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Wickes Furniture Goes On-line for Furniture Training

Furniture World Magazine


Fundamentals of Furniture Product Knowledge On-line, an award-winning sales training program for retail furniture sales associates, has been selected by Wickes Furniture to meet the furniture product knowledge training needs of its retail furniture sales associates and other employees. Wickes Furniture has 34 showrooms nationwide, plus five distribution centers, located in Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Portland and Los Angeles. Wickes Furniture employs over 1,500 people from warehouse to sales to corporate support.

 “We chose the Furniture Training Company's on-line Fundamentals of Furniture Product Knowledge program because it would instantly allow us to provide consistent and comprehensive coursework to each store location,” said Glen Barklow, Director of Training for Wickes Furniture. “We are most impressed with the design of the program. The combination of the self-paced on-line format, the review activities, and the showroom exercises provide a total learning experience that our sales consultants will be able apply directly on the sales floor.”

 Wickes will use the Fundamentals of Furniture Product Knowledge (Fundamentals) On-line training from the Furniture Training Company, www.furnituretrainingcompany.com, in two ways: first, to train their retail associates as reliable furniture experts in their regional training centers, and second, to make quality furniture product knowledge training available 24/7 to all of their employees around the country.

 “Wickes is a company with a renowned reputation for quality furniture and customer service, and we are proud to be selected by them to train their retail sales associates and other employees to better serve customers in making furniture purchases,” stated Mark Lacy, President of the Furniture Training Company. “We see this partnership as another significant step in our corporate mission to improve the overall level of product knowledge and selling skills in the home furnishings industry.”

 The scope of furniture product knowledge that retail sales associates in the furniture industry need to master is vast, but it can be fully addressed by the Fundamentals sales training program’s 36 multimedia training lessons. These lessons train associates in all aspects of case goods, upholstered furniture, beds and bedding, fibers and fabric, leather furniture, and rugs. Corporate, regional, and store executives can manage and track associate training progress by using the system’s extensive on-line management reports.

The easy to use and engaging Fundamentals lessons can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes each. By going on-line, sales associates can complete their furniture product knowledge training anywhere in the world, anytime, and at their own pace. When associates pass each lesson’s test they receive a certificate of completion as evidence of their product knowledge proficiency and their progress. Their scores are then recorded in the program tracking system.

 New and less experienced furniture sales associates at Wickes will particularly benefit by completing this program. With sufficient product knowledge they can increase their sales by being able to correctly answer customers’ questions and make confident suggestions about furniture styles, construction, and materials. They will also quickly become sales professionals; able to close sales with confidence because they have been properly trained in the value of the products they sell.

 Experienced Wickes furniture salespeople, however, also are expected to benefit from the Fundamentals training. They only have to complete the lessons in topic areas where they need to brush up and can test out of any lesson where they are already knowledgeable. All associates who successfully master the on-line materials lessons in the Fundamentals program become Fundamentals Certified. This is a significant accomplishment, and indicates a high level of expertise in furniture knowledge. Wickes employees who become certified receive a quality certificate suitable for framing and a handsome pewter lapel pin from the Furniture Training Company. Store owners, managers, and other furniture industry executives interested in evaluating the Fundamentals of Furniture Product Knowledge training program for their own organizations may visit http://www.furnituretrainingcompany.com/fundamentals.php and sign-up for a free trial account.

 About Wickes Furniture: Rooted in the heart of the Midwest, Wickes Furniture, one of the nation's largest furniture retailers, opened its first showroom in Fridley, Minnesota in 1971. It offers one of the largest selections of quality home furnishings, affordably priced. To find out more about Wickes Furniture, visit their web site at www.wickesfurniture.com.

 About the Furniture Training Company: The Furniture Training Company (FTC) is a business of LetterPress Software, Inc. that provides technology-based training services to the retail furniture industry. Since 2001, LetterPress has been providing training services to furniture retailers, from single-store shops to large department store chains. The Furniture Training Company was established in the fall of 2006 to better service our customers in the furniture industry. Hundreds of retail furniture stores around the world are now using the Fundamentals sales training program and reaping the increased sales that product knowledge sales training brings. FTC expects to release in the summer of 2007 their next on-line training program, SALESFORCE: Selling with Service, to train retail furniture sales associates how to sell furniture. To learn more visit their web-site www.furnituretrainingcomapny.com.