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JULY 2013



of management felt their company was above average at appreciation




of staff shared that sentiment


of those who do not feel treated with respect intend to leave within two years

of those who have been recognized by their employers love their job and are motivated




Monthly recognition

At least weekly recognition

let’s talk... eCommerce

1993 - 2013



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Retailer Benefits

Advantages Integration with MicroD’s ePiphany website platform gives the consumer detailed product information and encourages them to move from browsing to buying. Managed Services package includes analytics monitoring to manage marketing campaigns and website product placement to promote popular items online and increase their visibility. SEO & SEM service package includes monitoring and maintenance to increase website traffic.

• Offer Larger Selection Online vs. In-Store • SEO Sends Shoppers Directly to You • Dynamic Pricing Updates • Comprehensive Sales/Trend Analytics • Accepts Credit Cards, PayPal, etc.

Consumer Benefits • Hundreds of Merchandise Options • Less Pressure than In-Store Shopping • Product Filter, Search, & Compare • Shopper Product Reviews/Ratings • Safe & Secure Payment Processing

More Information Email: Call: 800-964-3876 Chat:

The retail furniture market is getting tougher each day.

pastel perfection Speaking softly, this broad trend in home dĂŠcor lifts a pale color palette to the forefront of design. Rugs, pillows and other accessories in muted shades such as mint and shell pink are a perfect match when paired with pale woods and natural elements.



Limelight 2025-40

Luxurious Gold Nacho Cheese 286 2018-40

Pink Peach 2009-40

Market Place Collection

Modern Classics CAN-2033


Jewel Tone JT-2056














garden party Home accessories get a new floral twist this season. Rugs, pillows and wall art interpret this perennial favorite with graphic scale and colorful patterns that complement contemporary and transitional living spaces.


SURYASOCIAL FOR MORE TRENDS FB-020 Electric Orange 2015-10

Seaweed 2035-10

Rhododendron 2079-50

Bright Yellow 2022-30

Peony 2079-30


Fallon FAL-1064

Alhambra ALH-5018


Sanderson SND-4507






Employee Appreciation

featuresNOW 12.

The Power of Appreciation


Unmotivated Staff


Praising Your Team to Success


An Interview with Paula Deen


HFIC Wrap-up


The Times are Changing


Tepperman's and Me


The Affordable Health Care Act


An Employee's Story

yourVOICE 09.

Roving Reporter HFIC


Fresh Perspectives

The Good New Days by Rick Howard


count onIT 04.

From the Association President The Importance of People





Membership Marketplace

From the Editor

Employee of the Month


Industry Scoop


Quick-Fire Marketing



Get in the Customer's Home

What's Selling Now


Industry Calendar


The Now List

on the cover

Employee Appreciation

To find our the five most common recognition mistakes look at page 60 J U LY | 2 0 1 3


thePlayers RetailerNOW

What we are so passionate about. . .

To have the courage to pursue purposeful dialogues that challenge conventional thinking, to engage and entertain our readers by delivering content that creates a fervent following ready to change the landscape of our industry. RetailerNOW is the magazine for today’s home furnishings professional. Developed for a specialized community, RetailerNOW brings a unique editorial focus on progressive and relevant issues concerning the home furnishings industry in the retailer’s voice, with a focus on issues impacting retailers NOW.

Contact Information:

500 Giuseppe Ct., Suite 6 Roseville CA 95678

Publication Staff Jennifer Billock Editor

Tim Timmons Associate Publisher

Mailing – Advertising 500 Giuseppe Ct., Suite 6 Roseville CA 95678

Cindi Williams Business Development

Online: Phone: Editorial: (800) 422-3778 Advertising: (800) 422-3778 Social:

Editorial Collaborators

Andrew Tepperman Tepperman's Windsor, ON

Subscription: $70/year RetailerNOW, ISSN# 2166-5249, is published monthly (except March and December) by the North American Home Furnishings Association, 500 Giuseppe Court, Ste 6, Roseville, CA 95678. Application to Mail at the Periodicals Postage Prices is Pending at Roseville, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please address changes to: RetailerNOW, The North American Home Furnishings Association, 500 Giuseppe Court, Ste 6, Roseville CA 95678. If you would like to stop receiving RetailerNOW, please send an email to If you would like to only receive an electronic version of RetailerNOW, please send an email to © 2012 North American Home Furnishings Association. Published by the North American Home Furnishings Association. Material herein may not be reproduced, copied or reprinted without prior written consent of the publisher. Acceptance of advertising or indication of sponsorship does not imply endorsement of publisher or the North American Home Furnishings Association. The views expressed in this publication may not reflect those of the publisher, editor or the North American Home Furnishings Association, and North American Retail Services Corp. Content herein is for general information only; readers are encouraged to consult their own attorney, accountant, tax expert and other professionals for specific advice before taking any action.

J U LY | 2 0 1 3

Published by the North American Home Furnishings Association 500 Giuseppe Court, Suite 6 Roseville, CA 95678 800.422.3778

Lisa Tilley Art Director

Mailing – Editorial:


Magazine of the North American Home Furnishings Association

Carol Bell Contents Interiors Tucson, AZ Donny Hinton Colortyme Gaffney, SC Marty Cramer Cramer’s Home Furnishings Ellensburg, WA Rick Howard Sklar Furnishings Boca Raton, FL Travis Garrish Forma Furniture Fort Collins, CO

North American Home Furnishings Association Sharron Bradley CEO 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.

GE Capital

WE’RE NOT JUST BANKERS, WE’RE BUILDERS. We help you build your business by finding the right financing solution for your customers. Robert Levin, president and CEO of Levin Furniture, shares that financing is an expectation of customers, and is essential to Levin’s marketing program. Kevin Murphy, relationship manager at GE Capital, uses his consumer credit expertise to help Levin offer customers a wide range of credit options. Winning in this market requires a financing company that can personally, and passionately, help you build your business. Stop just banking. And start building. YES. GE CAPITAL CAN HELP BUILD YOUR BUSINESS.

Kevin Murphy Relationship Manager, GE Capital

Robert Levin President & CEO, Levin Furniture

Credit is extended by GE Capital Retail Bank © 2013 General Electric Company. All Rights Reserved.

President's Message

from the president

How important are our people? We all know what it is like to have a nice meal spoiled by a waiter who is inattentive, rude and generally negative. When you arrived at the restaurant, you were probably in high spirits ready for a fun evening. As soon as the waiter with the attitude shows up, it is all downhill from there—you may even vow never to go back! Basically you had a lousy experience. The opposite is also true. A waiter with a great sense of humor, a good knowledge of the menu and the smarts to manage several customers at once will make your night. He may even overcome a dinner that was only so-so! Unfortunately this scenario is not limited to restaurants—the same thing happens in our stores every day. We work hard to make sure our showrooms are spic and span, well laid-out and merchandised to the nines. We advertise to attract people to our stores. We run promotions and special events. The average spent to get a customer into your store is between $400 and $600 per customer! The moment of truth comes in the few seconds after the customer first walks through the door. Being greeted by a person exuding energy and with a big smile on his or her face starts the gradual building of confidence that shows promise of leading to a sale. People buy into people before they ever buy furniture or design. Conversely, if the person does not make a favorable greeting or, worse yet, ignores the client altogether, then all of your preparation, hard work and money spent to bring them in is gone. You have no shot at all in helping that potential client who liked your store enough to make the effort to come to you. That client will also tell friends not to bother with your store as the staff is not helpful. Both scenarios are everyday occurrences in our business. Rick Howard, President North American HFA

It does not matter what business we are in. The rules are the same: Helpful, courteous service with polite enthusiasm added wins, time after time. I believe in this principal to my core and have often said if you have the best products in the world but have a weak team, you have no chance at success. If you have a great team and a subpar product, you will still achieve some success. But the real goal is to pair the best team with the best product, and then you have the recipe for GREAT success! All of our businesses run with teams of people, a chain that needs to be strong with all members pulling together in the same direction. The best employees we can find are only as good as the training we give them and the attention we pay to the details of interaction at each touch point in every process of our business. If we succeed in building a team that understands what it should do, is well trained, takes responsibility and projects confidence and enthusiasm, our customers will love them and, in turn, love our stores! Lastly and of equal importance, we need to take care of our team, providing them with a stimulating and fun work environment. When you put a group together that shines and loves what they are doing, the results are magical. So are people important? You bet!


J U LY | 2 0 1 3

Editor’s Message


Lemon Zest

African Violet


from the editor Jennifer's Summer Pantone Picks

Employee of the Month I’ve held a lot of jobs. Starting when I was 15 as a photographer at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill., I then moved on to such illustrious positions as waitress, receptionist, pastry chef, music teacher and catering manager, until I ended up where I am today—editor, writer, designer. These companies helped shape my life, just as I helped shape the success of those companies. And there’s the rub—a business is only as good as the staff it employs. You could sell the best product in the world, but if your workers are not engaged and enthusiastic, the company may not last. So take this opportunity right now to thank your employees. Show them a little value and appreciation. And then read through this issue and learn even more ways to show them how much they’re worth. After all, happy employees make a happy business. In the last issue, I asked everyone to send me something unique about themselves so we can all get to know each other a little better. Here’s one of the responses I received, from Sherry Sheely of Sheely’s Furniture and Appliance in North Lima, Ohio: Jennifer Billock, Editor, RetailerNOW

In 1974-75, I made periscopes for army tanks for Middle Eastern countries. Also, I was a dance instructor for Arthur Murray dance studios.

That’s incredible! I’m completely jealous because I can neither dance, nor make periscopes. Here’s another fact about me: I used to be a ghost hunter on a paranormal investigation team. You’d never have guessed, right? Keep the facts coming, everyone! This is a great opportunity to learn about your colleagues before they got into the furniture world. And we all know how far personal connection can take us in business!

(224) 627-3288 @retailerNOW

What I’m Loving At once a shelf and a cabinet, this versatile block of bamboo by designer Tessa Kuyvenhoven brings a unique style to storage. Want to put something in the cabinet? Push some sticks out and store the item in the open space. And on the other side of the block—instant extra table space. It’s practically a giant game of Jenga. For more information or to order the PixelTable, visit Follow other products I love on my blog and on Pinterest. Blog:


