Over 150 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Furniture First Buying Group Adds 8 New Members

Furniture World News on

The Furniture First buying group announced that it has approved new retailers for membership. Richard Andrews ofAndrews Furniture Company, Inc., located in Abilene, Texas; Ron Cardi of Cardi’s Furniture, located in Swansea, Massachusetts; Jerold Gunsolley of Everett’s Furniture, Inc., located in South Sioux City, Nebraska; Thomas Urmston of Furniture Options, located in Goshen, New York; Barbara Rice of Rice Furniture, located in Saranac Lake, New York; David Todd of Todd’s Furniture, located in Madisonville, KY; Michael Trivett of Trivett’s Furniture, located in Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Shawn Graham of Tuffy Bear Discount Furniture, located in Glenburn, Maine have recently joined the national cooperative bringing the total to 168 retailer-stockholders with 348 stores in 44 states. “This up-swing in membership is a real testament to how Furniture First brings added value to an independent retailer,” noted Tom Unger, Director of Membership at Furniture First. “Furniture First has a staff that truly understands the retail furniture industry and what the most challenging aspects are and how to help independents become more profitable.” Bill Hartman, President of Furniture First, founded the organization with retailers 14 years ago. Prior to that, heworked for NHFA and managed two affiliate organizations and was V.P. of Membership for NHFA and learned the importance of advocating for the independent retailers. Shelly Burd, the Director of Operations, has been with Furniture First for 13 years and continues to manage educational meetings, market meetings and the back room of Furniture First. Ron Page, the Senior Director of Merchandising, has over 30 years in the furniture industry as a supplier, Manufacturers Representative and a chain store owner. Ron sells furniture related programs to the members. Director of Marketing, Lark Shirley-Stevens, came to Furniture First from American Signature, and helped build the organization’s internet benefits which include an online image bank, internal members only website and a consumer website program that lets members customize their own websites. She continues to sell service partner programs to our members. Bob Muenkel, the Director of Mattresses, also has worked on both sides of the fence with retail management experience at Sleepy’s and a manufacturer’s representative working for Sealy. Now he uses his expertise to train members’ sales personnel and sell supplier partner programs to members. Unger added, “This is about more than just rebates . . . This is about keeping retailers financially healthy so they can continue to serve their community and pay their bills on time. Furniture First can help retailers be more profitable, whether it’s with one of our programs or a hard hitting advertising idea that was learned from one of their fellow members. Member-to-member networking and idea sharing is one of the things we do best.” The value of Furniture First membership is also evidenced by the number of members in the recent publication of Furniture Today’s: Beyond the Top 100. Leading the list with 16 out of 100 independent retail stores, Furniture First buying group continues to play a dominate role in the home furnishings industry. Furniture First is a home furnishings and mattresses only buying cooperative representing independent retailers frommedium-low to medium-high end quality products across the United States. Our aim is to continually improve members’ profitability through volume purchasing, innovative operations, and marketing. 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. Consumer website: www.furniturefirst.comProspective Member Website: www.furniturefirst.coop

Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers