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J o u r n a l o f t h e We s t e r n H o m e F u r n i s h i n g s A s s o c i a t i o n

western retailer rs a e y 0 2 g n i t a br e el c

Over & Above Advertising and Marketing! Motivating Your Staff— Without Spending a Dime!

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED Western Home Furnishings Association 500 Giuseppe Court, #6 Roseville, CA 95678 est.1944

August 2010





J o u r n a l o f t h e We s t e r n H o m e F u r n i s h i n g s A s s o c i a t i o n

western retailer

EDITORIAL STAFF Managing Editor: Melissa Dressler................................ Publisher: Melissa Robinson............................................

table of contents featured articles

Advertising Manager: Cindi

It’s All About Sales & Marketing Over & Above Advertising and Marketing!.............................. 10

2010 WHFA OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE WHFA PRESIDENT Claudia LeClair - Fiesta Home Furnishings, Scottsdale, AZ...............(480) 951-3239 PRESIDENT ELECT Angel Lopez - Dearden’s, Los Angeles, CA........................................(213) 362-9600

The World Around Us Motivating Your Staff— Without Spending a Dime!............. 13

VICE PRESIDENT Chris Sanders - Everton Mattress Factory, Inc., Twin Falls, ID..........(208) 326-3407 TREASURER Valerie Watters - Valerie’s Furniture and Accents, Cave Creek, AZ....(480) 483-3327 SECRETARY

Operational Excellence Cloud Computing........................... 18

Lael Thompson - Broyhill Home Collections, Aurora, CO...................(303) 360-9653 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR Marty Cramer - Cramer’s Home Furnishings, Ellensburg, WA...........(509) 933-2172 PAST PRESIDENTS

Next generation Next Generation Transitions to Next Generation-NOW.................. 22

George Nader - Nader’s La Popular, Gardena, CA............................(310) 327-8585 Cherie Rose - The Rose Collection, Los Gatos, CA...........................(408) 395-7773 EXECUTIVE director Sharron Bradley - WHFA, Roseville, CA.............................................(916) 784-7677 AT LARGE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBers

Operational Excellence Pros and Cons of Employee Leasing.......................... 24

Gary Absalonson - Walker’s Furniture Inc., Spokane, WA.................(509) 533-5500 Howard Haimsohn - Lawrance Contemporary, San Diego, CA.......... (619) 291-1911 Marvin Kerby - Kerby’s Furniture, Mesa, AZ.......................................(480) 834-3888 Karen Kohlman - West Harvard Furniture, Roseburg. OR.................(541) 673-4221 WHFA/NHFA Liaison David Harkness - Harkness Furniture, Tacoma, WA...........................(253) 473-1234 WHFA Board Members

in every issue

Carol Bell - Contents, Tucson, AZ......................................................(520) 881-6900 Buzz Burnett - Treasures Furniture, San Diego, CA...........................(858) 586-1900

Industry Beat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Gene DeMeerleer - Furniture West, LaGrande, OR...........................(541) 963-5440 Chris Ehgoetz - Michael Alan, Lake Havasu City, AZ........................(928) 855-6067

Program of the Month: GE Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Mark Flegel - Flegel’s Home Furniture, Menlo Park, CA....................(650) 326-9661 Eric Foucrier - Linder’s Furniture Mart, Garden Grove, CA................(714) 210-4848

Board Member Q&A with Karen Kohlman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Travis Garrish - Forma Furniture, Fort Collins, CO.............................(970) 204-9700 Giff Gates - Gates Furniture, Grants Pass, OR..................................(541) 476-4627 John Grootegoed - Elite Leather, Chino, CA......................................(800) 826-9971

Western Retailer Celebrates 20 Years: Where was the WHFA staff 20 years ago?. . . . . . . 31

Eric Harms - Black’s Home Furnishings, Yreka, CA...........................(530) 842-3876 Jerome James - Hafer’s Home Furnishings, Manteca, CA.................(209) 823-2122 Julian Jeppe - Reeds Furniture, Agoura Hills, CA..............................(818) 597-7800 Chuck Kill - Bedmart, Tucson, AZ.......................................................(520) 887-7039


Tim Koerner - Koerner Furniture, Coeur D’Alene, ID..........................(208) 666-1525 Don Lemieux - Naturwood, Rancho Cordova, CA..............................(916) 638-2424 Jeff Lindsley - Lindsley’s Home Furnishings, Grangeville, ID.............(208) 983-1040


(800) 422-3778 (12 western states) (916) 784-7677 Online: Fax: (916) 784-7697 Mail: 500 Giuseppe Court, Suite 6 Roseville, CA 95678 Facebook: Twitter:

Robert Myers - Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Chico, CA....................(530) 345-2616 Mark Navarra - Jerome’s, San Diego, CA..........................................(858) 753-1549 Michael Nermon - Ergo Customized Comfort, Irvine, CA...................(949) 833-0338


Scott Selden - Selden’s - Tacoma, WA...............................................(253) 922-5700 Mike Shuel - Meredith Furniture, Yakima, WA....................................(509) 452-6221 Tom Slater - Slater’s Home Furnishings, Modesto, CA......................(209) 522-9097 WESTERN HOME FURNISHINGS ASSOCIATION STAFF Executive Director: Sharron Bradley................................................(916) 960-0345 Asst. Exec./Marketing Director: Kaprice Crawford..........................(916) 960-0346 Business Manager: Janice Carlson..................................................(916) 960-0347 Events Manager: Cindi Williams.......................................................(916) 960-0277 Operations/Warehouse Manager: Jef Spencer...............................(916) 960-0386 Communications Planning Manager: Melissa Robinson................(916) 960-0349 Managing Editor & Webmaster: Melissa Dressler...........................(916) 960-0385

Western Home Furnishings Association is the western affiliate of National Home Furnishings Association

Membership Manager: Michael Hill..................................................(916) 960-0263 Member Services Specialist: Margie Jacobs...................................(916) 960-0199 Member Services Rep: Adam Gardner............................................(916) 960-0291


western retailer



Accounting Assistant: Melody King.................................................(916) 960-2476

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

western retailer



August 2010



Your Industry. Your Future. Your Dec


President’s Message

The “POWER of the in-home” is a subject that comes up over and over in industry publications and seminars. Did you know that a house call produces seven times that of an average sale? Have I piqued your interest?! As retailers, we spend so much time, energy and money on advertising and marketing in our efforts to entice customers into our stores. But ask yourselves, are you doing everything you can to maximize the customers you already have? I think we all need to be thinking about how we can be doing more with less. Sales are a function of trust, and the ultimate trust is achieved once you have been invited into your customer’s home—their personal space. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a sofa for $499 or $4,999; to both customers it’s just as important that they come away with a sense of pride in their home. They both want beauty and comfort, no matter what they’re spending. But house calls don’t just happen. As with any good program, training is involved. In my stores, we hire only sales consultants who have a desire and a comfort level to go into customer’s homes. While this may not make sense for all of you, it would make sense to train a few of your people who have an interest and talent for projects. Invest in a space planning software system and train them on it. Your staff can “play” with it on their downtime. Another good way to get into your customer’s home is to accompany them on deliveries. We encourage our staff to “add on” by taking additional items along such as lamps, table top accessories, small occasional pieces, rugs, etc. If they have done their job correctly (having asked the right questions, sketching, etc.) we find that 80 percent of the items they take “stick”. Recently in one of my stores, additional items were taken to the home and it resulted in an additional 30 percent to the overall sale! We set goals for our sales consultants as to how many in-homes we expect them to make in a month. You know what they say, “If you don’t track it, you can’t improve upon it.” We make it a part of the sales consultants monthly performance review, along with their close ratio, average sale and performance index. We participated in an Extreme Home Makeover a couple of years ago on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona. The excitement generated during the installation and delivery was incredible! But even without the TV cameras and the hoards of people, it’s possible to create a sense of joy for your customer. Bring a bottle of wine or a small gift, and you’ll be surprised how much it will be appreciated. You may just win a customer for life!

Claudia LeClair 2010 WHFA president

Fiesta Furnishings / Brix Home Scottsdale, AZ (480) 951-3239

ON THE COVER We would like to thank Casa Bella Galleria, Sacramento, CA for allowing Western Retailer to take pictures in their beautiful store. Casa Bella Galleria was named No. 1 Best Furniture in the Sacramento area in the 2010 KCRA 3 A-List Contest. Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

western retailer

August 2010


Editor’s Message Creativity—It’s Something We Can All Do

Melissa Dressler Western Retailer managing editor

As an editor, I have a very creative job, and I thrive in creative situations. As retail store owners, it is important for you to use creativity in your every day business as well—it can be seen in different forms such as how to cut money from your expenses, attracting customers to your store, different ways to motivate your employees, etc. Some of you may feel that you are not a creative person by nature. Even if you aren’t, there are steps you can take to help yourself think creatively. I was recently given an acronym that can help anyone jump-start their creative thinking. It is S A E D I, which spells IDEAS backwards, and stands for the following: S – State of Mind Honestly, the state of mind can be one of the hardest hurdles for me to overcome when it comes to creative thinking. Creative thinking requires positive thinking, so don’t tell yourself that you cannot do something. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity! One important tool that I find in changing my state of mind to be creative is through daydreaming—it may sound silly, but just relaxing my brain and allowing it to go wherever it wants helps me forget about the deadlines that often hinder my creativity. A – Atmosphere Where you are can greatly influence your state of mind. All of our senses play a part in how we are feeling. If there is negative tension in the air, you are more likely to be in a negative state of mind. Some people thrive in a quiet environment, while others are best suited in a loud place with a lot of activity. Find the atmosphere that best suits you and helps you be more creative. E – Effective Thinking Having a positive frame of mind is just one part of getting the creative juices flowing. While daydreaming or relaxing, make sure you have a goal for your creative thinking. Without having a particular goal in mind, random thoughts and ideas may not be useful. So what is your purpose for this creative thinking? For example, are you trying to think of a new marketing plan? Having an overall goal for your thinking will allow you to focus on specific ideas that come to mind. D – Determination Being creative takes practice. While many people have great ideas when they just clear their mind, you can also make it occur more often by practicing effective thinking techniques. First, schedule some time each day, week or month to relax, brainstorm or daydream. By making creative thinking a habit, you will be more prepared to tackle new issues when they arise. Second, create alternative ideas and write them all down. Just because one idea may not work for a specific project, don’t consider it a bad idea. It may be the perfect solution for something in the future! I – Ink WRITE DOWN YOUR IDEAS! No matter how you do it, make sure they get written down. One of my favorite tools is by using the Notes app in my iPhone. Any time an idea strikes me, I write it in there for future use. Also create an inspiration file of things that inspire you—photos, direct mail, fabric swatches, articles, etc. I hope you take some time to jump-start your creative thinking with SAEDI. With a little time and effort, you can make yourself a more creative person and discover new ideas and solutions. This issue of the Western Retailer is full of great articles and ideas to assist you in finding new and creative solutions for your business. Enjoy!

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Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

s in Atti ge

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Cha n

GE Money

What are you waiting for? We’ll see you at the Las Vegas Market

Find out why hundreds of WHFA members have already made the change to the GE Money/WHFA financing program which is designed to help you: • Offer attractive financing options to close more sales • One stop access to your financing program online • Convenient online training for all of your associates

Enter to win!* Daily drawing to win an iPod nano: one will be given away each day of the Market*

Does your current provider do all that? Experience the GE Money/WHFA finance program difference. Stop by booth #14 at the WHFA RRC-Building B 1630 and try us Risk Free for 90 days***

Not going to the Market? Learn more at or call 800-422-3778.

Plus! Exclusive Show Special — Enroll in the WHFA/GE Money finance program and you can earn a tropical vacation.**

* Stop by booth #14 at the WHFA RRC-Building B 1630 to enter the daily drawing for iPod Nano. Need not be enrolled to win. **$500 VISA Gift Card awarded to new enrolled dealers who complete 3 simple steps by 9/30/2010. (1) Register on Business Center. (2)Opt in to receive marketing email communications while registering. (3) Process 10 applications on Business Center by 9/30/10. Further details available at the GE Money Booth #14 at the WHFA Conference. ***Experience GE Money’s financing program for Free for 90 Days with no minimum application fee.

Industry Beat The Serta American Idol® Sweepstakes Winners Go to Hollywood! Serta and the National Home Furnishings Association Send Winners to the American Idol® Finale Serta Mattress and the NHFA and WHFA made dreams come true for American Idol® fans Andrea Donnelly, Melody Downey, Katie Miles and Kristi Moes. These four women were selected as the Grand Prize Winners of the Serta American Idol® Sweepstakes that ran from January 1 through April 25. These lucky fans and their guests experienced the American Idol® Finale live at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on May 25 where this year’s American Idol® was selected. The Serta American Idol® Sweepstakes kicked off the exclusive partnership between Serta and the NHFA/WHFA, which was announced earlier this year, naming Serta as the official mattress sponsor of the associations. Consumers were invited to visit any participating NHFA/WHFA retailer during the sweepstakes period, take a “Test Rest” on a Serta mattress and receive a unique entry code to enter for a chance to win. Serta and the NHFA/WHFA also awarded 625 other American Idol® themed prizes to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Participating NHFA/WHFA retailers also had a chance to get in the game. Serta held a special drawing to select four participating retailers to win tickets to a pre-finale American Idol® live show in Hollywood. The selected winners were Robbie and Amy Daniels of America’s Mattress by Furniture Fair; Wogan Badcock of Badcock Furniture; John and Beverly Fellers of Fellers Furniture; and Alfred Rude of Rude’s Furniture. “The American Idol® Sweepstakes was a fun and engaging event for both NHFA/WHFA retailers and consumers,” says Maria Balistreri, vice president of brand management for Serta. “It was successful in driving incremental traffic to our NHFA/WHFA retail partners, which is what these promotions are all about.” Serta will offer NHFA/WHFA members exclusive and national promotions designed to increase store traffic and mattress sales during key selling periods. The next national promotion, the “$10,000 Bedroom Makeover Sweepstakes” kicked off in July. Retailers interested in learning how to participate can contact WHFA at (800) 422-3778 for more information.

Furniture Training Company Receives Prestigious Training Award Furniture Sales Training Website Recognized for Innovation The Furniture Training Company was recently awarded the 2010 Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE) for having the “best vocational training website” by the ComputED Learning Center. Other training winners included Rosetta Stone, ABC-Clio, Plato Interactive, Pearson Longman, Compass Learning and LetterPress Software. The commendation recognizes the unique and powerful ability of the website to affect actual changes and states in part, “The website is a streamlined vocational training tool with high quality, comprehensive videos and tutorials that simulate real life situations. The extensive courseware is appropriate for


August 2010

western retailer

training managers who want to turn their staff into sales experts, store owners who want to boost sales and increase profits, and sales associates who want to improve customer-relation techniques and sell more furniture.” Mark Lacy, president of The Furniture Training Company, remarked, “We feel extremely honored to receive this year’s BESSIE award for being the best vocational training website. We set out almost 10 years ago to take training for furniture retailers into the 21st century by proving to them all of the benefits of elearning technology. With this award, I feel that we have truly shown the home furnishings industry that the time to embrace web-based furniture sales training has arrived.” Visit their website at

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.


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It’s All About Sales and Marketing

A & b r e ov v O e

g n i ! s i t ing r e et v d k r A a M



Brad Huisken IAS Training owner

he furniture retailer of today can no longer afford to spend money on advertising and marketing and sit back and hope that it works. To build an ivory palace and wait for customers to come into the store could spell disaster. Salespeople in a successful furniture operation have to take some responsibility and do their part to help drive traffic into the store. It is no secret that prospecting is the toughest part of your career in sales. Prospecting takes the most drive, effort, determination and self-discipline. Yet, prospecting is the activity that will give you the greatest number of potential customers. You certainly can’t sell anyone if you don’t talk to anyone.

Selling is finding people to sell, and selling the people you find! The following will help you find more customers in which to sell! Ask every existing customer for a referral or recommendation. People that are buying furniture just might have friends and relatives who may be interested in furniture as well. Saying to your customer, “If you know anyone else who


August 2010

western retailer

is in the market for fine furniture, I would love to meet them as well. Let me give you a few of my business cards.” It certainly couldn’t hurt to ask your existing customer for referrals and recommendations. Most great businesses were built solely on referrals and recommendations from others. Handout your business cards. Salespeople should have a minimum of 25 business cards in their possession at all times. Every time you encounter another human being, you should hand him or her your business card. Hand them out to the bank teller, the postal clerk, the grocery cashier, your electrician, cable guy, even the policeman writing you up a ticket. Just say to him/her, “Here is my card, I’d like to write something up on you someday.” You never know where your next customer is going to come from. Provide such incredible customer service that it causes word-of-mouth advertising. We know that when people buy new furniture, they can’t wait to have it delivered and then show it off to all their friends and family. The customer has two

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

choices when showing their furniture. They can either say, “You have to see our beautiful new living room furniture.” Or they can say, “You have to see out beautiful new living room furniture that we got from ABC Furniture.” In one case, they are bragging about their new furniture, in the other case they are bragging about their new furniture, and the store where they purchased it. Whether they mention the name of the store or not is totally dependent upon the type of service that they received from the store. It amazes me how many stores that I go into and see the customer get all the way to the register, they start writing a check, and they ask, “Where am I?” or “Who do I make this out to?” If this happens in your store then apparently the salespeople did a lousy job of selling themselves and the store. Selling the store and themselves is essential in developing repeat and referral customers from your existing customer base. I would recommend that salespeople provide such exceptional customer service that it actually causes word-of-mouth advertising. There is no more powerful form of advertising than word-of-mouth. Network and get involved in the community! In order to maximize success in sales, I have always felt you have to get out in the world and shake hands and meet people. One of the most effective ways to do this is through networking. Get involved in the community through the Lions Club, Rotary, civic organizations, charitable groups, etc. Not from the perspective of actually selling these people on the spot, but the more people that you know, the more people you will have that you can sell to eventually. Further, I just think it is a great idea that people get involved in their communities and give back to the people that provide your income. An effective telephone/email clientelling process. Your existing customer base is probably the easiest way to generate more traffic into the store. It has been written that as much as 60 percent of a store’s business comes from 25-30 percent of its customer base. Therefore, we have to get our existing customers to come into the store more often. The secret to an effective telephone/emailing process is to get your customers to ask you to call them. In others, words get them to tell you what furniture they may be interested in purchasing in the future. For example, I am sketching a client’s home because they are interested in buying a living room group, and I find out through our conversation that they are also planning on redoing the spare bedroom, because they have family coming into town to celebrate the holidays. I would want to get the customer to ask me to call them several months down the road to set-up an appointment when we can work on the spare bedroom. How a salesperson approaches this method will determine the success that they have. Telling people that you would like to follow up with them in the future, after a buying trip to a tradeshow, when new items arrive, to see how they love the pieces they purchased, special events that are happening in the

