W.S. Badcock Corporation, one of the nation's largest home furniture retailers, announced a new Dealer Service and Support Division at the company's annual dealer meeting. In addition, the company presented updates on their second year of a major supply chain restructuring, the state of the company and an e-commerce initiative they are planning to launch in coming months. Badcock president Don Marks and other key executives presented this information during the annual meeting held in Orlando, Florida. The gathering drew approximately 900 participants, including Badcock corporate employees, family members, dealers and suppliers.
With housing markets down 40 percent in the summer months and a strong correlation between home sales and furniture sales, Marks announced that Badcock has managed to stay ahead of the industry curve, especially in their North Carolina markets where stores saw a five percent increase.
"As the housing market continues to lose ground, it is important that we continue to strive for excellence in all that we do," said Marks. "Now is the time to focus on the fundamentals of our business -- customer service, inventory, store appearance and growing the relationship with our current customer base. The market will return. And when it does, we'll be more prepared than ever before."
Dealer Service and Support Division
Badcock also unveiled its new Dealer Service and Support Department. The new department will offer several services to dealers. Using group purchasing power, the department will assist Badcock store owners with business services such as risk management services to make it less complicated and less costly. More than 75 percent of Badcock stores are individually owned and operated by dealers. These business owners will benefit from assistance with services that will include the following:
- Operating equipment
- Showroom lighting
- Office supplies
- Loss prevention
- Badcock apparel
- Employment Record services
- Fleet services
- Risk Management services
- Disaster Recovery Assistance
- Outside Service discounts
"We truly see ourselves as partners with our dealers," said Marks. "We are always looking for opportunities to provide services that will benefit the dealers and assist with their success. With this new Dealer Services Department, not only do we see this as providing needed services and pricing discounts to our dealers, but also as another way in which we are improving our offering to entrepreneurs interested in owning their own business."
Supply Chain Initiative
Ongoing changes in the retail furniture industry coupled with continually evolving cycles of supply and demand have created some interesting challenges and opportunities. Badcock has made it a priority to develop the most streamlined, efficient supply chain in the industry which began last year with the corporation's Supply Chain initiatives.
To further support this initiative, Marks announced the creation of a scorecard designed to track certain measurable supplier attributes, such as damage to product and order fulfillment. Badcock believes the scorecard will help minimize the number of items that are out of stock as well as pinpoint problem areas with suppliers.
Badcock also announced that they have implemented new forecasting software designed to predict future product demand. The software, in conjunction with the addition of several replenishment buyers who are responsible for overseeing the current inventory, will minimize the "out of stock" status of product.
"We are extremely pleased with the new supply chain system since implementing it almost two years ago. We are excited to see how the improvements will continue to positively impact our dealers' business," said Chuck Sajeski, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain. "The improvements made to our current system will make our already strong supply chain even better."
Badcock Select Program
In addition to the continued evolution of the supply chain, Badcock showcased its "Select" Program which will help convert a higher percentage of Badcock's store traffic into sales. This program will promote a varied mix of merchandise both in style and price point. By positioning proven merchandise, Badcock stores will maximize the sales opportunity from the best prospects -- customers who are actually inside the store, shopping.
Redesign of Web Site
Badcock announced that the company has made its first foray into e-commerce with plans of a total redesign of their current Web site. The new Web site will allow users to purchase certain merchandise that is unavailable in stores. This new e-commerce initiative is designed to reach a broader demographic who are increasingly using the Internet to make purchasing decisions.
About W.S. Badcock Corporation: Badcock has more than 300 locations throughout the southeast and is headquartered in Mulberry, Florida, where the company was established in 1904. More than 75% of Badcock's stores are dealer owned and operated. Dealerships are similar to franchises in that they are individually owned and operated, but require less capital (dealers do not pay franchise fees or monthly royalties) and allow for quicker start-up than a traditional franchise. Badcock provides all stores with total inventory at no cost to the dealer and all account financing through the parent company. For inquiries about the company or for dealer opportunities, please go to www.badcock.com or call 1-800-BADCOCK.
Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers