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Furniture First Holds NextGen Retreat in Aruba

Furniture World News


Members of Furniture First’s NextGen group on a boating excursion in Aruba.

Furniture First reports that it's NextGen group shared ideas and sought solutions while on a retreat in Aruba Republic last month. Twenty-nine people from nineteen Furniture First retailer member companies attended the event. Furniture First vendor partners Serta and TD Retail returned as sponsors of the annual trip.


“Our Next Gen group continues to grow,” said Amanda Daubert, Director of Services for Furniture First. “When we started our NextGen group our goal was to help our members who were entering leadership in their family businesses. It has succeeded because so many of these members deal with the same problems and face the same challenges. There are consolidations and retirements going on all the time in the industry. If we can help our members keep the family business in the family, we will strengthen independents and the industry as a whole.”


Each day of the retreat started with a meeting where the attendees participated in group discussions. Based on feedback form last year’s attendees, the “Challenge” discussion was a major focus of the retreat. In this session members shared the difficulties they of taking leadership roles in their family businesses. Members asked for this session so that they could help one another navigate the complicated dynamics of interpersonal relationships in multigeneration family businesses. Another highlight of the trip was a tour of Crown, an Aruban furniture, mattress and appliance retailer. Team building exercises, networking and excursions filled out the schedule.


“The energy and passion our Next Gen members have for our industry and their businesses is impressive,” commented Pat Callan, third generation owner of Callan’s Furniture in Waite Park, MN and Furniture First board member.  “The relationships they are building with each other, our vendor partners, and our team at Furniture First greatly enhance their ability to have their retail operations thrive for generations.  Thank you to Serta Simmons Bedding, and TD for sponsoring this annual event and to our great team at Furniture First for making it all come together.”


 “We had a great time connecting with other retailers where we could share best ideas and explore solutions for our toughest challenges a lot of us are currently dealing with,” said Austin Klopfenstein, of Home Rooms Furniture & Mattress in Ft. Wayne, IN. “It was refreshing to be able to network and connect for a few days in a non-market setting.”


Kellen Harkness, of Harkness Furniture in Tacoma, WA said of the event “The Furniture First NextGen trip is more than just a fun getaway. It is an extremely well-organized networking event that promotes in-depth discussions that are specifically geared toward a next generation owner. The connections I have made on this trip have fostered new and exciting ideas for my business, as well as promoting valuable friendships within the next generation furniture community. I cannot say enough positive things about the Furniture First NextGen trip and am thoroughly excited for next year!”


Furniture First plans to hold its fourth annual Next Gen trip the fourth week of September 2020, at a tropical location yet to be determined.

About Furniture First: Furniture First is a cooperative national home furnishings and mattress buying group serving full line independent retailers with sales over $2 million. A recent analysis found that collectively the group represents $2.2 billion in retail sales through 501-member store fronts. Furniture First occupies showrooms in High Point (IHFC G-770) and Las Vegas (B530) where they display products from several of the group’s approved vendors. For more information, visit www.FurnitureFirst.com
or call 800-411-3477.

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