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SEPTEMBER 2016

The Publication of the Home Furnishings Association

Stop Fighting the Competition. Embrace it.


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SEPTEMBER2016

TAKEAWAYS 1 2 3 4 5

New sales strategies. 18 Keeping family harmony. 26 Online security practices. 30 Making smart hires. 34 Going green. 40

10 WHAT’S INSIDE 2. 4. 14. 20. 24. 26. 28. 36. 38. 40. 42.

HFA President’s Letter Editor’s Letter Member Profile: Rotmans Product Focus: Outdoor Furniture Next Generation: Jeff Strutz Family Matters: Family Harmony Take 2: The New Cardi’s First Look: Highlights from Las Vegas Market Member Benefit: Associate Plus Members Government Action: Going Green = $ HFA Community

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DEPARTMENTS Cover Story

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10. Embrace the Competition Sales & Marketing 18. Store Politics Operations 30. Cyber Security 34. The Right Hire the First Time

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SEPTEMBER | 2016

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President Jeff Child RC Willey President-Elect Steve Kidder Vermont Furniture Galleries

—Ralph W. Stockman

Secretary/Treasurer Sherry Sheely Sheely’s Furniture

(Did we mention it’s free?)

Chairman Marty Cramer Cramer’s Home Furnishings

Jeff Child HFA President

Sharron Bradley Chief Executive Officer sbradley@myhfa.org Mary Frye Executive Vice President mfrye@myhfa.org Membership Staff Jana Sutherland Membership Team Leader jsutherland@myhfa.org Jordan Boyst jboyst@myhfa.org Sherry Hansen shansen@myhfa.org Michael Hill mhill@myhfa.org Dianne Therry dtherry@myhfa.org Kaprice Crawford Director of Education kcrawford@myhfa.org Please call 800.422.3778 for membership inquires.

Twitter.com/retailerNOW Facebook.com/retailerNOW Pinterest.com/retailerNOW

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arlier this year I wrote about why I felt belonging to the Home Furnishings Association was important not just for our company, but all furniture retailers. One of those reasons is that the HFA board members and staff are always looking for ways to help people who sell furniture for a living. If you were at the Las Vegas furniture market, you might have heard about a new service we’re offering members—the HFA Buying Source program. It’s available to all members and best of all—it’s free! This is a perfect example of the HFA listening to the needs of our members and doing something to address those needs. It wasn’t easy putting this program together. There was much debate, a lot of research and many challenges that needed resolved. But when the final product was presented to the board, we wholeheartedly endorsed the program. Everyone sees the great advantages this program will provide our members. For one reason or another, many of our members don’t belong to a buying group. For some retailers the fees and costs didn’t make joining a buying group a viable option. Some haven’t understood the advantage of being in a buying group. Others are just too busy running their companies to look into one. Today, any HFA member can participate in the HFA Buying Source for free. The Association’s goal of helping retailers become more profitable just took a big step forward. HFA Buying Source will allow instant buying power to members who haven’t been able to take advantage of these programs in the past. I’m confident members who participate will become more profitable and competitive in their marketplaces. Contact our staff at 800.422.3778 to get more information on your new buying program and other HFA services. You’ll be glad you did.

Jeff Child

jeff.child@rcwilley.com

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Announcing HFA’s new buying program!

Vice President Jim Fee Stoney Creek Furniture

Executive Staff

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength.

SEPTEMBER | 2016

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THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION FOR

ALL THINGS OUTDOOR SEPTEMBER 20 SEPTEMBER 23 2016

CasualMarket.com #casualmarket

Casual Market Chicago is the world’s largest marketplace for the best in outdoor furnishings. Discover new products, hundreds of exhibitors and the largest selection of permanent showrooms anywhere.

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Lloyd Flanders, Inc.

Merchandise Mart, Chicago

AUGUST | 2016

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RETAILERNOW STAFF

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.

Dan McCann Publisher dmcann@myhfa.org

—Mary Lou Cook

Find your creative side

Lisa Casinger Editorial Director lcasinger@myhfa.org

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Robert Bell Editor rbell@myhfa.org Tim Timmons Art Director ttimmons@myhfa.org Lynn Orr Business Development Lorr@myhfa.org

Robert Bell

Cassie Wardlow Digital Marketing Coordinator cwardlow@myhfa.org

Editor, RetailerNOW

Jordan Boyst Proofreader jboyst@myhfa.org RETAIL ADVISORY TEAM Carol Bell Contents Interiors Tucson, Ariz. Travis Garrish Forma Furniture Fort Collins, Colo. Rick Howard Sklar Furnishings Boca Raton, Fla. Mike Luna Pedigo’s Furniture Livingston, Texas Andrew Tepperman Tepperman’s Windsor, Ontario This Month’s Contributors

Ginny Gaylor, Marty Grosse, Susan Inglis, Sue Masaracchia-Roberts, Connie Post, Tom Shay, Emma Sturgis and Wayne Rivers. Contact Us

ineteen minutes. That’s how long it takes me to pull out of my driveway and into my parking lot at work. If I’m lucky, sometimes I’ll get caught in what passes for a traffic jam in High Point, N.C., and my commute can stretch up to 25 minutes. Most people dread the daily commute. I don’t mind because that’s my time and my place to sit and think. About work. About home. About just how bad the Atlanta Braves are this year. (I try not to dwell on that last one, too much.) Everyone needs a go-to place where we can shed our business selves and be more creative. A place where we can leave behind the day’s distractions—the customers complaining about their delivery, the sofa and love seat that were supposed to be here six days ago, the sales employee who just turned in her two-day notice. Everyone needs a place where we can think, either aloud or in our heads, even if only for 19 minutes. If you don’t have one, you need to find one. It doesn’t have to be a place you go to every day. Once a week is fine (though two or three times a week is better) for an hour or so each time. Some place that allows you to look ahead more than just a week or month from now. I’m not talking big thoughts like “Why am I here?” or even “Where will my store be 10 years from now?” Those are important questions, but you’re not going to solve them in 60 minutes. When I say big thoughts I’m talking creative thoughts about your business. Thoughts that touch on little aspects of your store that can have a big impact. “What’s a fun idea for Halloween this year?” “What are some creative ways to build my email list?” “What if I made my store’s Facebook posts less promotional and more funny?” Of course, I’d love for you to find inspiration within these pages, but if you need to put this magazine down and go to your special place, do it now. Invest yourself in trying this and your store can’t help but benefit.

RetailerNOW 3910 Tinsley Dr., Suite 101 High Point, NC 27265 RetailerNOWmag.com 800.422.3778

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. POSTMASTER: Address changes to: RetailerNOW, NAHFA, 500 Giuseppe Court, Ste. 6, Roseville CA 95678. If you would like to stop receiving RetailerNOW, please send an email to RNOWunsubscribe@myhfa.org.

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Robert Bell

rbell@myhfa.org

© 2016 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.

SEPTEMBER | 2016

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What the new Instagram tools mean for your business Back in June, Instagram officially announced the launch of its tools for business users, including new business profiles, analytics and the ability to create ads from posts directly within the app. The Facebook-owned company worked with hundreds of business users to understand what was needed to enhance their Instagram experience, and three key needs became clear—stand out, get insights and find new customers. With these insights in mind, Instagram developed new Instagram Business Tools. If you haven’t jumped in on your Instagram business account already, here are some highlights of what you can expect to find when you do. Business profiles Business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. These profiles allow you to choose how you want your customers to get in touch with you (call, text or email) with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles are only open to those who already have a Facebook page for their business. Insights Insights on Instagram give you actionable information about who your followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. Insights will feature metrics like top

posts, reach, impressions and engagement around posts, as well as more data on your followers like their gender, age, and location. You’ll also be able to use Insights to view the top posts sorted by Impressions for both a seven day and a 30-day period. And the ability to promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the Instagram app—helping you connect with even more customers. View the full post at: thenextweb.com/insider/2016/07/15/ look-new-instagram-business-tools-meanbusiness/

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Does it seem like your iPhone is permanently attached to your hand? Maybe it's time to break free. Moment is an iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day all the way down to what apps you use the most. If you’re using your phone too much, Moment allows you to set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. Not disciplined enough to put the phone down? Moment can even force you off your device when you’re over your limit. It’s super simple: Install the app then forget about it. Everything is automatic.

SEPTEMBER | 2016

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HFACHAT Do you offer special financing during holiday/big event sales?

Tim Koerner

John Cramer

Koerner Furniture, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

The Sleep Store Fort Collins, Colo.

We don’t offer any special longterm financing for events. We only offer the 6-month and 12-month financing. We have run the 36- to 48-month etc. in the past and we didn’t have any luck with them. I also don’t raise my prices to meet the increased cost of the large financing. It goes against trying to have great everyday prices that are competitive.

We use a lot of groups like Wells Fargo, Okinus, Preferred Merchants. Most of our business is credit card. They find a mattress and pull out their card and we’re done. But with some people we use financing to close the deal. They’ll come in and be set on a $600 or $800 mattress and we convert them to a $2,000 (mattress) and take on the terms.

Marissa Herrera Emmanuel’s Furniture Delano, Calif.

We don’t do as much with in-store financing because it’s not as helpful as it used to be. We’re seeing that Synchrony through the HFA is bringing more people in the door. If a customer wants to help improve their credit history, offering in-store credit isn’t the way to do it.

The perks of membership got even stronger?

How?

We’ve added a FREE buying program AND a members-only web portal If you’re a member—awesome! Activate your new benefits now. If you’re not a member you should be! CALL NOW and calculate your savings! 8

If you are not a member you myHFA.org should be!| 800.422.3778 AUGUST | 2016 RetailerNOWmag.com CALL NOW and calculate your savings!

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e Competition

And use them to your advantage. By Ginny Gaylor

W

HEN IT COMES TO competition in business, most organizations and their leaders have an instinctive response—competition is to be feared. But while a competing business coming into your area might cause you to want to run away or react in a similarly drastic fashion, i.e. the business world’s version of fight or flight, the better reaction may be to welcome your competitor. It may sound crazy, but there are several valid reasons why furniture retailers should embrace each other.

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Why competition is good For today’s consumer, buying furniture isn’t a whim purchase. So it’s easy to see why a furniture retailer might judge a competing retailer in the community as a bad thing. HFA member Joey Gunn sees it differently. “We feel that anybody in our area who makes furniture sexy helps us,” says Gunn, vice president of Knight Furniture, which has stores in Sherman and Gainesville, Texas. Since joining the family business (he marks the store’s fifth generation), Gunn says new competitors coming into his area have only helped fuel shoppers’ interest in buying furniture. “If people are in the mood to buy furniture in our area, we are on the list,” he says. “Since I’ve been working for us, every time we’ve had a competitor move in it’s helped our business.” To start, competition can help a furniture retailer focus on their market and their place within that market. As Gunn explains, “We have a furniture row—there are two other family-run stores, which sell lower-end items, and a Haverty’s.” Knight Furniture and Haverty’s are the options for high-end furniture, with Knight being the only location in the area offering La-Z-Boy. Having competition also benefits furniture retailers in terms of not being complacent about what they offer or their customer service. This is actually an area where a small, local business has an advantage over a larger, national chain. Odds are that the national furniture retailer is not going to be involved with the Chamber of Commerce or sponsoring a Little League team. Making that sort of investment in your community gives small furniture retailers a competitive advantage. Finally, competition can help a furniture store up its customer service game. If you want your store and your employees to be on top of keeping customers happy you have to demonstrate a superior understanding of your products and a belief in the store’s brand. This translates to a passion for the products and the customers, something that can’t be faked (nor should it be). After all, the customer’s final goal is really not buying a particular item of furniture. What they are most likely after is creating a more welcoming environment in their home.

Stand out against your competition No matter the size of your furniture store, competition is competition. That said, a larger operation can buy in greater quantities and therefore out price a smaller competitor. Dr. Marianne Bickle, department chair of the Department of Retailing College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina, says smaller furniture stores will rarely win if they compete merely by engaging in a price war with a larger furniture retailer. “Instead, compete by offering different merchandise,” she suggests. Bickle recommends small retailers regularly “shop” the competition to find out what merchandise they offer—

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something Knight Furniture does. She also believes smaller furniture retailers would be wise to develop a specialization and become well known in their community for the merchandise they carry. “However, the best way to compete is through excellent customer service. This sounds easier than it is,” she says. “Most retailers, regardless of the product or service, offer less than excellent customer service.” Gunn has seen how bad customer service at a competitor’s store can even harm his business. “If someone is taking advantage of the community, it poisons the community on the entire category. One bad apple can spoil it,” he says. “We don’t have that situation right now, but I’ve seen it, and we’ve had it before, and you end up overcoming objections in your store that came from someone else doing something wrong in the community.” The result, Gunn has often found, is that the potential customers don’t buy furniture at all, but spend their money in another category.

Adapt to your community’s needs The key then is to differentiate your furniture store from your competitor’s in your community. Not only does Knight Furniture fill a niche by offering higher-end furniture in its community, but Gunn also feels the store has listened to the needs of the community and adapted to those needs. “Three years ago we were looking at the numbers, and mattresses were taking off,” he says. “Customers were voting with their dollars about what they wanted us to focus on, so we invested money in a bedding gallery.” As a Texas-based furniture retailer, Knight Furniture has also had the foresight to capitalize on the popularity of local celebrities Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, by offering their Magnolia Home line of home furnishings. “In Texas their names kept coming up,” Gunn says. “When they launched a furniture line it was a really easy decision.” Gunn admits as a smaller retailer he’s able to take immediate action on these kinds of changes in a way that a larger, chain retailer simply can’t. “I feel very fortunate in my job, because I’m able to go to market and come back and implement things very quickly. If I worked for a chain, there would be a lot of voting on decisions I would want to make. It’s one of the things that keeps Knight Furniture flexible.” Bickle advises furniture retails to separate themselves from their competitors through branding. “This brand has nothing to do with furniture and accessories,” she explains. “It has everything to do with what it offers the customers.” Her recommendation is for a retailer to start by developing a mission statement and then creating their brand based on this question: How does the retailer want to be perceived? “Once the company has the above two points developed, all actions (price, products, personnel, services, social media and advertising) should be aligned with the mission statement and company brand,” she says. Finally, she cautions retailers to never waiver from their mission statement and brand. “The difficult part of a brand is follow through. The company is obligated to deliver on the brand. Otherwise customers will feel betrayed,” Bickle says.

Pushing your message out When it comes to getting a retailer’s message out to the public, it’s a whole new world, one which many businesses—particularly home

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I feel very fortunate in my job, because I’m able to go to market and come back and implement things very quickly. If I worked for a chain, there would be a lot of voting on decisions I would want to make. It’s one of the things that keeps Knight Furniture flexible. — Joey Gunn, Knight Furniture

furnishings retailers—are still struggling to adapt to in terms of understanding and using the internet and social media. For Gunn and Knight Furniture the experience in the 1990s was if they wanted to promote a sale, they ran ads on the local television channels, on the radio and in the paper. If they did all of that “85 percent of town would have heard our message,” Gunn says. “Now if we do those things we’re lucky if 40 percent hear our message, and it hasn’t gotten any cheaper.” Today’s consumers find their news and information on social media and other online sources, making Google Adwords and Facebook important. Gunn said the shift in how people get their information has caused Knight Furniture to examine all communication products. “Does newspaper or radio work? And if not, we move those dollars to social media,” he says. “Our budget is what it is, we can’t just spend more, so we have to re-evaluate all the things we used to do, because we’re having to find money to spend on this new thing to stay relevant without neglecting our base.” Over the years, Gunn has learned that a relevant website is essential, so potential customers have a place to visit and research before buying. Bickle agrees, saying that many customers first use a retailer’s website to browse their options. “The website should include key information regarding brands offered, store hours and lots of pictures of current merchandise offered. Consumers are visual. They want to see what types of furniture and accessories are available at the store prior to shopping,” she says. “I know people are buying furniture online, I’m not naive,” Gunn explains. He does feel, however, that when consumers are shopping online for furniture they are typically shopping for which furniture store they are going to ultimately visit in person. That’s why the main purpose of Knight Furniture’s site is to provide a feel for what Knight Furniture offers. “That way we make the list when it comes time for customers to get out of their house and go look at a store—consumers want to narrow it down. If you are their first choice, they are yours to lose.” Gunn’s philosophy of welcoming competition may strike some as strange, but he’s nothing if not sincere. His family’s 100-plus years of experience as furniture retailers has taught him that when a fellow furniture retailer, whether it’s a family-run store, or a chain store, is not doing well it puts fear in the community, which gets applied to the whole category. “When I see a local family-run store go out of business, it hits too close to home. I have people say ‘I bet you’re glad,’ and I say no we aren’t. It’s not OK, especially in my category. We don’t share trade secrets, but there really is a little part of me that is rooting for them.” Ginny Gaylor is an award-winning writer and editor based in Greensboro, N.C. She has more than 15 years of experience writing about the home furnishings industry. She can be reached at ginnygaylor@gmail.com.

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Call for Nominations HFA’s 2017 Retailer of the Year Nominate an HFA member for the 2017 Retailer of the Year Award. Awards will be given in two categories: over $10 million and under $10 million in sales.

Other HFA member award nominations are: Emerging Star Award (retailers 3-5 years in business)

Trailblazer Award (retailers 20+ years in business)

Nominations are due by Dec. 5, 2016. Submit nominations online at myhfa.org, visit HFA’s Retailer Resource Center in High Point (1st floor Plaza Suites), or email lcasinger@myhfa.org.

Join us to celebrate the winners at the HFA Networking Conference in San Antonio, Texas

June 4-5, 2017.

SEPTEMBER | 2016

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HE’S HAPPY to help

Dave Rotman’s focus used to be on producing 5-star movies. These days he’s creating 5-star customers. By Robert Bell

D

ave Rotman was fast asleep—dreaming of happy customers perhaps?—when an email alert awoke him. Turns out one of his store’s customers wasn’t so happy. The supports to the bed he recently purchased at Rotmans in Worcester, Mass., were broken. It was 3 a.m. and the customer had just posted an unflattering review of the store online review. Dave Rotman read the review and went back to bed. Or at least he tried to. “I couldn’t do it,” he says. “I couldn’t let it go. It was a Saturday morning and if we didn’t get out there that day we wouldn’t be able to make it right until Monday.”

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, FURNITURE! Dave Rotman is a former

movie producer who says selling movies and furniture are alike. “It’s all about giving the customer what they want whether it’s a special night where they can lose themselves in a movie or just lounging on a piece of furniture. They want to be treated special—who doesn’t?”

So Rotman crawled out of bed. Now it was 4 a.m. He sent his delivery manager an email. By 9 a.m., the part was on a delivery truck heading for the customer’s house. By the time the customer went to sleep the next night, he was sleeping in his newly repaired bed and, just as important, had changed his online opinion of Rotmans from negative to glowing. As happy as the customer was, Rotman was just as elated. “I don’t know what it is, but I love turning a bad situation into a good one,” says Rotman, director of customer relations at Rotmans in Worcester, Mass. “When I find out that someone has had a bad experience with us, I want to make things right. And I want to make them happy. That’s just the way I’m wired, I guess.” There is, of course, another reason behind Rotman’s fixation:

Ever since he started monitoring and responding to his store’s online reviews, in-store sales have taken off. Barry Rotman, Dave’s father and chairman of the business, and Steve Rotman, Dave’s uncle and CEO, couldn't be happier. “There’s no doubt in my mind,” Steve says. “Dave has changed the way we think about our customers after they walk out that door. A lot of retailers would be smart to do the same.” Dave Rotman’s wisdom wasn’t accumulated over decades in the home furnishings industry. He spent most of his life producing movies in Hollywood (Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger? Rotman co-produced it). “When you think about it, Dave says,” “selling movies and furniture aren’t so different. It’s all about giving the customer what they want, whether it’s a special night when they can lose themselves in a movie or just loung-