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

store will get the customer to ask you to call them. Then, when calling several weeks or months down the road make sure you relate back some personal information, (i.e. how was the cruise you took for your anniversary?), then the process of using the telephone/email becomes a customer service call rather than “just another sales call.” Again, the secret to an effective telephone/email campaign is in getting the customer to ask you to call them. This takes practice, practice, practice, but you may be surprised at how many of your existing customers would truly take advantage of the relationship and look at your efforts as providing exceptional customer service, which it is. As I mentioned, it has been published that as much as 60 percent of a store’s sales comes from 2530 percent of its customer base. What hasn’t been published is that a typical store loses 20-25 percent of its customer base on an annual basis. Where are they going? Maybe they move away, have a change in economic conditions, have completed their need to purchase furniture, start shopping at the competition, pass away, downsize there homes and are giving their furniture away etc. My point is that successful furniture retailers have to constantly look at ways to increase their customer base by at least 25-30 percent per year just to break even. That number has to increase even more in order to show sales increases. I do not believe that customer loyalty is dead, as I have heard others say. I believe it is alive and well. Actually, when a customer comes into a furniture store today, I don’t believe they are looking for furniture. I believe that they are looking for a place and a person from whom to buy the furniture. Be the professional expert that your customers expect you to be and the professional that you want to be, by implementing these techniques into your sales presentation. Be their friend in the furniture business, provide exceptional customer service that causes word-of-mouth advertising, and don’t simply rely on your advertising and marketing to draw customers into the store. Be proactive and cause people to come into your store. Author, trainer, consultant and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. Mr. Huisken authored the book “I’m a Salesman! Not a PhD.” and his new book “Munchies For Salespeople, Sales Tips You Can Sink Your Teeth Into!” In addition he developed the PMSA Relationship Selling Program, the PSMC Professional Sales Management Course, The Mystery Shoppers Kit, along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers the Employee Handbook & Policies and Procedures Manual and his new Weekly Furniture Sales Training Series. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at (800) 248-7703, or fax (303) 936-9581 or visit the website at

western retailer

August 2010


It is time to

your business. A picture here, a pillow there. Often it is the little things that pull a room together. The same is true for your business. Small things done right can have a huge impact on your profitability. If your business goals include better inventory control, maximizing customer opportunities, lowering expenses and becoming more profitable, we have the solutions you are looking for. A process here, new metrics there - it’s the way to successorize your business!

Learn how to become more successful today.

800.888.5565 “I always walk away with a hot idea to help the profitability and efficiency of my business. The support of PROFITgroups, and the accountability to the group, has forced me to become a better operator.” Scott Reid, Reid’s Countrywide Home Furnishings, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Making Retailers More Profitable Software | Consulting | Advanced Education | Sales Training Performance Groups | Freight Program | e-Commerce | e-Marketing

The World Around Us

Motivating Your Staff— Without Spending a Dime!


o you want to recognize your team for their efforts and contributions, but don’t have the budget for cash rewards? Do you value morale boosters but don’t know how to create them? When times are challenging as they are today, we need all hands on deck, producing at their highest level with whatever traffic comes into the store. To do that, we need to have our sales team happy and maximizing every opportunity. For simplicity and ease of implementation, I have made the structure of this article into Three Key Points. I want you to check off what you are already doing (congratulations!) OR write a date by which you WILL do it if you are not doing it now.

Key 1: Create a Motivational Environment This section is about your leadership and the kind of environment you create—consciously and unconsciously. As the store is a reflection of your leadership style and priorities, how motivated the staff is also reflects your leadership—either to create the workplace with a particular spirit and/ or to hire people who also make the environment one that people want to be in. Take a look and please be honest with your answers!

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

□ You are the HEAD of the team, you create the spirit—and you know that. □ Our company does not have an “Us and Them” mentality. □ We/I make it a fun place to work. □ Our store is the place to come for events for the customer. □ I/we create a safe space for people to tell the truth to us and to themselves. □ We have an on-going development process—for leadership and for the staff. □ We celebrate success—individual and group. □ Our actions show that we believe that every accomplishment deserves an acknowledgement. Which of these do you think are most pressing and important to put into your organization now? Which are already in place?

Jody Seivert One by One Companies owner

Key 2: Find Motivated People Recruitment is an ongoing process. To start the recruitment process when you need to hire someone is like digging a well when you are thirsty! It is a process that needs to be ongoing so that you can replace people as they leave for personal or performance reasons and not be at western retailer

August 2010


the mercy of their exit timing. To do that, clarity in what you are looking for to enhance and round out your team is critical, as is having your recruitment actions as part of your leadership activities—and therefore on your calendar. Take a look a the following bullets and check those that you are already doing, and put a date beside those actions you will take soon—and by when you will do it. □ You understand that you attract what you want. □ You can and have articulated what you want (it’s written down!) □ You have created and identified what you want from you. □ You are always recruiting—and you bring business cards with you everywhere you go! □ You look for people in places you don’t expect to find them. □ You regularly replace poor performers, after trying to redirect them. □ You replace poor attitudes—regardless of performance.

Key 3: Keep Motivated People Happy and Productive Making the workplace enjoyable and putting the right people on the team are laudable efforts. The next step is to keep it all in place by closing the loop and keeping the people on your team happy and productive (both!) so that they continue to bring revenue to your company and customers back into your store.

One more time, check what you are already doing or put a date at the end of the bullet by when you will put it in place. Good luck! You find out what keeps good people—ask them! □ You find out what drives your team crazy NOW. This is a good one, so ask them and listen to their entire responses. □ You Praise Performance—catch them doing what you want them to do that will produce results, not just for producing results. □ You Reward Results—and share the wealth when they earn it! □ You structure your compensation to reflect results and contribution, not just length of service or mediocre performance. □ You have eliminated gossip and triangulated conversations. These are challenging actions—and they don’t cost a dime to do. They require human capital resources—time, talent and energy. But if you put them in place and consistently execute them, not only will you and your sales team members make more money, but they will be happier working for you and your customers will be happier being in your store. How’s that for a strategy in this economy?

Jody Seivert, One by One Companies, (877) 663-9663, Specializing in raising revenues—and guarantees results!

Generous Support of Our Sponsors Western Home Furnishings Association relies on the support of generous industry sponsors. This sponsorship enables WHFA to provide you with pertinent and timely information, education, events and activities that constantly raise the level of industry professionalism and benefits to your business. Over the past year, as a result of the commitment to sponsorship, WHFA has provided its retailers with an expansive list of educational and informational opportunities. While at market please stop by the showrooms and booth spaces* of our sponsors and thank them for their support.

* The most current showrooms and booth space can be found in the World Market Directory found at the Education Concierge, Building B first floor.


