logistics DSI Companies Ekornes Elements International Elite Leather Emerald Home Furnishings Fairmont Designs Flexsteel Furniture of America Furniture Wizard GE Capital Great American Furniture Services Guardian Products Guardsman/The Valspar Corp.

Harden Furniture Company High Point Market Authority Holland House Homelegance USA HFB Magazine Horich Hector Lebow Advertising Consulting Services, Inc. Innovative Delivery Systems Jofran Sales, Inc. Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate, Inc. Kincaid King Hickory Furniture Co Lane Home Furnishings Lazar Industries Lea Leggett & Platt Liberty Furniture Lifestyle Enterprises Linon Home DĂŠcor Products Magnussen Home Mail America Massood Logistics Med-Lift Mobility MicroD, Inc. Mohawk Finishing Products, Inc. Myriad Software Natuzzi Americas, Inc. NetSertive Nourison Industries Okinus Credit Solutions Pacific Furniture Dealers

Phoenix A.M.D. International, Inc. PROFITsystems Protect-A-Bed Restonic Mattress Corp. Sandberg Furniture SAP Retail Serta Mattress Companies Simmons Shock Watch Sleep-Ezz Source International, Inc./4 Sales Finance Sphinx by Oriental Weavers Standard Furniture Steve Silver Co. STORIS Surya The TV Shield The Uttermost Company Tidewater Finance Company Trendwood, Inc. Tropic Survival Advertising & Marketing TruckSkin, LLC Twin Star/Classic Flame United Furniture Industries Valassis, Inc. Vaughan Furniture Co. Versatile Systems Wahlquist Management Corporation World Market Center Zenith Global

To become an industry partner contact: North American Home Furnishings Association 800.422.3778 or email:

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Five Retail Marketing Resolutions That Rock For 2014


’m sure throughout 2013, you have asked yourself about social media, online shopping, the younger generation and knowing your market. These are all things that will affect your company in one way or another in 2014. The best way to learn and grow is to roll up your sleeves and study how these things work.

We encourage you to start today and commit to these five resolutions that will rock your business and personal world for years to come:

  Use Social Media Make a resolution for 2014 to create a personal profile on social media. 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.

  Buy Online As you decide how to implement e-commerce (or if you want to) in your business, make 12 personal purchases from various industries and online sellers in 2014. Study the strengths and weaknesses of your personal shopping experience, from the product catalog, ease of checkout, delivery options, follow-up and customer service.

  Get Ready for Gen Y Generation Y is coming of age. Born between 1982 and 2000, this is the largest generation of consumers ever (bigger than the Baby Boomers) and they will be the dominant consumer force for your future. As these millennials begin to enter the marketplace as both consumers and employees, be poised to capture their attention. Study up on Gen Y personality, media, lifestyle, buying habits, pop culture and work ethic.

  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 down economy to envision the customer you want to buy from you by doing your homework utilizing census website The new year is for growth and forward momentum. With these five resolutions in action, your business will be poised to thrive like never before. 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 at or email us at

JANUARY | 2014


Government Relations

Government Relations

Don’t Sit on the Sidelines

“Individual commitment to a group effort— that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”— Vince Lombardi Lombardi is lauded by many as one of the greatest football coaches of all time; his ability to teach, motivate and inspire was unquestionable. Individual commitment to a group effort is not only important on sports teams—it’s what transforms grassroots efforts of all kinds into effective change. It all starts with one voice. The North American Home Furnishings Association’s (NAHFA) Government Relations Action Team (GRAT) is a prime example of individuals who share a passion coming together to make a difference in our industry and for your businesses. Our team calls attention to the issues that affect home furnishings retailers by educating retailers and lawmakers about the ways laws and regulations shape the business climate. We also partner with other industry groups to raise our collective voices in Washington, D.C., and champion the causes—both legislative and regulatory—that influence business. Anyone can get involved and make a difference, whether you join a group effort to affect national change or advocate on a local level. The biggest roadblocks are thinking you don’t have the time to invest in government relations, that your plate is already full of other commitments, or worse, that government relations don’t really matter that much to your business.


JANUARY | 2014

HOT Issues The NAHFA GRAT and lobbyists are monitoring these issues for its members:

• Marketplace Fairness Act (sales tax for online sales) • EPA regs regarding formaldehyde and CPSC regs regarding flammability in furniture • Swipe fees (debit card) • Tax reform • Employee/labor regulations • Employee Free Choice Act (card check; allowing for the formation of unions)

By Lisa Casinger

more involved than you realize and taking the next step isn’t as big a leap as you might think. `` Do you vote in your local and national elections? You’re involved. `` Do you have a personal connection or relationship with elected officials? Make them aware of your business and of your concerns as their constituent the next time you run into them at a social event or invite them to a store or town business function. `` Are you a member of your town council, chamber of commerce or other local business group? You’re involved. `` Do you write letters or call your elected officials, letting them know how their votes on certain bills affect your business and thereby their constituents? You’re involved.