J U LY | 2 0 1 3

hristopher Guy,Anthony California, Inc.,Elements International Group, LLC,Silverado,Mastercraft Collec ions,,Safavieh, Inc.,Atlantic Furniture Inc.,Steve Silver Co,AIF Trading Group, LP,Perdue Woodworks,Legar urniture,Twin-Star Intl.,Mac Motion Chairs,Lane Home Furnishings,Vitra Furniture, Inc.,Broyhill Furnitur ndustries Inc,Marshfield Furniture,Stanley Furniture,Veneman Collections,Prestige Arts / Art Trends,Tw Over anaries,Dillon Wells, Las Vegas,Kravet Inc,HStudio by Shlomi Haziza,LMS 1,200 NEWDesign Group,PALECEK,Julia hichesterJuly / Mr. Brown,Four Hands,LEFTBANK A - A Global Views Company,Phi AND EXPANDED 29 - August 2, 2013ART,Global Views,Studio ps Collection,ELEGANT LIGHTING INC,Allegri by Kalco,Kalco Lighting,Trans-Ocean EXHIBITORS Import Co.,Eastern Leg TO DAY ’S TOTA L M A R KE T P L AC E and lines representingDesign,Elite the nds, Inc.,Capel Rugs Inc.,Norwalk Furniture ,Stylus, Made to Order Sofas,Cyan Home The * total home experience tre Seating,Omnia,Ratana Home and Floral,Yosemite Home Decor,Pacific Coast Lighting,LA Rug Inc./Fu Furniture | Home Décor | Gift Rugs Inc.,Lite Source, Inc.,Port to Port Import/Export,Coast to Coast Imports,Canaan,Lumisource,SAM Find more nternational,Artists Guild of America,Company C Inc,Grander Images,Somerset Studios,Chicago Textil FASHION-FORWARD orp,Howard Elliott Collection,Luminance,Accessories by Sherwood,Ashton Company (The),Worldly Good resources and discover 1.1 MILLION nc.,Stein World,Colorado Dallas, LLC,Fireside Lodge Furniture Co,Wooded River,Maxcera Corporation,Crys top designer picks square feet of new and al Art Gallery,Fangio Lighting,StyleCraft Home Collection,Crestview Collection,NOVA Lighting,Diamon expanded showrooms, tar Glass,Privilege International,Noble House, Inc.,AF Lighting / Florida Lighting, Inc,Fine Art Tapes categories and products Nearly International,FOUR ries,United Weavers America,Art & Frame Mart,Zeugma Import,Dimond/Elk Group spanningof furniture, * 900,000 décor and gift BRO,Adagio home Water Features,Wantech International/OK Lighting,The Light Garden,Imagination Mirrors square feet of new nc,Allstate Floral & Craft, Inc,Ren-Wil Inc.,Robert Abbey,IMAX Worldwide Imports,Mercana Art Decor and expanded Dynamic Rugs,Cal Lighting and Accessories,Summit Lighting,Americana Clockhome Company,Rhythm Cloc furnishings ompany,Homeview Design,Rizzy Home,Pacific Connections,Trend Lighting Group,Viz Inc,Centra showrooms,Glass categories * and products Oriental,Adesso Inc.,Import Collection, The,Jaunty Co., Inc.,Alpine Furniture,Cornett Enterprises, inc.,Sim mons Bedding Company,Inada Massage Chairs,Jobri, LLC.,Mantua Mfg,Manuta Mfg. Co.,Heritage Brands OVER 300 NEW ivision of home Intercon,Westwood Design,Intercon,Flexsteel Industries,LaCrosse Furniture Company,M. B. furnishings * brands added G. Marketing,Comfort Solutions,Classic Flame,Comfort Industries, Inc.,Tresanti / ClassicFlame,A-Amer a,Parker House Furniture,Homelegance,Bush Furniture Industries Inc.,Handy Living,Howard Miller Compa y,Hekman Furniture,winners only,Real Flame,Walker Edison Furniture Co.,Legends Furniture,Trendwoo nc.,Best Home Furnishings,Sandberg Furniture,Serta International,Lifestyle Solutions,Minhas Furnitur House Ltd.,Linon Home Decor Products,,Magnussen Home Inc./Ltd.,Ekornes Inc.,4D Concepts,Ultra Com ort America,Powell Company,Fairmont Designs,Guildcraft of California,Comfort Design,Klaussner Hom urnishings,Kinfine USA Inc,Dalyn Rug Corporation,AC Pacific Corporation,International Furniture D ect,Jofran Sales,Rug Factory Plus,New Classic Home Furnishings,Bedgear by Guard Master Inc.,Med-Lif & Mobility, Inc,Whalen Furniture/Golden Oak,American Furniture Alliance/Elite Products,Harden Manu acturing,William’s Home Furnishing,Somerton Home Furnishings,New Pacifi c Direct,Holly THE NATIONAL& Martin,SEI outhern Enterprises,US Furniture Inc,Ergomotion ,Natura World/Obusforme,Furniture Traditions, In BEDDING MARKET ,Butler SEE Specialty Company,Bassett Furniture,Skyline Furniture Mfg.,HomeMax Imports - Bedding &,Ne THOUSANDS of new product World Trading,San Miguel Trading Company,Canadel Furniture Inc.,Sigla Furniture Corp.,Screen Gem introductions urniture,Acrylicore,Next Door Furniture,Ginky Sa De Cv,Mexport,MKL Mueblekipal,San Francisco Art & Imports,Green Gables Furniture,Home Accents LLC,Groovystuff,Artisan’s Gallery,Copper Instincts,Pa din Industries,Meva,Berry Creek Home Collection,Home Trends & Design Join us Ltd.,Mason this summer Maloof Designs nc.,AntlerWorx Inc.,Coast Lamp Mfg, Inc.,Dovetail Furniture and Designs,Rossetti, Inc.,Benetti’s Itali and see what's new. nc.,Sunset West USA,Casa Bonita Trading,Ital Art Designs,Kas Rugs &REGISTER Home,Directorate TODAY: General of Na ional Export Development DGNED, Ministry of Trade of Republic of Indonesia,Patiologic,Ace Bayou,GO nternational Corp,Leslie Dame Enterprises LTD,Atlantic Inc,Royal Wine Cabinets,B S Trading Compan nc.,STOWFA,Xiamen Housemart Manufacture & Trade., Ltd.,Creative Concepts Group,Winsome Tradin *Added since Winter 2012 nc.,Creative Images International,Chuzhou Vox Home Furnishing Products Co., Ltd.,Anhui Huayang Fur iture Co.,LTD.,Movelsul Brasil,Jian Gian Industiries (M) SDN.BHD.,Timber Art Design Sdn.Bhd.,Lil Dreame urniture,Anji Qianghong Furniture Co., Ltd.,Bolton Furniture,Cannon Safe Inc,Borkholder Furniture,Table

Las Vegas Market



TechNOW Put it to Use

Are you using any exciting new tech sites? Let us know at jennifer@!

All set up on Facebook? How about trying Google+ next? The social networking site is closely integrated with the Google Knowledge Graph, which produces an overview of your store’s profile right on the Google search results—including an option to follow your page. Your store will have more visibility and, since the knowledge graph pulls recent posts from your Google+ home page, it could provide an opportunity for more sale and promotion traction.


And get the app on your Apple or Android device!

Good to Know Is your store a little behind on the technology curve? That’s okay—for now. A recent study by the Urban Land Institute revealed these statistics about Generation Y’s technoshopping habits. ``

Fifty percent of men and 70 percent of women surveyed consider shopping a form of entertainment and something to share with friends and family.

`` More than half the survey participants visit a retail store at least once a month. `` Although much of Generation Y uses the internet to research products and compare prices, the overall majority still purchases items at brick and mortar stores.

But don’t wait too long to catch up to the tech trend. The study also found that 91 percent of participants bought a product online in the last six months.

Inbox Email from our Readers I just read through your magazine for the first time and got more ideas from it than any other magazine I read about the furniture industry. Thanks for sending it.

Ric Fiegel, Mckinstry's Home Furnishings, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Cool App

Cool App Maker

Duolingo (free) iOS & Android

If you’re in a multilingual area, or just want to expand your language horizons, Duolingo is the app to get. The game-based learning system uses pictures, sounds and text to help you learn a new language on the go. And the best part? It’s completely free with no ads.

Here is a website that makes it super easy for companies to make mobile apps for their business. Most customers are now shopping on their phones. Be there to greet them with a mobile app from Pick from a template, insert your company information, and voilà—your very own mobile presence!


J U LY | 2 0 1 3

Connect With Us Have you connected with RetailerNOW? Like, Tweet or Pin with us and you’ll be able to experience more content and continue the conversations online! Like: Tweet: @RetailerNOW Pin: What technology are you using in your store? Let us know at!

Home Furnishings Industry Conference, New Orleans, La.

Your Voice

Roving Reporter TIM TIMMONS

High Point Team Leader/Creative Development for NAHFA


et me start off by inviting you all to next year's Home Furnishings Industry Conference, June 1-3, 2014, at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona, because if it's anything like the one we just had in New Orleans, you won’t want to miss it! Those of you that attended this year’s HFIC know what I’m talking about. There was no mistaking the energy in the air. Am I right?

I was fortunate enough to have dinner in the French Quarter with Gordy Wallenstein, president of Furniture Outlets USA in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Casey Evans of Pedigo Furniture in Livingston, Texas. Even though Casey is the third generation running a single store her grandparents began and Gordy is among the top 100 furniture retailers with 32 stores in the upper Midwest, they shared common stories and picked each other’s brains during Rich conference content, in addition to the three- our conversation. association merger that created the North American Home Furnishings Association (your conference Gordy has been coming to conferences for many host), all created the most positive, invigorating years, but Casey admitted she had never heard of it conference experience for staff and attendees alike. before the association she belonged to, the Home Furnishings Independents Association (HFIA), As part of the NAHFA team, I had the unique per- merged with NHFA and WHFA. “As soon as I heard spective of being able to watch industry professionals there was a conference specifically for furniture remove through conference with a renewed purpose tailers, I knew I had to go,” she told me. and vision for their personal and collective futures. I caught up with Casey toward the end of the conThis conference had something for everyone (sounds ference to see what she thought of her experience. cliché, but its true). For example, if you are one of Her face lit up as she spoke. “I met some amazing those people who starts their day at the crack of people over the past few days and feel indebted to dawn, you had an early-riser session waiting for you. Mary Frye [EVP of NAHFA] forever and a day for Bing Sherwood of Koerner Furniture in Indiana opening the door for me into this incredible world. commented, “Hey, I paid to be here and with early-riser sessions, there’s no way I’m hitting the snooze alarm.” That logic seemed to pay off as Bing continued: “Margi Kyle’s early session about difficult clients answered a ton of the questions I had.”

My time at the conference was an over-the-top first-time experience.

“Learn. Mix. Mingle. Grow.” That was the very fit- Casey also noted that in addition to the myriad of ting message at this year’s HFIC. Aside from the beneficial takeaways, there were also many intangiengaging and entertaining Doug Keeley who served bles. “Friendships were forged that will last a lifetime. as our Master of Ceremonies; the inspirational That’s how great of an impact this conference made opening session speaker Jim Knight, former head on me. Believe me, I’ll be back!” of global training at Hard Rock; the 24 thought provoking and business enhancing learning labs There’s something about industry people gathering and workshops; the more than 40 showcase exhibi- in one place that seems to generate an instant cators; and dynamic closing speaker Kelly McDonald, maraderie that warms the soul and sparks organic who showed attendees how to deliver an exceptional discussions for growth. And when it’s all over you customer experience, I also observed peer-to-peer kind of hate to see it end, but then there’s that networking at its finest. cheerful refrain of promise passing through every attendees lips: “See you next year!”

Get the app to follow our Roving Reporters’ journeys or visit online at J U LY | 2 0 1 3


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PROFITsystems has changed the way we do business at our store, increased our profits, and made us better store managers. They’ve helped us learn the latest and greatest techniques for running our store. Now, we enjoy our store and make more money at the same time.” Beckey & Kent Waldrop Miller Waldrop Furniture Hobbs, NM

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Employee Appreciation


FOUNDER Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.

There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise.

The Power of Appreciation

 It’s Cheaper Than You Think By Rich Schlentz


ppreciation. What a great word. The idea that a real estate investment can grow in value is a beautiful concept. Make the right purchase at the right opportunity and you can have instant equity. Nurture it over time and it continues to grow in value. Appreciation is a basic, fundamental concept that leads to long-term success within the real estate market. It intrigues me how this fundamental principle, embraced when dealing with property, is often overlooked and underutilized when it comes to working with people. Leaders who add value to their employees through genuine praise and appreciation are securing their own long-term growth and success.

Over the last year, 65 percent of Americans received no praise or appreciation in the workplace, a Gallup poll reported. Yet, the U.S. Department of Labor notes the number-one reason people leave organizations is because they don’t feel appreciated. Another Gallup study of nearly 5 million employees reveals that increased occurrences of recognition and praise in the workplace can lead to lower turnover, higher customer satisfaction scores and increased productivity. Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees, conducted a survey of 1,500 employees. He wanted to know in these tight, stressful, changing times what recognition items were most important to corporate workers. Three out of the top ten responses had to do with praise (verbal, public or written). Here’s how Mr. Nelson explains it: Although you can thank someone in 10 to 15 seconds, most employees report that they are never thanked for the job they do where they work—and especially by their managers. Systematically, start to thank your employees when they do good work, whether it’s one-on-one in person, in the hallway, in a group meeting, on voice mail, in a written thank-you note, in an email or at the end of each day at work. You might be wondering where money ranked in this survey. A cash reward ranked fifteenth. There you have it. When it comes to demonstrating how valuable someone is, genuine praise and appreciation is more important than cash. I guess the saying that cash is king (or queen) isn’t necessarily true. There’s something about receiving a sincere word of praise or a handwritten note of appreciation that is more sustaining to our human soul than a gift card to a local restaurant.