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ing on a piece of furniture. They want to be treated special—who doesn’t?” Dave returned home to Worcester and began working at Rotmans in 2012, starting as a salesman on the floor to learn the business. Steve Rotman saw the first week that his nephew was a people person and liked to please the customers. “He was easily one of our top sellers every month,” Steve recalls. “Whenever Dave sold a piece of furniture, he insisted on getting a picture of him with the customer standing or sitting with the piece they just bought. Right from the beginning, he was making that connection, starting to make the customer a customer for life.” When Dave took over the store’s customer relations area, one of his first tasks was to check out the company’s online reviews. It wasn’t a pretty picture. A number of customers had left poor rankings at online review sites like Google Plus, Facebook and Yelp—sometimes just one or two stars. Rotman was determined to find out where the store failed so he picked up the phone. “The first reaction from people was, ‘You actually read my review?’ Their second reaction was, ‘You want to make things right?’” Dave’s methods for fixing the problems vary. Sometimes the store issues a credit, other times they replace the piece entirely. “Basically, our position is, ‘What can I do to make you happy?’” says Dave. Over time, formerly disgruntled customers began changing those one-and two-star reviews to four or five stars. One of those customers was Camille Gray. She wasn’t happy with the furniture she bought at Rotmans and let her feelings be known via Google Plus, the search engine’s business review arm. But after Dave Rotman reached out to Gray and made things right, Gray was singing a different tune:

There’s more than just stars behind a positive review. After customers began updating their Yelp, Facebook and Google Plus reviews of Rotmans, Steve Rotman says the company began measuring higher store traffic—as much as 20 percent. That higher traffic leads to higher sales. “It’s really very easy to measure the cause and effect,” Steve Rotman says. “Dave was one of the first to realize how Amazon has changed the game—not just for books, but for every retailer. It used to be if a customer had a bad experience with your store or product and the retailer just shrugged his shoulders, there wasn’t much a customer could do. That’s the old way of business. The customer has so much power now. They have a voice. And if you want to stay in this business, you better make sure that voice is heard. Dave is the one listening for Rotmans. He takes those complaints very seriously.” Sometimes Dave Rotman takes those complaints a little too seriously. Like the time he read about Debora Martin’s online review complaining about a Beautyrest mattress her daughter paid $800 for and wasn’t happy with. Dave went to Steve to persuade him to give the Martins a store credit. What made Dave’s request interesting was that the customer didn't buy the mattress at Rotmans. She bought it at a competitor’s store. “Where she bought it was completely irrelevant to me,” Dave says. “We sell Beautyrest and the brand was being tarnished in our area. I wanted to make it right.” Dave reached out to Martin and offered her an $800 store credit to Rotmans. After having to be convinced he wasn’t joking, Martin accepted. She didn’t change the old store’s review, but she added one for Rotmans:

REVIEW Camille Gray (11 months ago) Update—8/22/15: I have changed my review from 1 star to 5 stars. I received a call a couple weeks ago from Dave Rotman, who had seen my online reviews (at this point, my furniture is 4 years old). He was very upset about the way I was treated and the quality of the furniture. He sent a technician out this week to look at it to see what could be done. Upon reviewing the pictures of it, they decided it was not something that could be repaired. They offered me a full store credit to choose another set. I was totally floored, talk about a full 360 in customer service! We went in today to choose our new sofa and love seat and were helped by Deb. She spent a lot of time with us and was so very helpful and knowledgeable. We chose a replacement set and they waived the delivery charge and will be removing the old furniture when they deliver the new. We are very pleased and will now be recommending Rotmans to our friends. Thank you Dave and Deb!

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We recently visited Rotmans Furniture because we were in need of replacing a mattress. Totally unsure of what we wanted, the mattress department manager explained the differences between each and every mattress in our price range and was very patient while we tested them all.  Once we decided on a mattress the delivery was scheduled.  The delivery guys were on time, courteous and efficient!  I am rating this furniture store with a 5 star—the service was above and beyond excellent.  Check it out ...there are several floors for furniture, mattresses, rugs and even a loft.

Even now Martin is amazed at the service she received from a store she didn’t even shop. Of course, she shops there now. “I told all my friends what they had done for me,” says Martin. “They couldn’t believe it either but you know what? When it’s time for them to buy furniture everyone of them said they were going to shop at Rotmans.” Dave Rotman doesn’t limit his efforts to online reviews. His store uses Dispatch Track to schedule and monitor furniture

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deliveries. Any delivery that comes back less than 4 stars and Rotman is on the phone. Dave Rotman’s focus used to be on producing 5-star movies, but now it’s on producing 5 star customers. His passion is transforming frustrated customers into customers for life— customers who encourage others to become that too. And he’s having fun along the way. “In many ways, I have the greatest job in the world,” he says. “Every day I wake up and get to try and make people happy. How cool is that?”

WHAT HFA MEANS TO ME It’s the chance to grow and learn from each other. No one retailer has all the answers. The ones who think they know it all are the ones who aren’t going to be around very long. HFA offers all of its members the chance to become smarter. Their seminars and webinars over the years have been invaluable to me.

Steve Rotman Rotmans Furniture, Worcester, Mass.

HELPING HAND When a customer of Rotmans Furniture isn’t happy, they can expect a call from Dave Rotman (above) the store’s director of customer relations. RetailerNOW_Ad_Half_Page_8.375x4.75_PRINT.pdf

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Store Politics

This campaign season, make a promise to examine your store’s performance. You might be surprised at what you find. And it beats kissing babies.

By Marty Grosse

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his political season gives us pause to look back while looking to the future. Ask yourself this question, “Is your store better off today than it was four years ago?” Face it, the world of furniture retailing is moving faster than ever and the choices you make now will have far reaching implications. Is it time to stick with the status quo or cast your vote for some outside-the-establishment thinking? Perhaps there’s room to use a bipartisan approach to some of these important aspects of your business. How’s your merchandise assortment looking? If money is the mother’s milk of politics, then merchandising is the mother’s milk of furniture retailing. Has your product selection stagnated or progressed? As styles, colors and fashion trends emerge at warp speed these days, online retailers quickly promote new and fresh looks to an ever-aware and internet-savvy consumer.

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Of course you want to keep the items on your floor that are still generating sales, but consider a new approach to selling off those slow selling or outdated products. Create special merchandising hot spots on your floor to bring attention to those items. Take a broad-brush approach—literally—by bringing new stylish paint colors into your store to complement those items you’re trying to move. Do you have a spiff program in place to incentivize and reward your sales team for moving these products? Consider term limits for merchandise slots on your floor. If you have merchandise that’s starting to slow in sales, make the decision to replace it with a new candidate sooner rather than later. Establish a system to track the aging of your inventory. Most inventory systems have this capability and you should focus on “out with the old and in with the new.” Keeping your floors and merchandise fresh are critical in today’s retail environment.

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What is the customer experiencing in your store? Have procedures and processes become complex and increasingly burdened with store bureaucracy? Just as some politicians want smaller government and others want expanded government oversight, I vote for a “less is more” approach to a customer’s in-store operational experience. Are you making it quick and easy to buy with new technology point-of-sale systems? Track the amount of time it takes for your customers to check out after deciding to buy then establish a benchmark goal for speeding up the process. No one ever complains that a process goes smoothly or quickly. Online competition makes it easy to buy and the busy life of today’s consumers demand that operational efficiencies continually be streamlined. Besides, online reviews make it easier than ever to vent about slow or cumbersome processes. Making a more efficient


customer experience could be as simple as having the right amount of staff at the right time or empowering your employees to make the decisions needed to speed things up. Make your customers’ in-store experience memorable and they will remember your store. Are your salespeople reaching across the aisle and working as a team? If there ever was a need for a bipartisan approach it’s here. How is the morale of your team? Do you “press the flesh” by holding regular salesperson performance reviews? Plan to meet one on one with individual salespeople and ask them how they are doing. You may be surprised by what you learn. Attitude is critical in sales performance and these meetings may expose additional training needs or team dynamics that may be impacting morale. Think of sales meetings as your version of congress in session. Is the format and tenor of your meetings designed to solicit everyone’s input and discuss common issues on the sales floor? Don’t allow one of your sales staff to take control of a sales meeting and attempt a filibuster. As speaker of your house you must listen and learn but always remain in control of sales meetings and your selling team. How have your advertising and marketing efforts changed? Election years always represent challenges as the political parties have huge appetites and budgets gobble up available advertising. The strong trend to online marketing coupled with the decline in print media and the diverse choices in television/radio advertising requires the same approach that the politicians adopt. Identify those “undecided voters” in your marketing area and begin to target market. Even though newspapers have declined, everyone still gets mail. The USPS Every Door Direct Mail program is an excellent way to reach those areas. The program allows you to target by demographics too. Expand your customer base by bringing more first time buyers to your store. What previously worked in your marketing efforts may no longer be viable and deciding where to place ad dollars has never been more complex. Make

sure your website is mobile responsive and engage in social media while using a reputable online marketing company to navigate the tricky digital terrain. Drive more people to your website and ultimately it may drive them to your store. Are in-store customers able to finalize a decision from home and purchase via your website? Finding customers through the digital process and making it easy to buy online is certainly the future. However, any good political campaign understands the importance of a well-organized ground operation. Salespeople should be actively prospecting for new customers on and off the clock. Asking for referrals and encouraging online reviews is appropriate and often welcomed by satisfied customers. Word-of-mouth advertising is still inexpensive and invaluable. Do you participate in some form of a furniture political party? In other words, have you joined any peer groups or organizations that create opportunities to network and learn from other retailers? Finding new ideas and inspiration at industry conferences can re-charge and energize your furniture retail world. Working within a peer group that shares best practices and benchmark statistics can open a floodgate of new ideas for your retail operation. At the very least plan to visit the Retailer Resource Center at the Las Vegas and High Point markets to find inspirational seminars and solutions to your retail challenges. Perhaps we start a new furniture party for the next election cycle. Since the political process is called the silly season, here’s a possible slogan. “We are Stronger Together so Let’s Make Furniture Great Again!” What do you think? I’m Marty Grosse, and I approved this message. Furniche.com founder Marty Grosse has 35 years of experience including senior positions across six toptier retailers. Furniche provides visitors real, relevant and timely shopping advice with access to research, local furniture stores and manufacturer information. Contact him at martygrosse@furniche.com

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Outdoor comfort, indoor style More consumers are furnishing their homes beyond their walls, and retailers are quick to respond. By Sue Masaracchia-Roberts

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UMMER’S HEAT MAY BE WANING, BUT OUTdoor fashion continues to heat up. Current trends keep evolving with new products and materials being introduced in the marketplace. Quality patio furniture tops the popularity charts with new manufacturers and retailers adding these to their product listings. Among the new entries to the outdoor market is HFA member and Wisconsin-based manufacturer Ashley Furniture. Senior vice president of sales Al Matthews says, “We view this as a big opportunity as people move outdoors in the nicer weather. Many new homes [in southern and western areas] have extended their family rooms into the outdoors. Many of these areas are covered and include amenities like fans, kitchens and televisions.” Those areas, says Matthews, need to be furnished.