Getting involved in government relations— Full Plate? We Can Help or even just paying attention to and using You’re in business to sell furniture and keep the information available to you—isn’t your customers happy. You have employees necessarily about politics. to deal with and inventory to manage and paperwork to tackle and markets to attend and a million other things to do. Keeping You Have Time Regardless of the size of your business, up with what’s going on in Washington, average annual sales or number of D.C., or your state capitol isn’t really on employees, government affects your your to-do list. That’s where we come in. business. You pay taxes. You are required The NAHFA is keeping tabs on all of the to have business licenses and permits and issues for you. Not only that, when you do adhere to city, state and national laws and need to take action, we can help. Members receive monthly emails with updates on regulations. what’s going on, what’s important and what Even if you are the smallest retailer in the (if any) action needs taking. Basically all smallest town in the smallest state you have that’s required of you is to take 10 minutes, time to get involved. In fact, you may be once a month, to read an email.

Government Relations

“Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” —Vince Lombardi

Government Relations Don’t Matter? `` Do you collect and remit the same sales taxes as online/remote retailers? `` Are you frustrated with the credit/debit card exchange fees? `` Are legislators in your state considering raising the minimum wage? `` Are you required to provide access to healthcare? `` Do you know how tax reform could affect you?

Navigating just one of these topics would take up valuable time—but you can’t afford not to be informed on any of these issues. More importantly, by taking the time to write a letter or visit with a law maker or join a group to raise your voice, you could actually help influence the laws and regulations that get passed and ultimately favorably affect the business climate we all work in. As Vince said, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society.” Let’s work together.

Lisa Casinger is NAHFA’s government relations liaison. You can reach her at or (800) 422-3778.

Produced by:


Make the World A More Interactive Place


M A Y 2 7  2 9 , 2 0 14

The Scoop

the scoop What’s going on with our retailers across the country

vvIn Rememberance Jack Brisebois, long-time furniture advertising executive with Banker & Brisebois Company, died at his home in Plymouth, Mich., on December 4, 2013, at the age of 90. After serving in the Navy during WWII, Jack joined his father’s advertising agency, Evans & Brisebois, which produced advertising slicks for furniture retailers and manufacturers. In the early 1960s, Evans & Brisebois was bought by R.C. Banker & Company, an agency also specializing in furniture advertising, creating the new Banker & Brisebois agency. Jack stayed on with the new company as a key account executive working with retailers across the country and developing dealer support advertising materials for many manufacturers including Flexsteel, Action Lane, Lane, Norwalk, Peters-Revington, Chromcraft, Style Craft (Klaussner), Catnapper, Franklin, Elran, Crawford of Jamestown and Jamison Bedding, to name a few. Jack retired from Banker & Brisebois Advertising in 1992. Jack is survived by his wife of 66 years, two sons and a daughter, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many friends. The family has asked that those wishing to make a memorial donation do so to the benefit of the American Red Cross Blood Bank.

vvWolf’s Consignment Concept Secures First Licensee The perceived benefits of pairing furniture consignment and first quality retail are now a shared vision for Doug Wolf and his partners at Allegheny Furniture Consignment (AFC). Wolf ’s consignment concept has secured its first license agreement with Delaware furniture powerhouse Johnny Janosik Furniture, based in Laurel, Del. Janosik serves customers from Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, coastal Virginia, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Johnny Janosik CEO Dave Koehler said that like Wolf ’s, “We frequently have our customers ask us, ‘What can we do with our existing furniture? Where can we get rid of it? Can I get something for it?’ The consignment business is a perfect companion and provides a competitive edge for first-quality furniture stores. It’s a profitable added service.” Janosik will use the AFC software, operating system and website for its new store, to be named Delmarva Furniture Consignment. Koehler hopes to be open in early 2014.Wolf also has plans to open a second AFC location in the first quarter of 2014. According to Wolf, AFC has nearly two dozen other furniture retailers, including six in the top 100, who have shown interest in the AFC license program.

Originally, Jack’s father, Lester Brisebois, and Frank Evans were employees of R.C. Banker Company when Mr. Banker founded the company in 1912. Mr. Brisebois and Mr. Evans split from R.C. Banker to form their own company, Evans & Brisebois. The purchase of Evans & Brisebois by R.C. Banker & Company in the early 1960s reunited the two largest furniture advertising specialists in the industry. Banker & Brisebois Advertising is located in Troy, Michigan. Banker & Brisebois can be reached at (800) 456-0210 and would welcome hearing from those in the industry who have stories to share about Jack; ask for Harry or Lee Gilmore, or email lee.


