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HFA Reports: CEO Summit

Furniture World Magazine


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The Home Furnishings Association launched its inaugural CEO Summit Oct. 27 with hopes it would provide value to its entire membership.

“The things we’re going to learn here, the things we’re going to talk about will have ripple effects for every one of our members and everyone in the home furnishings industry,” Mark Schumacher, HFA’s executive vice president, said as the event began in Pebble Beach, California.

As the summit concluded Oct. 30, those aspirations were confirmed.

“Great things happen when we bring retailers together,” Schumacher said. “It does not matter their size. It does not matter what part of the country they come from. This is an industry that is about relationships, and when we as the Home Furnishings Association bring them together in a purposeful fashion and then allow them to connect and discuss, great things happen.”

Fifty owners, presidents and chief executives of Top 100 retail furniture companies assembled for the conference. Collectively, they operate thousands of brick-and-mortar stores, which are buffeted by the strongest headwinds. The executives addressed some of their greatest challenges.

What quickly became clear is that leaders of the largest retailers confront the same currents opposing small, family furniture stores. They’re looking for the same answers.

The CEOs discussed strategies to recover market share from giant online furniture vendors, connect more effectively with customers in digital channels and achieve greater productivity from existing staffing levels.

“They left with takeaways to better their businesses, to be more resilient in the face of these dynamic challenges,” Schumacher said.

The HFA will share those takeaways in future blog and social media posts and HFA Insights Magazine articles. The summit also established a successful model for further conferences for a wide array of HFA members.

“This just proved it works,” Schumacher said. “It’s what we’re going to do on all levels.”

"The first annual CEO Summit was three great days and evenings of meetings, networking and fun at world-famous Pebble Beach," Host Committee Chairman Keith Koenig said. “Top retail CEOs shared ideas and built relationships that will benefit them and their businesses,” the CEO of City Furniture added. “My bet is this will become the one event we all want to come to every year."

For more information on the CEO Summit, call HFA Executive Vice President Mark Schumacher at 916-757-1173.

A  feature about Home Furnishings Association's retail members, legislation affecting the furniture industry and other retail news from HFA.