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Design technology and materials continue to accelerate and improve faster, according to Gary Pettitt, chief executive officer for Texas-based manufacturer Seasonal Living. This is especially true with the advent of 3D printing. “There are styles of furniture emerging that, until recently, just were not possible or conceived. While colors come and go, smaller (design) firms such as Ilio Studio, are pushing the boundaries of uniqueness in creating boutique products that separate more mass-market offerings and allow both manufacturers and wholesalers to innovate and separate themselves from mainstream offerings.” Some of the furniture materials being used are relatively new such as concrete, ceramic and stone. Others come from more traditional sources such as bamboo, reclaimed teak and stainless steel as manufacturers work to stay slightly ahead from a design and style

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COMING AND GOING Seasonal Living’s made-to-order Fizz Collection includes this gorgeous double chaise that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

perspective to better compete with larger mass-market offerings. More unusual designs also continue to appear. Armless loveseats and geometric tables made from mixed material as well as furniture that blends woven with metals are popular this fall. “We don’t offer run-of-the-mill outdoor living products,” says Pettitt. “Some will only be suitable for outdoor applications but the majority of products and level of finish we offer are suitable for indoor applications as well. This is an example of how material innovation has really helped blur the lines between indoor and outdoor products.” Manufacturers and retails agree that neutral, solid colors seem to be prevalent; the predominant color seems to be grey with pops of accent colors like a flamingo coral, blues, teals and greens added to the mix.

When it comes to upholstery, Teresa Buelin of North Carolinabased Klaussner Outdoor Furniture has a rule: Keep it simple. “We like to make it as easy as possible to select fabrics,” says Buelin, Klaussner’s sales and merchandise manager. “We like to have everything at one price so you don’t confuse the customers or the salesforce. We don’t want customers to be worried about pricing when they look at [fabrics], and want them to know they can contrast in any fabric with no up-charge, which makes the experience more fun, too.” Dining and conversation groupings accompanied by accent pieces like rugs, pillows, swivel lounges and ottomans, umbrellas and woven cubes seem to be the preferred way to showcase these settings and allow customers to visualize what’s possible. In the medium to higher-end customer spend segments, Pettitt

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COMFY AND TOUGH Seasonal Living’s Plato chair is made from a synthetic fiber that shouldn’t fade, crack or split even under intense sunlight and rain throughout the year.

believes “the trend is moving away from ‘matchy-matchy’ to more eclectic, personalized and differentiating designs.” Mariah Maydew, general manager at HFA member Fruehaf ’s Patio and Garden in Boulder, Col., thinks manufacturers are offering more contemporary collections as well as mid-century modern looks. “We’ll see how popular those styles will be at the retail level next season,” she says. “For now we’re seeing a lot of mixed materials and faux wood products.” Vice president of HFA member and California-based Emerald Home Furnishings, Lyle Ecoff agrees that contemporary styles seem to be gaining more attention, while aluminum and synthetic outdoor woven products seem to have increased in popularity, too. Just like with indoor furnishings, green is in for the outdoors. Jan and Todd Butner, the new owners of North Carolina-based Uwharrie Chair Company, note a growing interest in polymers. “It might be a push toward being green as the polymer used is recycled plastic and milk jugs,” says Todd Butner. “We also have seen a lot of places reusing wood that was something else—like barns—turned into furniture. It’s a win-win for everybody.” Buelin sees an uptick in synthetic teak, made from four types of polystyrene. “It looks and feels like real teak but retains its color,” she says.

Customer preferences tend to vary by demographics and geography, but one thing remains constant, says Ecoff. “You have to show consumers what’s possible” He says seating is more popular in sun-drenched states like Florida, Texas and California, but dining is the key driver. “To showcase and sell it, [outdoor] is no different than indoor furniture in that it needs to be displayed the same way,” he says. Earlier this year, HFA member Liz Werner of Furniture Market in Las Vegas, closed an antique mall she ran adjacent to her store and filled it with outdoor contemporary and transitional furniture. Business has been brisk, she says. “We are looking for manufacturers who don’t make typical frames,” she says. “We don’t sell Lucite because it would scratch from the sand in the air, but we do carry interesting metal and concrete products. Woven is good but there is a lot out there. This industry is different from interior furniture. People with larger houses tend to want more customized pieces. Buying patterns are unique, however most of our customers want quality, customization and service, which we do well.” “We always buy made-in-America products when we can,” says Maydew. “Repurposed furniture is popular as well. I think it helps the customer feel good about their purchase and gives them a story to tell.” Brian Flegel, general manager and incoming CEO of HFA member Flegel Home Furniture in Menlo Park, Calif., says his store’s high-end customers want sustainable, low-maintenance furniture that needs no cover. “And they want a good amount of

TEAK PREVIEW Klaussner’s Delray sectional has the look and feel of teak framing but is really a durable polymer that comes with a 7-year warranty. It comes in several different colors.

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style choices with fabrics like Sunbrella that are lightweight and comfortable,” he says. “Teak goes in and out. Brown Jordan does excellent, interesting transitional styles in aluminum and metal.” Uwharrie’s biggest growth is in its outdoor dining furniture. The company recently licensed with Jarret Bay Yacht Company for their dining line. They also experienced increased orders for benches and dining chairs, all of which seem to sell best when displayed in vignettes. “Our furniture is fine to leave out yearround; it weathers wonderfully, even in snow,” said Uwharrie’s Jan Butner. Among industry challenges, Pettitt says being able to effectively merchandise and display outdoor furnishings is imperative. He says successful retailers “understand what they are selling and are creative in making their store a design destination. Some retailers make our product look breathtaking while others put no significant effort into merchandising.” Pettitt says a retailer’s team must be able to articulate why an item is on the floor and is able to create the dream around the purchasing experience to increase sales. “Someone will always offer something similar for less,” he warns. And then there are the Millennials. Although Millennials have strong purchasing power, they’re not as brand-motivated or interested in quality furniture as other generations. They tend to change jobs more often and be transient. Buelin suggests that Klaussner Outdoors is among the manufacturers trying to attract this group with the designs and styles they’re showing. “Lantana has more of a young vibe,” says Buelin, like “a modular group with a one-armed love seat, or a more Bohemian look using different configurations around a fire pit.” Flegel says Millennials will eventually come around. “They don’t see the value [of quality, contemporary furniture] yet,” he says. “When they have families, that will change.” However, Pettitt believes Millennials are creating entirely new wholesaling and retailing opportunities with much wider product selections. “The market is not splintering. Brands will continue their importance of building consumer loyalty,” he says, “allowing us to offer much wider product selections to broaden our market penetration with different products for different customer segments.” Given the choices of what to sell, Pettitt urges retailers to “take a chance, differentiate your store, and try new products and designs. Being bolder and creating a showroom that engages customers is the key to building success.” “Retailers need to rethink the manner in which they deal with customers,” he says. “With the ever-increasing rise of online retailers, it becomes more challenging for brick-and-mortar stores to avoid the pressures of competing. It’s all about making connections and providing excellent levels of service.” However, to be successful in any category, Maydew suggests retailers “don’t dabble. We’ve learned that in order to be successful, whether it is patio furniture, grills, giftware or jewelry, you need to go all in. You need a large selection, knowledgeable salespeople and—especially for a seasonal area—lots of on-hand inventory. Customers who want merchandise want it now!” Sue Masaracchia-Roberts is a freelance writer and public relations consultant with more than 25 years of experience in writing and public relations. She can be reached at suemas@comcast.net.

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NEXTGENPROFILE

MINUTES with Jeff Strutz

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hen my parents bought Black’s Home Furnishings in 1992, I would have said you were crazy if you suggested I would later take it over. I do a little bit of everything at the store, and to be honest, I’ve never thought of it as my dream job but the opportunity to work alongside my parents has been a truly stellar experience. The store has allowed me to move back to my hometown of Yreka, Calif., which isn’t exactly booming by any stretch, but the area is overflowing with natural beauty and outdoor activities. I take every chance I get, probably to the detriment of the store, to get out there and enjoy it. Luckily, I have a well-rounded and understanding staff that covers for me constantly when I’m on my adventures racing off-road motorcycles, coaching the high school’s snowboard team, or while I’m on the river guiding whitewater rafts or fishing trips.

Why Next Generation Now? Next Gen Now has helped me see that the small brick-andmortar stores are not as endangered as I thought. Also, the friends I’ve made in NGN have not only made industry events more fun and exciting, but they’ve also been a shoulder to cry on and a fresh source of inspiration to glean ideas from. It’s refreshing to know that if I stick around the furniture industry until my last days, I’ll have adventure buddies to go the distance with.

Words to live by “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! What a ride!"

Jeff Strutz making his way down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

—Hunter S. Thompson

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5 Minutes is a monthly profile of a Next Generation Now member. Next Gen Now is an HFA-hosted community of young industry professionals whose mission is to give voice to the needs and goals of the industry’s next wave of leaders. Connect with members at myHFA.org/ngn or Twitter @ngnow.

Design + Performance is a trademark and Sunbrella is a registered trademark of Glen Raven, Inc.

Jeff Strutz

Black’s Home Furnishings Yreka, Calif.

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Design + Performance™ is a trademark and Sunbrella® is a registered trademark of Glen Raven, Inc.

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Good business is built on trust, reliability and respect. Sunbrella ® delivers the best performing upholstery fabrics, responsive customer support and the industry’s leading warranty. So your customers never question your commitment.