August 2010

western retailer

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

2010 WHFA Sponsors Titanium


Gold & Silver Gold: Furniture Today, Home Furnishings Business Magazine, Steve Silver Co., Silver: Diakon Logistics, Guardsman, Hooker Furniture Corp., Truckskin, LLC

Bronze Best Home Furnishings, Inc., California Furniture Manufacturers Assn., Century Lighting, Delivery Solutions, Inc., Dynamex, Elite Leather, Flexsteel, Guardian Protection Products, Home Delivery Link,, JRM Sales & Management, Lane Home Furnishings, Profitability Consulting Group, STORIS Management Systems, Twin-Star Classic Flame, Vanguard As of 6/22/10 est.1944

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

western retailer

August 2010


Program of the Month Keeping Members Up-To-Date On

Consumer Financing Deferred Interest With Payments WHFA Member Pricing 6 Months


12 Months


18 Months


24 Months


Equal Payments WHFA Member Pricing 18 Months


24 Months


36 Months


48 Months


Fixed Payments APR: 9.99% WHFA Member Pricing 12 Months


24 Months


36 Months


48 Months


60 Months


The rules of consumer finance have changed as the once-common “no-no-no” promotions have gone by the wayside. New Federal regulations that took effect in February (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure, or CARD ACT) meant that retailers can no longer offer the no-payment option, although you can still make offers with no down payment and no interest for a specific period. These new rules and a still-challenging economic environment mean finding the right mix of credit offers for your store is vitally important. The most popular credit deal now offered to WHFA retail members is a 12-month and 18-month, no-interest offer with minimum payments. These programs are less costly for retailers to offer than the former no payment plans. “Almost a year into the custom WHFA/GE Money program we have managed to listen to the association and the retailers to deliver better economics, stronger approval rates and overall higher satisfaction with the GE money program,” states Randy Stewart, relationship manager of GE Money. So for members the WHFA program offers, new rate reductions, new holiday pricing, and more applications being approved. The current financial crisis has also helped spur a greater emphasis on education. Every individual in your store should focus on how to be a better salesperson and the GE BUSINESS CENTER has information and tools about GE financing processes. These educational tools are used to train store salespeople on how they should use credit, how to overcome objections from consumers, and how to estimate payments among other items. The retailers that use a consumer financing strategy that includes a variety of short, medium and longterm financing offers tend to do better. These retailers effectively use their association GE programs and the other GE tools (like BUSINESS CENTER) to benefit their bottom line and compliment their services.

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August 2010


Operational Excellence

Cloud Computing I Mitch Hight PROFITsystems CIO and VP of Product Development


August 2010

t appears that cloud computing is more than just another buzzword from the wide, wild world of marketing after all. Who knew? I first heard this term in 2007 at a technical seminar for software developers. Most of us in the audience at the time felt it was just a new name for SaaS (Software as a Service). This article will focus on the definition of cloud computing, and more importantly, will discuss the pros and cons of adopting it for your business system. According to Wikipedia, “Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like the electricity grid.” Trying to nail down a commonly accepted definition for “cloud computing” is next to impossible as many experts in the software industry can’t even agree on just what it is exactly. According to a post on the Boomi Blog, “The technical distinction in my mind is clear: cloud delivers computing as a utility, SaaS delivers an application (such as CRM) as a utility.” Ron Miller posted a good discussion on SaaS vs. Cloud Computing, “Are SaaS & Cloud Computing Interchangeable Terms” for those interested in pursuing even more information on this topic. Each of these models allows for the sharing of precious computer resources in an effort to reduce the financial burden on business computing needs. As a general rule, the end-users do not own the physical hardware infrastructure to run the applications. They do not own the applications either. They lease the ability to use the cloud’s infrastructure to run the software applications. In other words, the SaaS runs in the cloud. It is a subset of the cloud. You can think of the cloud as encompassing all of the components necessary to access and execute the applications.

western retailer

Benefits of adopting a cloud-based computing model for your operation are numerous. Many are self-evident, such as the fact that you do not need a dedicated IT department to keep your computer systems up and running. This cost savings alone is a primary reason for many businesses to switch to cloud computing. I encourage you to crunch the numbers carefully when considering an inhouse set-up complete with file server, routers, communications software, anti-virus software, client workstations, installation and set-up, etc. Then contrast this with the cost of a cloud computing model. The company I work for has a solution we call POD “PROFIT On-Demand” which has become wildly popular with retailers of all sizes. We originally thought this would be limited to smaller, start-up retailers with two or three users, but the costs savings are so compelling and the system so scalable that even 70+ users are running their business on this platform. This holds true for many software providers across various industries. Another reason to love the cloud model is that maintenance updates are generally done in a manner which is completely hands-off and hassle-free for the end-user. An off-hours software patch to the set of shared programs done by the IT personnel of cloud provider means you can focus more on your business growth and profitability, instead of ensuring that each and every workstation, bar code scanner and related device is updated with the latest and greatest update/upgrade from your application provider. Scalability is another major benefit in that performance bottlenecks of yesteryear virtually disappear. Load balancing many clients across several time zones has shown that this is another compelling reason to consider the move away continued on page 20 Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

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August 2010


continued from page 18

from a traditional in-house computer system. If that’s not enough to convince you to adopt cloud computing, consider the reliability statistics that many cloud users tout. Many claim up to “four nines” or 99.9999 percent uptime nowadays. I challenge you to show me an example of this type of uptime for an in-house system anywhere in the industry. Because you’re focusing on retailing, you simply can’t compete with those whose core competence is computing. Nor should you be expected to do so. Though the downsides are few, there are some important things to consider before making the decision to get your business head in the cloud. Security of data is an important aspect to investigate before trusting your system to your cloud provider. What if the provider goes out of business—can you get a usable copy of your data? How about your applications? If the application allows for processing of credit card information, is it PCI-DSS compliant? What security standards and procedures do they have? I’ve made mention of the uptime factor as

a benefit, but you should ask the provider what uptime factor they deliver? This sword cuts both ways, so it pays to do your homework. Along similar lines is the speed of delivery. As the cloud requires an Internet connection, some areas will not be able to take advantage simply because of the low-speed connections that are the only game in town. Your selection of an ISP is a critical component to ensuring both a constant and reliable connection to the Internet. Today, most decent sized cities provide you with many choices in this area. Rural areas may be another story. As the idea that cloud computing is just another flash in the pan is put to rest by so many success stories, maybe you should consider this paradigm for your business in the near future.

Mitch Hight is the CIO and VP of Product development at PROFITsystems, the leader in software solutions for the home goods industry. He has authored several articles on computer information systems for varied industries including home furnishing retailers, building service contractors and the numismatic arts and sciences. Contact Mitch at (800) 888-5565 or visit for more information.

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Next Generation

Next Generation–NOW! E. Michael Allen founding member of Next Generation


wenty five years ago, an Olympia, WA furniture dealer was discussing with a factory rep, his concerns of trying to transition his five children into the family furniture business. John McHugh was concerned that the furniture industry was losing the next generation of retailers to “sexier” industries such as computer technologies and financial brokerages. John’s concern was voiced by numerous other store owners on how difficult it was becoming to convince the upcoming generation that they could have a rewarding career working as a Main Street retailer—it was just going to be long hours and lower pay for the next 10-15 years, with a promise that, “Some day son (daughter), this will all be yours!” With the assistance of the McHugh family, rep Sam Marks and the Northwest Furniture Retailers Association (now a part of WHFA), Next Generation was created. The premise behind the organization was to assist the sons, daughters and key-managers in becoming the future leaders of their family’s furniture business; that the home furnishings industry was a great career path and owning a retail store could be an avenue to significant financial rewards. Beginning in 1985, Next Generation began holding annual conferences focusing on the following areas:

• Peer-to-Peer Networking While their parents built a network of “industry friends” through conferences, markets and supplier trips (remember those) and regularly counted on their fellow retailers for advice on various business issues unique to furniture retailing, Next Generation provided a conduit for their children to cultivate their own network. Many of the relationships built through Next Generation exist to this day!