JANUARY | 2014

The Scoop

vvKurt L. Darrow Receives Home Furnishings Industry’s Highest Service Award Kurt L. Darrow, chairman, CEO and president of La-Z-Boy Inc., Monroe, Mich., has received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA). The award was presented Friday, November 15, during the organization’s 2013 Annual Meeting. AHFA’s Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually for the past 47 years. Recipients are noted for their contributions to the industry, to the AHFA and to their local communities.

vvGot Sleep? Partners With Nothing But Nets to Send Mosquito Nets to Africa Every 60 seconds, a child in Africa dies due to malaria, a disease that is often contracted at night. In an effort to protect families from mosquito-borne malaria, Got Sleep? has partnered with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. As an innovative new specialty sleep store that assists on-the-go mall shoppers in alleviating their common sleep problems, Got Sleep? aims to help customers achieve their best rest. Families in areas with high rates of malaria live in constant fear of contracting this mosquito-borne disease. The easiest and most cost-effective method of prevention is by using long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets that protect families from the potentially deadly bite of a mosquito while they sleep. For each sleep system purchased in Got Sleep? stores, the company will donate funds to Nothing But Nets for two insecticide-treated bed nets. Each net will protect one family from mosquito bites, allowing them to sleep safely and soundly.

Darrow has served as CEO of La-Z-Boy for the past eight years, during which he has been heralded by Wall Street as a turnaround specialist. Under his leadership the company’s operating platforms were transformed, fueling enhanced efficiencies and industryleading performance against a backdrop of sales declines and “Giving back is core to the culture of our company,” said Mike losses that were endemic throughout the furniture industry. He Wilson, executive vice president of marketing for Got Sleep?. “We were compelled by the stories of these families who can’t sleep was named La-Z-Boy’s chairman in 2011. without concern for their health and wellbeing, and our ability Darrow is known for his keen understanding of global markets, to help do something about it. Working alongside the United plus his expertise in the development and execution of lean operat- Nations Foundation and in collaboration with the Nothing But ing practices. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO in Nets campaign, we are hoping to donate more than 1,300 nets 2003, he was president of La-Z-Boy Residential, the flagship brand by the end of the year.” and largest division of La-Z-Boy Inc. During his 30 years with the company, it has grown from a brand known primarily for its Since 2006, the Nothing But Nets campaign, working with its reclining chairs to one of the world’s leading residential furniture UN partners, has delivered more than 7 million bed nets and continues giving back by partnering with companies such as producers and retailers. Got Sleep? to raise awareness of the epidemic and encourage “He is known as an ardent mentor of rising business leaders and as donations to fund sending the nets to Africa. Malaria deaths fiercely loyal to friends and colleagues. Recognized as a dedicated have dropped by one-third in the past decade, thanks to the man of his word, he is a champion for his church, community continuous help from such donations. and numerous philanthropic interests,” said Ethan Allen chairman, CEO and president Farooq Kathwari in presenting the award “Got Sleep? is making sure families sleep comfortably—both here during a gala celebration attended by more than 40 AHFA board at home on a Got Sleep? sleep system or across Africa under a lifesaving bed net,” said Nothing But Nets director Chris Helfrich. members and their spouses. “It is through generous partnerships like this one that we’re able Darrow is a member of the board and executive committee of to help those most vulnerable stay safe from malaria.” Business Leaders for Michigan and served as chairman of AHFA’s Board of Directors in 2008. He has also been an executive board Got Sleep? has currently donated more than 690 nets. For more member of the Anti Defamation League’s Furniture Division and information on Got Sleep’s collaboration with the Nothing But Nets campaign, please visit first vice president of the American Furniture Hall of Fame.

JANUARY | 2014


Calendar Las Vegas Market January 26-30, 2014 Las Vegas, Nevada

KEM Furniture & Accessory Market February 3-5, 2014 Edison, New Jersey

Stockholm Furniture Fair February 4-8, 2014 Stockholm, Sweden


Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market March 7-9, 2014 Atlanta, Georgia

Dallas Total Home & Gift Market March 27-30, 2014 Dallas, Texas

Tupelo, Mississippi Cresent Waverly Collection


May 21-22, 2014 Long Beach, California

Home Furnishings Networking Conference June 1-3, 2014


Phoenix, Arizona


High Point Market

June 1-4, 2014

April 5-10, 2014

High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina

Tupelo Furniture Market February 6-9, 2014

KEM Furniture & Accessory Market


Dallas Total Home & Gift Market June 18-24, 2014 Dallas, Texas

Ad Index

Caracole Michelle Wiebe Featured at High Point Market



Image from Kincade Furniture







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Cargo Consolidation Services

