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Attendance up at Furniture First Buying Group's Membership Meeting at High Point Market

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Furniture First announced that it held its General Membership and Annual Meeting at the High Point Market on Monday, April 19, 2010.  Attendance at the breakfast meeting was markedly up over the three previous Spring High Point Market Meetings and was pronounced a success by the members in attendance.  The meeting room on the 11th floor was provided by the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC).  

Members attending the Annual Meeting voted to renew the terms for the current Board of Directors and Officers.  Reaffirmed Board Members include: Nick Cardi, Cardi’s Furniture, Swansea, MA; Larry Schneiderman, Schneiderman’s, Lakeville, MN; and Art Scholet, Scholet Furniture, Oneonta, NY. Officers continuing their roles on the Board of Directors include Jeff Winter of Discovery Furniture, located in Topeka, KS, as the Furniture First Chairman; Larry Smith of Smith Home Furnishings, located in Ponca City, OK, as the Vice-Chairman; Beth Barnes of FurnitureLand located in Delmar, DE, as Treasurer; and Russell Blocker of Blocker’s Furniture located in Ocala, FL, as Secretary.

At the meeting Bill Hartman, President of Furniture First, recognized members who achieved significant levels of participation with the cooperative buying group’s approved Supplier Partners.  Two Members were recognized as having the Largest Increases in Rebates (2008 vs. 2009):  Newman’s Furniture, Haverhill, MA, with a 172.88% increase, and Capperella Furniture, Bellefonte, PA , with a 166.21% increase.  Two Member companies were also recognized as having the Most Supplier Partner Participation in 2009 – both companies received rebates from 44 of Furniture First’s Partnered Vendors in 2009 – Ernie’s in Ceresco, located in Ceresco, NE and Schneiderman’s Furniture, located in Lakeville, MN.  

Jerry Epperson, of Mann, Armistead & Epperson LTD., spoke to the Members on the opportunities presented by the changing demographics of American society and highlighted how the next generation of furniture buyers (Generation Y) differs in their use of technology and spending priorities.

Satya Tiwari, President of Surya Rugs, also addressed the Membership, speaking on the advantages that Surya program with Furniture First offers the Members.  

John McCloskey, of Profitability Consulting Group, outlined new technology services created for the members of Furniture First.  McCloskey’s technology programs increase the profitability of retailers through delivery and warehousing programs, more accurate tagging systems and procedures, and customer service follow-up systems. 

Furniture First is a full line home furnishings and mattresses only buying cooperative representing 177 independent home furnishings retailers from medium-low to medium-high end quality products across the United States.  If you would like more information about the organization, please contact Bill Hartman, President, at 1-800-411-3477 ext. 123 or via email at BHartman@FurnitureFirst.com.

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