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Furniture World Articles

All of the Furniture World Magazine Articles that have also been published online can be found here. Select a year to begin browsing the articles.

Articles published in 2004

Most Important 4 Letter Word: GOAL 2005  - 12/20/2004

Unstick Yourself. Let your biggest competitor be you!

Sales Staffing Part 2  - 12/20/2004

First find the right people, set performance standards, compensation methods, goal management and accountability. Then teach them how you do business.

Retail Profile: Jordans’ Magic Carpet To Success  - 12/20/2004

The best quality, value and service is more than a promise - it's a commitment.

Retail Groups: Path To Continuous Improvement  - 12/17/2004

A proven model for retail networking in the furniture industry -- retail groups meet regularly to benchmark key indicators with the goal of learning best practices.

Every Associate A Leader- Part 1  - 12/17/2004

Larry Mullins looks at the organization that does the best job of developing leaders and examines ways to promote integrity, excellence and caring in future retail leaders.

The New Delivery Trucks  - 10/5/2004

It may be time to check out your trucks and then visit truck dealerships to see how you may benefit from updating and/or replacing some or all of your vehicles. Dan Bolger describes the features and benefits of the new models.

Your Optimal Sales Staffing Levels  - 10/5/2004

Virtually all stores are understaffed to some degree and this article will explain how you can determine optimal staffing levels to make sure you don’t lose sales and negatively impact your profitability.

Your Cheapest Mattress  - 10/5/2004

The cheapest mattress for any customer is always the used one they already own. Dr. Peter Marino looks at ways to approach customers who mistakenly believe that your cheapest mattress is also the best for them.

Doubling Profits Is Easier Than You Think  - 10/5/2004

The average store netted 4% pretax to sales last year. Most think they made only 4 cents out of every sales dollar… that's a dangerous misconception.. Larry Stark provides the financial management tools to help uncover the truth about the relationship between fixed/ variable expenses and profits.

Are Women The Best Salespeople?  - 10/5/2004

Things have changed since the days when furniture was designed by men, built by men, sold wholesale by men to men, and eventually sold at retail by men to women. But the “grass is still greener” for women in other industries and there’s still a lot for furniture “men” to learn.

‘Tis The Season To Follow-Up  - 10/5/2004

Even though the temperatures are dropping, and kids are back in their classrooms, your customers are not yet thinking about the holidays. So now is the season to follow-up. Here are some practical techniques on how to do it.

Retail Furniture Business Process Redesign  - 10/5/2004

Most retailers look for improvements in stock turnover, sales revenue and value of ticket to name but a few. All these performance metrics are important, but if the basic process is flawed then anything following will be flawed as well. Philip Pugh presents tools and techniques that can help you to identify the best ways to foster continuous improvement in your business processes.

Retail Profile: James Reid Limited  - 10/5/2004

Profile of Canadian retailer James Reid Limited that has big plans to celebrate their 300th anniversary in 2154!

Farmore Interiors: Retail Profile  - 8/10/2004

Farmore Interiors has developed a lucrative relationship with companies that build and develop high-end properties in the Scottish golfing obsessed town of St. Andrews.

Eavesdropping In The Bedding Department  - 8/10/2004

If the mattress and box spring specifications (coils, foam, etc.) could speak, what might they say about the customers and your salespeople?

Creating & Managing A Lean Supply Chain  - 8/10/2004

Even smaller home furnishings retailers can cut wasted time, inventory and costs by implementing a “pull” approach to supply chain management.

Fear Factor - Salesforce Edition  - 8/10/2004

This article will look at fear, the single biggest impediment to becoming a fully actualized retail sales professional.

Think Outside The Warehouse Box  - 8/10/2004

Unusual circumstances called for a creative solution when Grace Furniture found that they needed to expand and upgrade their warehouse facilities. The old warehouse was used while the new facility was built over it.

Understanding Sales Metrics - Part 4  - 8/10/2004

This final article in a series offers more advice on making continuous sales performance improvement a reality for your store by using metrics.

Personal Power Of Accessories  - 7/27/2004

The art is in building a bridge from the initial sale by persuading your customer how accessories will fit into their home... completing it and marking it with their own individualized signature.

Visual Merchandising - Selling From Wholeness  - 7/27/2004

Something like a sanctuary, a gallery of solutions, the retail space can be a paradise found for customers. Many times it isn’t.

The Sales Treasure Within Two-Person Communication  - 7/27/2004

Selling is all about creating meaning between two or more people using words or other impulses. There is a source, message and receiver.

Advertising: FURNITURE WORLD Magazine & Furninfo.com  - 7/12/2004

Information on the benefits of advertising in FURNITURE WORLD Magazine and the www.furninfo.com website.

AFHF Oral Interviews  - 7/1/2004

Priceless interviews of industry "legends" contain accounts of developments and events in the industry and in the lives of these important people.

AFHF Hall of Fame Inductees  - 7/1/2004

A listing of members inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame and short biographies.

GNYHFA MemberListings  - 7/1/2004

Buyer's Guide containing listings of the members of the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association along with the companies they own, manage or represent. carry.

GNYHFA Manufacturer's Listing  - 7/1/2004

Buyer's Guide listing of manufacturers represented in the NY area by Greater New York Home Furnishings Association member representatives.

GNYHFA Product Category Listings  - 7/1/2004

Buyer's Guide listings arranged by product category along with manufacturer and local representative's name.

Storage Solutions - Features & Pricing  - 6/29/2004

Features and pricing on reconditioned order pickers.

Flex-A-Bed Side Rails Option  - 6/28/2004

Can be ordered with any bed or separately to be installed on beds already in use.

Flex-A-Bed's Deluxe Model  - 6/28/2004

The Deluxe, offered in a beautiful Burlington champagne cover, is your customer's best buy due to its many features.

Flex-A-Bed Made By People Who Care  - 6/28/2004

Today Flex-A-Bed fabricates is own metal frames, build our actuator sets, and construct our special contouring mattress all under one roof in a factory we own. No jobbers or outside assemblers are involved.

Flex-A-Bed Sizes, Firmness, Warranty  - 6/28/2004

Information on Flex-A-Beds sizes,firmness,mattress,foundation and warranty.

Flex-A-Bed Dual King Features  - 6/28/2004

Two Twins used as a "Dual King" and the optional vibrator will convince you that you have never known relaxation before. Flex-A-Bed is a surprisingly affordable luxury.

Flex-A-Bed's Standard Model  - 6/28/2004

The Standard Flex-a-Bed with a 5-year warranty is an excellent value at an affordable price.

Flex-A-Bed FAQ Page  - 6/28/2004

Frequently asked questions about Flex-A-Bed products.

Flex-A-Bed High-Low Model  - 6/28/2004

Fully electric motorized adjustable bed with independent head, foot motors, and hi-low function.

Pity The Poor Delivery Driver  - 6/26/2004

Stupid drivers! Honestly, can they ever manage to deliver something without tearing it up? Don’t blame the driver without first looking closely at other areas of your business that may cause or contribute to failures recognized at the time of delivery.

Understanding Sales Performance Metrics - Part 3  - 6/26/2004

This four part series continues with a discussion of additional sales metrics and begins to outline a system for using metrics to improve sales team performance over time.

Get The Most Value From Your Warehouse Consultant  - 6/26/2004

Is the operations side of your company supporting your overall business strategy? Some common indicators that operations improvement is needed are overcrowded warehouses, damaged merchandise, customer complaints, service calls, even exchanges, labor costs and order cancellations.

Extreme Makeover - Salesforce Edition  - 6/26/2004

Homes are making headlines. “Extreme Makeover for the Home Edition” was recently the number one show on ABC. A lot of viewers are hooked on HGTV. If you want to take advantage of this cultural shift, you won’t need liposuction or a chin implant, but you may need to learn a few new skills.

Retail Profile: Critelli’s Furniture  - 6/26/2004

This 90 year old furniture retailer doesn’t care to follow trends. Instead, Critelli’s specializes in helping customers find exactly what they’re looking for within a comfortable budget.

Mattress Sales Strategies - Part 2  - 6/26/2004

This article will focus on the skill of setting up an effective strategy for selling mattresses. It is a strategy that helps customers perceive which one of your mattresses best fulfills their needs.

Herd Mentality & The Sales Floor  - 6/25/2004

A kind of herd mentality exists on the sales floors of furniture stores. If managers falter, then the herd will pick another “alpha’ animal to lead. Joe Capillo looks at specific ways that owners and sales mangers can keep control of their sales floors.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 7 - Classified Ads  - 6/25/2004

It seems that it will continue to be a tight labor market for furniture retailers in 2001. That means that you have to have a recruitment program in place. Everyone uses classified ads... and the response can be discouraging. Here are ways to make the most of your classified budget.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 5 -Employee Termination  - 6/25/2004

Of all the responsibilities that business owners and managers have, none is likely to be more distasteful and distressing than having to fire someone. To do it right, communication and documentation are essential.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 4 -Care And Feeding Of Good Managers  - 6/25/2004

Nobody in a retail organization has a stronger impact on success or the lack thereof, than a manager. In the store or the warehouse, the right manager can transform a dull, drab workplace into a vibrant one where people are excited about their work.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 2 - Recruiting  - 6/25/2004

Many retailers are working short-staffed. They say that everybody who's any good has a job, and nobody wants to work retail. But there's another reason why most stores don't have enough people, especially salespeople, to adequately service their shoppers and customers. The truth is that most retailers treat recruiting like a trip to the dentist. They don't want to go there.

Disconnected From Your Custumers?  - 6/25/2004

Questions that will help you gauge how disconnected you are from your customers and their needs. So, how do you change things? How do you get closer to your customer's needs and get better at giving her what she wants?

Get Out Of Your Office Now! - Part 1  - 6/25/2004

Well my friends, it's time to get in the trenches with your troops! The action is on your selling floor, not in your office on your computer screen! Most managers are so busy handling their employees' "monkeys" they can't spend time doing those things that could really make a difference to their bottom line. Here's how you can find every "monkey" a good home.

Keeping In Touch With Your Sales  - 6/25/2004

Many owners allow themselves to become disconnected from key sales performance indicators that can forecast sales declines. Ted Shepherd gives step by step instructions for avoiding this situation.

Are Your Salespeople Selling Customers Or Developing Clients?  - 6/25/2004

Many owners and sales managers are so busy handling other aspects of their jobs, that client development isn't a priority. Ted Shepherd explains the most troublesome roadblocks that prevent salespeople from developing clients and illustrates how to overcome them.

Feedback Feeds Performance  - 6/25/2004

Salesperson feedback is a critical factor in determining both the success of your sales people and the effectiveness of your sales manager. If you have been reading this series of articles on sales management for the last 10 months, you will recognize this as the next logical step in sales management.

Get The Negotiation Monkey Off Your Back!  - 6/25/2004

Price negotiation is a margin eroding practice that is simply not a necessary part of the sales process. There are a number of reasons why stores allow the practice to persist, however, the costs far outweigh the benefits. This article will show you examples of why negotiating is not in your interest as well as present a more attractive alternative solution.

Do Salespeople Own Your Customers Or Do Customers Own Your Salespeople?  - 6/25/2004

Do your salespeople own their customers or do customers own your salespeople? This is one of the most controversial issues in retail sales today. Stores that allow salespeople to 'own' customers (that they have served or seen on previous store visits), take away important customer rights and help to encourage employee back-biting and in-fighting.

Sales Follow-up Systems Help Close The Sale  - 6/25/2004

Even if you don't have a high tech computer software system to track customers who buy and also those who leave your store without buying today, you can still have your salespeople effectively capture names and follow-up to get them back in to close the sale.

Winning Bragging Rights: Keeping Good Salespeople Working For You  - 6/25/2004

Continued from the April issue of FURNITURE WORLD, is Peter A. Marino's series on how to keep those successful salespeople upbeat and working for you instead of your competitors.

Understanding Sales Performance Metrics - Part 1  - 6/25/2004

Sales metrics, those calculations we use to measure our effectiveness in dealing with customers, are the most misunderstood and underused measurements in retail furniture stores.

Numbers Game - Part 2 - Is Your Best Salesperson Really Best?  - 6/25/2004

This article by John Egger (Winning The Numbers Game) will look at the reasons why it is important to know the distribution of UPs, the spread in closing ratios and the spread in average sale among salespeople.

Is Your Business A Team Effort?  - 6/25/2004

Is your team all on the same page singing the same song, or is each department writing their own lyrics. Is the main goal of employees to cover the customer’s needs and expectations or their own butts? Cathy Finney looks at “imagineering” strategies for helping your sales, back office and delivery departments work together to serve your customers and your bottom line.

The Role Of Vision In Togal Customer Service  - 6/25/2004

Total customer service requires that an organization have more than a sense of goal. It requires that it have a sense of vision as well. The reason why organizations need to have a sense of vision is that total customer service is not a final destination. It is an endless journey.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 3 - Big Sales Help Shortage  - 6/25/2004

There is intense competition from within and outside of the home furnishings industry, to attract and keep good employees. In this environment where employees can afford to be picky, you need to "sell" your company to potential hires. Sam Leder presents some easy rules for conducting interviews and making job offers in his continuing series.

Building Customer Relationships  - 6/25/2004

A Customer Relationship Management System is a set of policies and procedures that guide interactions between store staff and customers. It includes an Ups management component, customer sales and service history component, word processing for consumer communications and reporting capability for productivity analysis.

Sales Manager's Role In Developing Achievable Sales Goals - Part 2  - 6/25/2004

Joe Capillo continues his series on sales management with a look at how to develop achievable sales goals.

Finding Better Salespeople  - 6/25/2004

40% of college graduates start in jobs they're satisfied with at $25,000 to $35,000, and 10% more start at twice that. Most can avoid working weekends and holidays. Many can expect to advance in their professions while drawing a predictably increasing salary. Given the fact that successful retail salespeople need to have many talents and ccomplishments, how can furniture stores expect to attract the people who can do the best possible job?

The Understaffing Crisis At Retail  - 6/25/2004

Understaffing at retail furniture stores is an alarming recent trend. If we want our sales people to increase the number and amount of furniture purchases, they need to be able to spend more time with customers. If, however, we do not maintain adequate staffing levels, these new selling skills are always the first thing to go.

Your Most Important Asset - Shared Values  - 6/25/2004

Ted Shepherd looks at why many owners have not been able to transfer the very beliefs that were the foundation of their company to the people responsible for taking the business to the next level; their employees.

Effective Retail Salesperson Compensation Plans  - 6/25/2004

This article reviews several common compensation plans. Although each seems straightforward, a more careful review finds that some plans 'de-motivate' salespeople, overcompensate others and even serve to encourage poor customer service.

Why Every Store Should Have A Customer Driven UP System  - 6/25/2004

If you have a customer-driven store, or are moving in that direction... even if you are high-end and low volume, having a well designed and implemented UPs system can make or break you.

Recruiting: Are Your Salespeople Holding You Hostage?  - 6/25/2004

Recruiting should not be an event driven by circumstances outside of an owners control, like a sudden departure or the need for additional staff, but rather an on-going part of daily sales management and customer concern. Unfortunately, few store owners understand the significance of this sales management activity.

The Automated Salesperson  - 6/25/2004

Most salespeople forget about customers right after they leave the store. The solution to this loss of sales are easy to use, interactive systems that remind, coach and train.

Best Ways To Reward Salespeople  - 6/25/2004

Continued from the June issue of FURNITURE WORLD, is Peter A. Marino's final article in his series on Keeping Good Salespeople. This month Dr. Marino looks at incentive plans and why Spiffs and incentives often undermine the process they are designed to enhance.

Understanding Sales Performance Metrics - Part 2  - 6/25/2004

The second article in this series takes a detailed look at close ratio and average sale. Joe Capillo explains how you can use these two measures as part of a system to promote continuous sales improvement.

Simple Ways To Handle Complaining Customers  - 6/25/2004

Studies have shown that customers whose complaints are handled well are often more loyal to a company than those customers who have never had a problem at all.

Customer Service Equals Customer Retention  - 6/25/2004

at two recent encounters he had with companies that really messed up! He explains why he will never return to one store because of their uncaring attitude. The other, however, got him to change his mind.

Is Your Sales Manager Filing Or Coaching?  - 6/25/2004

If your sales manager is tagging the floor, handling customer service calls, calculating discounts for customers to help salespeople close sales, handling display issues, reviewing sales orders, filling out or filing reports, or doing everything except managing and coaching performance, you need to seriously reconsider how you have defined the role.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 6 - They're Almost Acceptable  - 6/25/2004

The sixth part in Sam Leder's series on hiring and keeping the best people continues with a look at ways to avoid hiring salespeople who are "almost right". These are the ones you hire because of an immediate need and who you hope will "fit-in" with time.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 1 - Employee Retention  - 6/25/2004

There are too few good salespeople and too many alternative jobs out there. The current business climate not only makes it more difficult to hire, it makes keeping good employees more challenging. Here are a number of ways you can keep employees so you don't have to spend as much time looking for replacements.

Mission Statement Possible  - 6/25/2004

Goals and the system for developing, managing and tracking them when tied to clear and understandable living missions can begin to drive your company toward the liberation from reactively dealing with urgent issues.

Recruiting, Hiring And Retaining Good Salespeople  - 6/25/2004

Recruiting should be viewed as an everyday part of working for your company. If you wait until you have an opening before you start looking, you are drawing most of your applicants from the ranks of the unemployed... who many not the best people for your organization.

Get Out Of Your Office Now! - Part 2  - 6/25/2004

When all the "monkeys" are living with their proper owners, retail managers can actually help their staff to sell, deliver and service more furniture! Here's how.

Multiple Entrances Can Ruin Your UP System  - 6/25/2004

Many retail managers who are having difficulty implementing their customer driven UP system or are unable to hold their salespeople accountable for the closing rate in their stores can solve both of these problems by changing the way customers enter their stores.

Sales Management: What Should Happen Behind Closed Doors?  - 6/25/2004

The one-on-one meeting between sales manager and salesperson is an indispensable component of the sales management process. Last month's article looked at the one-on-one meeting as a venue to provide performance feedback to salespeople. This month we will delve deeper into the these meetings to give you some additional insight into what should happen behind closed doors.

Sales Manager Compensation  - 6/25/2004

How do you know that your sales manager is doing a good job? If he or she is, how do you know that you're compensating him or her adequately? Ted Shepherd looks at why many compensation plans based on total sales volume end up rewarding sales managers improperly... causing bad feelings on the part of both owners and sales managers.

Does Your Training Strategy Match Your Sales Strategy?  - 6/25/2004

If your sales training programs do not match the reality of day-to-day sales in your store, it may be worse than no training at all. Here are some things you can start or stop doing to improve your training efforts.

Sales Measurement Techniques  - 6/25/2004

The vast majority of retailers use sales tracking methods which instead of motivating, act as a subtle form of punishment. This first article in a series by Ted Shepherd looks at ways store management can collect data, calculate performance indicators, interpret data, give feedback and get results.

Customer Service Surveys  - 6/25/2004

The goal of a progressive company must be to exceed it's customer's expectations! This means pleasantly surprising your customers- even dazzling them! But before you can do this you have to know what your customers want.

Sales Quotas: For Whose Benefit?  - 6/25/2004

Continued from the May issue of FURNITURE WORLD, is Peter A. Marino's series on Keeping Good Salespeople.

Weed Out Those Bad Apples At The Interview  - 6/25/2004

Have you ever interviewed a seemingly superior sales consultant only to find out when she shows up for work that there has been a terrible mistake? Cathy Finney provides step-by-step instructions on how to make sure that job candidates have the will, the drive and the understanding needed to become a productive part of your sales team.

Building Accountability For Performance  - 6/25/2004

One of the most difficult management issues for small business owners and managers is the principle of accountability for performance. In most stores this one issue is the root cause of lower than possible performance in all business areas. The process must start by linking bottom line financial numbers with individual job performance.

Guidelines For Weekly Store Meetings  - 6/25/2004

How important are weekly store meetings? Who should conduct them? Which employees should be included? How can managers assume the three vital roles of organizer, instructor, and facilitator?

What Salespeople Need To Know About Your Profits  - 6/25/2004

Ask a sales associate how much profit an average furniture store makes. Most will guess in the neighborhood of fifty percent. Larry Mullins explains why this impression, that is also shared by your customers, can sabotage your sales and marketing efforts.

Confronting The Challenge Of Management  - 6/25/2004

Cathy Finney looks at some of the challenges of being a retail manager including: how and when to get rid of poor performers; strategies for teaching people how to solve problems themselves; how often to hold sales meetings; and how to honor and encourage good performance.

Sales Manager's Role In Developing Achievable Sales Goals - Part 1  - 6/25/2004

While most salespeople have individual income goals, they lack any structured, organized way of achieving them. The sales manager is the person who must orchestrate and manage the process of goal setting and goal achievement.

Sales Performance Accountability  - 6/25/2004

How many sales dollars do you loose every time your least effective salesperson is UP versus your highest earner? Joe Capillo of Shepherd Management Group explains how you can use a performance index to measure sales performance, motivate salespeople and improve sales per UP.

Dealing With A Salesperson's Very Bad Day  - 6/25/2004

Retail sales people may have bad days, but they should never be allowed to communicate their malaise to rest of your organization, or to your customers. If management has the skills to deal with an employee's bad day, they can also prevent this mood from negatively impacting store operations and store sales.

Do You Really Need Your Sales Manager?  - 6/25/2004

Many mid to high volume store owners are determined to hold on to their sales management duties. Their reasons are varied, but the result is always the same... sub optimal sales performance. Ted Shepherd takes a close look at this pervasive retail problem. Included is a complete list of sales management duties which you will want to use and keep.

Putting The Motivation Back Into Goal Development  - 6/25/2004

To be highly effective at the goal development process and at their jobs in general, sales managers' actions must communicate and illustrate that their only objective is to help each sales person reach his or her own personal goals.

Sales Floor Staffing Formulas  - 6/25/2004

Many retailers are overstaffed on weekdays and understaffed on weekends... their best salespeople resist helping to train new sales staff. and customers are getting uneven levels of customer service. Ted Shepherd looks at these problems and presents formulas which can help you adequately service your customers' needs, address your sales staffs' earnings requirements and meet your sales goals.

Employee Discipline - Negative Feedback  - 6/25/2004

Noted executive trainer Laura Laaman shows how you can give negative feedback to your employees and achieve positive results.

Using Focus Groups  - 6/24/2004

One of the best ways to get to know who your customer is, who they are not, what kinds of products and services they want and what kind of an image you really have, is to conduct focus group sessions. Here are some pointers from Canadian retailers who routinely use this marketing tool.

What's All The Fuss About Televised Sports?  - 6/24/2004

Lance G. Hanish explains which sports programming will give you the maximum return on your advertising investment.

Cable Really Is As Good As Everyone Says  - 6/24/2004

Lance G. Hanish explains why cable television is better than you might think

Honey, That Store Looks Just Like Ours!  - 6/24/2004

If you can fine-tune the character and identity of your stores you can attract and maintain increased market share. Several strategies, which include using, store/family history, merchandise selection, design concept and color are presented.

Beyond Accounting In Retail Furniture Stores  - 6/24/2004

Many retailers use their computer systems to track inventory and handle point of sale... but if you aren't using your database software to expand your marketing effort, you are wasting a significant part of the investment you made in your computer system.

How To Hold A Customer  - 6/24/2004

Our customers want the best prices, good information and to shop at a store they trust.

Retail Is Not A Dirty Word!  - 6/24/2004

Your customers have heard that margins on furniture are outrageous. They want to know all about your business... but what do you tell them? How do you establish the value of your products and services?

Managing Your Long Term Image  - 6/24/2004

Relationship building has to be innovative to attract and hold customers. Here are two ideas that can help you build lasting relationships.

Big Event Programming Means Big $$$ for you!  - 6/24/2004

Lance G. Hanish explains how you can make sure your television commercial is shown the next time Madonna makes a "big scene" on the Late Show Starring David Letterman.

Managing Your Long Term Image  - 6/24/2004

When your customer chooses a sofa today, the process (which often takes months) has concluded for the moment, but the final decision was influenced by many overt and even a few covert factors.

Point Of Consumer Trust  - 6/24/2004

Does the fact that 50% of consumers surveyed prefer to get their information from hang tags or signs mean that they don't trust salespeople? Maybe, but not definitely. Your salespeople can be "points of trust."

There's No Place Like Home Theatre  - 6/24/2004

Retailers willing to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity should seriously consider incorporating Home Theater displays into their existing strategic marketing programs.

First Impressions Of Your Store  - 6/23/2004

An appropriate exterior concept will tell potential customers who you are and why they should consider shopping in your store.

Living Rooms: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

Twenty-one years ago, entrepreneur Dell Texmo was a tenured Professor of English at Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland. Now, her Living Rooms and Dining Rooms stores lure customers in with good food, fine furniture and creative advertising.

Industry Forecast -1998  - 6/23/2004

Some of the best Canadian Retailers share information on product trends for 1998 and their forecasts for economic growth.

Anticipating Demographic Change: Boom, Bust, Echo  - 6/23/2004

In his landmark book, BOOM, BUST & ECHO, David Foot offers us the power to anticipate changes, and profit from the coming demographic shift.

Color Goes Retro  - 6/23/2004

While it's not a return to burnt orange and avocado shag carpet, the '70s are back as consumer home color trends for 1998 go retro with a softer, more elegant '90s twist.

Economic Trends For 1998  - 6/23/2004

AKTRIN economist Stefan Wille and Canadian retailers voice their concerns, plans and optimism for the coming months.

Profit From Custom Publishing  - 6/23/2004

Custom publishing, an estimated $3 billion business, claims to offer the answer to everything from relationship marketing and fragmentation to added value and customer service, from niche marketing and narrow casting to reaching special consumer groups.

Where To Advertise: Network Value  - 6/23/2004

As this TV season takes shape, NBC has come out on top, but CBS is a close second. Lance Hanish looks at nights and program choices.

Buying Group Update: Gest Accor  - 6/23/2004

An update on Gest-Accor, Inc., of Laval, Quebec one of Canada's largest home furnishings and consumer electronics buying groups.

Loyalty Marketing  - 6/23/2004

Are your furniture customers loyal to you? How would you feel if you could build a relationship with each and every customer and keep selling more furniture while cross selling accessories and other items? If you have a list of your customers, you're already on the way to building one to one relationships... Here's How.

Advertising 2000: First Sell The Need... Then The Want  - 6/23/2004

Many home furnishings retailers will not continue to survive as we enter the new Millennium. Lance Hanish looks at ways you can start to design a more effective message that better reaches your target customer.

Accessory Trend Update  - 6/23/2004

Leading retailers tell Canadian Scene Editor Janet Holt-Johnstone why their accessory sales are soaring.

Cooperate To Compete  - 6/23/2004

Jim Gabbert, Chairman of Gabbert's Furniture examines the new reality emerging in business today; a growing recognition that we must cooperate to compete.

Dervilla Designs Grows 70% Above Expectations: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

With this year's growth 70% above expectations, Adele Tosh and Sirous Fozouni are writing a remarkable retail success story.

Are You Driven By Goals, Or Drifting On Hopes?  - 6/23/2004

Bottom-up goal development, setting personal goals and developing goals for new hires are covered in this important article by Ted Shepherd. Step-by-step calculations make this a valuable reference article.

If We Don't Run Sales Promotions...  - 6/23/2004

Many retailers swear that sale promotions are their best traffic and sales builders. Others insist that the constant deluge of home furnishings sale advertising is killing our industry. Analysis, alternatives and HFC programs that can help, are discussed.

Robb & Stucky Adds Traffic, Not Hype  - 6/23/2004

Robb & Stucky created great expectations with their television ad that ran more than 35 times in a 24 hour period. Consumers who attended their new Orlando store opening were not disappointed.

Reaching Women - Part 3 -Sports TV  - 6/23/2004

Women are the fastest growing audience in televised sport programming. Lance Hanish examines the events that home furnishings retailers should consider as vehicles to carry their advertising messages to female customers. Included is a sneak preview of the premier dates for the fall program line-up.

Selling Home Theater - Part 1  - 6/23/2004

The first in a series of articles explains how you can sell more home theater if you avoid 'buying into' three big misconceptions. Alternative distribution channels are also discussed.

Our Share Of The Pie  - 6/23/2004

For the first time in decades, consumers are spending a greater percentage of their disposable income on home furnishings. This article discusses marketing to consumers who are always in or out of the market.

People With Money To Spend Read Newspapers - Part 1  - 6/23/2004

Canadian retailers in different regions and circumstances use newspaper advertising to generate store traffic.

Reaching Today's Consumer  - 6/23/2004

HFC President Robert Nightengale, Jr., explains why retail ad programs should be consistent, address an immediate consumer need and be placed in an appropriate media environment.

HFC Television  - 6/23/2004

HFC President Robert Nightengale, Jr., presents the ratings figures for key markets and explains how HAVEN starring Joy Philbin can deliver customers to your door.

What Is A Good Margin?  - 6/23/2004

margin? 40%, 42%? How about at least hitting 46%? Could you hit 50%? There are dealers out there who are accomplishing exactly that. How do they do it? According to Lance Hanish, they don't do it by using the newspaper to promote super sales, favorable terms or consumer vacation incentives.

Sales Force Automation  - 6/23/2004

Are you cutting corners when it comes to consistent and persistent application of your systems? Are you reluctant to automate because your management act isn't together? If you have not automated your customer relations function you ARE leaving money on the table, lots of it.

Goudie's Furniture: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

Carol Goudie discusses cooperative promotion with other retailers, demographics and growing through three generations in the same community.

Home Furniture Scores - Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

With 5 new stores this year, Home Furniture gets a 40% return on their targeted direct mail piece and are expanding their in-store video and training programs.

Together We're Better - Join The HFC  - 6/23/2004

Larry Wolfe, President of Silverado Furniture, explains how you can help boost your sales by joining the Home Furnishings Council.

Will Your Customers Shop After Dark?  - 6/23/2004

If your parking lot is not lighted at night, seriously consider adding lights. However, here is why you shouldn't let anyone talk you into HPS or LPS lamps. Also covered are efficient ways to convert your present outdoor lighting systems.

Click Furniture: Frugal Is Fun For This Retailer  - 6/23/2004

Value conscious young west coast families count on Click's staff to be courteous, helpful, friendly and feflective of the store's fun, low-pressure environment.

Negotiate Your Television Pricing  - 6/23/2004

Television advertising prices are on the rise... much faster than the rate of inflation. Lance Hanish looks at ways you can create or retain your media presence in this all important medium by taking a proactive approach with your local stations.

Advertising Accountability: If We Don't Change... We're Dead  - 6/23/2004

Retailers' frustration born of attempts to deal with rapidly increasing ad costs have spawned sophisticated ad models. These go beyond reach and frequency to the one sure marketing measure that really counts...actual sales

TV Best Buys - Part 2  - 6/23/2004

The results of the latest Lance Benefield national consumer study pinpoints product categories consumers will be buying in the next 90 days. It also examines which television shows will most effectively and efficiently reach these consumers with purchase intentions.

Canada's HFC: A Matter Of Survival  - 6/23/2004

The Retail Council has changed its name to Canada's Home Furnishings Council and has expanded its mission.

HFC Finally Seeing Results  - 6/23/2004

Bernie Moray, President of Gorman's Furniture explains why we are finally seeing more consumer spending on home furnishings.

Selling The American Dream  - 6/23/2004

Judy George, President of Domain, suggests that if we don't fill in the 'blanks' between consumer needs and their dreams, you can be sure that someone else will.

Home Theater Basics - Part 2  - 6/23/2004

Retail home furnishings stores can best satisfy the needs of the typical home theater consumer., yet most will shop electronics stores first. If you are thinking about selling complete home theater, you must first consider screen size, the video source and cabinetry.

Home Theater Display  - 6/23/2004

There are easy to use interactive display systems on the market that can make selling Home Theater systems a breeze. With touch screen computer monitors, consumers can easily try out systems & get the info. they need to buy.

The Smity's Success Story  - 6/23/2004

Looking for a minimum sales increase of 20% this year, Lloyd Schmidt presents his formula for success which includes exclusivity, employee incentives and aggressive customer service.

Home Theater Sales - Part 2  - 6/23/2004

More than 60 percent of consumers would prefer to purchase their entire home theater system in one place at one time, and conventional electronics retailers generally do a very poor job of meeting the needs of home theater customers. These two facts are creating a fantastic opportunity for home furnishings retailers who know how to market this fast growing category.

Trends In Selling Home Theater  - 6/23/2004

Canadian retailers discuss the techniques they are using to capitalize on the growing home theatre boom.

Attracting New Homeowners  - 6/23/2004

Tips for attracting new home owners, while they still have money to spend.

People With Money To Spend Read Newspapers - Part 2  - 6/23/2004

Do people read the newspaper anymore? In Vancouver and British Columbia stores like Standard Furniture, 'Please Be Seated' and MacKenzie Furniture say they do.

Ceilings And Store Design  - 6/23/2004

A crucial first impression is made the instant your customers enter your store. It is in that moment that your potential customer begins to confirm his expectations, or doubts about your store's character and identity. One of the most prominent areas that can create a positive impression is the ceiling.

Your Company Name Is Important  - 6/23/2004

Lance Hanish laments the fact that too many home furnishings retailers fail to differentiate themselves from their competition. He also explains how bold retailers can promote their name, rather than brands or prices with great effect.

You Can Write Great Advertising Copy  - 6/23/2004

Canadian Scene editor Janet Holt-Johnstone gives step-by-step instruction on how you can write ad copy that will cause the right customers to come into your store.

It's Time To Plan For Fall Advertising  - 6/23/2004

Practicals" side of the table, we have the discussion of what to do for July. On the "Idealist" side of the table we have the discussion regarding the Fall. That's right! It's time to start thinking about how your store looks for the new season.

Time For Your Advertising Check-Up  - 6/23/2004

We have to begin to look inside ourselves and see that we are not reaching the customer through price off and gimmick terms. We have to begin to alter our tactics before the Attorney Generals of the world hammer us for trying to sell the mystic qualities of retail.

Eve-olution - How Women Purchase Furniture  - 6/23/2004

"Eve-olution" means that the women who purchase home furnishings from you not only buy the brand name... but buy into the brand totally. Lance Hanish this should affect your advertising strategies.

Have A Huge May Without The "Used Car" Mentality  - 6/23/2004

Planning for May begins in early February. There is product to buy, there is display to think about and there is an advertising challenge awaiting you. Now is the time to plan. Lance Hanish presents tips for making the right media budget allocation choices and creating the best message to get hoards of customers into your stores.