Employee Appreciation

It’s easy to provide praise and appreciation to those in your business with a high-profile role. Perhaps salespeople and store managers, who have direct customer contact and revenue impact, get your attention more easily. How about your behind-the-scenes employees like the warehouse manager, accounting or showroom planners? Are you investing the time and attention required to keep them engaged and productive for your business? They might be getting lost somewhere near the bottom of your to-do list. In reality, it doesn’t take much time or money to provide all your employees with the power of praise and appreciation. In the long run, genuine appreciation can generate your strongest ROI when it comes to employee commitment, loyalty and effort.

to all of us who have received them. Please keep them going after I’m gone. Good luck!” Wow. At that very moment the power of praise and appreciation was made crystal clear to me. It hadn’t cost me a dime—yet it left a lasting mark on the people I led. Here is a template you can apply to effectively provide meaningful praise and appreciation:

� Tell the individual what quality or personality trait you admire in them. � Cite the evidence or specific situation where you observed this trait. � Finish by saying, “I wanted to let you know that Several years back, I was in the health and wellness business. I really admire this about you.” We were building a new family wellness center, complete � Allow a moment for their “Thank you.” with a nutritionally-focused restaurant/bistro. We wanted a registered dietitian to help get our food service off the ground � Shut up. This is critical. Don’t ruin the moment. When you’re done—be done. and we were lucky to find Nikki to fill that role.

Here’s an example:

Nikki worked hard. I watched her hire the food service staff, open the bistro, close it down, make sandwiches, order food and take the trash out to the dumpster late at night. Before leaving for the evening, I would often leave Nikki a voicemail. I’d tell her how much I appreciated her commitment and dedication to our organization and particularly the bistro. I mentioned how I had observed her taking out the trash or spending the extra time required to properly train her staff.

Mary, I really admire your ability to listen patiently with our customers. You demonstrated this when dealing with the irate gentleman yesterday. I noticed how you allowed him to talk through his experience until he began to feel better. Your idea for a solution was perfect. He even left happy after interacting with you. I admire these traits in you and your commitment to making our team better.

After some time, Nikki received a professional offer she couldn’t refuse. She wisely said yes. The morning after her going-away party, I was checking voice mails and noticed that one was from Nikki. When I heard her voice, I immediately thought, Uh oh! She left this message on her way out…after her final day. This is her chance to let me have it. I quickly imagined what I might be getting ready to hear: “Rich, here’s some final advice. Pay your people more… Provide better benefits for the staff… You expect people to work too hard…” On and on she could have gone.

Although you can provide the power of praise and recognition for someone in less than a minute and it’s virtually free, most employees rarely receive this gift from the owner/manager. Begin to provide this feedback to all your employees when they do good work. Predetermine each day to find and recognize something good in others—especially those who work behind the scenes. By taking the time to say you noticed and appreciate their efforts, those efforts—and the results they engender—will continue. Your business will reap the rewards.

Bracing myself for potential criticism, this is what I heard. “Rich, before I go, I want to give you some advice. Don’t ever stop the encouraging voicemails. They mean the world

Rich Schlentz is the founder and Chief Enthusiasm Officer of EXTRAordinary! Inc., a movement dedicated to reviving the global workplace one culture at a time. Visit him on the web at Rich recently published his first book, "Your Employees Have Quit—They Just Haven’t Left." J U LY | 2 0 1 3


The Rose Collection, showroom by Cherie Rose


Do you have a FABULOUS showroom? We want to see it! RetailerNOW is looking for before and after images of showrooms that underwent makeovers. Send photos of your spectacular spaces by July 22 to for your chance to be in an upcoming issue! Do you know of a fun, cutting-edge showroom? We want to spotlight it! Send showroom information to by July 22 for a chance to be in a future story about the best showrooms in the country!

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Ralph Sproulle

President, Classic Home Furnishings High-end, family store located in Marietta GA.

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Employee Appreciation

By Brad Huisken


o your staff doesn’t seem motivated. They aren’t doing it. You don’t see them prospecting, making phone calls, enthusiastically helping customers, setting in-home appointments nor sketching the home and they generally aren’t doing much of anything to create sales. It’s like they just sit back and wait for customers to come in and then they give them a half-hearted presentation. What can you do?

I will go to the grave believing, in general, people are good. I don’t believe anyone ever takes a job wanting to fail. Most salespeople want to do a great job, create tons of sales and profits, earn substantial commissions and be the professional your customers expect, that you hired them to be and that they wanted to be. Far too often, we hire someone motivated to do a great job, and though they leave the starting gate with a ton of enthusiasm, they eventually fall into a stereotypical salesperson’s sea of mediocrity. On the other hand, we have seasoned veterans who were once top producers and are now cruising along at half speed. I find the number-one thing people want out of their jobs is the ability to be and feel successful. But the number-one complaint I hear from salespeople is that they don’t feel appreciated, or there is not enough positive feedback or praise for a job well done. 16

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There are basically 10 issues that cause salespeople to lose their motivation or make them seem unmotivated to do a great job—all of which are easy to correct by management.  The rules, policies, procedures or standards have not been justified to them. Too often, management tells people what to do, but not why they must do it. This can be solved by simple explanation, like discussing how add-on sales can dramatically increase profits for the store, and that add-on sales can and will substantially increase personal commissions.  They have not been given the necessary knowledge or skills to complete certain jobs or tasks. How often can a salesperson hear a customer say “I’m just looking” or “I’ll be back” without knowing the proper way to handle these two common occurrences? At every seminar I do, I ask how many participants offer a formal sales training program to educate their staff. Rarely more than 5 to 10 percent of the group have one. There is no such thing as a born salesperson. Sales professionals are educated and trained.  There are factors preventing them from doing their job completely. I refer to these as quality-of-life issues. Let’s say, for example, you have a salesperson whose son or daughter

Employee Appreciation

the salesperson’s sea of mediocrity is going to be Happy the Snowman in the school Christmas play. That is a busy time and you can’t let him or her see their child in the show. They will seem unmotivated. Be compassionate with quality-of-life issues.

 The sales manager does not give adequate time to the salesperson. I can’t tell you how often I hear salespeople complain about the lack of communication within an organization. When was the last time you spent any time talking to your salespeople, individually? Open the channels of communication. I suggest three forms.

 The salesperson is not rewarded based on his or her productivity. Every company should have some form of � A weekly sit-down with documented one-on-one productivity-based pay and incentives. If you pay commisconversation for each staff member. Talk about goals, sion, over time it simply becomes a form of pay. People will productivity, performance, sales-creation and adhering to reach their comfort zone and stop being motivated. You need non-negotiable standards. Give praise and constructive added incentives to keep them going. If you want to make criticism. changes in your organization, three things have to happen: policy, training and incentives. Make it a policy that this � A weekly staff training meeting. Spend 30 to 40 minutes every week talking about the four areas where people has to be done, train them on how to do it and then reward need training: sales techniques, product knowledge, them for doing it. Salespeople are always wondering what’s operations and customer service. in it for them. � A morning huddle. Fifteen minutes before the store  The salesperson does not have a goal that he or she opens, gather everyone that works under the roof is working to achieve. People need goals. Human beings and highlight what is happening that day. Review the can accomplish some incredible things if they have a goal previous day and recognize top performers. Get everyone and are determined to achieve it. This goes back to what focused and ready to do business right before opening. I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Anything that is measurable, thus “incenti-viable,” should have a goal set for  The sales manager does not make the job fun. If your staff doesn’t wake up every morning enthused and excited to salespeople to work towards. go to work at your furniture store, then you have a problem.  The sales manager does not provide positive reinforce- Productivity equals morale and morale equals productivity. ment. As earlier stated, one of the most frequent comments I can tell a happy place from one where the staff is simply I receive from salespeople is that they don’t feel appreciated. existing. Create a fun and happy place to work. Games, I believe the formula should be 10 to 1 positive to negative contests, goals, statistics, recognition, praise and positive comments. Look for things your staff is doing right, praise reinforcement all make the job enjoyable. Selling furniture them for it and then the negative will be better accepted and should be a fun experience. After all, you are helping people design and furnish the place where they are raising their more than likely changed. families, where they live and where they entertain. If the  The sales manager resorts to fear, intimidation and be- salespeople are having fun, the customers will have fun, and littling the salesperson. The days of managing like this are sales can’t help but increase. long gone. If you want a staff of adults, then treat them like adults. I find that once managers eliminate comments based If you have done all the right things to enable your salesperon opinions and only focus on fact-based statistics, the job son to be successful and thus motivated them to complete the of coaching and managing becomes easy. Saying something job yet he or she still lacks the drive, they should be replaced. based on an opinion will only cause your people to dislike or disrespect a manager. Manage based on statistics and coach Create an environment of personal growth and development on the actions that produced the result, not the result itself, within your organization, where people want to excel and do a good job, and you can’t help but be successful. So many and you will have a staff of adults. furniture stores produce a mediocre experience for the staff  The sales manager does not provide fair discipline and their customers, it is a wonder they are still in business. and praise. Create a fair and equitable environment for Set the tone and culture for your organization and provide everyone. If a top producer is violating a policy, they should a WOW experience and the store will excel. be dealt with just as a lower producer would be. The policy is the policy and no one, including management, should Author, trainer, consultant and speaker Brad Huisken is President of be allowed to violate it. Equal discipline and equal praise IAS Training. For more information, contact IAS Training at (800) across the board will produce a cohesive team that works 248-7703, email, fax (303) 936-9581 or visit and produces together. J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Employee Appreciation


By Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

popular motivational technique involves an annual dinner to honor employees. At the dinner, top performers are seated at a head table and treated to a steak and lobster dinner, served on fine china, with a side of expensive champagne. Lesser performers, relegated to the back of the room, are served beans and franks on paper plates. With plastic sporks. The not-sosubtle lesson: If you want to sit with the winners, you’ve got to be a winner, loser. J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Employee Appreciation

Lame, right? And dangerous. We met a salesperson who attended one of these dinners. “The whole thing backfired,” he said. “Those of us at the ‘bean table’ were so demoralized I don’t think the company ever recovered. I wasn’t the top performer that year, but I wasn’t a slouch either. I began looking for a new job the very next day because I didn’t want to work for a company that treated its people that way.” How your associates treat customers is a direct reflection on how well they are treated by you. Yet, a Gallup poll found the number-one reason most Americans leave their job is because they do not feel appreciated; 65 percent of the people polled said they received no recognition for good work last year. That’s just crazy. You want to grow your business? You need to get your team on board.

Isolation Creates Dysfunction In our presentations, we have a go-to saying: Isolation creates dysfunction. Left alone, many associates flounder, and some even feel like you don’t care. Your goal is to make associates feel like they own the place; to do that you need to get their help and their input. We have a good friend, a top hospital executive, who is famous for a program he calls “Walking and Talking at 2:00 a.m.” When every other executive was in bed asleep, he could be found wheeling a cart loaded with cookies and apples through the halls of the hospital, talking with associates about how things are going, along with asking for input on how to make their jobs and the hospital better. Because of his willingness to walk in their shoes, the associates trusted him and were open with their questions, concerns and ideas. “Walking and Talking at 2:00 a.m.” showed them they really mattered. Okay, so what’s the point? We know if you walked around your store at 2:00 a.m., you’d have no

one to talk to except the furniture, but why can’t you “Walk and Talk” at 2:00 in the afternoon or 8:00 at night?

