Furniture First is moving their High Point showroom to the IHFC, Space G770, for the upcoming April Market. The buying group was a longtime resident of the Radio Building, leasing a showroom space on the seventh floor from 1997 until 2011, followed by a showroom on the second floor from April 2011 to October 2012. “Our growth in membership and programs made this move necessary,” said Bill Hartman, President of Furniture First.
This April Market, Furniture First will feature two private label mattress collections in IHFC G770. Mattress 1st, which is made by Serta, features innerspring and wrapped coil mattresses that appeal to the promotional end of the market. Health 1st mattresses feature memory foam and gel-infused memory foam. “Being able to offer two private label mattress lines gives Furniture First Members the unique ability to not only be competitive, but to achieve higher margins” said Andrew Kauffman, Director of Mattresses.
Other merchandise categories will be featured in the showroom as well. “The new High Point showroom will feature a collection of exclusive fabric combinations from our Cozy Life private label brand,” said Tony Moretti, Furniture First’s Vice President of Merchandising. The five frames in the showroom will feature exclusive step-up fabrics and blend-down seating, adding new depth to the private label established in 2009 for Craftmaster products. Moretti added “We will have coordinated occasional tables, area rugs and accessories to complete the looks.”
Furniture First owns, controls and supports the private labels they are featuring with free-standing websites, Facebook pages, tagging and point of sale materials. “We have found that private labels help our retailers differentiate their stores and maintain their margins. It’s no coincidence that our private label programs have grown as our retailers see more and more competition coming from the Internet,” said Ron Page, Furniture First’s Senior Director of Merchandising.
Furniture First will also feature Made in the USA, custom Amish case goods, as well as a domestic wall and media unit program that offers exceptional values that rival imports. Other merchandise features will include 2013 Black Friday gift items that will be strong promotions for the fall selling season. Special offerings from several of the group’s accessory programs will complete the merchandise display.
In addition to the merchandise on display, Furniture First’s showroom serves as a networking and information hub for the buying group’s members. Members regularly drop in for refreshments or to use the phone, computer or fax machine. Information about Furniture First’s initiatives, such as their consumer newsletter program, and market specials are available for members to pick up in the showroom as well.
Furniture First will hold its General Membership and Annual Meeting on Monday, April 22nd at 8:00 am in the IHFC Club Ballroom on the 11th floor. The 2013-2014 Board of Directors will be elected at the members-only meeting. Furniture First is a 19-year-old national buying group serving the retail home furnishings and mattress industry. Furniture First has 198 company members representing 422 store fronts and $1.6 billion in retail sales. For more information on Furniture First, please call Bill Hartman at 800-411-3477, ext. 123 or email BHartman@FurnitureFirst.com
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