Creating Campaigns Without The Word Sale  - 6/23/2004

There is a language that talks to the people in terms they understand... and will accept. There is no word called SALE in that language. Those retailers who have "elemental knowledge" can learn to speak this language. These few can establish their brand and break free of the cycle of the SALE and the NO NO NO.

Ads That Get Results - Part 3  - 6/23/2004

Part 3 of a new survey of 25,000 consumers looks at which television shows the people who plan to purchase bedroom furniture and bedding will be watching this quarter.

Gilpin Furniture: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

A shopping experience that fits products and services to both their customers' bodies and their minds.

Tepperman's Expansion: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

Tepperman's has expanded into London Ontario with the purchase of the former Patton's Place.

Brault And Martineau On The Fast Track  - 6/23/2004

With 11 stores, retailer Brault and Martineau is building and re-building, 45,000 square feet at a clip with aggressive advertising, distinctive locations and promotions that really involve customers.

Advertising: It's Time To Become Better At It  - 6/23/2004

"No No's" are becoming redundant. "Sale" is a word out of the past. So are traditional measures of reach, frequency and market share. We need a whole new vocabulary and a new way of reaching the consumer.

B.B. Bargoon's: From Zero To Twenty-Two Stores, Then Back To Two  - 6/23/2004

From zero to twenty-two stores and back to two, Bonnie Bickel built a retail chain from the ground up, sold part of it to Molson's and bought it back. She offers tips on attitude, lifestyle and fun the second time around.

TV Best Buys - Part 3  - 6/23/2004

More results of the latest Lance Benefield national consumer study which identifies the television shows your customers will be watching if they plan to purchase sofa/sleepers or recliners in the next 90 days.

Predictions For 1997  - 6/23/2004

Canadian retailers give their predictions for the furniture business in 1997 and share their marketing plans for the coming year.

Buying Group Gest-Accor Purchased  - 6/23/2004

Gest-Accor Inc., of Laval, Quebec, one of Canada's largest home furnishings and consumer electronics buying groups has just completed negotiations with John Gillberry, major shareholder in the venture and his partner, Working Ventures Canadian Fund.

Have You Hugged Your Lawyer Today?  - 6/23/2004

We all know that furniture shopping, in the minds of the consumer, rates right up there with root canals or income tax audits, and furniture salespeople are on a level with lawyers and used car salesmen. John Case of La-Z-Boy Chair Co. looks at this persistent problem and the obvious solution.

Alpert's Furniture Warehouse  - 6/23/2004

Hershel Alpert, decided it was time to give Alpert's Furniture, Seekonk, MA, a make-over. The problem: How to take a large monolithic structure and, without extensive renovation, make it stand out in a crowd of similarly large monolithic structures?

Home Theater Be-Backs  - 6/23/2004

Are your customers shopping, leaving and buying elsewhere? Also surround sound formats explained.

New Superstore For Robb & Stucky  - 6/23/2004

Robb & Stucky's new 85,000 square foot store is where the art of selling home furnishings into the next millennium has begun. This is one man's vision of how home furnishings can be sold today.

Who Sees Your Ads?  - 6/23/2004

More and more furniture dealers are waking up to the fact that they can reach their audiences more economically and more effectively through television. Here's a plan for building traffic with television during the best time to sell furniture... now!

Advertising In Tough Times  - 6/23/2004

As traffic continues to dwindle, what should a home furnishings retailer do to get back on track? Here are some traffic building insights and TV deals that can make a big difference.

Phone Skills: Hold PLease...  - 6/23/2004

When customers are put on hold and are forced to wait in silence, 88% hang up. Companies like Haverty's see the 'on hold' experience as an opportunity to build consumer confidence, entertain and inform.

Reaching Women With Your Advertising - Part 2  - 6/23/2004

This month's "Media Management' article delves into what makes a woman choose one store over another. A recent survey asked female shoppers what influenced the choice of stores they shopped in most. The data suggests a change in consumer values which has serious implications for many retail advertising programs.

Consider Rental Purchase Operations  - 6/23/2004

For retail furniture managers, the rental-purchase industry likely prompts two principal questions: Is this a potential expansion business? Or, is it a competitive threat?

A Hard Look At CNN  - 6/23/2004

Media expert Lance Hanish explains how forward looking retailers like Robb & Stucky have used CNN to reach target customers

Focal Points In Store Design  - 6/23/2004

There are still many retailers across the country who are still showcasing home furniture in an unflattering and unprofitable manner. Here's how to use focal points to entice, excite and entertain your customers.

Targeted Direct Mail - Part 1  - 6/23/2004

Sheila McCusker, Director, Strategic Business Development for ADVO, Inc., the nation's largest direct mail marketing company starts a multi-part series on how to efficiently and affordably target relevant ads to those consumers who are most likely to shop in your stores, while avoiding those who are not.

Settlement House: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

Canadian Retailer of the year uses sophisticated operations systems, focused training, an innovative product mix and clever promotion to build traffic, keep customers and generate sales.

Chinz & Company: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

This four store chain is piled to the rafters with merchandise, beautifully displayed, cheerfully sold and creatively promoted.

Anatomy Of A Television Commercial  - 6/23/2004

Here are five proven ways to create television commercials that bring customers into your stores. The big question is how to get on television and not look like the used car dealer down the block.

The Store Is The Brand  - 6/23/2004

Back in the '60s, while attending the Harvard School of Retailing, Morris Saffer pioneered the philosophy that "The Store is a Brand". As the Millennium begins to crowd us, the concept has added relevance. Branding makes you stand out from your competition and makes you more important to your customers.

Ads That Get Results - Part 2  - 6/23/2004

Part 2 of a new survey of 25,000 consumers looks at which television shows the people who plan to purchase dining room furniture will be watching this quarter.

Stoney Creek Expansion: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

The event which accompanied their first phase expansion drew 6,000 and increased sales 20% overall.

Retail Has Just Changed Forever  - 6/23/2004

The future of retail was unveiled on Memorial Day weekend 1997. Robb & Stucky opened their new colossal store in Arizona... plus how their new advertising message was shot on film, not videotape, processed, color corrected, transferred and edited within sixty hours for air.

Shift To Basic Cable  - 6/23/2004

Those crazy people at Turner Broadcasting have suggested that advertisers can shift a significant portion of their prime-time broadcast budgets to basic cable without losing any reach, but gain significant cost savings. Acceptance of this premise will most likely change the cost structure of cable advertising. Now may be the best time to lock up a yearly package with your local cable provider for the coming year.

Advertising: Stanley Furniture's New Commercials  - 6/23/2004

There just never appears to be enough money around to do the kinds of things that we want to do in advertising. And each year, as media costs increase, we are torn between reducing our advertising, which will surely diminish our return, or match the increased media costs and hope that the increases in sales will allow for an increase in margin.

Another Look At CBS  - 6/23/2004

CBS appears to be heading in a direction furniture dealers can support because their traditional viewer base and new fall schedule offer a relative value for retailers who sign up early.

Look At Reach & Frequency: Stretch Your Ad Budget  - 6/23/2004

You can actually increase sales and margins without additional investment by reaching your targets more efficiently. But, your budget has to include new parameters... and it has to rely on frequency rather than reach.

Canada's Largest Home Show  - 6/23/2004

Home Hardware/Home Furniture recently held an action-packed three day show. FURNITURE WORLD editor Janet Holt Johnstone surveyed the events and attendees about new and effective marketing ideas.

Accessory Trend Update  - 6/23/2004

Leading retailers tell Canadian Scene Editor Janet Holt-Johnstone why their accessory sales are soaring.

Hudson's Bay Company: Retail Profile  - 6/23/2004

325 years after its founding, the Hudson Bay company is still aggressively promoting, customer focused and bullish on training. Despite reducing the number of their stores that sell furniture, The Bay has simultaneously managed to increase home furnishings sales, market share and margins.

The HFC: An Antidote To Negativism  - 6/23/2004

Bruce Lauritsen, President of Flexsteel Industries postulates that a positive message which concentrates on real needs (other than financing and low prices) can cut through the negative 'noise' of everyday living to make our customers feel good about purchasing furniture for their homes.

The Auto Industry Has The Right Idea  - 6/23/2004

The electronics industry didn't. The appliance & beverage industries didn't. The home furnishings industry did. Now we are letting them do it to us again!

Stretch Your Ad Dollars With Value Added Ads  - 6/23/2004

Most retailers add value to their media buys by using promotions, tie-ins and close associations with various tv and radio stations & print media. Here are other ways you can stretch your media budget.

Top Fifteen Furniture Signage Tips  - 6/23/2004

The top 15 signage tips for home furnishings retailers.

Importance Of Having A Uniform Sales Strategy  - 6/23/2004

Many retailers allow salespeople sell the way they want. This sends the wrong message to customers and adversely impacts sales. Ted Shepherd explains how you can implement a store-wide sales strategy which sends the right message to customers without inhibiting creative selling.

Consumer Research: Knowing Your Buyer  - 6/23/2004

New HFC data is presented covering: why and when home furnishings consumers enter and exit the market; how much they spend; how many pieces they buy; and what influences their choice of store.

Women Are Tough To Reach  - 6/23/2004

How can you use television to reach working women... busy women... women with money to spend... women who do not have the time to sit around watching Montel Williams, Soaps or The Price is Right? Lance Hanish of Lance Benefield & Co., lays out the times they watch and examines the 'hidden times' this tough to reach but important group can be reached.

Drastic Changes For TV  - 6/23/2004

As television evolves it becomes much more complex and harder to use. The RCA Disk promises to add another layer of complexity to TV advertising. If successful, the disk will make it harder for local retailers to economically use television.

Reaching Women With Your Advertising - Part 1  - 6/23/2004

Video Storyboard Tests 1994, conducted a survey in which women were asked what type of TV commercials were most persuasive. The results, which rate a number of categories including the use of children in ads, humor and endorsements, will help you design a message appropriate for your target customer.

Design Preference Questionnaires  - 6/23/2004

HFC President Robert Nightengale, Jr., explains how you can use design preference questionnaires to qualify customers and make them feel better about buying home furnishings.

Eaton's Comes Full Circle  - 6/23/2004

A hundred years ago, Timothy Eaton knew every one of his customers by name. Now Carl Swan has reorganized Eaton's management to become customer managers rather than store managers... again. and increase sales.

The Consumer Purchasing Process - Part 2  - 6/22/2004

The second of a two part series presents the findings of a recent national study in which furniture buyers were asked how they made decisions about furniture purchases. This installment covers consumer item selection and in-store Experience.

How To Buy Print Media For Half-Price  - 6/22/2004

If you think that newspaper advertising isn’t effective, you may want to look at your message. Larry Mullins presents sure fire ways to create messages that are appealing to consumers and differentiated from competitors.

Bring In Customers With The Optimal Media Mix  - 6/22/2004

Television, radio and print media can work together to bring in those customers who need, but are not yet actively shopping for furniture. Newspaper can be used productively if you take the time and make the effort. But you can’t buy $1,000 worth of newspaper space and put $50 worth of effort into creating your message, and expect it to work.

Does Who You Are Matter To Your Customer?  - 6/22/2004

There is a long list of furniture stores that stand for nothing in the minds of their customers. Their ads and commercials reflect this lack of identity. Here are ways that you can get your customers to identify your unique brand identity.

An Expansion Every 100 Years At Thomson Furniture  - 6/22/2004

Adding 11,000 square feet is big news for John Thomson & Son Furniture a family business steeped in a long tradition of exceptional service and value.

Better Designer, Retailer Supplier Relationships  - 6/22/2004

Review of the Milan Furniture Show and spotlight on the unusual synergy among manufacturers, retailers and designers in the Toronto trading area.

Artnova: Retail Profile  - 6/22/2004

Anthony DaSilva is looking to surround and conquer his market with good planning, focused buying and targeted selling.

Decor Centre: Stoney Creek  - 6/22/2004

Dennis Novosel is embroiled in an ambitious project to create a home furnishings mall with his Stoney Creek store as anchor. Phase one of four includes 16 home furnishings stores and a restaurant.

Visionary Selling - Part 2 - Become A Visionary Leader  - 6/22/2004

The visionary leader must learn these four principles: The principle of visionary leadership; the principle of a visionary mission; the principle of authentic core values; the principle of CCEWIG, or continually confronting everyone with intimidating goals.

50th Anniversary Facelift at De Boer's  - 6/22/2004

A team of 15 design specialists transformed the look of everything at the six store chain on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. Everything from their logo to delivery vehicles and exterior storefronts got a facelift.

Retail Re-Alignment - Part 3  - 6/22/2004

Part 3 of this series examines how changes brought about largely by information technology are causing a power shift in the industry. In this final part (continued from the December/January issue), Sekar Sundararajan continues his discussion of strategies that furniture retailers, manufacturers and suppliers can use to identify potential problems as well as business opportunities.

Advertising Principles- Part 7 - Guarantee Satisfaction  - 6/22/2004

What do your customers really want? What are their greatest fears? How can your salespeople instill confidence in your products and services at the start of the sales process? How can you guarantee that your customers will remain satisfied?

Feng Shui: A Major Design Trend  - 6/22/2004

Ten years ago, how many of your customers had heard of Feng Shui? Today Feng Shui practitioners in North America are brought in to advise corporations, home owners and even studio apartment dwellers. Can you use this design trend to help customers and increase sales?

Advertising Principles -Follow Up After Your Big Event - Part 7  - 6/22/2004

There are two big challenges that can confront the retail furniture organization after a major sales event. The first of these is to deal with the "after sales blues" - an emotional let-down that comes over everyone. Second, the CEO must move quickly to capture the knowledge that has been gained during the event.

The Other E-Commerce - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

Why do we spend $3-$5.00 for a cup of coffee at Starbuck's? Is the coffee that good? No way! We're paying for the Starbuck's Experience! Your customers want an experience. Engage them in the process as you're helping them. That's what they really want.

Willow Tree - Retail Profile  - 6/22/2004

Kelly Cussons' innovative programs double retail sales in just three years.

Home Furnishings Store Of The 21st Century  - 6/22/2004

If you want to enjoy an "E-Ticket" in home furnishings excellence, join the hundreds of home furnishings dealers and manufacturers who gawk and stare, laugh and smile at what is surely one of the finest home furnishings stores in the world.

Advertising Principles - Part 3 - The Right Media  - 6/22/2004

Larry Mullins continues his series on media management with a discussion of how to use newspaper, direct mail and radio to maximize the return on your advertising investment.

The Internet - Part 2 - Is It Unfair Competition?  - 6/22/2004

The second part of a series which presents perspectives on selling furniture on the internet. This article includes a discussion of fairness, price, the strengths of conventional retailers and a look at what types of consumers are most likely to buy over the internet.

Direct Mail - Part 5 - Make It Meaningful  - 6/22/2004

Meaningful Direct Mail Marketing: The final installment in this series presents the results of an extensive consumer research study on consumer buying behavior. It also looks at their implications for your direct mail marketing.

Targeted Direc Mail - Part 3  - 6/22/2004

The third article in this series on direct mail marketing looks at ways you can develop an advertising plan and set up a strategy that will ensure the success of your direct mail program.

Changing Trends For 2003  - 6/22/2004

This month, Canadian Editor Janet Holt Johnstone speaks to retailers, economists and forecasters to find trends in demographics, consumer attitudes, the economy and the new Canadian Home Furnishings Awards.

The World's Greatest Furniture Store  - 6/22/2004

Larry Mullins starts this article by stating, “If you have a good company and are satisfied, this article is not for you.” He continues to explain how good furniture stores can become great. It starts with finding that one aspect of your business that is your Brand, your ticket to rapid growth and greater returns.

Powerful, Productive Direct Mail  - 6/22/2004

Many merchants make the mistake of assuming that if they keep a direct mail message short, customers will read it. This is just not true. Shown are five steps to producing direct mail pieces that will convince even hard to reach customers to visit your store.

Earn 20-50% More And Don’t Work Harder  - 6/22/2004

Your salespeople can earn 20%, 30% or even 50% more without working harder or engaging additional customers. It all starts with how they say hello, how they think about why customers visit your store, and how they can truly help customers to get what they want.

Your Customers Don't Care What You Say!  - 6/22/2004

How is it possible that as many as 25% of potential furniture buyers can’t find what they need or want in our stores? Could it be that our customers want different things than we think they want. Could it be that they don’t care about our store layouts, product selections or current sales?

Rx For Slow Business  - 6/22/2004

When there are a thousand reasons why business is slow, it may be time to follow-up on past referrals.

Schwartz & Company: Retail Profile  - 6/22/2004

Five store Schwartz & Company and its owner Irving Schwartz have invested in good customer relationships, local and international philanthropic causes. Now in their 79th year, this retailer has successfully dealt with issues such as succession, expansion and is positioned for growth.

Seven Ways To Increase Market Share In Tough Times - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

The best retailers are sharpening their tools and checking for leaks, waste and junk. They are inspiring their troops with an upbeat, confident attitude. In addition, they are moving to increase market share.

Are Your Competitors Too Big To Offer Great Customer Service?  - 6/22/2004

If you think that other businesses are bigger, that your competition is looming over your head by increasing their advertising, adding more staff, taking on more lines, don’t panic. Something suffers, and the first thing to go is great personal customer service.

Community Service Pays Off At Rotmans  - 6/22/2004

This month, Dan Bolger diverges from his usual format to look at Rotmans Furniture and Carpet, an independent furniture retailer. Rotmans and its customers have recycled over 10,000 pieces of good reusable furniture to the neediest in their community.

Visionary Selling - Part 1 - Take The Time To Understand Deliver Priceless Value  - 6/22/2004

How does one add value? Almost without exception, added value is services. To succeed in the new marketplace, you must out-service your competitors. Is this expensive? No, but it is difficult. Larry Mullins looks at ways you can think about adding priceless value that will convince your customers to buy.

Kacey's Mattress Revolution  - 6/22/2004

When it comes to mattress advertising, Denver is much like any other city: it is a shark tank. Also, like any other city, almost all the mattress ads look alike. Until now. Kacey Fine Furniture is taking mattress marketing to a new level.

The Other E-Commerce - Part 2  - 6/22/2004

Cathy Finney explores the latest trends and forecasts for the home furnishings industry from leading consultants and social commentators.

Stoney Creek's Big Picture  - 6/22/2004

When Dennis Novosel's vision is complete it will include 550,000 Sq. ft. of home related outlets.

Is Your Phone System Costing You Business?  - 6/22/2004

You either like automated phone answering systems or you don't. Most don't. On the flip side, automated phone systems save a lot of time and money for most businesses. Tthey can lead to a lot of angry customers if not used correctly.

Decor 2000: Retail Profile  - 6/22/2004

Some interesting trends for the next millennium were showcased at the recent Milan Fair. The theme of Philips' La Casa Prossima Futura was that "The home of the future will look more like the home of the past than the home of the present."

Getting To $50 Million With A Single Store  - 6/22/2004

The story of how Robb &: Stucky planned to dramatically increase sales at their Scottsdale location by altering their media mix.

Shades Of Home: Interior Design At Home Furniture  - 6/22/2004

Home Furniture, with its 70-plus stores has established a program that provides a creative, functional workspace in which customers and sales consultants work together in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Advertising Principles - Part 2 - Who Writes Your Ads?  - 6/22/2004

Even if the letters screaming SALE! are a foot high, unless people know you and already like your store, they are not likely to respond. Larry Mullins presents some more secrets of writing good ad copy.

The Mastercard Approach To Customer Service  - 6/22/2004

Sofa: $899. Mattress: $1199. An afternoon with your spouse shopping every furniture store in town: Priceless.

Frankel's Fine Furniture: Retail Profile  - 6/22/2004

Design oriented retailer helps mid to upper-end consumers create rooms that make each of their homes a 'special place'.

Treat Customer Complaints As Gifts  - 6/22/2004

Barlow and Moller in their book A Complaint is a Gift, tell us to treat this information as a gift and respond to the complaining party as if he or she had given us a gift.

Very Good Year For Wilson’s Furniture  - 6/22/2004

Upbeat market conditions and a history of intelligent marketing keep the “walls from falling down” (again) on this Winnipeg institution.

Private Sale Direct Mail  - 6/22/2004

Private sales are a powerful marketing tool because they turn prospects into customers and assist retailers in creating and maintaining a customer database. Planning a private sale may seem easy, but to get maximum return, a great deal of planning and skillful execution must take place.

Who's Responsible For Low Margins?  - 6/22/2004

Is it the grueling competitive nature of our industry? In this first article of a series, John Egger looks at reasons why retailers are needlessly driving their own margins ever lower.

Trends 2002  - 6/22/2004

Interviews with retailers attending Canada’s Furniture Market spotlights trends and predictions for 2002 and beyond.

Sixty Home Furniture Stores And Growing  - 6/22/2004

Focused advertising and a concentration on home decorating and home improvement give their 60 stores a decided edge.

Seven Ways To Increase Market Share In Tough Times - Part 2  - 6/22/2004

Part 2 of this series examines and expands upon some of the ideas put forth in Britt Beemer’s book “It Takes A Prophet To Make A Profit”. The best retailers are sharpening their tools and checking for leaks, waste and junk. They are inspiring their troops with an upbeat, confident attitude. In addition, they are moving to increase market share.

Trends & Trillium  - 6/22/2004

Canadian editor Janet Holt Johnstone takes a look at the recent Toronto Show with an emphasis on the Trends Display and Trillium Awards.

Strategic Thinking For Furniture Retailers  - 6/22/2004

Joe Capillo takes looks at the benefits of taking the time to develop and implement strategic goals. Aspects of this important topic have been developed in the past several issues of FURNITURE WORLD.

Marketing Trends  - 6/22/2004

A look at what furniture consumers want from the net, for their homes and from their salespeople. Cathy Finney also reviews some current marketing trends and those follow-up sales techniques that are so important to maintain a vital customer base.

Total Lifestyle Retailing At Acanthus  - 6/22/2004

Tim Badgley and Dean Howlett built a group of interactive home furnishings stores in the same town connected by their vision and personal touch.

Marketing To Women - It's All About "Ethel".  - 6/22/2004

Women control 80% of the buying decisions. Single women have been labeled the "yuppies" of the decade. What do they want from their purchasing experience? What is the best way to present information to them? How can you avoid making them angry and getting rEVEnge. These are some of the topics covered in this month's article by Cathy Finney that could also be titled "Gender Buy-Us".

Seven Keys To Advertising Success  - 6/22/2004

Since the October 1998 issue, Larry Mullins has treated FURNITURE WORLD subscribers to a detailed analysis of the keys to advertising and promotional success. Many industry retailers have asked for a summary of these cardinal principles which are summarized in this issue.

Retail Re-Alignment - Part 2  - 6/22/2004

The information revolution has turned the traditional retail model on its head, shifting the center of power from the retailer and manufacturer to the consumer. In this article, Sekar Sundararajan presents strategies that retailers, manufacturers and suppliers can use to identify potential problems as well as opportunities.

Retail Re-Alignment - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

revolution has turned the traditional retail model on its head, shifting the center of power from the retailer and manufacturer to the consumer. Now is the time to re-evaluate your place in the New Value Chain.

Advertising Principles - Event Planning - Part 5  - 6/22/2004

Planning, or the lack of it, can make or break you as a retailer. It is true that "without vision, the people perish." Yet without a plan, a vision is just a dream, simply wishful thinking.

Reaching New Homeowners First  - 6/22/2004

For retailers like Good's, which operates 13 retail stores in southeastern and central Pennsylvania, getting their message into the hands of new movers and getting it there first is important.

Internet - Part 3 - Can Web Sales Be Stopped?  - 6/22/2004

Fourth part of a series which presents perspectives on selling furniture over the internet. Included is a discussion of legal issues, protecting brands, plus benefits for conventional retailers, consumers, manufacturers and internet retailers.

Personalized Direct Mail: Knowing A Name Is Magic  - 6/22/2004

Many furniture dealers don't have up-to-date mailing lists, sophisticated mail-merge programs, or the time or the money to put together personalized letters. In those cases, there are a couple of things you might try when it's time for your next mailing to increase response dramatically.

It's Not Too Early To Plan Spring Ads  - 6/22/2004

Too often, home furnishings dealers give away valuable promotional weeks in March, April and May because they believe they can best invest in their communications during Memorial Day weekend and high profile holidays. These dealers are wrong.

How To Make the 'Platinum Rule' A Reality  - 6/22/2004

Sales training, promotions and give-aways coupled with a disciplined information collection system can turn gold into platinum.

Direct Mail - Part 3 - Effective Targeting  - 6/22/2004

This article, the third in a series on direct mail advertising, outlines the "how to's" of effective and efficient targeting.

Selling Leather Furniture  - 6/22/2004

Today, the potential customer wants to understand leather. Today the potential customer wants to look at how that piece of leather can improve their lives. It is not about what you want to sell, it's about the potential customer.

Advertising And Your Credibility  - 6/22/2004

In this “Enron” age, your advertising has to work harder and smarter to win the trust of prospective customers. If you have a store with great merchandise offers, excellent prices, motivated sales consultants and impeccable service, yet you can’t seem to get your story across, this article will help.

Ontario’s Furniture Village  - 6/22/2004

This month, Canadian Editor Janet Holt Johnstone takes a walk around Ontario’s Furniture Village to find out how four related stores are growing.

The Consumer Purchasing Process - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

In this first of two articles, the findings of a recent national study are presented in which furniture buyers were asked how they made decisions about furniture purchases. Included are how consumers plan and research their furniture purchases and how they decide where to shop.

Essex Home Furnishings  - 6/22/2004

Mega Group member Dan Taylor keeps one eye on his business and the other on the next Winter Olympics.

Leon’s Furniture: Half A Billion And Growing  - 6/22/2004

Savvy growth strategy and focused promotions are fueling the expansion of this chain of 49 stores with over 2,000 employees.

The Most Powerful Promotional Tool  - 6/22/2004

In more enlightened companies, employees are exercising much more authority and power. Decisions to satisfy a customer’s problem are made on the spot, rather than waiting for an authorization from some manager who may not be available at the critical moment of customer need. Larry Mullins describes a simple management tool that can help you get the most out every employee.

Customer Relationships - Part 3  - 6/22/2004

In the February/March and April/May issues of FURNITURE WORLD (posted to the Marketing Management Index on furninfo.com), David Middlebrook looked at ways store management can build good customer relationships. This article completes his series by further examining how the best retailers develop relationships with their customers that turn into bottom-line profits.

Customer Relationships - Part 2  - 6/22/2004

In the February/ March issue of FURNITURE WORLD David Middlebrook looked at ways store management can build good customer relationships. This installment examines strategies to enhance the perception customers have about the overall quality of your store.

Walk In Traffic From The Internet  - 6/22/2004

Retailer Bedroom Concepts uses innovative low cost web advertising to attract customers from their target demographic. These customers are seeking quality product, caring service and a comfortable shopping experience.

Better Customer Relationships - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

Every time you interact actively or passively with customers, impressions of your store are formed that impact how likely it is that a customer will buy from you now, or ever. How can you control this process to create better, more profitable relationships?

Visionary Selling - Part 3 - Company Vision  - 6/22/2004

If your vision for your company is not vivid and compelling, it will not fly. If you cannot "see" in your mind's eye what it is you want, no one else will see it either. Being a Visionary Leader begins with a vision, but that is only the beginning.

Yellow Pages Evolution  - 6/22/2004

There are many more choices for retailers thinking about using online Yellow Page directories as well as expanded competition among regional print volumes. Here are tips for preparing and running effective ads.

Almira Furniture Gallery  - 6/22/2004

Not satisfied with their existing store which generates $430 per square foot, Almira Furniture Gallery is building an extraordinary new store. The 17,000 square feet of display space promises to give their customers an extra special sensory shopping experience.

Stand Out From The Competition  - 6/22/2004

To be recognized as a leader requires developing a solid marketing message, capturing the attention of your targeted buying audience, and retaining the interest of your buyers. The key to success is to create a message that is relevant, consistent, and compelling.

How To Use The Magic Of Time Framing  - 6/22/2004

Time framing can revolutionize your business life. The simple executive concept of doing one thing at a time in disciplined focus has been lost to many entrepreneurs over the years.

Disconnected From Your Customers?  - 6/22/2004

Probably the most important question not being asked by people in our industry, particularly retailers is, what is going to be the impact of the internet on furniture retailing? Most retailers think the that E-tailing on the web is all about price. Furniture.com is taking steps to make selling furniture on the internet all about customer service.

Design For Sales Professionals - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

There are a number of major consumer motivators that will impact the home furnishings industry through the millennium. These will affect consumer preferences in furniture, design and color.

Advertising Principles - Part 4  - 6/22/2004

People Media are people communicating with other people... saying good things about you, your store and about your merchandise. People Media may be the least expensive, best-kept and most powerful "secret" in retail marketing!

Furniture Retailing On The Web - Part 1  - 6/22/2004

Perspectives about selling furniture on the web from a conventional retailer with a giant web presence.

What Is She Watching?  - 6/22/2004

More reasons why you should be allocating advertising dollars to cable. She is watching... so you should be there!

Building Customer Relationships Makes Money  - 6/22/2004

There are four ways long term customer relationships increase profitability; Repeat sales, Referrals, Recognition, and Recruitment. The total benefit from a complete customer relationship program is greater than the sum of the gains garnered from working on each goal independently.

Advertising Principles - Part 1 -Who Writes Your Ad Copy?  - 6/22/2004

According to Larry Mullins, today's advertising is created-for the most part-without regard for the principles that make advertising work. This series of articles looks at the "seven lost secrets" of advertising promotion.

Coordinating Sales At The International Centre  - 6/22/2004

Retailers in the Toronto area routinely bring their customers to the International Center, a showroom complex houses the permanent showrooms of 80 home furnishings manufacturers. Retailers close the sale in a non-threatening atmosphere where consumers see the manufacturer's entire line.

Consumer Delivery - Part 8 - Cure For Squeeks  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) "Oil" your delivery operations with check in calls, immediate problem reports and end of day debreifings.

Consumer Delivery - Part 17 - Too Many Cooks...  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Too many cooks in your delivery "broth" can spoil the soup.

Don't Leave Home Without It  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Head off delivery problems with beepers.

Consumer Delivery - Part 23 - Insurance  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Sometimes, choosing not to make a delivery will be in the best interest of your customer and yourself.

Wellington Interiors - Retail Profile  - 6/16/2004

Historic building complements the character of the furniture displayed at McArthur’s.

Consumer Research Study: Be A Fly On Your Wall  - 6/16/2004

For this FURNITURE WORLD study, market research firm Deep Blue Insight used an ethnographic approach that blended an observational component with direct contextual inquiry. Shoppers in Chicago, Atlanta and Greenville, S.C., were interviewed to discover why furniture shopping can seem like more of a battle than the blissful experience retailers hope to create.

Profit Erosion And Low Margins - Part 2  - 6/16/2004

Retailers may feel that price cutting is their best response to competition, but there is another way. John Egger discusses eight practices your store can adopt to help you to avoid falling into the low price, low margin, low service trap.

Use Celebrities For Your Next Event  - 6/16/2004

Celebrities bring in traffic and they can turn a slow weekend into a blockbuster event. Your celebrity doesn’t have to be a rock star, a movie star, or sports hero. He or she should, however, help you sell.

Consumer Delivery - Part 5 - "I'll Just Leave The Key"  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) Even if a customer gives you written authorization, this kind of delivery is fraught with legal risk.

Consumer Delivery - Part 9 - Delivery No-Shows  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) If you agree that delivery is the close of your sale, put yourself in your customer's place. You'll see that most customers are anxious about furniture deliveries... and for good reasons.

Consumer Delivery - Part 11 - Contract Carriers  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). When should you consider hiring a contract carrier?

Consumer Delivery - Part 12 - Turn Turnoffs Around  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Fortunately, inconvenient delivery is one customer turnoff which can be turned around quickly and easily-and without increasing operating costs.

Consumer Delivery - Part 13 - Another Kind Of Manual Dexterity  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Being good with your hands is one kind of manual dexterity. Having a written manual that aids "common sense" actions is another.

Consumer Delivery - Part 16 - One Equals A Dozen  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series).When your customer tells you before she tells a dozen or so friends, you have a chance to make things right-a chance to give her something better to tell people about your store and your service.

Tie A String Around Her Finger  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Tips for alleviating the "not-at-home" and other delivery problems.

Consumer Delivery - Part 2 - Dress Codes  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Discussion on dress codes for delivery people.

Consumer Delivery - Part 25 - Better Late Than Never  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series)."Potius sero quam nunquam"- better late than never-has been an enduring truism. But, in delivering the goods, better late than careless seems a better idea.

Stretch Your Advertising Budget  - 6/16/2004

Many retailers do not get the maximum value for their advertising dollars. This is especially true when it comes to buying television or radio advertising.

Renaissance In Print Media: Follow The Leader  - 6/16/2004

The furniture industry has experienced a “dark age” in print advertising. Happily we are entering a “renaissance” period. Evidence of this rebirth can be seen in an Ethan Allen piece that is, without question, a new benchmark for retailers.

26 Powerful Advertising Suggestions  - 6/16/2004

Larry Mullins presents 26 suggestions to help you start thinking about getting the most out of each advertising dollar.

Straghten Up And Buy (Media) Right  - 6/16/2004

When your new shipments arrive, do you simply sign for delivery and pay the bill? No. You inspect the merchandise to make sure it is the style, color and quality that you ordered before accepting and finalizing payment. The same should be true for all of your important media purchases.

Portugal's Home Show  - 6/16/2004

Canadian editor Janet Holt-Johnstone ventures offshore to take a close look at a source of diversified new products from Portugal often overlooked by North American furniture retailers.

Consumer Delivery - Part 4 - Take The Ted Lewis Apprach  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) He also knew his customers" and the value of taking their pulse. He would frequently and dramatically ask: Is everybody happy?"

Consumer Delivery - Part 6 - Delivering Your Image  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) Low-cost efforts work well once crews come to understand they're not just delivering the goods -they're delivering your image too.

Consumer Delivery - Part 7 - Sweet Talk Isn't  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) When you're delivering the goods, little can sour a sale as surely as "harmless" sweet talk- -because, from strangers, sweet talk isn't.

Consumer Delivery - Part 10 - They Don't Know Beans About Delivery, But...  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Nobody pays more attention to your delivery people than your customers.

Consumer Delivery - Part 15 - Singular Cellular  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Why you need a written manual for your delivery people.

Consumer Delivery - Part 21 - Pre Delivery Calls  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Tips for pre-delivery calls and delivery day pre planning.

