Jesús R. Capó leads Home Furnishings Association in 2019

Jesús R. Capó, chief information officer for El Dorado Furniture in Miami, Fla., has been named president of the Home Furnishings Association for 2019.

The HFA is an association of more than 1,400 home furnishings retailers representing approximately 7,000 storefronts in the United States and Canada. It is based in Roseville, Calif., with offices in High Point, N.C., and Dallas, Texas.

In addition to Capó, 2019 officers are President-elect David Gunn of Knight Furniture in Sherman, Texas; Vice President David Beckmann of Emerald Home Furnishings in Tacoma, Wash.; Secretary-Treasurer Tom Olinde of Olinde’s Furniture in Baton Rouge, La.; and Executive Board Chairman Jim Fee of Stoney Creek Furniture in Stoney Creek, Ont., Canada. The chief executive officer of the HFA is Sharron Bradley.

“We are thrilled to have Jesús R. Capó lead the HFA in the year ahead, following the very successful term of our 2018 president, Jim Fee,” Bradley said. “Jesus is a dynamic leader in our industry, and his company has been a truly innovative force in furniture retailing for decades. In fact, we are proud to feature Jesus and El Dorado Furniture in the current issue of our magazine, RetailerNOW.”

El Dorado Furniture was founded in 1967 by Manuel Capó, who had fled Cuba a year earlier in a boat called El Dorado. He and his two oldest sons, Luis and Carlos, landed in Mexico and made their way overland to the United States, settling in Miami. Manuel’s wife, Aida, and three youngest sons, Julio, Pedro and Jesús, soon joined him in Florida. A sixth son, Roberto, was born in the United States.

The business grew over the years, with additional stores opening throughout South Florida. Today, El Dorado is a Top 50 furniture retailer. Although Manuel died in 2009, his six sons continue his legacy as members of the company’s board of directors and active managers. El Dorado and the Capó family have been honored by many community and business organizations, including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and support charitable organizations throughout South Florida.

Capó is optimistic about opportunities for furniture retailers in an ever-shifting economic environment.

“Without a doubt, the retail landscape will have its challenges in 2019,” he said. “With the uncertainty surrounding tariffs, the affordable housing shortage, the decrease in the available workforce population, and the perception that all retail is moving online, it all seems daunting.

“On the other hand, the general economy is going gangbusters (no matter what the markets are doing), disposable income is at its highest, with consumer debt is at its lowest in many years. Consumers are generally purchasing higher-quality goods and are willing to pay for them. The opportunities for brick-and-mortar stores are better now than they were in recent years. It’s no longer online versus brick-and-mortar, but more like ‘Back to the Future’ with retail.

“It seems Millennials and Gen Z actually enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, as long as we connect with our customers on an emotional level and give them an experience that they want to participate in, again and again.”

The HFA can help its members understand and overcome the challenges they face, Capó said.

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“Now more than ever before, our members need a strong partner to help navigate the changing currents of retail.

“I’m eager and excited to help lead the association during the New Year,” Capó added. “Selling furniture continues to present its own unique challenges, but I’m convinced the HFA can help all retailers, whether they are Top 100 companies or mom-and-pop stores on Main Street.”