• Management Training It might be one thing to have a child take over the company, but without the proper skill-set, this transition might not be successful. Next Generation conferences featured management seminars focused on providing business education to keep the company healthy for the third and fourth generations (and beyond).

• Tax/Succession Strategies Even with a willing and capable “heir-apparent”, many businesses cannot handle the tax burden of ownership transfer. Tax consultants—experts in succession planning, were regularly on the Next Generation schedule. NG attendees soon learned that a cost-effective business transfer from one generation to the next often takes careful planning and many years of implementation.


August 2010

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Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

Next Generation-Now

If you are part of a family business and/or a future leader in the home furnishings industry, The Next Generation-Now invites you to attend an informal reception. Listen as past members share how this peer group helped broadened their industry knowledge and business skills. Join us and help shape the future direction of this dynamic group. The Next Generation is NOW. Next Generation-NOW Social Event Tuesday, August 3, 2010 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. One Six Club, Building B 16th Floor

• Inter-Personal Relationships In many family businesses, Thanksgiving dinner can become a “Board of Directors” meeting. One of the most important aspects of Next Generation was providing speakers that addressed the unique issues of working with family members in the business. Common themes included: Do you bring “in-laws” into the company? What is the patriarch/matriarch’s role when Jr. takes over the helm? How do you structure a company with multiple siblings involved? Whether part of a natural “business cycle” or a strong real estate market of the past decade, the Next Generation conferences of 25 years ago faded into some very fond memories, but the friendships and business relationships and education are as strong as ever among the participants. As times have once again changed, and many new up-andcoming professionals are entering the home furnishings business, many of us from the original Next Generation are gathering to create a new group called Next Generation-Now. To kick off the Next Generation-Now group, we will be hosting an informal reception during the August Las Vegas Market. This event will be a great reunion for Next Generation members, plus an opportunity to connect and resurrect this terrific group for the future leaders of the home furnishings industry. ifurniture_AD_4.875x7.5.indd 1

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

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6/19/10 11:01 AM

August 2010


Operational Excellence

Pros & Cons Employee Leasing E

mployee leasing firms (also called PEOs or Professional Employer Organizations) have become increasingly popular as companies search for ways to decrease their administrative burden and the liability associated with hiring employees. Before deciding on turning over your staff to an outside company, here are some important factors to consider.

How do PEOs work? Lauraine Bifulco Vantaggio HR president and principal consultant


August 2010

A PEO is a third-party firm who enters into a joint employment relationship with a company where the workers become employees of both firms. Unlike a staffing company who maintains a workforce that they sub out to employers when needed, PEOs generally assume responsibility for the existing employees of a company. Depending upon the contractual arrangement between the PEO and the company, the PEO typically takes over functions such as payroll, benefits, leave

western retailer

administration, and other HR tasks, while the company maintains the day-to-day supervision of the staff. However, different PEOs have varying levels of involvement with the employees. Some PEOs really only provide “back office” support to the company, while others have a much more active role in the hiring and maintenance of the employees. How involved the PEO gets in these matters, including investigations, employee performance and discipline, terminations, etc. can have a significant influence on the liability involved for both parties.

Who has the ultimate responsibility for the employees? The courts have consistently ruled that “joint employment” status exists when you lease employees, which means that you and the leasing company are both liable for all aspects of the employment relationship. For example, if you Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

The next six days that matter

leave the task of hiring new employees or investigating complaints to the leasing company, you may still be found liable if your PEO does an inadequate job of properly screening applicants or responding to a sexual harassment claim. Although PEOs assume much of the administrative responsibility for complying with labor laws, joint employment leaves you, the co-employer, with potentially greater liability where you often have little control. To protect against employment-related claims, make sure that any PEO you consider has adequate Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). Ask what the deductible is, inquire about the aggregate coverage amounts, find out how many total employers and employees are covered under that umbrella, and see if their policy will allow you to select your own attorney in the event of a lawsuit. You should also require that your company be named as an additional insured on their policy.

What about payroll? Some PEOs advertise that by turning your employees over to them, you are no longer responsible for payroll and payroll taxes. This is simply untrue. The employee leasing company will be making those payments on your behalf. Because of joint employment status, you may still be found liable for failure to pay and/or withhold taxes. If considering using a PEO, make sure that it’s a reputable company with solid financial standing. If a PEO goes out of business and has not paid your payroll taxes, you will ultimately be held responsible for any unpaid amounts, as well as penalties and interest. In addition, you are responsible for violations of state and federal wage and hour laws.

What about employment law compliance? Once again, joint employment status means that both you and the leasing company remain liable for compliance with all aspects of the employment relationship. In addition to making sure that the PEO you are considering will assign a representative to your account who is well versed in all applicable federal and state labor law requirements, you need to consider what this new relationship will do to your company in terms of compliance issues; many labor laws are based on the number of employees that you have on staff. For example, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act entails a great deal of administrative burden and legal restraints for the employer, requiring, amongst other things, that qualifying employees be granted up to 12 weeks of leave (26 weeks for federal military caregiver leave) with their job guaranteed upon their return. These laws, however, only apply to companies who have 50 or more employees at, or within 75 road miles of, a worksite. Even if your firm is under this size, in certain circumstances, you may end up having to comply due to being part of the larger employee leasing firm. Many other states also have similar leave laws. There continue to be benefits to remaining a smaller employer, many of which might be lost in an employee leasing arrangement.

Can PEOs offer better employee benefits? Employee leasing firms often claim they can provide a superior employee benefits package for your employees. In some situations, this may be true as PEOs can sometimes obtain better rates due to the total number of employees on their plans. However, it’s important to look at the actual plan offerings before deciding what is “better” or “cheaper.” Some PEOs’ medical rates appear attractive only because the plan design is less rich. Even small companies can offer competitive benefits on their own if they take the time to shop around. Consult Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

Facebook: Linkedin: TwiTTer: YouTube: | 1.800.874.6492

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August 2010


with a knowledgeable insurance broker who will market your company’s needs at no cost to you. Group medical and dental rates are available to employers in some states starting with as few as one employee. Medical insurance associations can sometimes give small companies the advantage of grouping with other employers to have better leverage on plan designs and premiums. Additionally, there are companies who will help design and administer simple, affordable retirement plans for small companies. Remember that the PEO is not going to pay for employee benefits out of its own pocket; the costs will be passed along to you. You may be able to do just as well or better on your own.