Consumer Delivery - Part 24 - Don't Make The Delivery  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Sometimes, choosing not to make a delivery will be in the best interest of your customer and yourself.

The New Selling Game  - 6/16/2004

How did Starbucks, come out of nowhere and become the number one destination for coffee in every market they entered? They didn’t try to sell the cheapest coffee in the market. Instead they turned buying coffee into an experience. You can do the same in your stores.

Profit Erosion & Low Margins - Part 1  - 6/16/2004

When margins are squeezed, most stores reduce the level of customer service they provide. Price cutting is, therefore, a leading cause of bad experiences consumers have in furniture stores. There is an alternative to destructive price competition that can boost margins, customer satisfaction and bottom line results.

Consumer Delivery - Part 2 - The Windex Windup  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) The finishing touch operation will probably take your men no more than a minute or two. Yet this demonstration of your store's pride and concern never fails to impress customers.

Consumer Delivery - Part 3 - Set It Up  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) The finishing touch operation will probably take your men no more than a minute or two. Yet this demonstration of your store's pride and concern never fails to impress customers.

Consumer Delivery - Part 14 - Manual Dexterity Revisited  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Why you need a written manual for your delivery people.

Consumer Delivery - Part 18 - Delivery A La Carte  - 6/16/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series). Delivering furniture to your best customers to make a lasting impression.

Retail Business Stimulation Events  - 6/16/2004

If you ask the right questions and choose a compatible promoter, then you will be that much closer to reaching your sales and business goals.

2004 Furniture Product Trends  - 6/16/2004

Janet Holt-Johnston’s annual review of the Trends display is full of display ideas for forward thinking home furnishings retailers.

Frasier Furniture: A Retail Profile  - 6/16/2004

Fraser Furniture provides “red rose” service in their local, national and international markets. They combine the right people, products, promotion and presentation to support continued rapid growth.

Exceed Your Customers' Expectations  - 6/16/2004

Those few, those fortunate few, who can exceed customer expectations will win and keep greater market share. Delivering a shopping experience that exceeds customer expectations is doable. It just isn’t easy.

McArthur's Furniture: Retail Profile  - 6/16/2004

This 45,000 square foot red brick manor house is filled with distinctive upscale furnishings. A visit to McArthur’s is like visiting friends.

The Amazing Power Of Feedback  - 6/16/2004

It takes a lot of hard work to generate a month’s business in a normally dull weekend. Learning the five basic steps to planning a successful promotion is just the beginning. Planning without flawless execution is worthless. The key to success is to engage your team leaders in an organic process of effective communications and mandatory feedback.

Display And Product Trends  - 6/16/2004

Innovative lighting, colors, textures, accessories and furniture display ideas are presented in a fascinating series of 18 oases of color, each a lifestyle fragment.

Barnaby's Fine Furniture - Retail Profile  - 6/16/2004

Family keeps close watch on company flourishing in fast growth area.

Home Furniture - Part 1 - Big And Independent  - 6/15/2004

Dealer owned Canadian furniture giant packs $3.5 billion worth of purchasing power punch. With more than 70 furniture stores, the furniture division of Home Hardware is poised for rapid growth.

Annual Retail Technology Survey  - 6/15/2004

This highly informative survey compiled by Computer Sciences Corporation and Retail Info Systems News highlights the accelerating rate at which home furnishings retailers are embracing technologies as diverse as customer databases, EDI, POS terminals, executive information systems and interactive multimedia.

Computer Installation Destined To Fail?  - 6/15/2004

This month, instead of tackling the big issues of sales management, the Shepherd Group looks at why most new computer installations are destined to fail. But don't worry. A step-by-step plan for insuring success is also presented.

Timely Home Furnishings Trucking Tips  - 6/15/2004

Dan Bolger reminds you to check your freight bills, pay attention to how your delivery trucks look and take a close look at how the efficiency of your warehouse and your entire operation might be improved.

Inventory Control  - 6/15/2004

The first thing that most retailers do to increase store profitability is to try to raise sales revenues. They do this by advertising more, increasing their sales staff, expanding display space, enlarging the store, or running a sale. Every one of these actions increase cost. This article focuses on the real cost savings of reducing excess inventory.

EDI And Special Orders  - 6/15/2004

Special orders give a tremendous boost to a retailer's bottom line. You sell goods you never had in the first place, get a deposit, never carry them in inventory and never have to take a mark down! EDI can help streamline the process and create additional sales and profits.

Tips For Avoiding Bad Checks  - 6/15/2004

Houston: based TeleCheck Services Inc., a company that provides check acceptance, check guarantee, new account services and recovery services, suggests that retailers follow the following check acceptance procedures this coming holiday season.

Manage Inventory And Boost Profits  - 6/15/2004

On average, the typical retailer has 25% of his inventory tied up in goods that are slow moving to dead. Here are some tips on how you can more effectively manage inventory and boost profits.

Employer Substance Abuse Policies  - 6/15/2004

What type of training should your managers and first line supervisors receive regarding the administration of your company- wide drug and alcohol abuse policy?

Consumer Delivery - Part 1 - Make Sure It Fits  - 6/15/2004

(Delivering The Goods Series) When you take salespeople out for a ride on your delivery trucks they become better at heading off delivery problems before they occur.

Nurturing Banking Relationships - Ratio Analysis  - 6/15/2004

It has been said that a banker is someone who lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining, and takes it away when it starts to rain. If that's true, then let's deal with the banker when the sun is shining.

Effective Time Management - Part 2  - 6/15/2004

Janet-Holt-Johnstone, the busiest editor in the home furnishings business, finishes her series which will help you get the most out of each day.

Effective Time Management - Part 1  - 6/15/2004

Time. you can't beg, borrow or steal it, but you can learn to make the time you have more productive and rewarding. Janet-Holt-Johnstone, the busiest editor in the home furnishings business, presents tips and techniques which can help you get the most out of each day.

Warehouse Space Case: Sherman's Furniture  - 6/15/2004

When Sherman's Furniture lost the lease on their outside warehouse, they considered building a new facility, leasing another building or upgrading their existing space. Luckily, Jack Sherman, having read the March issue of Furniture World undertook a diagnostic study of his warehousing and logistics before he took any action.

Warehouse Space: Do You Have Enough?  - 6/15/2004

If an apparent space shortage is pushing you to consider the option of a new warehouse... then read this article first.

Don't Get Loaded Down With Administrative Tasks  - 6/15/2004

If the owner/manager is loaded down with administrative tasks that could be effectively and economically automated... then that is a real waste.

The Eight Worst Hiring Mistakes  - 6/15/2004

You can avoid much employee turnover by streamlining and organizing your hiring practices. Laura Laaman of Executive Training looks at the problem and the solutions.

Home Furniture - Part 2 - Complete Buying Group Support  - 6/15/2004

Dealer owned Canadian furniture giant packs $3.5 billion worth of purchasing power punch. With more than 70 furniture stores, the furniture division of Home Hardware is poised for rapid growth.

Home Furniture - Part 3 - Buying Group Ad Strategy  - 6/15/2004

Dealer owned Canadian furniture giant packs $3.5 billion worth of purchasing power punch. With more than 70 furniture stores, the furniture division of Home Hardware is poised for rapid growth. In the final part of this series Canadian Scene editor Janet Holt-Johnstone asks Home Furniture members to discuss their advertising and promotion strategies for success.

Data Warehouses For Furniture Retailers  - 6/15/2004

Retailers are turning to data warehouses to help them sift through the vast amounts of data across the company and filter out meaningful information that will help them compete more effectively and respond more quickly to consumers' demands.

Worker's Compensation Costs  - 6/15/2004

Almost every business is aware of the amount spent on workers compensation but most make mediocre efforts at control. The typical approach is to compare rates available based on their own safety record to those available through a group. It is a rare company that really looks at preventing accidents in the first place and managing the situation when an accident does happen.

Warehouse On Wheels At Good's Furniture  - 6/15/2004

Star Furniture in Houston, Texas, solved their warehousing problems at a new Austin site with modular truck bodies. Good's Furniture, Inc.Good's uses the modular bodies in another configuration.

The Furniture Repair Decision  - 6/15/2004

Approximately 50% of US furniture stores maintain some type of in-house repair department. This is only one of the options, however, that furniture retailers can consider when making a decision on how to handle repairs.

No Fault Computers At Nebraska Furniture Mart  - 6/15/2004

R.C. Willey & Nebraska Furniture Mart recently underwent a technological upgrade with the installation of high-end no-fault computers.

Warehousing Receiving Tips  - 6/15/2004

Dan Bolger of the Bolger Group looks at additional ways you can avoid paying for merchandise that you never got or for damages you didn't cause. Good written procedures and management oversight will help gain efficiency and reduce the chances for fraud.

Guard Against Trucking Overcharges  - 6/15/2004

Update for furniture retailers on balance overcharges and new state regulations. Also covered are LTL rate hikes scheduled for 1996.

Case Study: New Warehouse For Coconis  - 6/15/2004

Growth was causing challenges for Coconis Furniture and Coconis Carpet the largest independent home furnishings retailer in south eastern Ohio. Here's a case study on how they successfully planned for showroom & warehouse growth.

Data Processing vs. Management Systems For Retailers  - 6/15/2004

Acquiring computer hardware and software does not mean that you are installing a management system. Furthermore, the price of a system is not necessarily an indication of its completeness.

How To Control Warehouse Shrinkage - Part 2 - Screening Employees  - 6/15/2004

Hiring practices which include using background checks and pre-employment testing are helping many progressive retailers to reduce warehouse 'shrinkage."

Warehouse Shrinkage And Security - Part 1  - 6/15/2004

Since you cannot operate your warehouse like a bank vault, what steps can you take to protect your investment?

Managing Receiving More Efficiently  - 6/15/2004

Steps you can take to evaluate and improve the efficiency of your receiving department. Presented are ways to gain efficiency by eliminating steps and reducing chances for mistakes or fraud.

Marketing Response To A Natural Disaster  - 6/15/2004

What would happen to your operation if you were shut down by a natural disaster. Here's how Tepperman's reacted when they lost their Chatham, Ontario store to a devastating fire.

Managing Inbound Freight  - 6/15/2004

Managing inbound freight positively contributes to bottom line profit improvement, reduces damages and claims, smooths receiving and boosts your ability to successfully serve the customer.

Be Prepared For A Fire  - 6/15/2004

Fires that destroy whole businesses are front page news but more typical is a small fire after hours with considerable smoke. Following the tips in this article will speed fire department response and possibly save thousands of dollars.

"Sorry About Your Mailbox" - Delivery Stories  - 6/15/2004

Contributing Editor Dan Bolger changes gears this month by presenting a whole bunch of ways home furnishings retailers can promote driver safety and reduce run-away delivery costs

Trucking Regulation Update For Furniture Retailers  - 6/15/2004

From 1935 until passage of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, the ICC exercised almost total control over trucking rates, routes and entry of new carriers. It was a huge bureaucracy with unique accounting requirements and it was impossible to accomplish anything without using specialized transportation lawyers. Now it is gone, opening up a new era for shippers.

Effective Time Management - Part 3 - Meetings  - 6/15/2004

Part 3- In the September and October issues we discussed time management. Meetings, too, but peripherally. Let's zero in now on the 90s greatest potential time waster.

Delivery Statistics  - 6/15/2004

NHFA's Annual Operating Experience Report data is presented to help you compare your business to others. Charts include compensation data for typical positions and insight on emerging trends.

Stoney Creek Furniture: Retailer Profile  - 6/15/2004

Dennis Novosel, President of Stoney Creek Furniture takes you inside his operation so you can see how practices such as intensive employee education and the elimination of traditional commission compensation plans have resulted in better worker morale, higher sales and increased levels of customer satisfaction.

Furniture Damage And Repair  - 6/15/2004

Entertainment centers, book cases and armoire, require special attention when maneuvering from one location to another. If precautions aren't taken, joints may break or crack, causing permanent damage. Here are seven rules which will reduce repair costs.

Avoid Buying Group Troubles - Antitrust Issues  - 6/15/2004

Buying/ marketing groups are becoming more and more common. So is governmental oversight of their activities. Here's how to keep your group out of trouble.

Retailer's Guide To Furniture Repair  - 6/15/2004

Damaged furniture is a retailer's worst nightmare. Here are some tips to help you avoid damage, a list of repair tips and advise on when you should call a professional repair service.

Delivering Big Value  - 6/14/2004

Bejnar's Fine Furniture is competing against the big guys. Efficient operations including excellent warehousing and delivery does make a difference.

Building A New Warehouse  - 6/14/2004

Building a new warehouse is a complex task. Many retailers consider bringing in an outside consultant to manage the process.

Intra Family Business Transfers  - 6/14/2004

The private annuity can be an effective way to transfer appreciated property in exchange for lifetime payments to the older generation.

Hiring A Great Warehouse Manager  - 6/14/2004

Furniture retailers are used to hiring sales and office staff. Most are not nearly as strong on the warehouse and delivery side of the business. As a result, they often do not hire the best people for these critical jobs. Here are tips and techniques for hiring the best warehouse manager.

Transportation Cost Containment - 1999  - 6/14/2004

A look at recent developments with an emphasis on cost containment.

Delivery And Service Scheduling  - 6/14/2004

Advances in computer technology have impacted one of retailing's major challenges, delivery and service scheduling. This technology can significantly improve your productivity and customer satisfaction.

Planning For Retirement  - 6/14/2004

If you are an owner, manager, or valuable salesperson, you might not know about this way to build wealth and avoid taxes. Split-dollar life works as a supercharged retirement account without any cap on how much goes in yearly. Both the company and employee contribute, and the company gets its initial investment back!

Building That New Warehouse  - 6/14/2004

This article is for you if you are considering obtaining existing warehouse space or building a warehouse from the ground-up. If you are not currently considering warehouse expansion, put this material away until the need arises (it surely will!).

Preparing For A Recession  - 6/14/2004

Are we in for a recession? Most experts say no, but it couldn't hurt to monitor for danger signs of decline take preventive measures now.

Choosing The Right Furniture Delivery Truck  - 6/14/2004

Choosing the "right" truck for your particular operation is a real challenge today with so many styles and brands to choose from. This is the first in a series of articles on home furnishings retailers who Love Their Trucks.

Transportation Savings 1998  - 6/14/2004

This year's transportation outlook is much different. It has changed from a buyer's market to one where the carriers are holding more power.

Tax Relief For The Family Business  - 6/14/2004

Without up to date estate planning, heirs to many retail furniture operations have been forced to sell real estate or a substantial portion of their assets or actually liquidate the business to meet estate tax obligations. Here are some tax tips and strategies, plus the implications of new family business "tax relief" measures.

Selling Your Furniture Store  - 6/14/2004

Middle market furniture store owners can convert their companies into the wealth they deserve if they don't operate under misconceptions and delusions. Instead, they must understand their shortcomings, plug knowledge gaps, and most importantly be willing to pay the price required to convert their company into the "gold mine" it can be.

New Tax Legislation 1977  - 6/14/2004

Although the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 contains the most dramatic tax reductions in 16 years, there are significant tax traps for the uninitiated. This article summarizes the benefits and exposes some of the traps.

Reduce Non-Saleable Inventory  - 6/14/2004

4-15% of total inventory dollars are tied up in non-saleable merchandise. Problems include manufacturing defects, missing parts, freight claims and damage caused by poor warehouse handling practices. Shop areas also typically have some customer merchandise in for warranty repair.

Transportation Savings  - 6/14/2004

Dan Bolger explains how you can save by paying attention to fuel surcharges, header rates, miscellaneous charges and freight charges added to merchandise invoices. Also discussed are how you can use the internet to find the best furniture freight rates.

Computer Delivery Routing Initiative  - 6/11/2004

Until the spring of 2001, Morris Home Furnishings manually routed their trucks. A year after switching from manual routing, all efficiency measures including driver performance have improved.

Hiring & Keeping Salespeople - Part 8 - Job Descriptions  - 6/11/2004

Without them you can’t develop effective recruiting, selection, performance appraisal, compensation, and training systems. Simply put, without job descriptions your organization is just not organized!

Effective Warehouse Planning  - 6/11/2004

If you are about to build a new warehouse or renovate an old facility, you may be thinking about purchasing expert advice. The February/March issue presented a checklist for evaluating your existing operation. This article looks at the consultant’s role and planning considerations.

Outsource Decision: Warehouse, Delivery, Deluxing  - 6/11/2004

In the quest for improved profits and competitive advantage, furniture retailers are more frequently reviewing their options for warehousing, deluxing and home delivery. Decision making tools plus a list of sources will help you to make an informed decision.

Guide To Fraud Prevention - Part 2 - Internal Fraud  - 6/11/2004

If you are like most furniture store executives, you spend a good percentage of your time trying to get the best merchandise into your store, but next to no time at all preparing your people to recognize fraud. The second article in this series will look at internal or employee fraud and how you can detect and prevent it.

Guide To Fraud Prevention - Part 1- External Fraud  - 6/11/2004

If you are like most furniture store executives, you spend a good percentage of your time trying to get the best merchandise into your store, but next to no time at all preparing your people to recognize fraud. This series will look at external and internal fraud and present practical tools you can use to preserve bottom line profits.

Avoid The Top Five Management Mistakes  - 6/11/2004

What are the most common mistakes retail store owners make in the home furnishings industry? Joe Capillo takes a close look at each, and explains how the enlightened manager can avoid certain disaster.

