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Coconis Furniture has opened its fourth store, one that comes with a twist

The new store will sell mattresses and reclining furniture only.

The new store is an experiment of sorts by owner Randy Coconis and his sons, Bo and Chad. “They want to test the waters and see how a combination of mattresses and reclining furniture might do in driving traffic,” said Brian Morgan, marketing manager for Coconis Furniture. “Everyone’s very pleased so far.”

The new store will carry the same mattress lines as Coconis’s other stores: Serta’s iComfort and iPedic, Beautyrest and Mattress 1st, Coconis’ private label through its affiliation with Furniture First.

The Lancaster location will sell reclining furniture produced by La-Z-Boy. Murphy said Coconis was unable to sell La-Z-Boy at its Zanesville and Heath stores because another retailer already owned exclusive rights to the line. The Lancaster store, 45 miles southwest of Zanesville, frees them up to become a La-Z-Boy dealer.

We officially celebrated the Grand Opening of our brand new location, at 1706 N. Memorial Drive in Lancaster! You’ll find everything from mattresses, living room furniture and accessories for your home. We are proud to be Fairfield County’s exclusive La-Z-Boy dealer!

Posted by Coconis Furniture on Thursday, January 31, 2019

The new store had a soft opening in December and had a ribbon cutting Jan. 31. Morgan said the store has enjoyed a strong start. “We think we’re going to do very well,” he said. “I know Randy is excited with how things have gone so far.”

Ashley Workers and St. Jude

Ashley workers’ ‘dollar a week’ giving adds up to big donations for hospitals

A dollar a week adds up. Ashley Furniture Industries’ “Dollar a Week” giving program recently produced a donation of $38,300 to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital from the company’s Mississippi employees.

The medical facility in Memphis, Tenn., treats more than 250,000 children each year in a 255-bed hospital that features state-of-the-art technology and family friendly resources. Over the past 13 years, Ashley employees have contributed nearly $200,000 to the hospital.

Through the Dollar a Week initiative, Ashley’s Mississippi workers also awarded $26,476 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers where children diagnosed with cancer are treated at no cost.

“Our employees should feel very proud today for their impactful donations to these organizations. It’s truly remarkable to see their continued support and commitment year after year,” Ron Wanek, founder and chairman of HFA member Ashley, said in a news release. 

David Gunn

Triple Crown: Gunn, Knight Furniture win 3 awards

You would think longtime Home Furnishings Association member David Gunn would be used to winning awards, but the HFA’s 2016 Retailer of the Year still gets emotional when his name is called.

This time it was when the Sherman (Texas) Chamber of Commerce honored Gunn and Knight Furniture, with three awards: the President’s Award, Small Business of the Year, and the Community Leader of the Year.

Sherman City council member Shawn Teamann presented the Community Leader of the Year award to Gunn, who received a standing ovation.

“I’m sorry if I seem a little more emotional than normal,” Gunn said. “I honestly didn’t think I had a chance of being recognized with this because of the quality of the other nominees.”

Sherman Chamber of Commerce President Eddie Brown presented the President’s Award to Gunn. It is an award Brown said isn’t handed out very often.

Brown said Gunn has worked with the chamber on many events, tourism, and Main Street. “He does an outstanding job in our community,” Brown said of Gunn, “from everything to those serving on committees in our community to chasing ghosts in downtown Sherman.”

Gunn was humbled to receive the Small Business of the Year award on behalf of Knight Furniture. “They say small businesses are like sucking on a lemon drop candy, you have to suck on the sour for a long time before the sweet comes,” he said.

Starting over – again

Two days after a fire destroyed Sergio’s Furniture & Mattress in Santa Maria, Calif., store owner Sergio Diaz took to social media to calm his customers.

“I knew they were concerned about the store, but I also knew they were concerned about their orders, so I wanted to take care of them and let them know we are still there for them,” said Diaz.

It’s been nearly weeks since a Jan. 3 blaze destroyed Diaz’s store. Charred tables, couches and chairs have been removed and the smell of smoke has been washed away by wind and rain. The owner of the property has vowed to rebuild, but in the meantime, Diaz is looking for a temporary building to open and serve his customers, but the rent is exorbitant. “I’ve gotten sticker shock these last few days,” he said.

He hopes to be up and running later this spring or early in the summer. Until then Diaz is working out of his home and his car. He and his six employees are starting to rebuild their inventory while still fulfilling open orders.

“I’m just trying my best to get everybody’s orders taken care of,” Diaz said, “and we’re trying really hard to make sure we don’t miss anyone.”

Sergio Diaz

One setback is insurance. Diaz said he was underinsured. He was covered for $100,000 in inventory and lost about $300,000 in the fire. “That’s something I would tell other retailers is to check your policy and make sure it’s up to date,” Diaz said. “It got to be that I was paying my premium every month by just having them charge my credit card and I never really examined it after a while. I wish I had.”

This is not the first time Diaz has started over in furniture. Diaz, who was born and raised in Santa Maria, opened his first store, S.F. Furniture, in 1992, and ran it for 16 years before the recession in 2008 prompted him to close shop and leave the area. After relocating to Las Vegas, Diaz opened a store that specialized in children’s furniture and accessories.

He moved back to Santa Maria in 2016 and decided to open another furniture store after hearing from longtime residents who bought furniture from him when he owned S.F. Furniture.

Diaz said strong customer service and the personal touch he offered his customers — he opened and closed the shop, scheduled deliveries and handled sales six days a week — kept them loyal and coming back.

“I made a lot of my friends from owning that store,” he said. “I might be a merchant and sell products, but I’m also someone who remembers when they had their first kid. We have a history.”

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Eric Easter at Lunch with Leaders

Easter shares insights at HFA’s Lunch with Leaders

Eric Easter, CEO of Kittle’s Furniture, discussed the importance of establishing a positive company culture during HFA’s Lunch with Leaders at the Las Vegas Market.

Easter, a member of the Home Furnishings Association’s Board of Directors, said business success depends heavily on employee attitudes. When they feel a sense of ownership, and when they’re treated fairly and consistently, employees want to contribute to the company’s growth. A business can attract and keep the right people by developing collaborative relationships, Easter said.

Lunch with Leaders offers an opportunity for young professionals to talk one-on-one with a leader in the industry and network with peers in an intimate setting. Those who attended Lunch with Leaders in Las Vegas were Dustin and Rachael Cowell of Great American Furniture Warehouse, Joel Haimsohn of Lawrance Contemporary Furniture, Alex Wright of Wright’s Furniture & Flooring and Kristi Costantino and Marilyn Durning of STORIS.

Lunch with Leaders at the High Point Market will be April 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please contact HFA’s education director, Kaprice Crawford, at 916-960-0346 or kcrawford@myhfa.org

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