401(k) retirement plans? If your firm is going to offer 401(k) retirement benefits through a PEO’s plan, you need to be sure that the plan qualifies as a “multiemployer” plan under the IRS’s guidelines. Risks regarding 401(k) compliance when you are using a PEO are twofold. First, the PEO needs to ensure that each separate group on their “multi-employer” plan meets the IRS’s non-


August 2010

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discrimination testing in order for the entire plan to remain compliant. Additionally, if an employer elects to continue to maintain their own 401(k) plan for certain key executives, that plan may have trouble meeting the non-discrimination tests unless their non-executive employers on the PEO’s payroll are also covered under that plan. You need to make sure to run these issues by a qualified tax and benefits advisor.

What about workers’ compensation? Workers’ compensation is certainly one of the most expensive insurance requirements on the part of employers. Sometimes, PEOs are able to obtain better rates for you because of their size. However, before making any decision, consult with a reputable broker who will obtain quotes from several insurance companies to get you the best price possible. Be aware that if the PEO is getting a lower rate by avoiding the appropriate experience rating and rate code classification for your workers, you may be participating in insurance fraud. Additionally, existing case law indicates that even if you

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

lease all of your employees, you are still fully responsible for all aspects of occupational health and safety laws. And finally, look at the amounts the PEO is going to charge you for your workers’ comp. insurance. Will they charge the same rate on all your employees? Will you or the PEO benefit from any premium discounts or experience modifications? Check the math carefully. If you’re an owner of your company, you can exclude yourself from coverage and save the cost of paying premiums on your earnings. However, you may not be able to be excluded from coverage under the PEO’s policy. Additionally, you only pay premiums up to a certain threshold (about $100,000) on officers of your company. Since those individuals will not be officers of the PEO entity, you may end up having to pay premiums for them on their entire salaries. If highly compensated, the amounts can be considerable. Also, once you enter into employee leasing, you lose your status as an employer in the eyes of workers’ comp. insurance companies. If some day you exit leasing, you may not have an “experience rating” to take along with you to the next carrier. Depending upon your loss history, this could be a good or a bad thing.

How much does it really cost? It is often difficult to assess the actual cost of employee leasing. Many PEOs claim that they only charge their clients for payroll and benefit costs, plus a nominal per-employee service fee. Make sure you work with a reputable company who is willing to provide you with a detailed, written proposal that allows you to compare apples to apples. Understand exactly how much you are currently paying on an annual basis for payroll taxes and benefits. Remember that higher-paid employees max out on Social Security after you’ve paid 6.2 percent on the first $106,800 they earn. Keep in mind that whatever percentages you are paying for federal and state unemployment (FUTA and SUI) also max at a certain salary level. If you really know the true costs of leasing and are willing to pay them, competent PEOs can provide you with relief from the administrative burden of providing HR services to your employees.

What are other options? Get some good outside help with managing your employees: a resourceful broker, a reputable payroll processing company, an experienced human resource consultant or firm, and an attorney with experience in employment law. You should definitely consider obtaining employment practices liability insurance (“EPLI”) to cover your employment-related liability. With the right team, you can better manage your own employees, minimize your liability, and have the time and money left over to dedicate to running your business.

The information presented in this article is intended to be accurate and authoritative information on the subject matter covered at the time submitted for publishing. It is distributed with the understanding that Vantaggio HR is not rendering legal advice and assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use.

Copyright © Vantaggio HR, Ltd., 2004/2010 Lauraine Bifulco is President and Principal Consultant of Vantaggio HR, a full-service human resource & management consulting firm serving companies of all sizes across the U.S. 1-877-VHR-relx (877) 847-7359,,

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

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Get Involved! Save the Date. Save the Date.

List Your Store. List Your Store. Download Download thethe Tools. Tools. Capture the Sales.

Capture the Sales

CelebrateNational NationalHome HomeFurnishings FurnishingsMonth Month Celebrate

Participate industry’s biggest national retail sales event of the year! Participateininthe the industry’s biggest national September 18-26, 2010 retail sales event of the year!


ational Home Furnishings Month is a unified How Do You Get Involved? retail sales event that is free to retailers and 1. Visit and add your store to the leverages common content and messaging with Store Locator, using your Las Vegas Forthe more information contact goal of driving consumer demand and sales into Market ID. Store listing is free of charge. your store. 2. Next, you can activate a free plug-and-play WHFA, in conjunction with the World Market advertising toolkit. This kit includes creative assets Center Las Vegas, has created the IS IT HOME YET?™ like print advertising, press release templates, table Campaign. This campaign has been designed to help toppers, sale tags and other components that you increase consumer spending and move home furnishings can adapt to promote yourself. from the bottom of homeowners’ to-do list to the top of their shopping list, by visiting the website.

Other Benefits

What is IS IT HOME YET?™ campaign consumer website features advice from top designers with home makeover tips, trend information and a member only store locator to help consumers find retail outlets in their geographical area. Since its initial launch, National Home Furnishings Month has delivered over 500 million impressions and has had 126,114 store impressions. Position your company to benefit from this free advertising opportunity and drive traffic to your store so you can capture sales.

1. GE Money will be giving WHFA Members and NHFM participants exclusive Consumer Financing Discount rates for this event. 12 Month Deferred Payment for only 1.99 percent during this sale period. 2. Citi Retail Services will be giving WHFA Members and NHFM participants exclusive Consumer Financing Discount rates for this event. 12 Month Deferred Payment for only 1.99 percent; 18 Month Deferred Payment for 6.00 percent; and 24 Month Deferred Payment for 7.99 percent during this sale period. 3. Sale-In-A-Box has put together a special IS IT HOME YET?™ promotions package for only $395.

For more information on NATIONAL HOME FURNISHINGS MONTH or to access the NHFM Retailer Toolkit visit or contact Yer Vang at 28

August 2010

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Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

Industry Dates

Tupelo Furniture Market August 20-22, 2010 Tupelo, MS (662) 842-4442

High Point Market October 16-21, 2010 High Point, NC (800) 874-6492 Visit the Retailer Resource Center Plaza Suites Building, Floor 1

Long Beach Furniture & Accessory Market November 17-18, 2010 Orlando Furniture & Accessory Market August 27-29, 2010 Orlando, FL (305) 792-9990

Long Beach, CA (305) 792-9990

Las Vegas Market World Market Center National Home Furnishings Month September 18-26, 2010 Visit to learn more and participate!