Warehouse Expansion At Seldon's  - 6/11/2004

Selden’s overall project planning and use of experts to supplement internal skills were important elements for the success of their warehouse expansion.

Squeezed For Warehouse Space  - 6/11/2004

Samsen Furniture's 1994 warehouse was built with future racking in mind with clear roof height of 15 to 20 feet and a clear span. Here's how planning ahead has made updating their warehouse systems to accommodate increased sales easy.

Energy Saving Warehouse And Exterior Lighting  - 6/11/2004

Replacing light bulbs and fixtures in showrooms, warehouses and store exteriors, can save energy, improve lighting quality and redirect maintenance labor from changing light bulbs. Dan Bolger offers ideas which can provide an ongoing stream of benefits with ultra quick payback periods

Internet Furniture Stores Face Delivery Challenges  - 6/11/2004

Surveys report significant customer dissatisfaction with many Internet purchases, particularly in the areas of delivery and customer service. The logistical challenges of home delivery are far more difficult and costly than many recognize. It just isn't valid to compare the delivering of books to case goods or upholstery.

Inbound Transportation Savings  - 6/11/2004

Dan Bolger presents a number of ideas that can add 2 to 4 points to your profit margins. Every area of your business needs periodic review and transportation is no exception. Check for opportunities for additional discounts, delivery consolidation and the real value of manufacturer “guaranteed” freight programs.

No New Warehouse For Riley's Furniture  - 6/11/2004

Riley Griffiths has positioned his company for 40% growth without investing in additional bricks and mortar. He simply rearranged his showroom and warehouse spaces for greater efficiency and flexibility.

Chinese Furniture Imports  - 6/11/2004

Chinese furniture export activity has increased dramatically, with more than 20 percent per year increases in raw volume. There has also been a recent surge in the number of Chinese companies seeking export opportunities in North America.

ApplianceMart Delivers  - 6/11/2004

Wisconsin retailer Appliancemart with 2 store locations and 6 warehouses has fine-tuned delivery procedures to make the process flow smoothly.

Managing Inbound Freight  - 6/11/2004

Some home furnishings retailers treat inbound freight as a non-controllable expense but it is absolutely manageable. Benefits achieved by close control of inbound freight include increased operating margins, improved transit reliability and reduced damage.

The Mouse That Moves Furniture - CAD  - 6/11/2004

Installing A CAD System to do showroom layouts saves labor, cuts expenses, improves displays and provides valuable management information.

Retail Space Planning - Part 1  - 6/11/2004

Space planning and visual merchandising are perhaps the most important factors affecting your sales per square foot and the efficiency of your store. Bill Blake deconstructs the entire space planning process in this series of articles.

Corporate Culture At Jordan's Furniture  - 6/11/2004

A corporate culture that includes fun, respect for employees and customers have made Jordan's an industry icon.

Retail Space Planning - Part 2  - 6/11/2004

This series devoted to store planning and visual merchandising continues with a discussion of financial components and budgetary considerations.

Winning The Numbers Game  - 6/11/2004

The factors most retailers focus on in making strategic decisions are merchandise based. The fallacy in this approach is that merchandise does not sell or buy itself. People sell merchandise and people buy it. John Egger explains how Performance Indicator Numbers (PIN) can help you to respond appropriately to changing market conditions.

Guide To Fraud Prevention - Part 4  - 6/11/2004

The fourth installment in this series on preventing employee and customer fraud examines ways you can fraud-proof your documents and forge-proof your signature.

Measure And Improve Warehouse Performance  - 6/11/2004

There’s an old saying that you can’t improve perfomance until you measure it. This article will provide the tools you need to quickly assess your warehouse and delivery operation. Included is a checklist you can use to identify problem areas and create a plan for continuous improvement.

Guide To Fraud Prevention - Part 3 - Preventing Theft  - 6/11/2004

If you are like most furniture store executives, you spend a good percentage of your time trying to get the best merchandise into your store, but next to no time at all preparing your people to recognize fraud. The third article in this series will look at ways to prevent company and customer information from being stolen.

Furniture Import Strategies: Consolidation Overseas  - 6/11/2004

Industry executives are considering moving their logistics process upstream. That means transferring consolidation, distribution and quality inspection duties to where the products are produced.

Should You Direct Import?  - 6/11/2004

The pace of furniture importing is accelerating. Tom Craig looks at some of the language, opportunities and risks associated with bringing in merchandise from overseas.

Profit Boosting, Cost Cutting  - 6/11/2004

The economic picture for 2001 appears to be lackluster with key furniture retailer indicators trending flat to moderate sales gains. Sales increases may be harder to come by, so it's time to look at other ways to boost the bottom line.

Delivery: In House Or Outsource?  - 6/11/2004

Many retailers are providing outstanding delivery with their own employees but there is substantial growth in outsourcing delivery services by furniture retailers. The keys to success are professional management, solid procedures, equipment and most of all, thoroughly trained delivery people.

A Case For Oursourcing Delivery  - 6/11/2004

When a furniture retailer is considering whether or not to outsource his delivery operation, the issue of "loss of control" is often a primary objection to contracting with a third-party provider.

Solutions For Problem Warehouses  - 6/11/2004

Here are some affordable solutions for Home furnishings retailers with jam-packed inefficient warehouses that have clear heights of 12 to 16 feet often awkwardly stack furniture several units high.

Power Struggle In The Family  - 6/11/2004

Everyone has heard of families divided and thrown into dysfunction and resentment by the stress resulting from low trust and respect. How can these problems be avoided or resolved?

Managing Receiving  - 6/11/2004

Tip and methods for managing receiving, minimizing damage and maximizing return on claims when necessary.

Warehouse Consolidation Case  - 6/11/2004

ApplianceMart found that a single distribution facility would result in many economic advantages in areas of inbound freight, manpower, product damage, time spent preparing and loading trucks from multiple warehouses, service costs plus capacity to grow the business.

Plan For Stress Free Business Succession  - 6/11/2004

One of the most difficult issues now facing family-owned home furnishings businesses is succession. The challenge facing these companies is how to turn the business over to the next generation with a minimum of family stress and maximum financial security for everyone involved.

Improve Delivery Satisfaction  - 6/11/2004

If your post-sale service calls are running more than 3% it may be time to take a close look at your product handling and deluxing procedures.

Store Lighting - Light Up Sales!  - 6/11/2004

You can trim electricity costs, labor costs and dramatically improve displays by completely revamping your store lighting. Take time to do it right or you will both waste money and lose sales. Monte Lee also looks at ways the lighting industry boosts their own profitability at your expense.

Computer Operating Systems - A Primer  - 6/11/2004

An operating system is a program that allows computers to run application programs such as word processors, spreadsheets, accounting, and database managers. Paul Hooverson, Chief Software Architect, EasyChair Software explains the differences and advantages of popular systems.

Pickups And Carry Home Purchases  - 6/11/2004

Have you recently looked at pickups and carry home purchases from your customer's perspective? Improvements in handling carry home purchases and pickups can dramatically boost your customer service image.

Central Distribution At Andreas Furniture  - 6/11/2004

Independent retailer Andreas Furniture builds a consumer & employee "friendly" distribution center.

Fix Import Repair Problems  - 6/10/2004

Imports come with several key advantages, like better profit margins; more adventurous finishes, shapes and styles; and a wide range of prices. Choosing furniture at markets based on looks and repairability means that you will be able to make repairs whenever necessary, turning damaged goods back into first quality rather than sending them to the clearance center.

Beat The 80/20 Merchandising Rule  - 6/10/2004

Buying decisions are often unplanned reactions to special deals, the newest hottest item, or something that a buyer has fallen in love with. Merchandising processes should instead rely on detailed information, and be well planned.

Touch Up Old Repair Techniques  - 6/10/2004

You can save time and money by taking a critical look at your repair and deluxing operations. New touch up products and the challenges of imported goods have changed the way store and delivery people should perform their jobs to maximize customer satisfaction and bottom line performance.

Micro-Managing vs. Micro-Monitoring Your Business  - 6/10/2004

Probably the most destructive outcome of micro-management is that it stifles individual initiatives and innovation and fosters mediocrity. Micro-Monitoring has none of these drawbacks and helps keep furniture retailers on track toward meeting their goals.

The Four C's Of Leadership  - 6/10/2004

Learn how to communicate your vision, boost productivity and lift morale through effective coaching, cooperation, counseling and correction.

Advantages Of The Modern Warehouse  - 6/10/2004

The the name of the “game” has changed from “bulk buying and storage” to “flow and turns”. Retail operations that invest in warehouse assets with this new philosophy in mind can take advantage of changes in technology and inventory management.

Finding The Right Finance Company - Part 1  - 6/10/2004

Offering retail financing can be a wonderful closing tool and it is still one of the cheapest and most effective ways to advertise. Knowing where to look and what to look for are critical components in building a successful program for your customers.

How To Re-merchandise Your Sales Floor  - 6/10/2004

Dealing with the challenge of adding new products, clearing out losers and maximizing sales per square foot can be complicated. Bill Blake simplifies the tools, techniques and suggests a few tricks to help you master this process.

When Credit Is Due (Crediting Your People)  - 6/10/2004

This isn’t an article on the financial management of credit and collections. This month, Peter Marino looks at why giving your people credit for the jobs they do, is an easy and effective way to motivate and keep good employees. This is especially true for jobs outside of the sales department.

The Less Than Perfect Furniture Delivery  - 6/10/2004

This article describes five basic approaches used by most retailers to handle delivery problems. Each of these will be carefully examined so that you can craft a policy to help you find your place among the best of the best.

Managing Inventory Theft  - 6/10/2004

Although theft of goods is on the rise in furniture retail establishments nationwide, it is a problem that is too often ignored. Most of your products are easily sold by thieves, stolen by employees to meet specific requests from their friends, or even to furnish their own house!

Warehouse Upgrade For O'Coins  - 6/10/2004

As O’Coins grew, the store purchased supplemental warehousing from their delivery contractor. This solution created a challenging situation solved by purchasing a nearby facility, upgrading systems and processes.

Making Consistent, "Clean" Deliveries  - 6/10/2004

For many furniture retailers, consistently making “clean” sales and perfect deliveries is as difficult as grasping that gold ring on an antique carousel. Peter Schlosser reviews the entire process from receiving to delivery. Potential problem areas are identified and solutions described.

Warehouse Fire Compliance  - 6/10/2004

Nationally recognized fire protection code expert Elley Klausbruckner, supplies general practical information on fire protection requirements for furniture warehouses. A bit of attention to this area before you build or refit your warehouse can save substantial sums.

Top Ten List For Customer Pick-ups  - 6/10/2004

Have you recently looked at customer pickups and carry home purchases from the customer’s perspective? You may find, that you need to re-evaluate and improve the whole process. A modest investment can yield big dividends.

Revolving Credit Programs - Part 2  - 6/10/2004

Some of the built-in marketing features that most revolving credit programs offer provide a low cost way for you to remarket and communicate to your captive credit customer base.

Excess Furniture Inventory Puzzle  - 6/10/2004

Regaining control over inventory puts more cash in the bank, more room in the warehouse and reduces damage. Five inventory categories are presented in a way that makes looking at them less of a puzzle.

It's Time To Prepare Your Organization  - 6/10/2004

Great business leaders have a goal that benefits society and inspires a workforce to do its best. They foster on-the-job growth in self-knowledge, wisdom, and relationships. Finally, they are engaged in creating a product that does more than just generate revenue.

Delivering To Expanded Market Areas  - 6/10/2004

Retailers like Bob’s Discount Furniture, Haverty’s, and Arhaus Furniture accrue tangible and intangible benefits in their warehouse, prep and delivery departments by using an innovative transportation system.

A Boring Vision Statement Won't Cut It  - 6/10/2004

Without a vision-statement, businesses, organizations, and even countries perish. Not in a dramatic way perhaps, but slowly, inch by inch. It takes more than a vision-statement, of course. It also takes integrity of commitment, excellence, and caring. Step-by-step instructions will help you to create your vision statement in just 35 minutes.

Casting Off The Inventory Blues  - 6/10/2004

This is not another article about GMROI. This installment provides information on inventory age and the impact it has on the logistics and profits of a furniture store.

It's Your Move - Moving, Renovating, Expanding  - 6/10/2004

Forward thinking home furnishings retailers are taking advantage of the competitive landscape by moving, renovating and expanding store operations. Bill Blake presents two case studies and provides a checklist of essential points to consider before you make that big move.

New Regulations To Impact Retail Transportation Costs  - 6/10/2004

Now is the time for FURNITURE WORLD readers to review scheduling and receiving operations in light of new United States Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations. Those companies that make their pickup and/or delivery experience more driver friendly will see the least affect on their bottom line and may actually reduce their costs.

Broken Furniture Repair Departments  - 6/10/2004

Third party repairs, in-home repairs and poorly managed in-house operations can drain your budget dry if you’re not careful. These situations can usually be avoided with proper planning and equipment.

Leveraging Retail Technology  - 6/10/2004

The time when retail managers could grow their businesses by simply adding more bodies is past. Today, the best retailers leverage the efforts of the people they already employ by using technology.

City Furniture: A Retail Profile  - 6/10/2004

Outstanding trucking, logistics and warehousing practices. These add value to customer transactions and have contributed to the 500% growth of City Furniture since 1994 to $220 million.

Top Ten Warehouse Benchmarks  - 6/10/2004

Since meaningful direct comparisons between retailers are difficult to make, most should track warehouse productivity trends in their own operation. Here are the top ten performance measures that have proven to be useful in many retail home furnishings operations.

Crisis Of Values At Retail  - 6/10/2004

Leaders have lied to their people, the public, and themselves. But things will turn around. Use this transition period to rebuild... and start by looking at MetaValues™.

The Golden Rules Of Presenting  - 6/9/2004

Put these twelve rules crafted with great care by Dr. Peter A. Marino into practice every time you do your presenting. They're the Golden Rules of Presenting.

A Store Where Customers Feel At Home  - 6/9/2004

John Wanamaker, called by one President of the United States "the greatest merchant in America", made the following comment: "You have to run a store that people will feel at home in." That comment contained the very soul of Wanamaker's philosophy about how to run a successful store.

Seminar On A Sleeper  - 6/9/2004

Fanciful tale which reads a little like a famous Dickens Christmas tale. A bedding salesperson falls asleep at his posts and is visited by three sales scenarios.

Listening, The Often Ignored Skill  - 6/9/2004

Listening is not merely hearing. Anyone blessed with healthy ears and brain can hear. Yet the experts have known for some time that the average adult listens at about twenty five percent proficiency. Peter Marino looks at listening as a skill that must be learned.

Professional Selling Skills - Part 3- Opening  - 6/9/2004

Amazingly, many salespeople do far too little probing to uncover their customers' needs. Meanwhile, many others misdirect their probing they so that the end result of their asking questions fails to uncover customer needs.

Handling Customer Objections - Part 1  - 6/9/2004

In selling there are three main objections salespeople face, objections being defined as obstacles put up by customers to impede their commitment or buy-in. The three types are the drawback, indifference, and skepticism. The first of a three part series looks at how to win over customers who doubt the validity of your benefit statements without making them defensive.

True Relationship Selling  - 6/9/2004

True relationship selling requires that salespeople adopt an approach (a form) that sells something to the customer (the function). This concept de-emphasizes the role of closing in favor of building customer rapport.

Treat Customers Like Friends  - 6/9/2004

Treat customers like friends and they will buy. Make them mad, sad or scared and they won't. Sales guru Peter A. Marino looks at some common sales practices and explains why his ''unconventional wisdom" can result in dramatically increased sales and more satisfied customers.

Maslow's Hierarchy And Customer Needs  - 6/9/2004

Do customers buy because they need or like our products? Peter A. Marino examines why customers buy and how we can match what we sell to what customers are really looking for.

Words That Clinch Or Kill The Sale  - 6/9/2004

Do our customers want to make the 'safe' or the exciting design choice? Do we insult or comfort our customers by telling them that "brass goes with anything," or "don't worry, beige is a neutral... it will look fine." Peter A. Marino explores how the salesperson's choice of words send powerful messages to customers.

Globe Express Services Enrolled in U.S. Customs’ New Security Program  - 6/9/2004

U.S. Customs has implemented a new Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program to increase supply chain and border security.

It's Buying, Silly - Part 4 - Knowledgeable Salespeople!  - 6/9/2004

Would you like to have a sales job in which every customer you encountered bought something? You’re probably ready to shout, "Take me to that job!" It’s the sales job at a supermarket checkout counter

The Excellent Sales Approach  - 6/9/2004

One area many retail salespeople and managers address with alarming nonchalance is the approach to the prospect. A proper approach is essential to set the stage for the rest of the entire sales process. This article by Richard Tyler looks at the seven steps salespeople should take in the first 60 seconds of the sale.

Thirteen Fatal Sales Errors  - 6/9/2004

A list of common errors made by retail sales people. These include failures to: believe in and sell yourself; encourage customers to have a purchasing plan; use planned selling scripts; practice active listening; and handle 'just looking' customers properly.

Sales Wit And Wisdom  - 6/9/2004

Half a century has passed since Elmer Wheeler, called America's greatest salesman in his day, came up with what came to be known as the Wheeler Points of Selling. In this article Peter A. Marino revisits four of those points and adds a fifth from Michael Le Boeuf's book, "How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life."

Product Knowledge And Perceived Honesty  - 6/9/2004

Once customers do not trust the salesperson's product knowledge, they tend to doubt the salesperson's honesty. Why? Because everyone has doubts about the intentions of salespeople who are not qualified to do what they say they'd like to do for us. Here is a close look at how to effectively use specialized product knowledge to get the sale.

Handling Objections - Part 3  - 6/9/2004

The last of a three part series on customer objections looks at two kinds of customer indifference; objective and subjective. As salespeople we can only effectively deal with the subjective variety.

Sales Benefit Statements  - 6/9/2004

While it is all right, and even advisable to remind customers to ask for us when they come back, we should put that request and all others we make of our customers in terms that benefit the customer too!

The Golden Egg And Customers Who Feel Unwanted.  - 6/9/2004

More customers are lost to company indifference at all organizational levels, than any other cause. Simply stated, if the customer feels unwanted, unappreciated or like your employees are not interested in his or her needs and concerns, they will find another place to shop... and tell all their friends to shop there too!

Learning To Sell More  - 6/9/2004

The problem with most sales training programs is that salespeople learn sales techniques, but are not taught to use them. Become familiar with the kinds of available programs; insist that the system they use trains a trainer; and make sure that any program they use has lots of role playing.

The Threefold Selling Process - Part 3  - 6/9/2004

The three-fold selling process is continued from the November (Maslows Hierarchy), December (Probing) and January (Qualifying) issues. The final part of the process... 'Strategizing," allows salespeople to use information gained in the first two steps, to complete the sale. The alternative to mastering this process is blind selling that relies on unfounded assumptions about customers and what causes them to buy.

Are Salespeople Born Or Made?  - 6/9/2004

"He's a born salesperson" and "He's a natural at it" are the words we hear from time to time. In his "Art of Poetry" the ancient Roman author Horace wrote: "For my point I fail to see the use of training without natural ability or of natural ability without training." Peter A. Marino provides more practical advice on how to implement an effective program to help you 'make' some good salespeople of your own.

Are Attitude Or Sales Skills More Important?  - 6/9/2004

Which is the most important component in the sales equation... selling skills, product knowledge or good attitude? Noted sales trainer and story teller Peter A. Marino gives insight into this question often asked by furniture sales managers and sales educators.

Sales By Appointment - The Impossible Dream  - 6/9/2004

The best way to get your "be-back" customers to actually come back and buy from you is to set up specific appointments with them. If you think that this is an impossible dream, check out this article by Cathy Finney.

Professional Selling Skills - Supporting Customer Needs - Part 4  - 6/9/2004

Those familiar with John Lawhon's book, "Selling Retail" will remember how ecstatically he begins Book Two by exclaiming that the greeting, the approach, qualifying, and selecting, are not selling; they are getting ready for selling. While this article readily acknowledges Mr. Lawhon's indispensable contribution to retail selling in general and to selling furniture in particular, it does not share his conviction that presenting alone is selling.

Professional Selling Skills - Part 5 - Closing  - 6/9/2004

Unless you are selling pencils on the corner of a busy avenue, you should look upon closing as several possible next steps the customer and salesperson agree to take together. Peter A. Marino looks at topics such as; when to close, how often to close and how to "leave the door open" when the salesperson fails to win the customer's final commitment.

Professional Selling Skills -Part 1 - Probing  - 6/9/2004

Furniture sales floors too often end up, a place where salesperson and customer carry on a casual rather than a focused conversation. Instead it should be a place where both salespeople and customers focus. This series continues with a discussion of the opening, a critical point in any sale.

Why Pareto Probes Don't Work  - 6/9/2004

Why Pareto Probing doesn't work and how you can successfully use open and closed probes to get the information you need to build customer confidence and make the sale. Open probes tend to raise the window of opportunity more significantly than do closed probes.

Selling By Proxy - Sales Book For Furniture Representatives  - 6/9/2004

A manual manufacturer's reps can use to work more closely with sales associates in their home furnishings client stores.

If It's Not Working Scrap It! - Sales Habits  - 6/9/2004

Recently, noted sales educator Peter Marino began to examine some of his own habits on the sales floor. He found that, like so many other good salespeople, he had clung on to habits which needed replacing. The problem for most sales professionals is knowing when to replace that comfortable old sales pitch.

The Good Salesperson  - 6/9/2004

The best salespeople certainly possess all three of the basic skill elements of selling, namely: attitude, product knowledge and selling skills. It is the first of these... good attitude, which if lacking can poison a whole organization.

Follow-up Or Fall Down - Part 1  - 6/9/2004

Shy or uneasy about making follow-up calls? Don't like rejection? Here are sure-fire ways to follow-up successfully and consistently.

Professional Selling Skills - Handling Objections - Part 7  - 6/9/2004

Handling skepticism, misunderstandings, and drawbacks are some of the most challenging tasks facing the retail salesperson. The first step in successfully handling these objections is to consider them as customer concerns... as either expressed or implied needs.

Professional Selling Skills - Part 6 - Handling Customer Indifference  - 6/9/2004

The average salesperson's inability to handle customer indifference may be the greatest single factor contributing to our industry's loss of productivity. Accordingly, store owners and managers ought to concentrate more on teaching their salespeople how to handle indifference.

Furniture Sales Is For The Simple  - 6/9/2004

Peter A. Marino again blurs the lines between literature, philosophy and selling skills to get to the heart of what our customers want from salespeople. He asks the question, "do customers want us to spin the very pictures they intend, or of that same old dull hat?"

Fire In the Belly Or Burnt Out?  - 6/9/2004

Dr. Peter A. Marino discusses Penrose Scull's book, "From Peddlers to Merchant Princes, a History of Selling in America," which traces the development of selling from Colonial times to the present. Selling has changed, to be sure, but what still matters is not so much how the products of salespeople are conducted, but how salespeople conduct themselves.

Price Objections - Know Your Potatoes  - 6/9/2004

Overcoming customer price objections is a daily challenge for retail sales people whether they are selling low, medium or high end home furnishings. Can we accept these objections at face value? Russ Page of Moosehead Manufacturing, illustrates his point with the classic story of 'Ma' Cooper

Ask Customers, Don't Tell Them  - 6/9/2004

By asking questions instead of telling, salespeople become more effective at both giving and receiving important sales information. Peter A. Marino explains the proper uses and associated benefits of mastering this skill.

Handling Customer Objections - Part 2  - 6/9/2004

In selling there are three main objections salespeople face; objections being defined as obstacles put up by customers to impede their commitment or buy-in. The three types are the drawback, indifference, and skepticism. The second of a three part series looks at the toughest objection, even for top salespeople. The drawback or un-meetable condition.

Greet Every Furniture Customer With A Smile  - 6/9/2004

One of the significant differences between outside versus retail selling is the normally short amount of time the retail salesperson has to make the sale. Another is the anonymity of the customer at the start of a sale. These factors make it imperative for the salesperson to create an atmosphere of trust within the first several seconds of the sale. Peter Marino discusses several ways salespeople can create this all important atmosphere of trust.

Lubricating The Sale - Preconditioning  - 6/9/2004

Many good salespeople use the technique of preempting or anticipating objections. This technique teaches salespeople to bring up ahead-of-time those objections which tend to come up frequently. Preconditioning goes a step further. It preconditions customers to look for the product in your store that best meets their needs.

The Threefold Selling Process - Part 2 - Qualifying  - 6/9/2004

The purpose of qualifying is to interpret the information obtained by probing in order to set up the best possible selling strategy. Peter A. Marino explains how salespeople should qualify customers and why they need to remain flexible throughout the process.

The Threefold Selling Process - Part 1- Probing  - 6/9/2004

Probing is the skill by which the salesperson gathers information and finds out the customer's level of need (see November Furniture World). Noted sales trainer and educator Peter A. Marino examines when and how to use open and closed probes.

Sales Pressure Vs. Urgency  - 6/9/2004

Whether the pressure felt by your customer comes from the salesperson, an ad, or other source, it never grows out of the customer's reasons for buying, namely the customer's felt need. Urgency to buy, however, even though promoted by the salesperson, results in satisfied customers and repeat business.

Keeping Good Salespeople - Part 4  - 6/9/2004

Continued from the March issue of FURNITURE WORLD is Peter A. Marino's series on how to keep those successful salespeople upbeat and working for you instead of your competitors.

The Before And After Of Customer Service - A Complete Manual  - 6/9/2004

A manual for Retail Salespeople which looks at the principle of preventative selling through a series of role-play examples.

Design For Sales Pros - Part 2  - 6/8/2004

The Principles of Interior Design are the tools with which the Elements (covered in the August/September issue) are applied. There are five basic Principles of Design. They are balance, scale, proportion, unity, rhythm/ harmony, and emphasis/focal point.

Stop Losing Those Bedding Sales - Part 1  - 6/8/2004

There are twelve major ways that retailers systematically lose bedding sales. Eight of these are outlined in this important series. Every step of the bedding sales process is examined from handling phone inquiries to creating and following though on a successful bedding sales strategy

Asking The Right Questions - Part 2  - 6/8/2004

Cathy Finney implores you not to talk about product. Instead, find out what they really want.

Wake Up And Smile - Selling Premium Bedding  - 6/8/2004

Herrod's Department Store knows how to sell premium bedding. Sales perspectives from Great Britain and VI Spring.

Using Bon Mots  - 6/8/2004

Bon mots (witty sayings) can be especially useful on those days when you are challenged to walk on water, for as author Herb Cohen wrote, "The secret of walking on water is knowing where the stones are." While there is no script for being a salesperson, the best salespeople seem to have an uncanny ability for saying the perfect phrase at just the proper time.

Important First Impressions  - 6/8/2004

Nine to thirty seconds - that's it! That's all the time you have to make a good first impression! What's even more scary? If someone's first impression of you is negative, it will take them three times as long to change their mind about you!

The Sales Skill Of Leveling  - 6/8/2004

Placating, Blaming, Distracting, Computing and Leveling. These five communication modes and any combination of them, affect the manner in which you communicate values, desires, expectations, and ideas under stress. The way salespeople and customer service people speak to customers, and the way managers use these modes to communicate with salespeople, can affect the long term success of your store.

Relationship Selling  - 6/8/2004

In an age when, as one author on marketing put it, "the free enterprise system has nearly choked us with choice," providing a "one on one relationship- selling" service for customers should be the goal of every salesperson. Martin Buber, the noted philosopher's ideas on the art of dialogue can help every salesperson to achieve this goal.

Help Browsers Become Buyers  - 6/8/2004

Your salespeople may wonder how they can more effectively engage "browsers". Salespeople keep going back, and customers either get more rude with each attempt, or they act as if salespeople are totally invisible. What's the formula? What's the answer?

Toronto Show Upbeat  - 6/8/2004

Leading retailers from across Canada speak about new products and trends for 2000. They also share their economic expectations for the coming year

Handling Customer Attitudes  - 6/8/2004

In order to establish good customer relationship, we need to be able to identify and deal with the various customer attitudes... Acceptance, Skepticism, Indifference and Objection.As we probe to identify customer needs, we will then introduce an appropriate product benefit that will solve that need.

Approaching Customers For Fun And Profit - Part 1  - 6/8/2004

You made a good first impression (See the May issue of FW). Now it's time to approach those customers. This first in a three part series on "The Approach," deals with appearance, attitude, handling browsers and making your customer's shopping experience start out happily.

Probe, Don't Pitch  - 6/8/2004

Ron Wolinski, Manager of Sales Education and Director of the Simmons Mattress Business "Academy" explains why the proper use of open and closed probes can vastly improve the customer/ salesperson relationship.

Misleading Ads - Have You Checked Your Credibility Quotient?  - 6/8/2004

Another look at advertising and promotions. If they have even the smallest hint of deceit, you might find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit, suffering from a loss of business, irritated customers, and a few sleepless nights.

Don't Be A Pitch Man  - 6/8/2004

This article, which illustrates the "thinking process" established by the Simmons "Mattress Business Academy" is the first in a series of articles by Ron Wolinski, Manager of Simmons Education.

Become A Power Talker - Part 2  - 6/8/2004

There are words that calm and words that can enrage your customer. How can you quote them your policy, ask for their commitment, find out their budget and get a deposit without saying these words?

Speaking Your Customer's Language  - 6/8/2004

Another of Ma Cooper's famous stories that looks at the problems salespeople encounter when speak, but fail to communicate. HFC research on confident and non-confident home furnishings buyers is also discussed.

Role Of Emotion And Logic In Selling  - 6/8/2004

Drawing a line on a page and quoting Ben Franklin, or committing 27 textbook closes to memory is not going to work any more. Now closing is about relationships, ambiance, atmosphere, presentation and product suitability.

A Case For Disposable Pillow Cases  - 6/8/2004

Many of us provide our bedding customers with pillows. We ask them to lay their heads on these pillows, despite the fact that many previous prospective buyers have used them. Our customers don't like this practice. Fortunately there is an easy, sanitary solution.

Make More House Calls  - 6/8/2004

The national average closing percentage for a first-time customer walking into a home furnishings store is about 25%. The closing percentages for housecalls are between 93%-98%. In this article, Cathy Finney fine-tunes the skill of making house calls so you'll no longer waste your time, spin your wheels or get your brain picked

Tools Of The Future... Business Cards?  - 6/8/2004

Business cards are both the wave of the future and the way of the past. The cards may be low-tech, but they can leave an indelible impression. Ideas from a new book on creative ways to create and use business cards to expand your business.

Support Statements  - 6/8/2004

Your ability to solve specific problems depends upon how well you support the customers needs with appropriate product benefits. You can do this effectively with a communication skill called a Support Statement.

Verbal Attack Patterns  - 6/8/2004

This month, Peter A. Marino looks at the Verbal Attack Patterns (or VAPs) most of us use. Constructive criticism aimed at employees or co-workers are often taken as personal attacks. No matter what the manager's intent, if the comments are improperly phrased, they will probably be perceived as placing the blame, being mean, insensitive or unwarranted.

Handling Volatile Situations  - 6/8/2004

Peter A. Marino again draws from Suzette Haden Elgin's book, "How to Disagree without Being Disagreeable," this time to help sales managers use presuppositions when handling potentially volatile situations with salespeople.

Sales Metaphors & Promoting Win-Win  - 6/8/2004

Using metaphors, especially those having to do with sports and war help convey that every disagreement needs to be hostile. Peter Marino discusses the role metaphors play in disagreeing with someone without being disagreeable.

The Sales Skill Of Leveling  - 6/8/2004

Placating, Blaming, Distracting, Computing and Leveling. These five communication modes and any combination of them, affect the manner in which you communicate values, desires, expectations, and ideas under stress. The way salespeople and customer service people speak to customers, and the way managers use these modes to communicate with salespeople, can affect the long term success of your store.

New Year Planning  - 6/8/2004

January is a time for reflection, that is, a time to think upon the past year and to plan for the year ahead. Fittingly, the ancient Romans named it January after the two-faced god Janus who with one face looked to the past, with the other to the future.

Loaded With Sales Charm  - 6/8/2004

In sales you learn to prospect, qualify, present, and close. You learn to sell. No one teaches us charisma. The best salespeople are loaded with it.

Verbal & Non Verbal Responses In Sales  - 6/8/2004

The fourth in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling.

Professional Sales Attitude And Organization  - 6/8/2004

There are no bad-hair days at retail. This is your wake up call to assess your flight plan for soaring... your action plan for "Me, Inc." This is the perfect time to "get over it and get on with it!" Cathy Finney offers some practical and motivational and fun advice on how to realign your sales efforts to ensure success.

Asking The Right Questions - Part 1  - 6/8/2004

Every good salesperson knows that it is important to qualify customers. The questions you ask and the way you ask them determine whether or not the answers you get will help move the sale forward.

Approaching Customers For Fun And Profit - Part 2  - 6/8/2004

You made a good first impression (See May FW). you look great, attitude appropriate and know how to handle "browsers" (See June FW). Now it's time to avoid drive-by-greetings, learn the fine art of looking busy and handle rude customers.

Lesson From Tony The Tailor  - 6/8/2004

A simple way to build unconditional customer loyalty from Bob Popyk, Publisher of Creative Selling.

Become A Power Talker - Part 3  - 6/8/2004

Have you ever said something, and as soon as the words came out of your mouth you would have done anything to stuff them back in? Part 3 on words to use and not use will explain how to avoid the lizards.

Become A Power Talker - Part 1  - 6/8/2004

There are words that calm and words that can enrage your customer. How can you quote them your policy, ask for their commitment, find out their budget and get a deposit without saying these words? 99% of your job as a retail manager is psychology, is it not? It follows that what you say & how you say it will either earn your client's trust or ignite their true passions of anger!

Use It Or Lose It (Passion That Is!)  - 6/8/2004

My friends, take a closer look at your store, your products and your life. Use the passion you have, once had or only occasionally glimpsed. If you master this feat, then as Seneca suggested, your cup of clay will be seen as a cup of gold. Your customers will see that gold too, and sales will soar.

Follow-up Or Fall Down - Part 2  - 6/8/2004

You know the routine. The cards that are angled 45 degrees to the right are the people I must follow-up on. The cards "tilting" to the left are distinct possibilities, and the ones standing straight up have items on order. Here's a follow-up system that can keep anyone on track!

Are Energy Vampires Draining Your Sales?  - 6/2/2004

In the world of retail, attitude is everything. Energy Vampires can masquerade as a client, a colleague or your mother... so read this before sunset!