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8/17/16 6:33 PM


FAMILYMATTERS

Family harmony doesn’t have to be an oxymoron By Wayne Rivers

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friend of mine comes from a typical American family—maybe one like yours. His mom and dad were married for almost 50 years and had four children. Mom passed away about 10 years ago, and Dad succumbed this winter. The four siblings got along reasonably well—until now. They are in the process of settling Dad’s sizable estate, and the wheels have fallen off. Prior to his death, the siblings got together periodically for meals and family occasions. Now when they get together, the tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. One brother is locked out of the family home place. A sister won’t speak to another brother because he took advantage of her over some beach property (isn’t the family beach house always a source of dispute and contention?). The youngest brother periodically calls the oldest and, perhaps fueled by drugs or alcohol, harangues him in the coarsest possible language. What happened to this reasonably harmonious, typical American family, and why is this destructive pattern repeated across so many business families? Here are the five top reasons.

The big secret The senior generation is secretive and controlling with their drop-dead plans. Mom and Dad meet with the family attorney, draft testamentary documents according to their assumptions about how family assets ought to pass, execute the documents and then assiduously avoid discussion over what they’ve done. While illogical and inexplicable, this is the rule and not the exception even in 2016! There seems to be some unwritten law that you’re not supposed to discuss money and wealth with “the children”—even if the children are in their 50s.

Afraid to speak up The junior generation lacks the courage to ask questions and, if necessary, confront the seniors in an adult manner about their drop-dead wishes and plans. I’ve written quite a bit about the staggering lack of courage among next-generation family business members when it comes to being assertive with their

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parents. This assertiveness is called for and necessary not just in the context of operating the family-owned business but also in the context of planning for what happens when everyone gets home from the funeral.

Kumbaya The junior generation feels an obligation to get along for the benefit of their aging parents. The parents are the glue that holds the family together. When they’re gone, the glue goes missing and the gloves come off. Verbal and emotional filters siblings used, consciously or subconsciously, around their parents disappear, and deep-seated emotions and frustrations burst to the surface. Unless the next generation has undertaken deliberate measures to put ground rules for communicating about uncomfortable topics in place, it’s all too easy for them to begin bickering when Mom and Dad are no longer around to referee.

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Senior generation plans and documents are a disorganized mess There’s quite a bit of documentation necessary to walk an estate through probate. In today’s digital world, one of the keys to proper organization is knowing computer passwords. Thinking about this element of organization makes even me queasy! In the event lightning struck my own family, I’m afraid I, too, would be behind the eight ball on this particular item.

Multiple or poor legal or tax advisors An attorney does a will, and a few years later, the parents want to make changes, so they go to a second attorney, a nice young man they met at church. Later, there’s another change, and a third attorney, one with cheaper rates perhaps, makes that adjustment. It isn’t necessarily the fault of the attorneys that the family’s documentation is a desperate mess; family business leaders must be deliberate and thoughtful as they execute documents that are going to have a lifetime impact on those left behind. Arguments among inheritors aren’t always triggered by family-owned business assets worth millions of dollars. Often, items that might seem relatively insignificant—a book, a piece of furniture, a painting—trigger the most violent outbursts that create lingering misunderstanding and mistrust. And the lack of pre-planned conflict resolution techniques and skills only makes the tension worse. Tom Campbell, co-founder of The Family Business Institute, said many years ago, “You never really know people until you have shared an inheritance with them.” Take this blunt warning to heart, and avoid the mistakes most family businesses make so you increase the odds you’ll enjoy family harmony, not just when Mom and Dad are around, but for generations to come.

TEMPOE® gets your furniture rolling out the door.

Wayne Rivers is president of The Family Business Institute. He has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC and is an expert panelist for The Wall Street Journal. Email your questions to Wayne at wayne.rivers@ familybusiness.institute.com.

Q:

WHOSE JOB IT IS ANYWAY?

At long last, I’ve been offered 50 percent interest of our family store. There are eight of us with varying amounts of stock. One of the problems is that opinions are like, well, you know. Everyone wants to have a say in how things are run. My husband thinks it’s smart to come up with active and non-active roles for all the family members—whether they are in the store or sitting on the sidelines. I agree, but have no idea where to start.

A:

Where you start is with yourself by deciding what kind of family business you want to operate. If you have 50 percent ownership, you’re in a great position to make decisions in almost any way you choose. If you want to run a collaborative operation where everyone’s opinions are solicited and valued, you can choose to do so. If you want to run a “my way or the highway” business, you can probably get away with that too because you only need one of the other seven family members to make any decision final. If you’re going to operate in the collaborative style, you’re going to have to make tough decisions about how you are going to decide things as a potentially fractious group. It sounds silly but that’s the reality. And, by the way, your husband is right. Having crystalclear roles for everyone in the business is a must.

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TAKE2

The New Cardi’s Really is Larger than Life By Connie Post

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onverting existing buildings has always presented unique challenges. In the case of Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses in Wareham, Mass., the challenge came in the form of a 22-foot load-bearing fire wall that separated the first 4,000 square feet of the former big-box home improvement store from the rest of the interior. Faced with an immense obstacle that could not be moved, I decided to incorporate the wall into my vision, giving the wall a grand, Disney-esque design that’s part casual beach house—with the scale and proportions of a real home covered in shiplap so prevalent in this coastal community—and part hip, urban, industrial warehouse with enormous sliding barn doors and faux brick indicative of a downtown loft. Consumers decide within seconds whether they will shop a store or turn and leave. To engage shoppers, it’s critical that the first few thousand square feet of any retail space deliver an immediate WOW! In creating the newest Cardi’s store, the architectural elements we applied to the wall make a dramatic statement designed to awe and intrigue customers and imbue the Cardi’s brand with a modern sensibility that will attract Millennials.

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As customers pass through the grand entry, tiny white hanging orbs of light and an array of modern chandeliers beckon them forward. All are suspended from a 22-foot ceiling with exposed trusses and pipes painted in bird’s egg blue. Just beyond the wall, the ceiling drops to 14-feet and a series of largescale drum shades lit with blue lights lead shoppers to the center hub of the 62,000-square-foot store, which is highlighted by a blue, circular cornice and string curtains.

Cardi’s brand identity is associated with blue. This is the first time I’ve ever used colored lights to subtly reinforce a brand, but the result is eye-catching, and draws you to the center of the store. Along the way, customers are met with dynamic lifestyle presentations centered around massive fireplaces and large-scale windows featuring out-size graphics. When I say large graphics, I mean large, as in a surfer catching a wave that spans 30 feet. The look is young, artistic and

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Cust cen omers a t the ered on re met sea with larg enliv s ene ide com e grap dynamic hic d by m a dr unity. H s keye lifestyl e e ama tic re, bea d to you prese surf ntat n c ger h h er g raph ouse fu shoppe ions r ic t hat nishings rs and span a s 30 re The b edding fee image t. ry wit departmen h a c t white has a om graph vibe ics de bination of liver p dark reminiscent iro ertine nt me n and woo of lifestyle d floo ssagin cata rs g to energetic, and lends a sense of the fantastic to the shopp . The blue- log ers. andshopping experience. In developing the look, I was inspired by presentations I viewed at the most recent Maison & Objet and while shopping in Paris, where the trend in new retail is definitely toward enormous graphics that set the scene for sofas and more. Standout departments include bedding and youth furniture. The new bed department feels like a Pottery Barn catalog shoot, with shiplap, dark iron and beautiful wood floors. The kid’s area is my trademarked design, featuring brightly colored Chinese lanterns suspended from a door hanging from the ceiling. From the bright magenta entry to the really fun vignettes, the department really pops. The new store, with its residential-style ign, interior and mid-century accents, was t des ed from s o P Connie spend designed to be a magnet for younger arked nterns su a entry and m e d a la r t shoppers. The shopping experience here is a t hinese magen h area ly colored C g. A bright p. captures your attention at every turn, t u o y o in The bright ent p e ceil and the exciting space is easy to work as aturing ing from th he departm e f well. Thanks to the phenomenal sight lines e t hang doors ettes mak we’ve created, walking down the center n fun vig aisle, salespeople can keep an eye on customers without crowding them while they shop. That gives them the room they need to enjoy the WOW moments! Connie Post is a retail design strategist, trend expert, author and owner of Affordable Design Solutions Connie Post International. She can be reached at missconniepost@aol.com.

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SEPTEMBER | 2016

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Defend Your Data

The best online security strategies for your store By Emma Sturgis

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ure the big companies always get the headlines when their customer data is compromised, but running a small- or medium-sized home furnishings store doesn’t make you immune from malicious hacker attacks. On the contrary, almost 40 percent of the cyber-attacks prevented by Symantec targeted companies with fewer than 500 employees. Because of these risks, companies need to implement various security procedures to enhance their cyber security. Here are some tips to get started.

Avoid Complacency

Small companies are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks because the larger firms make huge investments on their security. Understand that cyber criminals have many tactics of siphoning money from your bank account, and you need to be aware of every possibility.

Secure Your Software

Your store’s security begins with implementing and being strict on basic security policies. One foundational and easy step is to ensure you’re running the latest versions of all your software, especially your web browser and operating system. These are always patched in the updates to seal security loopholes.

Authenticate Your Accounts

Whenever possible, use a two-step authentication. This procedure prompts your bank or any other account to send a security code to your phone that you must record before you can log into a new computer. This technique is used by email service providers such as Gmail and Yahoo. They help block hackers who try to log into your account remotely.

Mobilize Your Security

All these safety tips apply to your mobile devices as well. Anything connected to your business network must be protected. Ensure all your employees use PIN-code protection for all their devices.

workers access the internet outside the office, create a private hot spot using a VPN (virtual private network) or your phone. A VPN is a secure layer that logs you into a private network before you access an open wireless network. Don’t just rely on free Wi-Fi services.

Create a Cyber Security Culture

Talk to employees about what’s acceptable and not acceptable to do on the internet while they are working in the store. USB devices are a common infection vector, and visiting the wrong websites and opening infected emails can allow viruses and Trojans into your devices. Consider hiring a security consultant to train your employees on how to recognize the tactics cyber criminals are using to steal data. Educating yourself and your employees will help you protect your data.

Use the Cloud

The cloud is great for small companies, both regarding security and scalability. But, don’t use the cloud to dump all your data and sensitive files. Segregate data stored in the cloud and set up security and permissions for accessing the data in the cloud. Also, be keen on the security of the connection you use to access the cloud.