January 24-28, 2011 Las Vegas, NV (888) 416-8600

For more industry dates, visit and click on EVENTS & EDUCATION. Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

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August 2010





Q&A with Karen

ne onth tu ber m y r e v E m ard Me into Bo learn more Q&A to ur WHFA o about y embers. m board


Karen Kohlman, general manager West Harvard Furniture Roseburg, OR 97470 (541) 673-4221


What is your biggest challenge in furniture retailing? Exceeding the expectations of my customers. What CD is in your vehicle right now? One that belongs to my son, so I don’t want to know. How do you describe yourself? A workaholic. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Remodel my house and maybe take a vacation. What cartoon character best describes your personality? Road Runner What do you do for fun? Ride my horse and play with my dogs. Why did you join WHFA? The great insights into the business.

Advertisers Index Please support the advertisers that support your magazine. Advertiser



ACA........................................................................ S18................................... (800) 882-8588 Banner Marketing.................................................. 20.................................... (800) 422-3778 Citi Retail Services ............................................4 & S13............................... (800) 422-3778 Custom Design Software...................................... S6.................................... (800) 884-0806 Diakon Logistics.................................................... S10...........................(877) 700-4297 x215 Emerald Home Furnishings................................... 2..................................... (800) 685-6646 Furniture Wizard.................................................... 16.................................... (619) 869-7200 FurnServ................................................................. S10................................... (888) 495-7876 Genesis Software.................................................. S15................................... (509) 536-4739 Guardian Protection Products............................. S15................................... (800) 522-8266

Advertising Inquiries & Rates Contact: Cindi Williams, WHFA Advertising Manager, 500 Giuseppe Court, Ste. 6, Roseville, CA 95678. (916) 960-0277 E-mail: Subscriptions: $35.00/year, USA. Published by Western Home Furnishings Association, a National Home Furnishings Association affiliate, in the interests of retail home furnishings dealers, manufacturers, ­distributors and salespeople. Distributed to home furnishings retailers handling ­furniture, ­accessories, bedding, floor coverings and specialty home furnishings in ­Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Mailing list compiled by WHFA. Official publication of Western Home Furnishings Association, which is ­responsible for editorial content and advertising policy. The views expressed in articles appearing in Western Retailer are not necessarily those of Western Home ­Furnishings ­Association. Western Retailer magazine is copyrighted by Western Home Furnishings

GE Money...........................................................7 & S20............................... (866) 209-4457

Association. August 2010, all rights reserved.

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Western Retailer: 23............................www.

Read by furniture retailers in the West

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Las Vegas Market.................................................... 9..................................... (888) 416-8600

Western Retailer is read by more than 10,000 home furnishings retail store personnel handling furniture, accessories, bedding, floorc overings and specialty home furnishings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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August 2010

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Marketing Philosophy: Western Retailer focuses on business market trends in the furniture, bedding, flooring and accessories industry. It highlights sales, marketing, operations, showroom design, trends, succession planning and industry events.

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

Celebrating 20 Years

Celebrating 20 years of Home Furnishings Reporting Twenty years ago, Western Retailer magazine started off as a small trade industry publication for Western Home Furnishings Association. Check out what the current WHFA staff was doing back then.

Twenty years ago...

I just got a new job as Sales Director for a new Sacramento commercial furniture dealer. We were building a home in Elk Grove. I graduated with my undergrad degree in business and my kids were 11 and 8. Sharron Bradley, executive director

I was 11, sporting the spiky-do mullet, chillin’ in ripped denim with pegged pants. I was a little rocker dude. I was really into baseball at that time. I raced BMX competitively across California, and in my free time I was playing Nintendo (the original). My bed time was 8:30, right after the Barney Miller Show. Life was so simple back then. Adam Gardner, Northern California membership rep I was going to Heald Business College full time for my AA in Accounting and working full time at The Money Store in the SBA division. Melody King, accounting assistant

I was chasing after two beautiful sons, a 2-year-old, Mark, and an 8-yearold, Michael, and loving every moment of it. I also was working at Bank of America. Margie Jacobs, membership services specialist I was raising a beautiful daughter and son that were 9 and 5 with my third child on his way. I worked for my fami ly’s businesses, which at the time included a couple of 1-hour photo labs and prop erties in Sacramento and Fresno.  Janice Carlson, business manager

d credit I was a sales an ota Bicycles, manager at Yok l mountain an internationa Santa bike company in mmuted Clara, CA. I co ked to the by train and bi speed, ugly office on a onethe bus on cruiser or rode commute rainy days (this driving).   was faster than bership Mike Hill, mem manager

I was entering the third grade and loved wearing leggings, crimping my hair and side ponytails. I aced every single spelling test that year, even though I had no future aspirations that would require this skill—at the time, I wanted to be a “hair cutter” because I enjoyed playing with people’s hair. Melissa Dressler, Western Retailer managing editor

I was traveling the west coast with a team of awesome people as part owners of a sprint car. Our driver, Mike Wasina Jr., was nationally ranked. We went from Placerville, CA, to Skagit, WA, with a truck and trailer, meeting colorful people and seeing beautiful country. Maybe that is why my daughter Sarah likes to drive so fast! Cindi Williams, director of events

Contact WHFA at or (800) 422-3778.

I recently graduated from high school and was ready to start life on my own—I just wasn’t sure what I wante d to do. I knew that I wanted to do something in the creativ e field, perhaps advertising or marketing, and eight years later, I lan ded my current position working in the WHFA marketing department an d Western Retailer magazine. Melissa Robinson, Western Retailer publisher I was in my sophomore year of high school living in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. I toiled away in my school career while working as a Butcher at my first “real” job. Furniture was the last thing on my mind at the time because I was preoccupied with girls, my first car (station wagon from my Grandmother) and looking forward to getting out of high school. Jef Spencer, operations director / warehouse manager

I was in my first job right out of college at Kanowsky Furniture Manufacturing. It was here that I was first introduced to the furniture industry. I handled inside sales and worked with furniture every day (wow, not much has changed!). At Kanowsky, I met my husband and also fell in love with this industry.   Kaprice Crawford, assistant executive director / marketing director

western retailer

August 2010


Come and get it. It’s not just about being online. It’s about inspiring and engaging the consumer. That’s what MicroD-powered websites do. In fact, over 85% of the top 100 brands and retailers use MicroD to: • Enable consumers to configure thousands of products online. • Achieve higher search rankings — store & products. • Build loyalty by extending the amount of time customers spend on your site. • Provide valuable leads and information about buyers’ interests.

To get the full picture, call 800-964-3876. Or email Online marketing solutions for the furniture industry.

See us at the Vegas Furniture Market in August.

Western Retailer August 2010 - Market Issue  

This Market issue of Western Retailer magazine features articles on going over and above your usual advertising, motivating your staff witho...

Western Retailer August 2010 - Market Issue  

This Market issue of Western Retailer magazine features articles on going over and above your usual advertising, motivating your staff witho...