(828) 459-3160


Connie Post

(304) 736-7283


Cresent Fine Furniture

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Furniture Wizard

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GE Capital

(800) 422-3778

High Point Market

(336) 869-1000


7, 9

IAS Training

(800) 248-7703



Jaipur Rugs

(404) 351-2360


Inside Back

Kincaid Furniture

(800) 438-8207



Las Vegas Market

(702) 599-9621




Lynch Sales

(616) 458-6662




(800) 964-3876


Back Cover

Next Generation-NOW

(800) 422-3778



North American HFA Sponsors

(800) 422-3778



Northwest Furniture Xpress

(828) 475-6377


(201) 368-6900




(909) 393-4400




(800) 888-5565



R&A Marketing

(888) 225-0776



Simple Finance

(800) 742-1789




(888) 4-STORIS




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Inside Cover

JANUARY | 2014


A quick dose of fun facts, random trivia and useful (or useless) bits of info

The Now List

Learning the Furniture Lingo

by Dana Helms

Think you know everything about furniture? Take our vocab quiz and put your knowledge to the test. Good Luck! Question: What is a bergère? A) French bread served with soup B) An enclosed upholstered French armchair C) A cover for a bed Correct answer: B. These chairs gained popularity in France during the 17th century. The term bergère means “shepardess” and the furniture was originally designed to move about the house depending on the event.

Ott om

an S

Question: What is a console table?


A) Where people gather to give comfort to those who are sad B) A table placed in a room to hold accessories, mail, keys, a handbag or other small items C) A table that specifically goes behind a sofa Correct answer: B. Console tables were originally decorative French pieces attached to a wall with an S-shaped bracket¬—aptly named a “console.”

Question: What is an étagère traditionally used for? A) Hold the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom B) Help you step up into tall beds C) Displaying ornaments on a number of open shelves Correct answer: C. Also called a whatnot, these shelves originated in France in the mid-1800s and were named after the French word for “shelf.”

Question: One of these is not like the other! Which term below is a type of sofa? A) Crest B) Bumper C) Knole Correct answer: C. A sofa can have a crest or bumper, but a knole sofa has adjustable sides and can be turned into a bed. The name comes from a 17th century formal two-person throne at Knole House in Kent, UK, which has high adjustable sides so royalty could sit and welcome visitors in privacy.

Question: Did you know, in Canada a chesterfield is a ___________? A) Sofa B) End table C) Ottoman Correct answer: A. In the UK, a chesterfield is a buttoned leather sofa. Canadians are much more lax on the rule—any type of sofa is called a chesterfield. The furniture is supposedly named after the Earl of Chesterfield in 1600s England.

How many did

Question: What do you use a pouf for? A) Apply make-up B) Dust the house C) Use as an ottoman

Pou f

you get right?

by S


Let us know

Correct answer: C. The word ottoman originated in the late 18th century when the French invaded Egypt (then a part of the Ottoman Empire). The invasion included physical punishment like "pain walks," which led the Ottomans to fashion footstools so they could rest their tired legs.

on Twitter, @

Question: A fauteuil is what type of furniture item?


A) Open-armed chair B) Rocker recliner C) Wooden sofa with fabric cushion

with the

Correct answer: A. The word fauteuil literally means “armchair” in French, and gained popularity in the 18th century as light yet ornate chairs, commonly used at desks and tables. 80

JANUARY | 2014

hashtag #furniturequiz!

Online Marketing & Technology Experts for the Home Furnishings Industry

Las Vegas Market Panel Discussion DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR SOCIAL SHARING Monday, January 27 @ 9 AM | Retailer Resource Center - Building B, 10th Floor Retailer to Retailer Panel Discussion on winning ways to use social media, blogging, and mobile to attract the next generation of consumers to your store. Numbers don’t lie: 62% of fortune 500 companies have stated that social media is necessary for business growth, 25% of shoppers are using mobile devices to access furniture info online, and 95% of small businesses view blogging as an effective marketing technology tool–second only to email marketing. Join MicroD and our expert panel as we discuss this essential form of online marketing and answer audience questions. #NGNow #millennials #MicroDinc #LVMkt

Furniture Industry Solutions  Websites

 Interactive Product Catalogs

 eCommerce  Room Planner  EDI

 iPad App for Sales Reps

The integrated company for the home furnishings world. MicroD has 20 years of proven success as a technology partner for retailers and manufacturers in the home furnishings industry. We’re a fast moving, big thinking company that drives business outcomes, builds customer loyalty, and furthers revenue growth.

Discover us. For more information email: or call: 800-964-3876

January 2014—Emerging Technology  

In this issue, we show retailers how to involve every customer in interactive experiences—not just the ones with smartphones. Your website a...

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