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Most Recent Furniture Industry Finance Articles

Consumer Financing For a Post COVID World

Volume 151 NO. 4 July/August, Furniture World Magazine

Best retail practices using consumer financing options to increase close rates and average sale through 2022.

Need To Know Guide to Consumer Financing

Volume 150 NO. 1 January/February, Furniture World Magazine

A close-up look at the various types, features & advantages of consumer financing plans.

Furniture Industry Finance Articles

Published 2004 - 2022

Consumer Financing For a Post COVID World  - 7/29/2021

Best retail practices using consumer financing options to increase close rates and average sale through 2022.  

Need To Know Guide to Consumer Financing  - 1/3/2020

A close-up look at the various types, features & advantages of consumer financing plans.  

Grocery Store Conversion Trend: Right Size, Right Cost  - 6/2/2019

How Kloss Furniture used a grocery store conversion to achieve lower overhead, great parking and location.  

Planning For Uncertainty in 2019  - 11/26/2018

Downturns can be times of opportunity, and it's best to prepare for uncertain economic times.  

How To Budget For Success  - 11/26/2018

Only about one in thirty independent furniture store owners produce an annual budget and know how to use it.  

Increase Gross Margin Seven Ways - Part 2  - 5/23/2018

Field-proven ways to maximize your realized gross margin.  

Find Your Top Line Performance  - 3/23/2018

Does your total Gross Margin after deducting Cost of Goods Sold give you a full performance picture?  

SWOT Analysis  - 9/23/2017

Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats facing your business allows you to focus.  

Expanding GMROI  - 6/1/2017

Here's how one retailer used Expanded GMROI, a team approach, to grow GMROI 16% from 2015-2016.  

Investing In Retail: Running the Numbers  - 3/29/2017

Which opportunities should you invest in to get the best return? How do you know if costs will be covered?  

Contractor Misclassification - Are You At Risk?  - 11/29/2016

As Macy’s learned the expensive way, contracting out the work to a third party does not insulate you from liability.  

Improve Performance With Professional Financial Planning  - 3/24/2015

It’s a fact that the FP&A process increases the odds of retail success, producing better profits and cash flow than if you ignored FP&A. Here’s how it works.  

Seven Performance Indicators You Should Track  - 7/9/2014

Here are seven indicators you can use to know your business better, plus how you can use this information to surpass your unfocused competitors.  

Sweating The Retail Details  - 7/9/2014

Business ups and downs you may consider normal, can add up to make the difference between huge profits or crushing losses.  

When To Bring In The Big Guns  - 5/22/2014

A retailer’s perspective on using an outside company to do a GOB, inventory reduction, cash raising sale or other high impact promotion.  

Risky Business: Part 4 - Your Risk For Online Exposure  - 5/22/2014

Today the news is full of stories about online threats directed against countries and large businesses. Although high level hackers may not be targeting your store specifically, you are still at risk of loss from a number of internal and external exposures.  

Improve Merchandise Performance Using GMROI  - 3/16/2014

Willingness to use GMROI as a tool is one factor that separates best performing stores from their peers.  

Sales Volume Planning 2014  - 1/3/2014

By using the break-even sales equation your business can see in advance what volume will be required to produce your desired profit. You will be able to create a meaningful strategy and plan better for the upcoming year.  

Strategic Planning 2014  - 12/10/2013

David McMahon outlines the advantages of putting in place a strategic growth plan for the new year. For your business, strategic growth planning is the GPS for your retail future. It helps your business stay on course.  

Profit Parasites  - 5/30/2013

They are rightly named “Profit Parasites”. Like thieves in the night their insatiable appetites silently steal our working capital. Furthermore, they often evade the focus of our time and attention until they have done irreparable damage.  

Risky Business - Part 2  - 5/30/2013

Prudent furniture retailers in large and small operations purchase Time Element coverage to provide protection for loss due to reduced sales/income and to restore a business to its condition prior to a catastrophic loss. This article by Stephen J. Wisocky explains how to purchase this type of insurance wisely.  

Balancing The Scales Of Business In 2013  - 4/1/2013

Ten areas to consider when seeking to apply focused management and balanced performance.  