Training is Critical Training matters. Just ask Larry Miller, CEO of Sit ‘n Sleep, a California-based chain of stores he founded as a single location with his father in 1980. Since then the chain has grown to more than 30 stores that Larry now runs with his business partner, Nelson Bercier. According to Larry, training is the cornerstone of the business: “Associates can’t help customers if they don’t know what they’re doing. Putting them on the sales floor without the right tools is like throwing them to the wolves.” Tiffany Packman, Sit ‘n Sleep’s VP of Human Resources, agrees. “We’re willing to hire people with zero experience,” she says. “We look for good people who communicate well and have a good attitude. We need team members who will stay with us from entry-level to management.” Sit ‘n Sleep has one of the most complete training programs we’ve ever come across in an independent retailer. It’s completely focused on teaching associates the skillset they need to succeed. “We always hire two or more associates at a time,” Larry told us. “We want them to have a buddy to learn with. It’s an easier transition from training to the sales floor when you know you have a partner you can count on.” New-hire training is a two-week investment that includes a few days at the corporate offices, followed by time in various stores observing the sales process, plus in-store training with staff and vendors. New hires also take factory tours and spend time working in the distribution centers. The training program at Sit ‘n Sleep even includes ride-alongs with delivery personnel. The goal is to have a complete understanding of how things

The goal is to have a complete understanding of how things work at every level so customers receive the very best in a service experience.


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Employee Appreciation

work at every level so customers receive the very best in a service experience. After the initial training there is additional vendor training, follow-up and one-on-one coaching. Sit ‘n Sleep also offers yearly Leadership Training, an in-depth course to groom future management personnel.

We’re All in This Together! Showing your appreciation has to be an on-going philosophy or it just becomes lip service. Even with the best of intentions, a dusty Employee of the Month plaque in the staff lounge that’s three months behind doesn’t count. Appreciation takes commitment. Sandy Harms owns Black’s Home Furniture, in Yreka, California—a business that’s been in her family since 1947. Sandy understands just how important her team is to the store and its success. In addition to traditional celebrations, such as an annual Christmas dinner, associates at Black’s enjoy flex-time and other non-traditional perks. Take Cris Weller, for example, a member of Black’s team since 2003. Cris is Sandy's go-to person, or as Sandy describes her, “She’s me when I’m not here.” Cris attends markets and trade shows with Sandy, and sometimes she even attends them on her own. Because Cris spends most of her time on the sales floor, face-to-face with customers, she knows exactly what they want and expect from Black’s. Sandy makes sure to include Cris in critical meetings with suppliers, authorizing her to choose product and make important decisions for the store. Trust is motivating. Sandy recognizes Cris’ value to the store and reinforces her efforts with more than a “job well done.” How do you praise your team members? We’ve seen everything from elaborate incentive programs to efforts as simple as handwritten thank you notes. Sometimes it’s not what you do, but that you do something.

If praising your people to success is new to you, start here: Put ten pennies in your right pocket every day, then look for reasons to congratulate, compliment, appreciate or recognize individual associates. Each time you praise someone, you get to move a penny from one pocket to the other. The deal is that you can’t go home until all ten pennies have legitimately been moved from your right pocket to your left. It sounds easy, but trust us, it’s hard. At least until you get in the habit of looking for the positive. So, go out on a limb. When someone does something cool, do something unexpected. Give an associate a surprise hour or day off with pay. Wash their car in the parking lot in plain view of customers. Rent someone a convertible for a week. Take them to lunch at their favorite restaurant. Spring for tickets to a theme park, play or sporting event. Supply pizza once a week for a month, or a free massage on company time. Your celebrations don’t have to be formal—just fun. Give it a shot. You’ll see a big change in how your team acts and get more smiles per square foot!





Thank you! GIFT CARDS


TREATS J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Exemplary Employees

These three engaged teams serve as role models of employee appreciation. Sit ‘n Sleep, California

Sit ‘n Sleep associates enjoy all sorts of traditional incentives, such as contests and spiffs, but owners Larry Miller and Nelson Bercier look for out-of-the-box ways to show their appreciation as well.

When the distribution center team went a full year without a single accident, they were treated to a first-class evening on the town. The fun started with a chartered bus ride to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, followed by a no-holds-barred evening in a luxury suite at a Laker’s game.

Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware, Kingwood, Texas

Employee vests at Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware in Kingwood, Texas, are heavy with tiny pins in the shapes of hammers, pliers and screwdrivers. Having a pin on your vest is a status symbol.

Owner Rick Alspaugh came up with his pin program a number of years ago. Any management person at Alspaugh’s Ace can give an associate a pin for high sales, helping another associate with a project without being asked or for receiving a great customer comment or letter. The pins are awarded on the sales floor, in front of customers and peers, along with a $20 dollar bill. The coveted crescent wrench pin is equivalent to winning an Oscar. Crescent wrenches come with $50. They can only be awarded by Rick, and it’s a big deal to receive one. Customers rave about the service at Alspaugh’s; they consider it an honor to work with an associate sporting a crescent wrench.

On the Pot, Salina, Kansas

Robin and Julie Cates own On the Pot, a paint-your-own pottery studio in Salina, Kansas. Most of their staff is young, over-the-top creative types, so Robin and Julie are always on the lookout for low-cost, fun and fresh incentives. The Cates sisters are also big believers in allowing their team to choose their own rewards. They’ve said yes to fancy dinners, nights at the movies, roller skating parties, bowling outings and mini-golf tournaments. And in between, team members are rewarded with $10 gift cards from the coffee shop next door. Get a nice compliment from a customer? Cool! You get a $10 card.

Inside the store you’ll find a huge bulletin board—a Wall of Fame—that’s used to brag about staff accomplishments. When a team member does something worth celebrating it’s given a prime spot on the Wall of Fame. Associates appreciate the extra attention and customers enjoy being able to help applaud their successes.

• • • Being portable for sales, inventory or business analytics is key for any Home Furnishings retailer. Using a PC, tablet or smart phone to work inside or outside of your store is critical in this day and age of technology.


Your designer meets in the customer’s home to create the shopping cart and check inventory availability for delivery. The warehouse staff needs to quickly receive an item to load it on the delivery truck. The owner or manager is traveling and wants to get a quick glance of their daily or monthly business analytics. All of this can be done with a tablet or smartphone. Myriad Software understands how important it is to be mobile. Whether it’s to close a sale or review the important aspects of your business, a tablet or smartphone will provide access to your business management system in or outside of your daily operation. So if you’re looking for a business system that allows you to work when you’re in your operation and on the go, think Eclicktic™ and Eclicktic™ BE Mobile. Contact a Myriad Software sales representative @

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Paula Deen

RetailerNOW catches up with food industry mogul Paula Deen and finds out about the connection between food, family and furnishings. ď ˝


At April in High Point, food industry mogul Paula Deen introduced her new furniture line, the Paula Deen Home River House Collection. RetailerNOW caught up with her to discuss the new furniture, her goals in the furnishings business and the interplay between food and the home. By Jennifer Billock


: What made you decide to get into the furniture business?

: How do you think the furniture and food industries play off one another?

PD: Well, it’s funny. I always loved anything under the roof of my house. I don’t know if you know, but I went on a 20-year ride with agoraphobia, so my home was everything to me. I loved going to nearby yard sales looking for ways to improve my little house. The kitchen is definitely the heart of the home, but I loved everything underneath that roof. One day I got a call from Universal Furniture, and of course I was thrilled, flat blown to death. I had a mental attachment to my home of 20 years and I just felt like I could contribute to somebody. So Universal came down and we walked my house for two or three days, just talking and looking at the different pieces I had come upon across the years. I pointed out things I really liked that I thought would work for other people. We realized there were ways to make it more utilitarian, more useful. They went back to the design table and it was a perfect fit. I tell ya, it feels so good. You feel like you’ve done your job when the furniture comes out and it doesn’t just please me, but it pleases thousands and thousands of people.

PD: Oh my gosh, because it all takes place underneath the roof of your house! There’s nothing better than cooking a fabulous meal and spreading it out on a big table and watching your children, your grandchildren, your family and your friends enjoy the fruits of your labor. There’s just nothing any better. The home is where nine-tenths of your memories are made.

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your line?

: What kind of furniture do you have in

PD: It’s pretty. It’s the whole house. Beds, livings rooms, the kitchen, it’s everything. I have this precious little dock house where I live. You can no longer build a dock house; the only way you can have one is if it was grandfathered in. The dock house is the reason we bought this property, but it was dilapidated. We were able to bring it back as long as we didn’t veer outside of the original footprint. So this year’s collection was inspired by the dock house. And


It’s my goal that when you walk in your home, for it to almost wrap its arms around you and say, “Hey, welcome home. Come on in!” it’s incredible. Beautiful vintage red wicker chairs. Oh my goodness. We brought those back and they are just incredible. And of course, the youth line. The boy’s youth line especially is doing so well. I was with Universal a few weeks back and they said it’s so unusual for the second edition to be as successful as the first, but it seems like each edition is received as well or better than the first edition. It’s just so great to know that we’re able to hit the sweet spot for others. It’s like cooking a meal and then loving it. The furniture is the same way. It’s great to design something that other people find beautiful.

circle. The Bag Lady Foundation will receive a certain percentage of the profits of all sales from the food. The money will be there to help others at our discretion, whomever we feel like needs it, like Oklahoma right now. The Bag Lady, she is the be-all end-all. So that little Bag Lady Cabinet, it means a lot to me. : Why should a retail store carry your line as opposed to a different one?

PD: My name is not just a name stamped on a piece of furniture. I’m actively involved in the design. I was just in : What’s your best selling item? High Point with so many dealers and they came up to me and said that Paula Deen was the number-one seller in their PD: I know in the first edition, it was the Bag Lady Cabinet. store. So I know that we are hitting a need or a want for a You know, it’s still one of my favorite pieces. It’s so utilitarian. lot of people out there in their homes. That’s what it’s all It can go from your bathroom to your kitchen and every- about. Not just hitting what you like, but being able to hit thing in between. That little piece is still so near and dear to what the masses like. You know, we’ve got such a variety of my heart. That was the name of my original little business different tastes. We’ve got a dark cherry finish, we’ve got the that I started with $200, The Bag Lady. We are introducing white with a gray rub, we’ve got oyster shell, which is kind Paula Deen Foods, and with our food company, we have of a beautiful light-grayish color. I think we have something formed The Bag Lady Foundation. It’s like I’ve come full for everybody’s tastes. Interview continued on page 28  J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Bag Lady Cabinet

Interview continued from page 27

: Do you ever visit the stores that sell your items? PD: Yes. I’ll go in and they’ll have books for their guests and we’ll do a book signing. I get to mingle with the folks and talk to them about the different pieces of furniture, like what it was inspired from. You know, we just chat. : What are your long-term goals within the home furnishings industry? PD: Well, certainly my partnership with Universal has been fabulous, and we just plan to keep introducing casual, comfortable collections. It’s my goal that when you walk in your home, for it to almost wrap its arms around you and say, “Hey, welcome home. Come on in!” To have things that you can live with, not around. I don’t want anything that my grandchildren can’t touch. I want them to enjoy everything I have in my house. I want them to be able to hunker down in my sofas and my chairs and feel my house is so comfortable for them, that it’s a safe place. I was blown away when I walked into our showroom at High Point, and there were two rooms that looked just like our dock house. Blew me away. So incredibly gorgeous. It just seems to get better and better. It’s almost impossible to think that, but it does. Paula Deen Enterprises now includes 17 different licensees and covers a broad gamut of good-living products. The product line includes a full line of cookware and dishes, assorted food products, sauces, spices and bakery goods. In recent years Paula also introduced a complete line of furniture, greeting cards and the Paula Deen and Family Party at Sea Cruise. Paula's personal views do not reflect the views or opinions of RetailerNOW.

Chairs from the Boat House 28

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Connect @ all the NGN events The Social Spot

NGN Education Are You Ready for the Next Generation of Business? Succession Planning with the Experts from GE Capital • Do you know how to develop the next leader? • Do you know what you need to do to become the next leader? Tuesday, July 30, 2013 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

LAS VEGAS MARKET July 29 - August 2

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The perfect destination for business owners looking to learn and grow. • NGN Networking • Educational Seminars • Resource Marketplace • Internet Café • Association Services See us in our NEW showroom at our NEW location, B-1050

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9:00 - 10:00 a.m. What's Your Sign? 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. There is NO App for Comfort

Lorri Kelley, Palliser Furniture

Desi Miller, Moso Graphics

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Old School vs. New School Marketing 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. 21st Century Marketing

Kyle & Kevin Doran, R&A Marketing

Tim McLain, Netsertive

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Driving Traffic & Increasing Tickets

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Million Dollar Merchandising 2014

with a Private Sale - Best Practices GE Capital, Best Practices

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Selling Premium Jody Seivert, One by One Companies

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Social Media in the Workplace

Pascal Benyamini, Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP

Building Up Your Sales Team Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

What Were You Thinking? Brad Huisken, IAS Training


TUESDAY JULY 30 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Managing the Customer Experience

Bob Moorman, JRM Sales & Management, Inc.

