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Retailers Praise Kimball Home's Puttin' On The Ritz, An Incentive Program That Rewards "Front Line" Salespeople

Furniture World Magazine


Kimball Home has always believed that nurturing and empowering retailers is the surest pathway to success-a philosophy rooted in parent corporation Kimball International's long history of successful travel incentive programs. The Indiana manufacturer has come up with a way to encourage retailers' floor staff-the men and women who actually work face-to-face with consumers-to sell more residential and home office furniture bearing the Kimball Home logo. The program-inspired by Kimball International's 35 years of successful incentive programs in its office furniture, piano and organ divisions-is called "Puttin' on the Ritz". Its premise is simple, yet compelling: the professionals at participating retailers who sell the most Kimball Home furniture between April 1, 2001 and December 31, 2001 will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Jamaica early next year. "We believe we must be innovative in keeping retail salespeople motivated," says John Thyen, Senior Executive Vice President of Kimball International. "This is especially important during economically uncertain times. We are convinced that this program will encourage salespeople to go that all-important 'extra mile'to turn prospects into sales. Early feedback from retailers is encouraging, and no wonder. We all benefit-the salesperson, the dealership principal and Kimball Home." The tropical getaway-which will be awarded to top retail salespeople and their spouses/significant others-is set for February of 2002. The Jamaica Ritz Carlton is near Montego Bay's vibrant downtown area, yet still provides guests with the seclusion of a beachfront hideaway. Airfare, meals, wine service, cocktail parties, entertainment and sightseeing tours are included in the prize package. Good's Furniture, a Jenkintown, Pennsylvania store owned by Breuners Home Furnishings Corporation, is participating in "Puttin' On The Ritz." John Solimine, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Breuners, says his staff members are tremendously excited about having the chance to win this trip-and he adds that he appreciates Kimball Home's innovative partnership strategies. "This incentive program is a great motivator for my employees," he declares. "They seem more enthusiastic about coming to work, an attitude which lends itself to exceptional customer service. And that, of course, makes customers want to come back the next time they need furniture! This promotion illustrates what I like about doing business with Kimball Home. They always have fresh, creative ideas-that help my store prosper-and that's exactly what I look for in a retail partner!" Robert Cribbs, General Manager of Kimball Home, says that "Puttin' On The Ritz" has its origins in the sales incentive programs Kimball International has offered its retailers for the past 35 years. These programs, he adds, even reach back to the days when the manufacturer produced its famous Kimball pianos and organs. "Last year, approximately 1400 people were awarded trips to Hawaii as a result of participating in the Kimball Office Furniture and National Office Furniture travel incentive programs," Cribbs reveals. "It has been a very successful strategy for Kimball International. This is the first time we've tried it with our residential division. Frankly, we expect the program to be a big hit with Kimball Home dealers-and of course, with the retail salespeople who ultimately end up in Jamaica next winter!" For more information about Kimball Home, visit the company's website at www.KimballHome.com. Or contact Robert Cribbs at 1-800-482-1616 or 2602 North Newton Street, Jasper, Indiana 47549.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.