Join The S.W.A.T. Team  - 6/2/2004

This article presents words of wisdom from some of the most talented front-line retail sales consultants in our industry. These are salespeople who Sell With Assured Techniques (SWAT).

State Sales Tax Issue: Furnitureland South's Use of Personalized Delivery Service Creates Representational Nexus  - 6/2/2004

A Maryland trial court has ruled in a declaratory judgment case after trial that Furnitureland South, a North Carolina furniture dealer, must register to collect Maryland use tax on the sale of furniture for delivery in the State of Maryland.

Sales Mistakes Made In The Name Of Nice - Part 2  - 6/2/2004

Many salespeople just want to be nice. They don’t want their customers to feel that they fit the mold of pushy commissioned salespeople. In doing so, they may fail to meet the needs of their customers and cause them to buy from that pushy salesperson down the street.

It's Buying, Silly - Part 2 - Customer Fear  - 6/2/2004

Part 2 in this series looks at the fear your customers have of making a serious buying mistake and how you can make them feel glad by helping them to become aware of their needs... and then fulfilling them!

Sales Ethics - Selling To Emotion Or Logic?  - 6/2/2004

Each salesperson has the option of leading the sale, following the customer's lead or trying to overlay the store's agenda on the sales process. An ethical approach to helping your customers avoid purchase mistakes will bring bottom-line benefits to your store and a world of change to the reputation of our industry.

A Meaningful Bedding Sales Discussion  - 6/2/2004

Ron Wolinski of Simmons looks at how to re-focus your customer's attention on the health aspects of a better night's sleep.

Interior Design Tools  - 6/2/2004

Decorators use basic design principles almost intuitively in their day to day work. If you understand how to use space, line, form, color texture and pattern, you will be better able to meet the decorating needs of your customers.

Product Demonstrations - Bedding  - 6/2/2004

Ron Wolinski of Simmons explains how a few minutes of preparation can save the demonstration and the sale.

Get Their Name  - 6/2/2004

When you get the name in the beginning of the "selling relationship" it is much easier to get their address & phone number at the end. She is more comfortable volunteering this information when you've been calling her "Louise" for the past 20 minutes. But how do you get this information upfront without being nosy or pushy?

Talk Less And Listen More  - 6/2/2004

We as professionals must do our "probing" to understand what is important to our customers. There is, however, another side to this analysis process. That other side may be our biggest challenge. That challenge is to be a good "listener." Listening, very often, is one of the most difficult parts of the consultative selling process.

More Top Secret Sales Tips  - 6/2/2004

In the June/July issue of FURNITURE WORLD Cathy Finney presented words of wisdom gleaned from some of the most talented retail sales consultants in our industry. These are salespeople who Sell With Assured Techniques (SWAT). This month, more top salespeople share their secrets.

Tools Of Our Trade - Room Planning Visuals  - 6/2/2004

Today more than ever before, retail sales people need effective tools to capture their clients’ attention, give them a positive experience and aid in making the sale.

Don Key Hoaty's Sales Adventures  - 6/2/2004

The fertile imagination of Peter Marino brings FURNITURE WORLD readers the fanciful tale of Don Key Hoaty, failed furniture salesperson. It is very loosely based on Peter’s own life and on Cervantes’ beloved character.

Barton Bienenstock To Receive First David Druckman Lifetime Achievement Award  - 6/2/2004

Barton I. Bienenstock has been named the first recipient of the David Druckman Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award will be presented at the Greater NY Home Furnishings Association's Dinner & Dance on November 20, 1999 at Terrace On The Park.

Feature - Benefit Statements  - 6/2/2004

Customers tend to be won over only by personalized feature-benefit statements that are relevant to what really turns them on.

Persuading Customers To Buy Isn't Logical  - 6/2/2004

The only way to turn low-margin one-time customers into clients is to help them to find comfort in their buying decision. The only way to do this is to make shopping an emotionally satisfying experience. Buying home furnishings is an emotional experience. Not buying is a logical one.

The Sales Secret Of Unshakable Belief  - 6/2/2004

What do evangelical faiths and great salespeople have in common?They talk about what they believe in all the time. They’re sold on it. They’re happy to get into a conversation about their beliefs with anybody, anytime.

It's Buying Silly: The Rapport Raport - Part 3  - 6/2/2004

Part 3 in this series presents the “rapport report”. Rapport must be established and nourished. It is both a state and a process. Peter Marino looks at how to establish it and keep it alive.

When Selling, Get Right To The Point  - 6/2/2004

We’re in an age of complicated communication over-wrought with high technology and bombarded with thousands of sales and marketing messages a day. Make it easy for your prospect. Make it simple for your customer. Just get right to the point.

Too Chicken To Ask For Referrals? - Part 2  - 6/2/2004

Part two in a series, focuses on how, when and why you should “come out” and ask customers to give your name to friends, co-workers and family. This installment looks at how to approach different types of customers and fool proof follow-up techniques.

Read 'Em & Reap (Customers)  - 6/2/2004

Do your salespeople meet, greet and sell every customer the same? Cathy Finney gives practical tips on how to serve customers the way they are comfortable being served. It's about learning to speak their language. It's about understanding them and their needs, and figuring out how you can help them.

Stop Losing Those Bedding Sales! - Part 2  - 6/2/2004

There are twelve major ways that retailers systematically lose bedding sales. The first eight ways were discussed in the April/May issue of FURNITURE WORLD. In this issue Dr. Marino looks at handling customer objections, selling with a strategy, the Valence Factors, the foundation for qualifying customers and the roles of the salesperson. This series is based on the new FURNITURE WORLD video and workbook Stop Losing Those Bedding Sales.

Tool Of The Future... Business Cards?  - 6/2/2004

Business cards are both the wave of the future and the way of the past. The cards may be low-tech, but they can leave an indelible impression. Ideas from a new book on creative ways to create and use business cards to expand your business.

Verbal And Non-Verbal Responses In Sales  - 6/2/2004

The fourth in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling.

Design For Sales Pros - Part 2  - 6/2/2004

The Principles of Interior Design are the tools with which the Elements (covered in the August/September issue) are applied. There are five basic Principles of Design. They are balance, scale, proportion, unity, rhythm/ harmony, and emphasis/focal point.

Listening To Your Customers - Part 3  - 6/2/2004

The third in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the hear of successful selling.

Dealing With Nasty Customers  - 6/2/2004

Nasty customers are a fact of life. Their Prozac supply runs out and they take it out on you.

Why Are Some Sales Consultants More Successful  - 6/2/2004

Ron Wolinski of Simmons shares a checklist of things that the best sales consultants do consistantly.

Inspire Customers To Share  - 6/2/2004

"Get yourself a good bed and a good pair of shoes because you are in one or the other all your life." That is the advice given to Peter A. Marino by an elderly customer. Why do some salespeople inspire customers to share their feelings and personal stories? The secret, he says is contained in the phrase; customers don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The Need For Sleep  - 6/2/2004

Ron Wolinsky of Simmons, looks at the national problem of sleep deprivation and suggests ways retail salespeople can help their customers to get a better night's sleep.

Capitalize On Your Competitor's Mistakes  - 6/2/2004

We've all seen them. The "Don't" or "No" signs in the stores, the showrooms, the restaurants, the shops. They are "negative customer factors" because they do nothing to encourage business. Take these negatives... (including problems with the image of the entire retail home furnishings industry) and turn them into your positives.

Approaching Customers For Fun And Profit - The Approach - Part 3  - 6/2/2004

You made a good first impression (See May FW). you look great, attitude appropriate and can handle "browsers" (See June FW). You avoided those drive-by-greetings, learned the fine art of looking busy and handled rude customers. Now you are ready for small talk and to diffuse any problems before they surface.

It's Buying, Silly - Part 6  - 6/2/2004

This article, excerpted from Peter Marino’s new book “It’s Buying Silly,” explains why benefit statements must be personal as well as properly delivered and timed.

It's Buying, Silly - Part 5  - 6/2/2004

Most of us have heard the saying, "Features are; benefits do." Nevertheless, features and benefits are actually different aspects of the same things. In this excerpt from his wonderful new book, Peter Marino explores the kinds of benefits that leave our customers feeling glad.

Sales Mistakes Made In The Name Of Nice - Part 1  - 6/2/2004

Many salespeople just want to be nice. They don’t want their customers to perceive that they fit the mold of pushy commissioned salespeople. In doing so, they may fail to meet the needs of their customers and cause them to buy from that pushy salesperson down the street.

It's Buying, Silly - Part 1  - 6/2/2004

Chapter 1 in Peter A. Marino’s new manuscript on selling furniture. If you think that you and your salespeople are in the business of selling furniture to your customers... Peter says that you are dead wrong. Why? Because selling furniture is all about getting customers to buy!

The Truth About Closing - Part 1  - 6/2/2004

If you’ve ever wished that someone could visit your store to teach your salespeople how to more effectively "close the sale" you are not alone. The reality of the situation is that your people probably don’t need to learn how to close. They need to be taught how to open! If you can’t open, you can’t close. It’s as simple as that.

A Mattress Is Just A Mattress?  - 6/2/2004

If your customer’s think that a mattress is just a mattress, then they probably think that a furniture salesperson is just a salesperson. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a customer is just a customer or let them get away with this unfortunate mindset.

The Secret Of Great Customer Service. Liking Your Job!  - 6/2/2004

Customers like to do business with someone they consider "nice" and they will send their friends to these nice people as well. It's not always a bigger store or lower prices. It can be as simple as a genuine regard for the customer.

Clever Is As Clever Does  - 6/2/2004

The next time a customer says "I can buy it cheaper on the Internet," or "There are better deals down the street," or whatever, don't give up! Personality skills, creativeness, and cleverness do pay off when you are trying to put a sale together.

Stop Losing Those Bedding Sales - Part 1  - 6/2/2004

There are twelve major ways that retailers systematically lose bedding sales. Eight of these are outlined in this important series. Every step of the bedding sales process is examined from handling phone inquiries to creating and following though on a successful bedding sales strategy.

Loaded With Sales Charm  - 6/2/2004

In sales you learn to prospect, qualify, present, and close. You learn to sell. No one teaches us charisma. The best salespeople are loaded with it.

Role Of Emotion & Logic In Selling  - 6/2/2004

Drawing a line on a page and quoting Ben Franklin, or committing 27 textbook closes to memory is not going to work any more. Now closing is about relationships, ambiance, atmosphere, presentation and product suitability.

Listening To Your Customers - Part 2  - 6/2/2004

The second article in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling.

Let's Make A Deal  - 6/2/2004

How can you handle customers who want a better price without losing them?

I Object! - Handling Customer Objections  - 6/2/2004

When salespeople hear an objection, they often panic! Instead, they should get excited! It means that their customer is interested. If they weren't, they wouldn't object!

Soul Of Exceptional Customer Service  - 6/2/2004

Within every company another Nordstrom waits for those who are willing to put in the effort. Subservience to individual role alone will fail, while focusing on the ultimate goal will result in true customer service.

The Salesperson Who Couldn't Lie  - 6/2/2004

Peter Marino's fertile mind created this story of Verax Dotcom, the salesperson who could not lie. It is fun to read and full of great sales skill information. Enjoy!

Speaking Your Customer's Language  - 6/2/2004

All things being equal, customers like to do business with salespeople they can relate to. If your prices are pretty much the same as your competitors' and customer service seems to be equal among stores, customers are more apt to do business with someone they like.

Approaching Customers For Fun And Profit - Part 4  - 6/2/2004

This ends Cathy Finney's 4 part series on the "Approach" which started with the June issue. This installment looks at having fun and alleviating your customer's worst fears about you.

Comfort Wrinkles Are Not Defects  - 6/2/2004

The proper maintenance of their sleep set plays a major role in the consumer's understanding of what they can experience with a new sleep system, and how they can gain the greatest return on investment (long-term comfort and support). We do not want our customers returning a sleep set due to lack of knowledge and understanding.

The Truth About Closing - Part 2  - 6/2/2004

Cathy Finney’s article on closing the sale continues from the June/July issue. She presents closing techniques your salespeople definitely need to know and others that they need to forget if they want to effectively help customers to buy. Remember, it’s not about "closing" a sale. It is about opening a relationship!

The Seven Secrets Of Selling  - 6/2/2004

Having wrestled with sales tips and techniques offered up by sales educators such as Genie Z. Laborde, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Madelyn Burley-Allen over many years, Peter Marino presents his top seven secrets for selling success.

Too Chicken To Ask For Referrals? - Part 1  - 6/2/2004

Part one of a two part series poses this question. If you really satisfy your customer’s needs and establish rapport, why wouldn’t she tell all her friends, co-workers and family about you? Cathy Finney looks at reasons why salespeople don’t ask, and why they should.

Asking For The Order  - 6/2/2004

Today's sales trainers suggest that salespeople establish customer rapport, spend time determining needs and solve problems. But what happens if they don't ask for the order?

Toronto Show Upbeat  - 6/2/2004

The fourth in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling.

Listening To Your Customers - Part 1  - 6/2/2004

The first article in a series by Peter Marino who believes that listening is a learned skill that lies at the heart of successful selling.

Side By Side Selling  - 6/2/2004

The "real" concessions and the "real" bargains customers need are the benefits that lie within their products and services.

Suggestive Selling  - 6/1/2004

Use Your Personality and charm, along with some common sense and a little push, and your sales could increase dramatically.

Sales Strategies That Fail - OOPS -Part 2  - 6/1/2004

In the February/March issue we examined four major sales mistakes. This feature looks at ways to avoid ethical problems that occur in sales situations. Should you share information that may “kill” a sale? Should you blindly believe everything customers tell you about their needs? Is “nice” always the most professional attitude?

Sellling and Cultural Differences  - 6/1/2004

Salespeople often have trouble establishing rapport with customers from different cultural backgrounds. Are there ways to overcome these difficulties? Salespeople should concentrate on the needs that all customers have in common.

The Flea Market Salesman  - 6/1/2004

It doesn’t matter if you are selling a racked pitcher in a flea market for $2 or a $2,000 sofa; honesty makes a big impression.

The Gospel According To Your Customers  - 6/1/2004

If customers are the ultimate focus of your retail existence, you will want to know their commandments. What retail “sins” can bring down fire and brimstone (as well as lousy sales) on your stores, your salespeople and your peace of mind? Former sinner Cathy Finney preaches to the faithful in this enlightening article.

Sales Strategies That Fail - OOPS - Part 1  - 6/1/2004

If you buy into negative mindsets, your business fortunes will follow along...OOPS! Your attitude will plummet and you will dive in a free fall. If you think that you or a colleague may be susceptible to suggestions of doom and gloom, read this article that outlines common sales pathologies and their cures.

Great Salespeople Wash Their Cottage Cheese - Part 2  - 6/1/2004

The “curse of competence” is a syndrome that leads potentially great salespeople to complacency. In this two part series, Cathy Finney looks at ways that good salespeople can become great salespeople.

I Hope, I Hope I Don't Need To Ask For The Sale  - 6/1/2004

Your customers hope that your sales goal is to help them make the best buying decision. If you don’t ask for the sale, it could mean that you are too timid… or worse, that you don’t fully believe that your products are the best choice for your customer.

Compel, Dont, Repel Customers  - 6/1/2004

If customers find that you are exciting to work with, you will be able to create urgency rather than just pressuring them to buy.

Great Salespeople Wash Their Cottage Cheese - Part 1  - 6/1/2004

The “curse of competence” is a syndrome that leads potentially great salespeople to complacency. In this two part series, Cathy Finney looks at ways that good salespeople can become great salespeople.

It's Buying, Silly - Part 7  - 6/1/2004

The way salespeople frame customers’ objections largely determines whether they will see them as roadblocks to be blasted out or as steppingstones to assist their progress. Positive minded salespeople reframe objections: they never think of them as something to be overcome, but simply as something to come over.

Strategies For Selling More Mattresses - Part 1  - 5/22/2004

More bedding salespeople need to focus on the importance of selling strategies. Salespeople who use only one strategy will keep using it, even if it is often doomed to fail.

Selling Boxsprings - The Rodney Dangerfield of Furniture  - 5/22/2004

If you think that better communication means developing a way to talk longer, more persuasively and more eloquently, you are mistaken. Communications skills must be developed and practiced to yield results at retail. Communication isn’t about how natural you feel, or how comfortable you are. It’s about how comfortable the listener is and the effectiveness of the sender

The Best Service Starts And Ends With A Hug  - 5/22/2004

This article is about reaching out and making a connection with your customers. It is about giving them a “hug”. Cathy Finney uses concepts developed in Jack Mitchell’s new book to not only explain how you can make home furnishings relationships work, but also how you can make them happen.

Wonderful Customer Complaints  - 5/22/2004

Studies have shown that customers whose complaints are handled well are often more loyal to a company than those customers who have never had a problem at all.

Connect With Customers  - 5/22/2004

If you think that better communication means developing a way to talk longer, more persuasively and more eloquently, you are mistaken. Communications skills must be developed and practiced to yield results at retail. Communication isn’t about how natural you feel, or how comfortable you are. It’s about how comfortable the listener is and the effectiveness of the sender.

Common Problems And Easy Solutions For Repairing Imports  - 5/3/2004

Learning to repair imports so they can be sold as first quality instead of being sent to clearance, presents special challenges.

Moving On Can Be Hard To Do. Planning Your Move  - 5/3/2004

Forward thinking retailers are taking advantage of current market conditions to relocate and expand store operations.