During the Delivery Process Satish Natarajan, DispatchTrack

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Warehouse is Not a Bad Word

Pat Corcoran, BPD Storage Solutions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Unraveling the Freight Mystery

Grant Laidlaw, Northwest Furniture Xpress

10:30 -11:30 a.m. Bottlenecks & Constraints and How

to Break Them

David McMahon & Wayne McMahon, PROFITSystems, Inc.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. whY buY into gen Y?

Leah Kirkland & Josh Camden, MicroD, Inc.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Targeted Direct Mail—Using Your Data to Effectively Reach Your Customer Bob George, FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Succession Planning Catrina Harding, GE Capital J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Las Vegas Market

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Monday, July 29, 2013

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Selling Premium Jody Seivert, One by One Companies

There is NO App for Comfort Lorri Kelley, Palliser Furniture

Shoppers today look for what they want online, run to the closest store, and want to get in and out before you can say, "Babysitter"! The shopping EXPERIENCE is moving from tactile to virtual and you can end up with missed opportunities to sell them accent pieces, or product for an additional room. Consumers need to be hit with the idea at your website that a purchase decision cannot be made unless they walk in and "test drive" that recliner or sleeper sofa. We will show you ways to get customers to put down their mobile devices and become active in their search for comfort!

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

In a race to the bottom of quality and price, salespeople and sales managers are having an increasingly difficult time differentiating and selling high-quality products. Learn the 3 ways to sell premium home furnishings that will increase top-line sales and average ticket sales in your showroom.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Building Up Your Sales Team Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management, Inc.

There are huge differences in the performance of salespeople from store to store and even on the same sales floor. It is up to us as owners and managers to manage those differences by helping the lower performers move toward the middle, the middle toward the top and the top to achieve new heights.

Old School vs. New School Marketing

� What is the magic profile for a successful salesperson in our industry?

Kyle & Kevin Doran, R&A Marketing

� Where do I find my best candidates?

A lot of people talk about old school vs. new school marketing. Which way works better? Social media is for the younger crowd, newspaper is for the older customer and what the heck are Pinterest, Vine, and Instagram? Brothers Kyle & Kevin Doran (three years apart) dare you to take on the longstanding battle of younger brother vs. older brother. However, this time the spat is over how to utilize old school media versus new school media. You might just be surprised how this one ends up!

� How do I help my salespeople improve and succeed? � How do I hold them accountable without discouraging them? � How do I reward their good performance financially and emotionally? People buy from people, not stores. Spend one hour with Joe to gain insight into the opportunity that is within the grasp of your sales team.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, july 30, 2013

Driving Traffic & Increasing Tickets with a Private Sale – Best Practices

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

GE Capital

Looking for an opportunity to drive traffic and increase sales? Private sale events have been a proven way to fill your parking lot, but also a way to boost loyalty with your best customers. We've got the solution to help you create your own private sale. Done well, private sales build customer relationships and enhance your reputation and your bottom line. Learn the most vital keys to a successful private sale and ask the experts at GE Capital your questions.


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Managing the Customer Experience During the Delivery Process Satish Natarajan, DispatchTrack

We all know that the sale is not complete until we deliver the product to our customers. We also know a repeat customer is a customer earned. Hence it is of utmost importance that we treat the customer in the delivery or service process with the same care that we do during the sales cycle.

Las Vegas Market

Managing the Customer Experience continued

This talk will be a presentation of how technology can help in simplifying the process and a dialog between the various retailers as to what they see on a day-to-day basis.

Targeted Direct Mail: Using Your Data to Effectively Reach Your Customer Bob George, FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Bottlenecks & Constraints and How to Break Them David McMahon & Wayne McMahon, PROFITSystems, Inc.

Have you ever wondered why some businesses seem to run smoothly while others seem to live in a constant state of chaos? We see this all the time in the field. Even in the same market area, one business may operate smoothly, have happy employees and satisfied customers while another business may just be putting out one fire after another. Efficiently run businesses are always the ones that come out on top in terms of sales, profits and cash flow. The reasons for the differences are operational bottlenecks that are caused by productivity constraints. In this talk, we will discuss the signs of bottlenecks and constraints and how to break them. This can allow your organization to run better, be more profitable and free up cash. Bonus: Attendees will receive a coupon for David’s new book: “Field Tips – Retail Business Improvement Writings”

Using your consumers and targeted geographic and psychographic research, you can send specific messages to new customers—a very effective alternative to television, but with measurable results. � Can you track how successful your direct mail piece is in bringing in customers to your store? � Can you spend less on your advertising by using direct mail and get better results? � Can you change your target market mid-campaign? Instead of using a shot-gun approach with your direct mail pieces, use a sniper’s approach to target consumers that are most like those people who have already purchased your products. Your best customers are not only the ones that have just purchased from you, but also the ones that fit a profile that is just like your consumer. Using your customer and sales data is the best way to make sure you are getting the most bang for your advertising buck. Learn about what information you need to run a successful targeted direct mail campaign that can not only save your advertising dollars, but also make your campaign more successful. Stop spending money on advertising campaigns in which you don’t know the outcome. Be sure of your success.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. whY buY into Gen Y? Leah Kirkland & Josh Camden, Moderators, MicroD, Inc.

There are over 80 million GenY consumers that hold $200 billion in spending power. How much do you really know about the demographic born between 1982-1999? � What are they buying? � How are they shopping? � What gets them to spend? Join us for a panel discussion and Q&A session, presented by MicroD’s retailer, manufacturer and technology partners, to learn about what matters to this generation. In addition, panelists will review the roles of social media, eCommerce and how to maximize your website to attract and sell to the GenY consumer.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Succession Planning with GE Capital Catrina Harding, GE Capital

Identifying and cultivating your successor may not be second nature to some people. Yet without a systematic approach to assessing and developing the leadership talent needed across the business, a company can be caught unprepared by anticipated or unanticipated departures. Do you know how to develop the next leader? Do you know what you need to do to become the next leader? J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Las Vegas Market

wednesday, july 31, 2013

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Social Media in the Workplace continued

What’s Your Sign? Desi Miller, Moso Graphics

Join Desi Miller of Moso Graphics to explore how to take full advantage of your advertising dollars. Learn quick, easy steps to create an event atmosphere in your store by continuing your advertising with in-store messages that complete the sale!

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

addresses are: How can employers restrict employees’ use of social media yet at the same time preserve employees’ rights and their privacy? When can an employee be disciplined for statements made on social media? To what extent should managers use social media regarding current and prospective employees, especially when conducting background checks?

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

21st Century Marketing

What Were You Thinking

Tim McLain, Netsertive

Brad Huisken, IAS Training

With the proliferation of cell phones, tablets, laptops and all things digital, your potential new customers are spending less and less time in front of “traditional” media. The digital age is upon us and the most successful furniture stores will be those that embrace the change and adopt their marketing strategies to fit changing media dynamics. Join us for an overview of the changing face of marketing and how your store can take advantage of these trends.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Unlock the mystery of why some companies are fun and productive places to work and others are not. In today’s retail environment the only thing that separates one company from the competition are its people. The main responsibility of a storeowner and/or manager is to provide the sales staff with the tools and benchmarks needed through accountability, non-negotiable standards, incentives, consequences, training and knowledge in order to achieve success.

thursday, august 1, 2013

Million Dollar Merchandising 2014

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Bob Moorman, JRM Sales & Management, Inc.

� Do your displays elicit the emotional responses that you desire?

Warehouse is NOT a Bad Word

� Does your lineup and presentation support the image that you wish to portray? � Are you getting the most out of in-store signage, tagging and graphics?

With accurate inventory information and the right storage system to protect and store inventory, you can reduce handling and reduce "cannot locate" product. BPD Storage Solutions has the decades of experience to help you with your storage system requirements.

� What do you do with product that is not achieving your desired rate of sale?

Come learn about how BPD Storage Solutions can work for you, and how you can get a free consultation.

Pat Corcoran, BPD Storage Solutions

� Do your sales associates enhance your merchandising and display efforts? Attend this seminar and explore the world of opportunities that can be created with today's ever-changing merchandising focus.

Social Media in the Workplace Pascal Benyamini, Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP

This presentation focuses on employer social media policies, the do’s and don’ts, best practices, and social media and background checks. Some of the specific questions that the presentation

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Unraveling the Freight Mystery Grant Laidlaw, NorthWest Furniture Xpress

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.


10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Grant will share what he wishes he had known as a retailer. He combines his unique perspective of 27 years on the retail side of furniture logistics with the benefit of a five-year view into the Specialized Furniture Carrier world. Just a few of the insights to be shared: understand pricing; cube, weight, POI, what’s right for you? Find out how to get the best of your carrier by being a partner rather than just a customer.

Las Vegas Market Access From Building C

Elevators & Escalators

Access From Building A

B-1050, Your Association’s Home at Market

19 20 21 22

The Social Spot



Entrance Hallway







7 Buyers’ Club

18 23 24 34





15 25 33









29 30





Retailer Resource Center Floor Plan

NAHFA Seminar Room Restrooms

ACA - Advertising Concepts of America Best Buy for Business Credit Source Insurance & Finance CrossCheck Custom Design Software Diakon Logistics DispatchTrack DSI Delivery Furniture Training Company Furniture Wizard FurnServe GE Capital Genesis Software Systems Guardian Protection Products JRM Sales & Management

Mail America MicroD Moso Graphics Myriad Software Profitability Consulting Group PROFITsystems, Inc R&A Marketing Retailer Web Services, LLC Service Lamp Corporation Speedy Delivery STORIS Truckskin, LLC Trekstone   North American Home Furnishings Association NARSC Warehouse Store

Your success is more than inventory and the RRC MarketPlace is more of what you need. J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Las Vegas Market

Visit our new showroom B-1050

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J U LY | 2 0 1 3

Las Vegas Market

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1993 - 2013



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Las Vegas Market

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Custom Delivery Truck Graphics Wraps & Window Graphics... Call us today for a FREE quote! Come and learn how to “Advertise BIG ” during our FREE seminar on Wednesday in the Resource Center during LV Market. 877-866-7546

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12/6/2012 12:47:05 PM

Las Vegas Market

Visit our new showroom B-1050

Why offer a consumer credit card program? It’s simple—consumers are looking for it! 66% of GE Capital cardholders say they always look for financing when making a large purchase.* There’s never been a better time to get started with the NAHFA/GE Capital consumer credit card program. Visit GE Capital at the North American Home Furnishings Association Retailer Resource Center during the Las Vegas Market located on the 10th Floor, Building B-1050. To learn more call 866-209-4457 *Data gathered from 2012 GE Capital Big Ticket Consumer Study.

Since 1991


Furniture Software All the Whistles & Bells

Call 800.884.0806 J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Las Vegas Market

Visit our new showroom B-1050

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J U LY | 2 0 1 3

Las Vegas Market

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

Monday - Thursday Monday - Wednesday 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Starts at 4:00 p.m. SPONSORED BY:

IMC Las Vegas Market 10th Floor, Building B

Hot Coffee • Mochas • Lattes • Americanos. . . All day, Every Day


In-Store Financing

Secondary and Alternative Financing

Every Day, Every Dollar Why go it alone? You have access to the lowest EVERYDAY financing rates in the industry, PLUS rebates back to you with the North American Home Furnishings Association In-Store Financing program. Our EVERY-DAY financing rates are based on more than $400 million in annual volume. Exclusive program features: hh Dedicated marketing & client relationship team hh Open-to-buy reports & consumer sweepstakes sponsored by GE Capital hh Furniture industry insights and case studies hh Consumer spending statistical data hh Members-only holiday specials A simple one-page dealer application will have you transacting in less than 7 days!