Hire a Security Expert

Hiring a security consultant will help you discover if there are any security lapses in your infrastructure. Additionally, a security expert can advise you and your employees on how to keep your data secure from potential cyber criminals. This will help you save lots of money and avoid frustrations due to data loss. The security of your data is paramount in your business. You need to protect your access to the internet and secure your devices from malicious attacks. Doing this will help you run your store smoothly and avoid the frustrations caused by data loss.

Protect Your Wi-Fi

Your Wi-Fi is a big security risk. When you and your co-

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Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based in Boston. She writes most often on education and small business. This column originally appeared at smallbizdaily.net. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.


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Making the right hire the first time

You already rely on your best employees to sell. Now leverage their skills to land your next hire. By Tom Shay

J

ack Rice, a longtime speaker in the small business arena, says there are three ways to find the best employees. The first is to hire them away from the competition. We know that’s easier said than done. For starters, it can be expensive. Chances are the good employees working for your competition are also well paid. If you want to have them cross the street, you better be ready to open the wallet. The second option Jack mentions is cheaper—training. Try training your new hires to be good employees. This doesn’t take as much money, but it does require plenty of time and effort. It also requires you, or someone working for you, to know the necessary techniques to produce the results you want and need. With a smile and sense of humor, Jack gives a third option—to pray the Small Business Prayer: “Please let this person work out better than the last one.” While you may consider any of these options, I’d like to suggest you first reexamine the initial hiring process. From my experience working with many stores over the years, I’d like to share some of their best practices. The first is to let you know that most of them are always looking for new employees. Not that they want to fire someone, but they always leave the door open for a potential employee to introduce themselves. 34

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When looking for a new employee, many store owners tell me the best “help-wanted” ad begins with a good job description rather than just listing the job title or name of the business. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed; some of the best we’ve seen are no more than a list, numbered in order of importance—1 through 10—a brief description of what the employee is to do. The job description is attached to the application form and is required reading before the applicant can apply for the job. Some retailers even require the applicant to sign the job description before filling out the application to signify that the applicant understands the job description and is able to fulfill it. The next part of the application process is unique to the most successful businesses. Rather than the owner or manager interviewing the applicant, two of the best employees are assigned the responsibility of individually and collectively conducting the interview. Experience has shown that by having employees conduct the interview, the candidate is likely to ask more questions and receive more believable answers. When the owner or manager conducts the interview, they sometimes overlook potential weaknesses of the candidate. This is especially true if the owner or manager is working hours that would traditionally be covered by the new employee. RetailerNOWmag.com

Another benefit of having the best employees conduct the interviews is that they show a strong ability to find candidates who more closely duplicate the skills of the better employees. The employees conducting the interview are also looking for an employee they will like and want to work with. There’s also the advantage of performing the interview to show the boss their managerial skills. Once you’ve hired the new employee, the next challenge is making sure they fit in and stay on the job. If a person is going to leave a job, they will most likely do so within the first 90 days. The other downside of this statistic is knowing your business will spend 40 to 60 percent of a year’s wages before you’ve developed a productive employee. Looking again to our successful businesses, many of them assign a coach to the new employee. It’s the responsibility of the coach to mentor, answer questions, and develop a friendship with the new employee. You can incentivize a coach by rewarding them when the new employee has successfully completed a six-month job review. Some of the most popular rewards have been two weekends off with pay, a week off with pay, or a cash bonus of one week’s pay. Of course, some of you will say this is an expensive price to pay for a new employee; but after you’ve gone through three or four employees within


HIRING: ANOTHER VIEW Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch says making a new hire can be as easy as 1-2-3. As in 1. Integrity, 2. Intelligence and 3. Maturity. “People with integrity tell the truth and they keep their word,” he writes in his book Winning. “They take responsibility for past actions, admit mistakes, and fix them.” On intelligence, Welch makes it clear he’s not necessarily looking for education, but rather “a strong dose of intellectual curiosity, with a breadth of knowledge to work with or lead other smart people in today’s complex world.” As for maturity, Welch says it has nothing to do with age; rather it’s a sense that the person “can withstand the heat, handle stress and setbacks, and alternatively, when those wonderful moments arrive, enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility.” Only if candidates pass those three acid tests does he begin to evaluate what he calls “the four Es.” They are:

Positive Energy. Does the candidate have the ability to thrive on action and relish change? Will they be able to start the day with enthusiasm, and end it that way, too? “People with positive energy,” writes Welch, “just love life.” The Ability to Energize Others. “People who energize can inspire their teams to take on the impossible,” he writes. That requires the right combination of knowledge and skills of persuasion. Edge, which Welch defines as the ability to make tough yes-or-no decisions. “Anyone can look at an issue from every different angle,” he writes. “Some smart people can—and will—analyze those angles indefinitely. But effective people know when to stop assessing and make a tough call, even without total information.” Execute, or the ability to get the job done. Welch says experience has taught him that some people can do well on the first three Es, but still not have what it takes to get a job over the finish line. He looks to hire people who can make things happen. Finally, Welch evaluates candidates for their “passion.” “By passion,” he writes, “I mean a heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work.”

a six-month period in an attempt to fill one position, the coach idea may appear as quite a deal. One comment we hear from these successful businesses is if you’re unhappy with the employees you currently have, you aren’t going to build a new team of employees by trying to hire better ones one at a time. Without exception, we were told that no matter how strong your efforts, a new hire is more affected by the surrounding employees than by the boss. The suggestion we received was that you create a training program. Something as simple as an hour every other week will put you well on the way to increasing the productivity of your staff.

The ideal employee may or may not come walking through your door; but by using techniques of successful stores, you’re more likely to recognize that person as well as improve the staff you already have. With the cost of labor being such a sizeable percentage of the expenses on your income statement, isn’t this the advantage you want and need to have? Tom Shay is a former retailer who helps other retailers grow their business. Subscribe to Tom Shay’s e-ret@iler, a monthly newsletter packed with tips for growing your business, at profitsplus.org.

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FIRSTLOOK

Highlights from Las Vegas Home furnishings retailers who couldn’t make it to Las Vegas Market last month missed out on thousands of new looks for their stores. Relax. We’re here to help. Here’s a look at a few pieces introduced at market that your shoppers might be as excited over as we were. See more Las Vegas finds at tinyurl.com/jyufd5x

The ceruse finish on this new oak cabinet from Worlds Away is an on-trend mix of black and white tones. It measures 62 inches wide and features antique brass hardware.

Thin wood sticks finished in Charred Black surround the Phillips Collection’s Spoke mirror. The mirror towers at 57 inches high; additional shapes are available.

The eponymous “T” chair by Cyan Design receives a two-tone color treatment of on-trend blues.

Bennet, a new area rug from Saddlemans, is made from hundreds of hair-on hide hexagons. It’s presented here in the Salt and Pepper colorway.

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Mod Life’s 87-inch-wide Aria sofa is a modern take on the classic Chesterfield. It’s upholstered in a velvet called Gecko.

From family meals and school projects to brunch with the book club and holiday gettogethers, Magnussen Home’s Keswick dining collection performs with equal aplomb. The buffet with glass doors and accent lighting tackles both display and storage functionality like the best of kitchen cabinetry.

Currey & Company’s Zanzibar iron-andmirror chandelier beguiles in a finish combination of Light Bronze Gold and Raj. It measures 42 inches high.

CH Living’s Into the Garden sofa is available with traditional wood legs or, for a more urban feel, choose the acrylic option shown.

Four Hands keeps it simple with a minimalist form that allows the wood grain to rule on its new coffee table. Images courtesy Las Vegas Market’s FIRST LOOK report. RetailerNOWmag.com

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A

MEMBERBENEFIT

SWEETENING THE POT Members see the benefits to the HFA in their bottom line By Mary Frye

O

rganizations like the Home Furnishings Association are at their most tangible best when members save money for products and services they need and use in their businesses every day. With each interaction with these providers, HFA members see their membership at work. The HFA has valuable offers for financial services, product protection, store traffic counting, and almost everything else you can think of that an owner needs for running a profitable store. There’s a category of programs we call “one-and-only” programs that provide the greatest value when as many members as possible use them. Those are programs like consumer financing through Synchrony and business insurance through Arthur J. Gallagher & Company. The more members who use these programs, the more customized and valuable the program can become. It’s like you with the customers you know the best. Because you know them well—perhaps you’ve been in their homes and have provided many home furnishings solutions for them—you think of them often. The Association’s “one-andonly” providers think of HFA member needs in that same way. Then, there are programs and service providers that offer a great business solution, but they’re among a group of several providers. The home furnishings industry is fortunate to have many companies like this with tremendous services. They each offer different aspects of value that appeal to their customers. The appeal may be based on understanding a particular price point, a region of the country or any number of other reasons that customers want to work with them. We understand it may be difficult to choose among many good options so the HFA has a way to help you—a new category of membership, Associate Plus. Associate Plus company members offer member advantages through their membership with the HFA. These companies believe in the HFA so much they’ve become members and support other members by offering a member advantage—a reduced price, an added benefit or some other service that typically requires qualifying for in order to receive. It’s just another something to “sweeten the pot,” one

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might say! Associate Plus membership is a growing category of service. If you know a company or if you are a company and want to know more, contact the HFA membership department. We’re always looking for ways to help you. For secondary and no-credit check consumer financing payment programs, there are three Associate Plus offers with advantages: Tempoe provides members a zero percent discount rate; a retailer spiff program; a secure, online enrollment process; and on-site and webinar training. Sweet! Creditsource offers members free enrollment and system access; free tablets for qualifying retailers; and rebates on qualifying program volume. Yes, sweet! Tidewater Finance offers members services with no enrollment fee; no set up costs; and reduced discounts for payment options that help their customers establish positive credit and payment history. Sweet, indeed! And there are more valuable offers! Doorcounts.com provides a powerful real-time information system for store owners and managers for traffic counting, with easy to read graphs and charts. Because it uses cloud-based storage, there are no computers to buy or maintain. What’s the member advantage? HFA members receive a 20-percent discount! Profitably sweet! And here’s one more Associate Plus offer—Fortegra, a furniture protection and warranty program that many of the industry’s top retailers use. HFA members enjoy exclusive discounts. Protected and sweet! The Home Furnishings Association connects outstanding retailers with remarkable service and product providers for the benefit of all. That’s what associating does!