Gross Margin Is In Your Head  - 9/25/2012

David McMahon presents proven strategies that can produce 50 to 60 percent gross margins even in highly competitive markets.  

Think Profit! - Part 3: Cash Flow  - 6/6/2012

An in-depth look at how to analyze one of your three critical financial statements: your statement of cash flow.  

Think Profit! -Part 2: Your Balance Sheet  - 4/11/2012

An in-depth look at how to analyze one of your three critical financial statements: the Balance Sheet.  

Think Profit!: In-Depth P&L Analysis  - 3/20/2012

An in-depth look at how to analyze one of your three critical financial statements: the Profit and Loss.  

The Big Furniture Store Hand -Off  - 10/5/2011

Don’t get “tackled” by the IRS when handing off your business to the next generation.  

Flexible Budgeting For Furniture Retailers  - 10/4/2011

Flexible Budgeting lets you ‘Flex’ your top line and observe the resulting operational effects on your P&L and operating income.  

Should Your Furniture Store Offer Private Label Credit ?  - 7/12/2011

A private label credit card may not be a viable choice for every furniture dealer. However, the advantages of these programs make them well worth considering.  

Private Label Credit For Furniture Retailers  - 5/30/2011

Private label credit card programs can be custom-designed to fit the needs of large and small furniture retailers alike.  

Retail Break Even Analysis  - 3/15/2011

This article will demonstrate how to calculate your break-even point of sales. It also provides real world examples of ways smart retailers can reduce their break-even points and level of risk.  

Create A Family Furniture Store Money Plan  - 1/19/2010

Most families in the retail furniture business just don’t talk about money. Money entices us with opportunities. Money torments us with uncertainty, and leads us to decisions we normally would not make. If you’re not careful, money and possessions will become the downfall of your family and your business.  

Eight Techniques to Boost Profit in Tough Times  - 11/19/2009

Some retailers seem to always manage to perform well. In this article David McMahon takes a close look at what those successful retailers do to cut costs during lean times and achieve maximum returns. Specific steps to cut fixed costs and make retail operations more responsive to cost cutting measures are examined.  

Measure Gross Margin Return On Inventory  - 10/4/2009

Track this inventory metric to understand your customer’s buying patterns, establish a more relevant product mix, satisfy more people and sell more.  

The Simple Rules Of In-House Financing  - 1/14/2009

If you’ve considered the highly profitable finance end of the business and need to know how to buy contracts for in-house credit, try these simple rules.  

Wolfgang Kranz leaves Koelnmesse  - 11/14/2008

Organizer of imm cologne, The International Furnishing show announced that Wolfgang Kranz (49) has resigned from his position as Executive Vice President of Koelnmesse.  

Modern Ways To Increase GMROI - Part 2  - 9/11/2008

Part 2: Old school ways to increase this critical measure are just not enough anymore!  

Help Bedding Customers To Cool It!  - 5/9/2008

This article is the first in a two-part series exploring the physiology of sleep, the evolution of bedding products, value promises and how to accurately convey these messages to consumers at the point of sale.  

Interactive Discussion Groups At Winter Gift & Home Accessories Show  - 12/22/2006

Experienced panel of top independent retailers to discuss ways to buy more effectively, and sell more gift and home accessory items.  

Dynamic Inventory Management - Part 1  - 12/5/2006

A two-part series that looks at tools and techniques you can use to measure and improve the health of your inventory over time.  

Driving Sales: Consumer Finance Programs - Part 4  - 6/9/2006

This series continues its discussion of financing sources with a look at in-house financing. Strategies and best practices are presented to help you to create additional and larger sales while boosting margins.  

Driving Sales: Consumer Finance Programs - Part 3  - 4/17/2006

This series continues with a discussion of boosting sales by managing your primary, secondary and in-house credit offerings.  

Driving Sales: Customer Financing - Part 2  - 2/14/2006

This series continues with a discussion of the kinds of programs and relationships retailers can expect to develop with finance companies. Important issues such as customer contact protocol, customer control, and program customization are discussed.  

Consumer Financing - Part 1  - 10/5/2005

The benefits of consumer finance options are considered along with how to market and manage each to help you to drive sales while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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?  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.