Asking Randy Coconis to pick a favorite furniture promotion is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. You’re wasting your time.
But ask Coconis to pick his most meaningful furniture promotion and there’s no hesitation. In fact, it’s going on throughout October at Coconis Furniture’s five stores in Ohio. The Home Furnishings Association member, in partnership with a local television station and health care company, is offering free mammograms to women with no health insurance or whose insurance doesn’t provide for the testing.
There’s nothing to buy – customers walk in, pick up a certificate and schedule an appointment on Oct. 26.
“I just love what we’re doing,” said Coconis. “Not every promotion has to be focused on your business, and this is one of those that’s about the community and helping people who might otherwise not be able to help themselves.”
That was never more evident than when the mother-on-law of Bo Coconis, Randy’s son, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. Or when a woman came into one of Coconis’ stores and told a sales associate that she picked up an exam certificate and passed it on to her daughter. The daughter’s exam revealed stage 1 breast cancer.
“She said her daughter never would have gone in for an exam without the certificate,” says Coconis. “I still get a little teary telling that story. That one person makes the promotion worth it.”
Coconis came up with the idea two years ago and tied the promotion to a mattress purchase. Last year, the store allowed people to register in the store for a pair of tickets on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, which benefits Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital.
Partnering with manufacturers
Neither was particularly impactful or profitable, Coconis says. This year he partnered with Ashley and Serta Simmons. The companies agreed to cover 10 certificates each (a screening and reading cost $345). Not everyone who takes a certificate ends up getting a free screening. Coconis says more than half of the people who use the certificate find out later they are covered by insurance.
“The idea is to just get them thinking about awareness and getting them screened,” he says.
Coconis knows the promotion makes good business sense, too. When furniture and appliance superstore Big Sandy moved into central Ohio a few years back, Coconis knew he needed to be more aggressive. Big Sandy’s Lancaster store is 300 yards from Coconis Furniture, and the Zanesville stores are going head to head.
The company is the official sponsor of a local Veterans Day Parade in Zanesville next month. “We want people in this community to know we’re here for them in ways beyond just furniture or appliances, but obviously there for those, too. When people go looking for a piece of furniture or an appliance, I want them saying to themselves, ‘Coconis deserves a shot.’ And that’s all we really want is that shot because then I think we can win them over if they give it to us.”