If your primary lender does not approve your customer’s credit application, CreditSource is the answer. With Secondary and Alternative “No Credit Check” Financing options, you can help credit challenged customers. hh hh hh hh hh hh hh

90-Day SAC Instant Online Approvals Closed-End Contracts No Dealer Recourse No Enrollment Fees No System or Usage Fees Quick Approvals

Check Solutions Save 10% or more on your check guarantee processing. This complete check guarantee program allows you to process your single-check transactions, all at association member pricing.

Bankcard Processing

Check Guarantee

Lowest rates in the industry What are you really paying for merchant card processing?

hh Checks approved in seconds hh Funds deposited into your account in 48-72 hours hh All equipment supplied by CrossCheck Multiple Check Options Guarantee

hh Straightforward interchange plus pricing hh hh hh hh hh

Enjoy the same pricing structure as Walmart, McDonalds and Nike.

No per-transaction fees Deposit into your own bank NO Contracts Easy one-page application process Dedicated account manager

Now you can offer a 90-day Multiple Check Option. This no-recourse, non-credit-based approval process gives you the ability to let customers pay over 90 days.


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"Belonging to NAHFA puts me with the best and the brightest in the business. Seeing and hearing from my fellow retailers refreshes, renews, and motivates me to get 'er done! Without fail, I come home from every meeting with new and better ways to do what I have been doing my entire career. I get the TLC that I need!" —Mike Spiller, Spiller Furniture

Join or renew your Association membership today and start enjoying the benefits of belonging. Whether you are looking for great financing rates, first class education or a community of peers, your Association provides it all.

(800) 422-3778 J U LY | 2 0 1 3



Our Association gratefully recognizes all of our supporters whose dedication and committment has strengthened our industry. Advertising Concepts of America AICO/Amini Innovation Corp. American Express American Leather Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

Harden Furniture Company High Point Market Authority Holland House Homelegance USA HFB Magazine

Phoenix A.M.D. International, Inc. PROFITsystems Protect-A-Bed Restonic Mattress Corp. Sandberg Furniture

Aspenhome Associated Volume Buyers Becker Designed, Inc. Bernards, Inc. Best Buy for Business Best Home Furnishings Braxton Culler, Inc. Cargo Consolidation Services

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

SAP Retail Serta Mattress Companies Simmons Shock Watch Sleep-Ezz Source International, Inc./4 Sales Finance Sphinx by Oriental Weavers

Century Furniture Coaster Company of America

Lazar Industries Lea

Standard Furniture Steve Silver Co.

Cory Home Delivery Service DĂŠcor-Rest Furniture Ltd. Diakon Logistics DSI Companies Ekornes Elements International

Leggett & Platt Liberty Furniture Lifestyle Enterprises Linon Home DĂŠcor Products Magnussen Home Mail America

STORIS Surya The TV Shield The Uttermost Company Tidewater Finance Company Trendwood, Inc.

Elite Leather Emerald Home Furnishings Fairmont Designs Flexsteel

Massood Logistics Med-Lift Mobility MicroD, Inc. Mohawk Finishing Products, Inc.

Tropic Survival Advertising & Marketing TruckSkin, LLC Twin Star/Classic Flame United Furniture Industries

Furniture of America Furniture Wizard GE Capital Great American Furniture Services

Myriad Software Natuzzi Americas, Inc. NetSertive Nourison Industries Okinus Credit Solutions

Valassis, Inc. Vaughan Furniture Co. Versatile Systems Wahlquist Management Corporation World Market Center

Guardian Products Guardsman/The Valspar Corp.

Pacific Furniture Dealers

Zenith Global

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



HIGHLIGHTS from 2013 J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Show me the money

Getting ready to mask her identity

In a moment of calm, conversation rules

Nightlife in New Orleans

Making it Big, Keeping it Easy

2013 Home Furnishings Industry Conference, New Orleans


et me ask you this: Have you ever been served champagne from someone suspended upside-down above you by a single loop of fabric? Well, if you were at the HFIC’s final night Masquerade Ball, you can confidently brag to your friends that you have! And that wasn’t the only surprise in store for conference attendees this year. As the first conference hosted by the North American Home Furnishings Association, the organization added as much lagniappe (that’s New Orleans lingo for “a little something extra”) as possible. For starters, the hotel was just steps from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, so it was easy to get out and have a great time after a fulfilling day at conference. NAHFA sponsored off-site activities of a ghost tour and a swamp airboat ride, as well as an evening dine-around, so attendees were able to take in the real flavor of the city.


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Conference kicked off on Sunday, June 2, with an entertaining opening session by both Master of Ceremonies Doug Keeley, who reminded us that everyone has a unique story, and by Jim Knight, former head of training at Hard Rock, who showed us how to create a business culture that rocks. That evening, attendees were able to get creative planning and making their masks for the Masquerade Ball before sitting down for dinner and a magic show. Monday and Tuesday, June 3-4, focused on learning and shopping more than 50 vendors in the showcase. Many seminars and workshops were standing-room only, and participants left with a wealth of information to help take their businesses to the next level. Some of the standout sessions included the early-riser Bloody Marys and Difficult Clients session with Margi Kyle, Bob Aita’s healthcare reform presentation, shopper trends from GE Capital, a three-part social media

Opening Speaker, Jim Knight

Masqueraders ready to party! Serta Sheep posing for photos

North American Home Furnishings Association board members and staff

course by Crystal Valkaitis, and cash flow and key trends presentations by Gene Marks. The closing session on Tuesday by Kelly McDonald took an in-depth look at controlling your organization’s customer experience. Throughout conference, NAHFA sprinkled in a lot of extras, like the Product Showcase Game, where retailers had to ask questions of and collect signatures from at least 40 of the showcase vendors to enter in a drawing for $1,000. The Big Easy Best Idea contest was also a hit, allowing participants to share their greatest ideas for business success in a challenge to win up to another $1,000. Showcase exhibitor Serta brought its own lagniappe along with a visit from its mascot, the Serta Sheep. He walked around the showcase saying hello and attendees left with some great photos.

The Masquerade Ball on June 4 was a fun and fitting way to end our time in New Orleans. We were all able to show a different side of ourselves with costumes and masks. A local band played the soundtrack for the evening and aerial artists served champagne suspended in the air. And your association’s very own Kaprice Crawford, Membership Team Leader, won the dance competition! The ball truly showcased the magic and mystery of the Big Easy. Overall, conference this year was a huge success. I hope you’re gearing up for next year at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., from June 1-3! We’ll see you there. And don't forget, just like this year and every year, we'll have an app ready to go so you can have conference information at your fingertips.

To download presentations from any of the seminars or workshops, head to J U LY | 2 0 1 3


At the Ball!

A break between education The Belle of the Ball!


Relaxing on the Serta iComfort mattress Orange is in!

Wine Time!

Look at all those beads!

Where's Captain Morgan?

Masked revelers at the Ball

What a disguise!



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Employee Appreciation

By Heather Eagle

According to a 2012 Towers Watson study, “companies are running 21st century businesses with 20th century workplace practices and programs.”

Yes, it’s a brave new world of work—and workers.


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Employee Appreciation

Only 35 percent of full-time workers are highly engaged. “Employee engagement may have begun life as a corporate buzzword, but over the last decade, it’s been widely acknowledged as a critical element in drawing out discretionary effort from workers,” the study says. “The steps organizations have taken to improve engagement are beginning to fall short.” The study indicated only 35 percent of the participating 32,000 full-time workers are highly engaged. This is not surprising. Five years of economic turmoil, nearly a decade of competing in a flat world and more than a decade of being connected 24/7 have taken their toll. Employees everywhere express some level of concern about their financial and professional security, their stress on the job, their trust in their company’s leadership, the support they receive from their managers and their ability to build their careers. In fact, many have been doing more with less, for less, for more than a decade. The reality is that it’s not likely to change anytime soon, if ever.

In contrast to many of the more reward-oriented elements that affect attraction and retention, the drivers of sustainable engagement focus almost entirely on the culture and relational aspects of the work experience.

Top five drivers of sustainable engagement: Leadership � � � �

Is effective at growing the business Shows sincere interest in employees’ well-being Behaves consistently with the organization’s core values Earns employees’ trust and confidence

Stress, balance and workload � � � �

Manageable stress levels at work A healthy balance between work and personal life Enough employees in the group to do the job right Flexible work arrangements

These statistics on employee engagement are a wake-up call for employers, regardless of whether they’re looking for the right talent, struggling to maintain engagement or trying to retain employees with essential skills.

Goals and Objectives

Businesses appear to be at a critical tipping point in their ability to maintain engagement over time. While many are already running their businesses differently in today’s marketplace, a large number don’t appear to be keeping pace with how they manage and support their employees.


According to the study, “when engagement starts to decline, companies become vulnerable not only to a measurable drop in productivity, but also to poorer customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover.”

Sustainable engagement describes the intensity of employees’ connection to their organization based on three core elements: `` The extent of employees’ discretionary effort committed to achieving work goals (Being engaged) `` An environment that supports productivity in multiple ways (Being enabled) `` A work experience that promotes well-being (Feeling energized)

It is essential for organizations and their leaders to have a clear understanding of what matters to employees and why and how that affects their productivity and behavior on the job.

� Employees understand: • The organization’s business goals • Steps they need to take to reach those goals • How their job contributes to achieving goals

� � � �

Assign tasks suited to employees’ skills Act in ways consistent with their words Coach employees to improve performance Treat employees with respect

Organization’s image � Highly regarded by the general public � Displays honesty and integrity in business activities

By focusing on these five drivers of sustainable engagement, organizations can focus on a relevant change agenda that can make a difference in their performance, often without a significant financial investment. Heather Eagle is a creative marketing communications professional who specializes in developing strategies, building plans and implementing creative, targeted, results-oriented, integrated marketing communications programs from concept to completion. J U LY | 2 0 1 3


ll the best laid plans are sometimes interrupted by major events, natural disasters, political issues and the economy. Companies in our industry started to feel the chill of the economy around the end of 2006 and through 2007. When the meltdown came in September 2008, no one was ready for what happened.

housing market tumbled. The home values in some of the hardest hit markets fell as much as 35 to more than 50 percent. It is only recently that the prices have begun to recover.

Those of us in the furniture industry found ourselves in the epicenter of the meltdown: the housing industry. Our businesses serve the homeowner and the homeowners were in All businesses were affected by the great recession that followed trouble. Many had used their home equity to finance their the crash of 2008. During the collapse, even huge healthy lifestyle. As a result of subprime loans that were ratcheting multi-nationals had temporary difficulties borrowing funds for up and home values falling, many owners simply could not short-term business needs. Every country in the world felt the pay. When they tried to refinance, home values were too pain and some of the financial issues remain ongoing. During low to allow the loans to be processed. It became a vicious the crash, consumer confidence eroded very quickly and the downward spiral. 56

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Fresh Perspectives

Business owners took a hard look at their operations in order to trim excess costs to weather this financial storm. Stores reported annual volumes that were reduced dramatically as customers were too strapped or too frightened to think about furniture. Unfortunately, many retailers failed and went out of business. Our industry was among the hardest hit. But, congratulations! If you are reading this article, you have made it through these trying times and have adapted to the new reality. Over the last few years while we were all in survival mode, business changed dramatically. The internet became ubiquitous. Product pricing became much easier to find online. Customers no longer need to run between stores to find prices, but can go onto their smart device and check it out right in our stores. More and more customers are doing their furniture shopping at home, preparing themselves with ideas and pricing online. The internet is a very serious factor for business today. Not only do our customers shop us, but it is one of our most useful communication tools. We can communicate inspirational ideas, blogs, planning tools for clients, how to care for products and new product offerings. Many of us keep our customers abreast of their order progress with emails and now electronically communicate purchase orders and time-sensitive data to vendors, cutting down on wasted time.

While this huge shift is going on, we still need to be in shelter magazines, newspapers and television, but it is no longer the same line expense as we have shifted to digital information and communication. Now the internal struggle for many is how to allocate the dollars we have to spend across these many communication media, all while managing our websites, content, search engine optimization, email and social media campaigns. How many times have you heard, “I can’t wait for the return of the good old days”? It will be a long wait because they are not coming back. We are in a new reality. These are the good new days! We must use all of our resources and get educated about emerging trends and technology quickly to take advantage of our improving economy. If we are to thrive, we need to learn fast or we will become another business that could not keep up. This is undoubtedly the most interesting time of our lives. It’s not the easiest but certainly we are a living part of the fast-paced changes. We all carry personal smart phones in our pockets that have very powerful communication tools. Email, web, social media, apps, business reports, GPS and banking are all now available at our fingertips. This technology is expanding quickly and we all know it will continue. Technology is everywhere today. Business today could not exist without it.

Like us, our new association is struggling to be on top of this new shift in communication. They are working to research and deliver Because online is now one of the best ways programs and services that will help members to communicate with customers, advertising budgets have deal with all of today’s changes. Education is shifted to reflect the energy pouring into this part of busi- vital as we grapple with the issues amid a tight ness. Social media has taken off and we are all chasing it to competitive market. The NAHFA staff and find ways to apply it to business. iPads or tablets have found board are all focused on these important issues. their way onto our floors and designers and sales associates can communicate in real time, with virtual catalogues, any- Our industry is poised to grow again as we where on our floor or at the customer’s home. This is only steadily leave the doldrums and pick up the beginning of the changes we all face. some economic tailwinds. How we shape our tomorrow is a serious question for businesses Today e-commerce is a reality, here to stay and growing in today. our industry. Many of us are not yet selling online but are trying to figure out how. The simple fact is internet sales It is my feeling that the glass is half-full and portals are growing—while some of us sit still not knowing the future, while complicated and uncharted, how to venture into this new area of commerce. There is no is exciting and promising. Welcome to the question that we all need to figure this out, and soon. Good New Days! J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Employee Appreciation

Tepperman’s and Me...

Spotlight on 38 Years of Dedication. By Heather Eagle

hen Rick Bezaire lost both his father “It wasn’t something you did in those days,” he says. “My and father-in-law 16 weeks apart with parents had taught me to stick it out. My dad was a landhis daughter getting married in Jamaica scaper and used to say, ‘People go looking for greener grass right in the middle, his daughter would and then realize they still have to cut it.’” often ask him, “How is this going to work?” His answer was always this: “It will work out, in some way, shape or form. Don't ask me the shape, don't ask rick bezaire me the form; but, it WILL work out.” And it always did, Quality Supervisor thanks to family values—a concept Rick also lives by in Tepperman's, Canada his work as Company Quality Supervisor at Tepperman’s in Canada.

“Tepperman’s has always given me opportunities to try new things. In fact, they were the ones who asked me to come off the road to start training the next generation of touch-up and repair people.”

Rick has been part of the Tepperman’s family for 38 years. He joined the company fresh out of college on April 14, 1975—the 50th anniversary of the business. He began his career doing small repairs in the warehouse. Next he went on the road doing warranty work and touch-ups as an Remaining with one organization for close to four decades in-home furniture speaks volumes about the leadership of the company. Rick technician. He now couldn’t agree more. serves as quality supervisor for all the stores, “Employees are carefully selected to reflect the mission of the working with vendors company,” he says. “Poor attitudes just don’t fit in retail. I’ve and training on-road talked to several new employees over the years. The one comtechnicians. Even after ment that is consistent is that ‘the people are always so nice decades at the company, Rick is still enthusiastic about here’... and that stands for the owners, employees, vendors all the roles he has played, the people he has worked with and customers. We certainly wouldn’t be able to do [the TV show] Undercover Boss.” and customers he has helped over the years. In today’s environment, people are unlikely to stay with the same organization for long. Statistics indicate people will change careers about five times and many change organizations even more. What kept Rick in the same place for all those years?


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Tepperman’s has endured recessions and fires while embracing expansion and technology, and the family values idea has always seen them through the tough times. The company has long felt like home for Rick and many other long-term employees.

Employee Appreciation

“If you don’t hire us for your next promotional sale, your competitor will.” Above: Tepperman's Delivery Truck

“My greatest achievement has been my rise from my first position as touch-up guy, to road tech, to trainer, to quality supervisor,” Rick says. “Tepperman’s has always given me opportunities to try new things. In fact, they were the ones who asked me to come off the road to start training the next generation of touch-up and repair people.” Following customers through several moves was very interesting for Rick. “I would see a young couple furnish their complete home black,” he says. “I would think to myself, they obviously do not have kids. A few years later, with a couple of rugrats running around, all of sudden beige was more practical. Needless to say, we had some fun conversations, along the lines of ‘What was I thinking!’ I have also taken care of people storing furniture for their kids getting married. One mother had three daughters getting married in 16 months. Two of the daughters had bought the same bedroom set. You can imagine the rest. I would tease her and call her the warehouse manager.” When traveling to customer homes for touch-ups, Rick often found a touch on the shoulder when he walked in the door just set the customers’ minds at ease, particularly the seniors.

Chris Lynch, Co-CEO For nearly 100 years, the Lynch family has set the standard for honesty, integrity, and results by which other promotional sales companies are measured. So when it comes time to hold a promotional sale to clear out inventory, sell your business or exit it, look no further than Lynch Sales Company. After all, wouldn’t you rather hold a Lynch Sale than compete against one?

For a confidential reply of how a Lynch Sale can help your business, visit

“I absolutely loved the seniors,” he says. “That touch was just a small gesture, but it worked well for my customers and for me. I often left with cookies or preserves.” All in all, Rick has had an interesting journey with Tepperman’s. But has he ever considered leaving the company? “It seemed that every time I had one of those bad days, the next day was as smooth as silk,” he says. “I could actually count on it. Quite frankly, I can't honestly remember ever wanting to go anywhere else.”

Uncompromising integrity. Unparalleled resUlts . Serving the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Call (800) 824 - 2238 or Copyright 2013 Lynch Brothers Licensing Corporation

Employee Appreciation

5 Common Recognition Mistakes Although employees enjoy different types of appreciation, some tokens of gratitude universally miss the mark. The five most common recognition mistakes are: NOT GETTING FACTS STRAIGHT


Nothing's more embarrassing than incorrectly acknowledging a person's name or individual accomplishment.

Recognition doesn't need to be extravagant to be effective. Small everyday things, such as saying "thank you" or giving credit for good ideas can be powerful.

OFFERING TOKEN GESTURES The form of recognition should fit the degree of achievement. Giving someone a stapler for his or her five-year anniversary, for example, sends the message the milestone is insignificant.

BEING VAGUE Telling employees they did a "good job" is a generic form of kudos. Tie acknowledgement back to specific actions so people know exactly what they did right.

OVERLOOKING CONTRIBUTORS Although some workers naturally gravitate toward the limelight, don't forget to also celebrate unsung heroes who help behind the scenes. For the full infographic visit:

to find out more about employee appreciation and have access to other valuable resources

go online:

LIVE LIFE OUTDOORS Tuesday, September 17 – Friday, September 20, 2013 The Merchandise Mart | Chicago |


Brown Jordan

Employee Appreciation

Be in the Know How the Affordable Care Act Impacts You By Sue Masaracchia-Roberts

Although it goes into full effect on January 1, 2014, a lot of confusion still surrounds the logistics and implications of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise referred to as the ACA. The only certainty is that employer and employee issues and financial circumstances are intertwined and both will be affected, some more than others. Current ACA regulations, which still are not final, mandate that employers with more than 50 full-time employees—including full-time equivalent (FTE) employees—are required to provide affordable, governmentapproved healthcare coverage to fulltime employees. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, starting in 2014, “large businesses— those with 50 or more full-time workers—that do not provide adequate health insurance will be required to pay an assessment if their employees receive premium tax credits to buy their own insurance. These assessments will offset part of the cost of these tax credits. The assessment for a large employer that does not offer coverage will be $2,000 per full-time employee beyond the company's first 30 workers.”

Neil Trautwein Vice President National Retail Federation (NRF)

“What used to be a fringe benefit is now at the front and center of employee costs in terms of the human resources element as well as regarding the opportunity for expansion.”

one who works 30 hours or more per week; hours can be averaged for up to a year. Coverage must be available for all full-time employees; however, employers are not required to help pay for dependent coverage.

must not offer “minimum essential coverage” or the employer-offered coverage must be deemed “unaffordable.” Those individuals who can obtain subsidies through exchanges are those who are unemployed, those whose employers do not offer affordable healthcare and those whose household incomes are less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Tax credits are available for small businesses and non-profits to help bring down the cost of providing insurance. However, employers do not have to offer insurance to those working less than 30 hours. Part-time employees need to prove they have obtained their own insurance. They can benefit from exchanges, federal premium subsidies or an expansion of Medicaid, which all begin in January.

These exchanges, run either by the state or federal government, offer individuals Part-time employees who work an av- and small businesses a choice of plans erage of 30 hours or more a week are and levels of coverage, which vary on included in this insurance requirement. a “metal” scale: bronze, silver, gold and An employer may pay a penalty if at platinum. Bronze, for example, will be least one of its FTEs purchases coverage the most basic policy with the lowest through an Exchange and qualifies for premium and greatest out-of-pocket a premium tax credit or cost-sharing responsibility, and platinum will be the reduction (referred to as a subsidy). most expensive premium but comes If an employer has less than 50 fullwith the least amount of financial retime employees, the business is not To qualify for subsidized coverage, an sponsibility out of pocket. required to provide health coverage and employee’s household income must is not subject to a penalty. Under these be less than 400 percent of the federal Agents and “navigators” will help farules, a full-time employee is defined as poverty level (FPL) and their employer cilitate outreach and enrollment in the Continued on page 62  J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Employee Appreciation

Continued on page 61 

exchange; however, other plans can be purchased from outside the exchange. Since exchanges are limited to individuals and groups of 100 or less (50 or less in some states), the impact is limited to the small-group market. Some employees may not be eligible for subsidies, due to their incomes and salaries; they will have to cover their own healthcare costs.

obamacare facts For employers with less than 100 employees

The SHOP exchange, or Small Business Health Options Programs, offers small businesses a vast array of qualified health plans that allows employers and employees to choose insurance that meets their budgets.

“What used to be a fringe benefit is now at the front and center of employee costs in terms of the human resources element as well as regarding the opportunity for expansion,” explained National Retail Federation (NRF) Vice This is even truer for large employers. The ACA creates a business issue as it President Neil Trautwein. requires a great deal of coordination An employer who offers qualifying cov- between human resources, finance and erage to full-time employees, however, information technology, along with can still be penalized if the insurance IRS reporting mechanisms. It also refees are not affordable and provide quires the communication of costs and a “minimum value.” Employers with tax liabilities to boards and shareholdmore than 50 full-time staff could pay ers, and employee education. a penalty of $3,000 per employee for offering coverage that does not meet According to the Obamacare Facts: the minimum requirements or costs Dispelling the Myths website (www. employees too much money, or if they, starting in 2014 purchase health insurance through the small business employers with less than 100 employees (50 in some states) will exchange with premium credits. be able to use the SHOP exchange. The “The compliance cost of managing SHOP exchange, or Small Business this complex law will be the great- Health Options Programs, offers small est expense for retail store owners,” businesses a vast array of qualified said Trautwein, who serves as NRF health plans that allows employers and employee benefits policy counsel and employees to choose insurance that government relations. “Even if your meets their budgets. employee base is below 50, you still need to communicate to the IRS and Whether employers offer insurance exchanges. Even the smallest retailers or not, other factors come to bear on may not see greater access to care with employer coverage decisions. The NRF the ACA and will have greater hoops to anticipates increased insurance costs for younger employees and a slight jump through.”

Head to to download a copy of Bob Aita's HFIC presentation, "Taking the Fear Out of Reform: The Medical Reform Act and Your Business." 62

J U LY | 2 0 1 3

decrease for older employees. Some retailers may decide to reduce staff; however, many could opt to pay the penalties or reduce full-time staff. Employers need to keep in mind, however, that health benefits serve to attract quality employees. Uninsured employees may result in greater absenteeism, presenteeism and worker’s compensation claims. Also, employer penalties for not insuring workers may increase as more employers choose to pay them rather than pay for coverage. The greatest negatives of the ACA come from the sheer number of regulations that involve multiple agencies and state governments. “We worry a lot about cost and converting the healthcare system into a mandatory system. When it comes to retail sales numbers, the fact is, our margins are very thin between what we pay for merchandise and what we sell it for,” Trautwein added. “It is tough to absorb additional labor costs, especially since healthcare is our greatest cost next to inventory and wages. The administration recognizes that we are the [proverbial] canaries in the coal mine. Currently, the NRF is working to help revise the negative, unintended consequences of these regulations.” Each business, regardless of size, must continue to decide whether to provide coverage and to what extent it will cover health insurance for its employees. Sue Masaracchia-Roberts is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in healthcare issues, profiles and small businesses. On the board of the Myra Rubenstein Weis Health Resource Library, she also is a member of the Midwest Writers Association.

Visit for a healthcare reform act glossary of terms and acronyms.


Each new issue of RetailerNOW is available on our iPad app. Access is included for print subscribers. Also available in the Google Play Store. J U LY | 2 0 1 3


Market Preview

Special Advertising Section

Merchandising Omnia

The timeless design of the Stetson is the focal point of any room setting. With its classic yoke design, personalized comfort is achieved by offering a designer leather inlay. The numerous leather options combined with different seating comfort options gives the Stetson the attention it deserves in any setting. Sofa dimensions are 92L x 39H x 42D.

Omnia Phone: (909) 393-4400 Fax: (909) 393-4401 Founding Member: Sustainable Furnishings Council Website: Website: Las Vegas Showrooms A-256 & A-242


Cresent Fine Furniture

Cresent Fine Furniture Phone: (615) 975-4862 Fax (615) 452-0098 Website: @cresentfurn

New Las Vegas Showroom B-554


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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.

The Scoop

the scoop

What’s going on with our retailers across the country

vv ICFA Announces Apollo Award Finalists

The International Casual Furnishings Association announced finalists for the 2013 Apollo Awards, a program that recognizes retail excellence in the sales and marketing of outdoor furnishings. Finalists must show outstanding accomplishments and a commitment to customer service. The ICFA membership will vote via an online ballot for a winner in each of two categories later this summer. Finalists will be honored and the winners announced at the ICFA Awards Gala on September 19, 2013, during the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago. Finalists in the 2013 competition include: Single Store Category

the scholarship program 11 years ago and built the fund so that six awards could be presented each year. The 2013 recipients include Austin D. Daniels, son of Kevin R. Daniels, who is employed by Flexsteel Inds. in Dubuque, Iowa; Jeffrey L. Jones, III, son of Deborah A. Jones, who is employed by England Inc., New Tazewell, Tenn.; Kelsey J. Workman, daughter of Glenn T. Workman, who is employed by Bassett Furniture, Newton, N.C.; Megan E. Underwood, daughter of Harry L. Underwood, who is employed by Stanley Furniture Co., Stanleytown, Va.; Nicole B. Smith, daughter of Jennifer L. Smith, who is employed by Bassett Furniture Warehouse, Bassett, Va.; and Kaitlyn P. Crews, daughter of David E. Bryan, who is employed by Ashley Furniture Co., Ripley, Miss.

`` Kolo Collection, Atlanta `` Outdoor Elegance, La Verne, Calif.

vv Hooker Furniture Partners with Independent Retailers

`` Seasons Four, Lexington, Mass.

Hooker Furniture and its independent dealers are moving forward with a manufacturer-retailer alliance to engage today’s changing consumers through web marketing and local-focused e-commerce.

`` Sunnyland Furniture, Dallas `` Village Green, Rockford, Ill. Multi-Store Category `` ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala. `` Patios Plus, Rancho Mirage, Calif. `` Outside in Style, Austin, Texas `` Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Lititz, Pa. `` Yard Art Patio & Fireplace, Irving, Texas

vv AHFA Awards Six Scholarships

The Suppliers Division of the American Home Furnishings Alliance has awarded six $2,000 scholarships to students who are children of AHFA member company employees. The scholarships are presented annually by AHFA’s Suppliers Division, which supports the program with an annual golf tournament. The Suppliers Division has more than 150 members, all producers of products and services targeted for the residential furniture manufacturing industry. Division members launched

As part of the co-branded partnership called P3, Hooker is building out e-commerce websites, or “iStores,” for retailers that offer Hooker Furniture brands for sale in the retailer’s local marketplace, including Hooker, Sam Moore, Bradington-Young and Seven Seas Seating. Eventually, retailers may add other vendors to their iStore as desired. Currently, approximately 30 retailers are part of the P3 program, including seven with live e-commerce enabled iStores. Several more iStore websites are live and should be e-commerce enabled in the near future. The iStores are being built and serviced by Hooker’s partner, Channel Redefined of Green Bay, Wisc., an e-commerce specialist in the home decor arena for more than 15 years. In addition to the e-commerce platform, the other key facet of the P3 program is indepth training by Hooker in online marketing and sales best practices, consumer trends and product knowledge through an ongoing P3 University Webinar program.

Send your latest news stories to We love to hear what’s going on with you. J U LY | 2 0 1 3







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We recently had a client experience an increase in traffic by 31 percent versus the previous year. Why? We made a concentrated effort to deliver our client’s message straight to the consumer in the comfort of his or her home. Marketing messages bombard today’s consumers in so many ways every day to the point that a lot of these messages just become noise. This is the nature of today’s online and mobile marketplace. It may seem overwhelming (because it is!), but we don’t need to manage every aspect of this reality. What we should focus on is how and when our consumer will hear the noise, and how we can make our message stand out. Let’s look at a common advertising medium: outdoor billboards. Billboards have become digital advertisements that rotate messages no differently than an online banner or TV commercial. How many cars/people are you potentially missing? In today’s fast-paced world it is almost too easy to overlook these types of marketing messages. Can this medium truly give you a direct channel to the consumer? How do you define a “direct channel”? It can be anything the consumer has to consciously do on his or her own time. He or she could turn on the TV while preparing breakfast or check their email before leaving the house to run errands. They check the mailbox first after a long day at work or they update their social media outlets directly from a smart phone. These devices and mediums all revolve around personal space. They are advertising vehicles with which consumers will receive your message through their own free will.

To help you increase your direct channel marketing, give these ideas a chance: XX Utilize the Every Door Direct Mail program and send out targeted mailers over a four-week period. Include an additional mobile opt-in feature for a text special or have them scan a QR code. YY Utilize pay-per-click advertising to drive potential furniture searches toward a dynamic online landing page and give the shopper an additional bonus offer. Added bonus: You have just directed them to your best promotional vehicle—your website. ZZ Send out email marketing campaigns that talk about a store-wide offer while featuring various clearance items that are only available to your email subscribers. qq Have a “Gas Card Giveaway” sweepstakes on Facebook, while utilizing Twitter and Pinterest to drive activity to your Facebook page. Purchase decision-making no longer happens in the car while deciding to shop. It happens long before that. It starts through searches on the web, information gathered through direct, targeted mediums and through online conversations. Consumers are speaking up and telling us how and where to reach them. Are you willing to listen?

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 J U LY | 2 0 1 3


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Diakon...a dedicated residential home or B2B, last mile, white glove carrier. We’re dedicated to the retailers success!

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The difference is in the details 703.530.0677, ext. 215

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: Duane Collie Store Name: The Keeping Room Location: Alexandria, Virginia Manufacturer: Hancock & Moore Product Name: Sundance series Is the product:

Made in America – Yes

Warehouse Ready – No

Container Product – No

Cost: Varies based on custom options Retail Cost: Varies based on custom options Product Level: High Why do you think it is a successful seller? The style is unique. It has concave features and button details. You could furnish the whole room with the series. How available is the product from the manufacturer? Custom-made in 6 to 8 weeks.

Submitted By: Neil Larson Store Name: My House Your Home Furnishings Location: Brick, New Jersey Manufacturer: Coaster Product Name: Sandy Beach collection Is the product:

Made in America – No

Warehouse Ready – Yes

Container Product – No

Retail Cost: $2,699 for the full collection Product Level: High How available is the product from the manufacturer? Available immediately J U LY | 2 0 1 3




77th Central Florida Furniture & Accessory Market

International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market

August 11 & 12, 2013 Kissimmee, FL

September 17-20, 2013

KEM Edison, NJ Furniture & Accessory Market

Chicago, Illinois

Tupelo Furniture Market

Midwest Furniture Show

August 4-6, 2013 Edison, New Jersey

August 15-18, 2013 Tupelo, Mississippi

September 25-26, 2013 Schaumburg, Illinois

9th Annual Pilgrim Furniture City’s Open Classic

China International Furniture Expo High Point Market

Las Vegas Market July 29 – August 2, 2013 Las Vegas, NV

August 6, 2013 North Stonington, Connecticut

September 11-15, 2013 Shanghai, China

October 19-24, 2013 High Point, North Carolina

Go online to find out more about Employee Appreciation LINKS: infographics Salesforce provided information from various sources used in all info graphic artwork.

Leona Collection

At Steve Silver Company we are passionate about providing our customers with a dependable product package of innovation, quality, value, and service. Dining | Occasional | Home Office | Leather Upholstery

Visit us at


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High Point Market

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International Casual Furniture Market

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Las Vegas Market

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Lynch Sales

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

The Now List 30% of telecommuters

work in their pajamas.


Bieber Fever?

Music industry giants discovered Justin Bieber because of his YouTube video resume.

1,896 HOURS On average, U.S. employees spend at least 1,896 hours per year at work. During a single workday, a typist’s fingers travel 12.6 miles on average.

In one night, a mole can dig 300 feet of tunnel. Rubber bands will last longer if you refrigerate them.

iPHONE SECRET For the busy minimalist who wants to keep a low profile, this option is for you. Go into “settings” > “accessibility” and then turn “LED flash for alerts” to “on”. This will prompt your phone to turn on the camera flash whenever you receive a message or email when the phone is set to silent.


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The top 10 U.S. cities with the worst organized retail crime are: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Northern New Jersey and San Francisco/Oakland. In Saudi Arabia, it’s illegal for men to work in stores exclusively selling women’s undergarments and makeup.

More Alaskans walk to work than do employees in any other state. Americans spend more than 100 hours a year commuting to work. Out of all full-time U.S. workers, 66 percent claim to be heavy drinkers, compared to 4.9 percent of part-time U.S. workers. NAPPING ON THE JOB Employees can nap at work at one percent of U.S. employers.

People with blue rooms appear to be getting the best night's sleep, while people with caramel-colored walls are having the most sex.


“123456” is the most common email password. If this is your password, you should probably change it!

1993 - 2013


why buy into generation y? panel discussion @ upcoming las vegas market. whY BuY into genY? There are over 80 million GenY consumers that hold $200 billion in spending power. How much do you really know about the demographic born between 1982-1999? • What are they buying? • How are they shopping? • What gets them to spend? Join us for a panel discussion and Q&A session, presented by MicroD’s retailer, manufacturer, and technology partners, to learn about what matters to this generation. In addition, panelists will review the roles of social media, eCommerce, and how to maximize your website to attract and sell to the GenY consumer. mobile.

iPad smartphone


retailers manufacturers


local listings keyword metrics

tueSDay, JuLy 30 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM retailer resource Center building b / 10th Floor

We look forward to seeing you! one source. marketing selling

MicroD incorporated 11301 Carmel Commons Dr., Suite 114 | Charlotte, nC 28226 1985 tate blvd., Suite 301 | hickory, nC 28602 | 800.964.3876 |

July 2013—Employee Appreciation  

A business is only as good as the staff it employs. You could sell the best product in the world, but if your workers are not engaged and en...

July 2013—Employee Appreciation  

A business is only as good as the staff it employs. You could sell the best product in the world, but if your workers are not engaged and en...