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Connect with your digitally connected customer

Furniture retailers already know that digitally-connected consumers expect a lot these days. What many retailers don’t know is are they meeting those consumer’s fickle demands?  Often the answer is no, says Samantha Meridieth of R&A Marketing. The result is frustrated customers who buy from their competitors.  “The right message not only brings buyers to your store, it brings qualified buyers,” says Meridieth. “That’s why retailers need to be particular about their message.”  Meridieth will host a seminar, “Are you Meeting the Demands of the Connected Customer?”, at 4 p.m. on April 7 in the association’s Resource Center at High Point Market. She’ll show real-life examples furniture retailers are using today to bring those

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Matt Schewel is named a Future Leader by the Hall of Fame Foundation

Matt Schewel taught in a Spanish-immersion elementary school in Durham, N.C., then worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., covering trade policy.  Finally, in May 2016, he returned home to Lynchburg, Va., and joined the business his great-great grandfather started there in 1897, Schewel Furniture Co. “I’d always considered the furniture business as an option, given my family’s tradition,” Schewel said. “My perception was, if I wanted to try it out, now was the time.”  Schewel serves as director of store operations for the Home Furnishings Association member, which counts 50 stores in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. The

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Your website isn’t a brochure. Use it to build relationships with shoppers.

Furniture retailers miss sales opportunities if they don’t turn anonymous website visitors into people they know, says Scott Hill, executive chairman and co-founder of PERQ.  When many consumers never walk into a furniture store until they’re ready to buy, it’s critical to start the selling process online, says Hill, who will lead a seminar in the Home Furnishings Association’s Resource Center at the High Point Market.  “The consumer is no longer coming to shop in your store,” Hill says. So, the question is: “How are you helping them like you were helping them when they showed up in your store.” 

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You made the sale – now comes the hard part

Congratulations on making that sale. Now comes the hard part: Getting that sofa into your customer’s living room quickly, correctly and inexpensively to you.  The right logistics technology can help you make that transaction from sale to delivery – and every step in between – a seamless one for you and the customer.  “Like it or not we live in an Amazon world,” says Brian Robinson of STORIS. “We don’t need to be Amazon Prime, but our customers perspectives are shaped by Amazon Prime. Retailers need to know that. They also need to know the technologies on the market that can

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The secret to your (hiring) success

Workers are receiving the fattest wage increases since the Great Recession as furniture retailers struggle to find enough people to fill their ranks and employees have more leverage to demand higher pay and jump to better jobs.  How does a furniture store owner react? John Egger of Profitability Consulting Group can help.   Egger will host a seminar, “Yes, You can Hire Skilled, Positive Loyal Employees”, at 10:30 a.m. on April 7 in the association’s Resource Center at High Point Market. He’ll provide hiring and salary strategies that won’t bruise your budget and might even attract those elusive millennials into working for your store. “Employees

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Bipartisan House bill would help furniture retailers recover expansion costs

A bipartisan bill to fix a tax error was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives March 26. The measure would help furniture retailers recover some of the costs of expanding or renovating their showrooms, offices, warehouses and other facilities.  Identical legislation was filed March 14 in the Senate, also with sponsors from both parties.  The House bill, titled the Restoring Investments in Improvements Act, was introduced with 14 sponsors – seven Democrats and seven Republicans – led by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and George Holding (R-N.C.). It would correct a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs

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