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Mary Frye is the Home Furnishings Association’s executive vice president. She can be reached at mfrye@ myhfa.org or 916.757.1162.


Associate PLUS Member Services Our Associate PLUS Member services offer additional feature-rich benefits for you and your customers.

Financial Solutions

Business Solutions

Credit Source will help convert your turndowns from your primary lender with a secondary or no-credit check option.

Fortegra furniture protection and warranty solutions include Fortegra Furniture Protection, Fortegra Sure Sleep, Adjustable Bed Protection, and Fortegra Flooring Protection.

TEMPOE gives your customers a no-credit required shopping experience. Tidewater Financial Company offers buying opportunities to customers who may have experienced financial difficulties in the past.

Doorcounts.com Store Traffic Analyser is a powerful real-time information system for your store. See the customer counts by event, hour, day, week ,or month in easy to read graphs and charts.

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Always providing members discounted pricing through our national programs.


GOVACTION

Going Green to Save (even make) Some Green

By Susan Inglis

H

ave you seen the news of larger retailers installing solar panels on their newly built stores and wished you could do something that dramatic for your store? It gets them good press, saves on their future electricity bills and may even provide a new source of income if they’re generating more power than the store uses. But it can also take a significant investment so it’s useful to know about some simpler steps you can take—and promote—right now to go green. There’s plenty to be done to clean up and green up your businesses. Saving energy, recycling and choosing product carefully are steps anyone can take with very little extra effort. Here are just a few suggestions:

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Timing is everything You may be spending 30-50 percent of your power bill to heat and cool your store. Make sure your thermostat is set to automatically adjust, letting the temperature rise overnight in the summer, and letting it fall overnight in the winter. Running an efficient HVAC system can save you 40 percent over the conventional alternative.

Let there be (LED) light Another big energy use in your store is lighting, but these days there’s no need to sacrifice anything in color or quality of lighting when you choose readily available energy-efficient LEDs. They’re a fraction of the cost they were 10 years ago, and still use only a fraction of the energy of

RetailerNOWmag.com

incandescent, plus, they last many times longer, so you save time as well as money because these bulbs will not have to be replaced! (Contact the Home Furnishings Association for current cost-effective LED options.)

Renewable power If you have the option, choose renewable energy. The more we choose it the cheaper it will eventually become. Even if you aren’t ready to install solar panels on your roof, there are other options—power generated by water, wind, solar or other clean sources—for purchase within your community. Your power company might have a program you can invest in, and your customers will be glad to hear you’re helping make the town a little cleaner.


Rethink your recycling Everyone knows the mantra, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but are you practicing this in your business? Recycle everything. Reuse boxes, recycle ALL your packaging waste, reusing as much of it as possible first. Make sure there are easy-to-find recycling boxes on your sales floor, for soda bottles, office paper, etc. America discards about 10 billion pounds of plastic every year, recycling less than 30 percent of it. When we’re recycling more of our plastic, our polyester textile producers will have more fiber feedstock and be able to make more recycled polyester fabric. In turn, those options, which are about 85 percent less energy intensive than virgin polyester fabrics, will become less and less expensive.

(such as mango and rubber wood) and rapidly renewable materials (such as bamboo and rattan) are also good options.

special section of your store or donating it to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or another worthy cause in your community. It’s another green touch your customers will love.

Organic padding Find better foams and fabrics. In upholstery and bedding, latex and bio-hybrid cushioning reduce reliance on the standard petrochemical polyurethane. There are more and more organically-grown natural fibers available for upholstery, and also new innovations in fabrics made from recycled materials. Just asking for these options will stimulate innovation and ensure you have more options next season than you have today.

Get your message out

In-store signage, as well as social media campaigns and info on your website, can Get staff buy-in by getting them involved. explain to your customers what some of Recruit a cross-departmental group that meets the issues are and tell the story of the regularly to brainstorm ideas for further reducefforts you’re making to address them. ing your store’s environmental footprint, Events centered around dates like creating a plan with measurable goals and Follow the Frog Week (a campaign monitoring results. You can start with trainsupporting the Rainforest Alliance, ing, such as the Sustainable Furnishings Jan. 30-Feb. 12, 2017) and Earth Council’s (SFC’s) GREENleaders certificate Day (April 22, 2017) can bring new program, for at least one member of the customers in and also open their eyes team. to more reasons to buy from you. The SFC’s research shows that more Rethink your product than 80 percent of consumers are You can also make a difference worried about sustainability issues, with the product you buy and sell. The such as global warming and poor indoor air quality. More than 55 best news for retailers is there are more percent have made an effort to buy and more choices in eco-friendly furnishFresh air product labeled “eco-friendly” and nearly ings; you can find product in any style 63 percent of our furniture-buying conAsk for low VOC (volatile organic and at any price point that meets some sumers would be interested in buying ecocompounds) finishes. Indoor air quality basic criteria. Here are a few tips for buyfriendly furniture if they like the style and is a top consumer concern. According ing eco-friendly: the price is within their budget. However, to SFC research, 88 percent of consumClose to home nearly 50 percent of them are unaware of ers are worried about indoor air quality. eco-options when they shop for furnishYou can ensure you’re looking after their Buy local; look for products made well-being and the environment by asking ings. You’ll find it worth your while to in this country of materials from here. promote products that are part of the your vendors for no formaldehyde glues, Even if you don’t find all your inventory solution to these problems. Your customwater-based sealers and finishes and nondomestically, these days there are more ers will reward you with their business. toxic paints. and more American-made products from Any steps you take to reduce your which to choose. corporate environmental footprint are Reclaim, recycle, repackage going to make a difference, not only in Look for good wood Choose reclaimed and recycled materiyour bottom line, but also in the planet’s, als when possible. Human refuse, what North American forests are generally so get started today. we throw away, has become the most well-managed, so you’ll do well to choose abundant natural resource on the planet; American-made of U.S. wood. We are in Susan Inglis is executive a global manufacturing industry, however, much of it can be used in making beautidirector of the Sustainable ful home furnishings and even more is and materials often come from further Furnishings Council, an used in packaging. afield so you’ll want to know how to be educational organization promoting sustainable In your store, you can also engage in sure the wood is legally harvested from practices among furniture more direct recycling of furnishings by well-managed forests. The best assurance manufacturers, retailers taking back your customers’ old furniture, and consumers. Contact Susan at susan@ is Forest Stewardship Council certified perhaps refurbishing it and selling it in a lumber, but plantation-grown species sustainablefurnishings.org.

Get everyone involved

RetailerNOWmag.com

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HFACOMMUNITY Tepperman’s celebrates its fifth store opening

Digital kiosks offer shoppers maps and current promotions.

HFA member Tepperman’s hosted its ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Kitchener store this summer. The Tepperman family was on hand to celebrate, including second-generation owners Bill and Rochelle Tepperman, third-generation and current owners Andrew and Noah Tepperman, and even members of the fourth-generation, Andrew’s children Nathan and Lia Tepperman. Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic was present to cut the ribbon with the Tepperman family, and announced that over 60 new jobs were created in the Waterloo region with the opening of this store. The new store was developed in collaboration with Martin Roberts Design, a leading New York commercial design firm; Roberts is also a RetailerNOW columnist. The building leverages modern features and the latest technology designed to elevate the buying experience for Tepperman’s customers. Within the 70,000-square-foot facility guests will experience a new standard in home furnishings shopping. The digital display walls feature the rich heritage of this 91-yearold family business as well as information about the latest products, features and service offerings. The children’s play area and coffee/beverage bar give customers the opportunity to relax and shop in comfort. The new store also showcases Tepperman’s commitment to environmental leadership by incorporating sustainability initiatives into the design. LED lighting throughout the interior and the company’s first electric car charging station are just two examples of Tepperman’s priority to be environmentally friendly. Inside the new Kitchener store is the economical Bargain Annex brand, for those customers looking to stretch their buying dollars even further.

Peanuts, crackerjacks and networking Retailers recover, HFA members from as far away as New Mexico and Wyoming gathered for a night respond to floods of beer, hotdogs, baseball and networking (hopefully not in that order) at a recent Colorado Rockies game in Denver. The event, dubbed the “Suite Deal”, was part of the Home Furnishings Association’s regional events held throughout the country to bring HFA members together to talk shop and whatever else is on their mind. Thirteen member stores from three states showed up including new HFA member John Cramer from the The Sleep Store in Fort Collins, Colo. “It was a pretty fun night,” says Cramer, who enjoyed getting to spend time meeting with vendors and fellow members. “I liked the way everyone was together and we could talk to vendors or other retailers with no pressure away from work.” Travis Garrish from Forma Furniture in Fort Collins served as member host, Mary Frye, executive vice president of the HFA, served as the Association representative, and George White from Tidewater Finance Company attended as the sponsor host.

HFA members (L to R), Rich Jankovsky, Jack Bromley, Tiffany Connor and Marcos Lemus of Mountain Comfort Furnishings in Frisco, Colo., attended the game. 42

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The flood waters that devastated Louisiana last month have receded, but the damage will linger for years, according to HFA members who faced the brunt of the storm. Kirk Casemore of Galleries Arcadiana in Baton Rouge said many homes of family members were under as much as eight feet of water. His store was spared, and he’s been scrambling to load up on bedding and inexpensive upholstery for customers who need furniture for the short term. “A lot of folks didn’t have flood insurance and the ones that did only had it for their homes and not their contents,” said Casemore. “We want to be ready to help them out.” Brittany Peltier, a designer at HFA member Patti Dupree Furniture and Interior in Baton Rouge said the flood waters surrounded the store, but never actually did any damage, “We were lucky,” she said. “It got close, but that’s all it got was close.” HFA member Tom Olinde said two of the 12 Olindes Furniture stores suffered flooding and were forced to close while repairs were made.


HFACOMMUNITY HFA members tee it up at Inland Empire golf tournament HFA members, reps and vendors converged on Circling Raven Golf Club at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort in Worley, Idaho, last month for the annual Inland Empire Furniture Dealers Golf Tournament. The tournament, presented by Northwest Furniture Express, has been a tradition among association members in the Northwest for more than a decade. First place winners from the tournament included: Jim Wasielewski – Intercon Furniture Simon Portrait – Lay Z Boy Matt Shuel – Meredith Furniture, Inc. Nathan Wright – Trekstone Financial Pat Roose, won the tournament’s closest to the pin contest. Mike Mitchell took home the prize for the day’s longest drive. Wasielewski has been a longtime fixture at the tournament. “It’s a great event, a bunch of great people that run it,” he said. “I just wish more folks would come out to play and meet next year.”

Nathan Wright, left, Simon Portrait, Jim Wasielewski and Matt Shuel claimed first place in last month’s Inland Empire Furniture DealersHFA Golf Tournament. Networking

Do you have something for the HFA Community? Send your news and hi-res photos to Robert Bell at rbell@myhfa.org.

Welcome New HFA Members The HFA recognizes and welcomes the following new members to the Association:

Anadara Braun-Good

Anadara Designs, Denton, Texas

Kim Pelett

Denise Boggs

Island Furniture Studio, Grasonville, Md.

John Smith

City Home, Portland, Ore.

Mattress Air Foam, Newport News, Va.

Phyllis Vos

Heather Van Eyk

Eight Hands Gallery, Grand Rapids, Mich. Northwest Design House, Albany, Ore.

John Cramer

The Sleep Store, Fort Collins, Colo.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS Jeffrey Rubenstein

Furniture Chamber of Commerce, Skokie, Ill.

RetailerNOWmag.com

HFA Web-Ed Webinars are free to HFA members, and cover topics ranging from technology, sales, marketing and operations to consumer studies, e-commerce and more.

Exit Strategies: What are Your Options? Wednesday, September 21 (Transition Planning)

Omni-Channel Revenue: Go and Get It Wednesday, October 19 (Technology/Marketing)

Visit myhfa.org/events for more information and registration.

SEPTEMBER | 2016

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INDUSTRYCALENDAR Atlanta International Area Rug Market

2016

January 11-15 Atlanta, Georgia Americasmart.com

Casual Market Chicago September 20-23 Chicago, Illinois Casualmarket.com

Winter Las Vegas Market January 22-26 Las Vegas, Nevada Lasvegasmarket.com

Midwest Furniture Show September 21-22 Woodridge, Illinois Midwestfurnitureclub.com

Dallas International Lighting Market January 18-22 Dallas, Texas Dallasmarketcenter.com

ICFF Miami

October 5-6 Miami, Florida ICFFMiami.com

Dallas Total Home & Gift Market January 18-24 Dallas, Texas Dallasmarketcenter.com

Fall High Point Market October 22-26 High Point, North Carolina Highpointmarket.org

NY NOW

2017 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market January 10-17 Atlanta, Georgia Americasmart.com

February 4-8 New York City, New York Nynow.com

Tupelo Spring Furniture Market February 23-26 Tupelo, Mississippi Tupelofurnituremarket.com

ADINDEX Amber Engine (877) 615-2121 amberengine.com amberengine @amberengine Page 19

Furniture Wizard (619) 869-7200 furniturewizard.com furniturewizard @furniturewiz Page 32

ProfitSystems (800) 888-5565 profitsystems.com PROFITsystems @PROFITsystems Page 9

Surya (877) 275-7847 surya.com SuryaSocial @SuryaSocial Inside Cover

Casual Market (312) 527-7915 casualmarket.com CasualMarket @CasualMarket Page 3

MicroD (800) 964-3876 microdinc.com microdinc @microdinc Inside Back Cover

STORIS (888) 4-STORIS storis.com STORIS.solutions @STORIS Page 5

TEMPOE 844-TODAY4U tempoe.com TEMPOEsocial @tempoe Page 27

Connie Post (304) 736-7283 conniepost.com Page 35

Myriad (800) 676-4243 myriadsoftware.com Myriad Page 17

Sunbrella (336) 221-2211 sunbrella.com sunbrella @sunbrella Page 25

Tidewater (800) 535-4087 x6553 tidewaterfinance.com Tidewater Finance Company @TidewaterMotor Page 23

High Point Market (336) 869-1000 highpointmarket.org HighPtMarket @hpmarketnews Page 7

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Northwest Furniture Xpress (828) 475-6377 nwfxpress.com Back Cover

SEPTEMBER | 2016

To advertise in RetailerNow contact Lynn Orr at (916) 757-1160.

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NOWLIST Honeycomb’s good, yeah, yeah, yeah! The award-winning Honeycomb bookshelf from Iranian designer Seyed Mohammad Mortazavi, is crafted in an organic pattern that’s a sweet find for book lovers. Source: sdmor.com/en

100% waterproof The Cortica chaise is a handmade, full-size, indoor/outdoor lounge made entirely from cork waste material from the bottle stopper industry, by Daniel Michalik Furniture Design.

Source: Danielmichalik.com

Thirtysomethings—then and now

Fungi-lite Designer Danielle Trofe, in collaboration with Ecovative, created MushLume lighting. The collection’s shades are biodegradable; they’re grown from a mixture of seed husks, corn stalks and liquid mushroom mycelium. They’re grown in custom molds and can be handpainted with milk paint.

1975 2015

Source: danielletrofe.com/mush-lume

99% not in school 90% live on their own 89% ever married 76% lives with a child 56% homeowner

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92% not in school 70% live on their own 57% ever married 47% lives with a child 33% homeowner Source: U.S. Census Bureau

SEPTEMBER | 2016

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10.75

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PER THOUSAND 33# SCB PAPER

800-843-9271 | www.BANNERretail.com |

For over 25 years, New Growth Designs has been providing the essential finishing touch with our awardwinning faux florals and greenery for the design, hospitality, and retail trade. This year we are excited to be a first-time exhibitor at the Casual Market Chicago, the world’s largest marketplace for the best in outdoor furnishings. Join us September 20-23, on the 7th Floor/Space 7088A, where will be debuting new items from New Growth Designs OUTDOOR, our bestselling line of faux, outdoor boxwood greenery.

SEE US ON 7

showroom 7-7088A

www.newgrowthdesigns.com 252-752-6195 Sales@newgrowthdesigns.com

SEE US ON 7

showroom 7-7088A

For over 25 years, New Growth Designs has been providing the essential finishing touch with our awardwinning faux florals and greenery for the design, hospitality, and retail trade. This year we are excited to be a first-time exhibitor at the Casual Market Chicago, the world’s largest marketplace for the best in outdoor furnishings. Join us September 20-23, on the 7th Floor/Space 7088A, where will be debuting new items from New Growth Designs OUTDOOR, our bestselling line of faux, outdoor boxwood greenery. www.newgrowthdesigns.com 252-752-6195 www.newgrowthdesigns.com 252-752-6195 Sales@newgrowthdesigns.com

Sales@newgrowthdesigns.com

For over 25 years, New Growth Designs has been providing the essential finishing touch with our awardwinning faux florals and greenery for the design, hospitality, and retail trade. This year we are excited to be a first-time exhibitor at the Casual Market Chicago, the world’s largest marketplace for the best in outdoor furnishings. Join us September 20-23, on the 7th Floor/Space 7088A, where will be debuting new items from New Growth Designs OUTDOOR, our bestselling line of faux, outdoor boxwood greenery. www.newgrowthdesigns.com 252-752-6195 Sales@newgrowthdesigns.com

POS

Inventory

BI

Logistics

Accounting eCommerce

Visit us at Casual Market Chicago Booth 7 - 1087

46

SEPTEMBER | 2016

RetailerNOWmag.com

www.STORIS.com


MARKETPLACESERVICES

CONNECT NOW

You’ve got product, we’ve got buyers. Let us help you connect. RetailerNOW is the only association print and digital media dedicated entirely to your target retail audience. Our readers are the CEOs, owners and decision makers you want to reach. Ready to connect? Advertise now. Call Lynn Orr at 916.757.1160.

The Publication of the Home Furnishings Association

RetailerNOWmag.com

SEPTEMBER | 2016

47


II

THE WAY WE WERE

T

he gentleman with the hat in the photo is Joseph Ewald, my great-grandfather. That picture was taken in 1900 on Washington Street downtown. It was a three-story building and we stayed there until the elevator broke and we couldn’t get to the other two floors. We moved south of town in 1953 and have been there ever since, though our building has been added to on both sides as the business has grown.

Looking at this photo it really makes you think. We’re a fourth-generation store and every generation in the family does their part, puts their piece into the puzzle. These days I guess it’s my brother Dan and I working on the puzzle. I’m very fortunate in my life that I have my brother for a partner and my best friend. We make a great team. Joe Ewald, Ewald Furniture Company, Tiffin, Ohio

 Share your old photograph and memory by contacting Robert Bell at 916.757.1169 or rbell@myhfa.org

48

SEPTEMBER | 2016

RetailerNOWmag.com


ARE YOU READY TO ENGAGE YOUR RETAIL MARKET?

OMNIVUE WEBSITES ARE DESIGNED TO HELP YOU SELL! • Designs combine your brand with conversion-oriented site structure. • Encompass the entire creative and user experience process. • Responsive designs look beautiful across multiple devices. • Dynamic and customizable. • eCommerce enabled. • Integrated roomplanner tool.

VISIT US AT: NEXT CONFERENCE | SAVANNAH, GA | SEPT. 14-15 CASUAL MARKET | CHICAGO, IL | SEPT. 20-23

solutions@microdinc.com | www.microdinc.com


Vol. 5 Issue 8 Embracing the Competition SEPTEMBER Issue

The Fastest Way to the Northwest

Standard • Expedite • Extreme Expedite Service

Northwest Furniture Express - The leading transporter of New Furniture to the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Our personalized hands on approach to servicing our customers needs sets us apart from the rest.

Please contact Grant Laidlaw VP Sales at 778-549-3188 or glaidlaw@nwfxpress.com to review your transportation needs.

• Ocean Container Transload • Local/Regional Distribution Locations: Tacoma, WA Mira Loma, CA • Morganton, NC Fax: 828-584-2101 • Phone: 866-440-0064 Email: sales@NWFXpress.com

SEPTEMBER 2016

• Pool Distribution • LTL Consolidations

RetailerNOW September 2016  
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