Baer family, Alan Cole raise more than $1 million for City of Hope

Home furnishings industry leaders turn hope and dreams into reality at Spirit of Life fundraising gala

April 7, 2014

LOS ANGELES – The recent Spirit of Life awards dinner honoring two preeminent leaders of the furniture industry– Alan Cole, retired president of Hooker Furniture, and the Baer family of Baer’s Furniture – raised more than $1 million for cancer and diabetes research at City of Hope. The prestigious Spirit of Life award is City of Hope’s highest accolade, presented annually to industry leaders in recognition of their outstanding personal, professional and philanthropic achievements.

2014 Spirit of Life Honorees

From Left: Elaine and Bobby Baer, Baer’s Furniture, Robert Stone, president and CEO of City of Hope, and Patti and Alan Cole, Hooker Furniture.

As a world-renowned biomedical research and treatment center, City of Hope shortens the times from new research idea to new medical treatment in order to quickly bring cures to patients. Its breakthrough research has led to therapies now used by people worldwide.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming support the Baer family and Alan Cole have championed for City of Hope,” said Brittany De La Torre, director of corporate philanthropy at City of Hope. “The passion exhibited by both honoree teams has been phenomenal – a truly personal drive to make a difference in the future of medicine.”

The gala, held April 6 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., honored this year’s award recipients, but previous honorees as well, treating all to a VIP reception followed by the awards dinner.

“It’s a great honor for the Baer family to be recognized by our industry colleagues,” said Bobby Baer, chairman and chief executive of the family-owned business, which has 15 furniture stores throughout Florida. “We are proud to support the remarkable research at City of Hope.”

Added Alan Cole of Hooker Furniture: “City of Hope’s scientists have had a global impact with research that benefits more than 100 million people. Our family is personally grateful for the advances made in cancer treatment at City of Hope.”

In addition to the awards ceremony, the evening’s highlights included a video of the honorees touring City of Hope, where they made wishes of hope and healing for their loved ones on City of Hope’s Wishing Trees. Dinner guests were invited to complete their own wishing tags, to be displayed on City of Hope’s campus in Los Angeles later this week. The appeal asked participants to make a wish and a donation at the same time, raising an additional $30,000 for cancer research at City of Hope.

Also at the event, Linda Malkas, Ph.D., deputy director of research at City of Hope, explained the mission of City of Hope’s translational research and its ability to directly impact patients through life-saving clinical trials. During the VIP reception, City of Hope surprised Russell Bienenstock, editor of Furniture World, with the Volunteer of the Year award.

Chuck Reilly, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing at AICO, chairs the National Home Furnishings Industry group supporting City of Hope, and Kevin O’Connor, chief executive of Samson Marketing, chairs the organization’s Spirit of Life Award Dinner campaign.

Contributions to City of Hope are still accepted. For more information on ways to support City of Hope, contact the NHFI Corporate Philanthropy Office at 800-272-2310 or

About City of Hope
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, with clinics in Antelope Valley and South Pasadena. It is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S.News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics. For more information, visit or follow City of Hope on facebook, twitter, youtube or flickr.

Valerie Watters celebrates 25 years in business

CAVE CREEK – Valerie’s Furniture & Accents, 6070 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, will celebrate twenty-five years in business on April 1 of this year.

Known for its “cowboy chic” style and true Southwest décor, owner, Valerie Watters, has built a nationwide following, with her store named “Best Furniture Store in the Valley” by Phoenix Magazine in 2004 and 2012.

Watters is an active board member for the North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA). The association represents more than a thousand stores across the country. Watters not only ships nationally, but has also shipped internationally to Mexico, Canada, France, and Switzerland.

Established in Scottsdale in 1989, Valerie’s Furniture and Accents moved north in 2002, and has been a Cave Creek mainstay these past 12 years. Since the very beginning, Watters focused on carrying made-in-USA brands, as well as featuring the work of local and regional artisans. With longtime patrons from near and far, Valerie’s continues to thrive in an industry known for its competitiveness.

For Watters, shopping is like prospecting for hidden treasure, it should be a fun experience, as she likes to say, “Get inspired and turn up the color volume.” This same mantra applies to her own life, where the Wild West was always a constant source of an inspiration.

Growing up in Michigan, Watters was one of eight children, in a family without means. As a little girl, Watters dreamed big, her fascination set on the desert culture in her favorite Westerns. Now, after twenty-five years in business, it is obvious Watters has come a long way.

Surviving and thriving, Watters has fulfilled her lifelong western dream. She not only owns her 6,000 square foot store, but also a ranch that is home to an array of colorful animals.

Watters continues to stand apart, and so does Valerie’s Furniture and Accents. With one-of-a-kind desert furnishings, Native American textiles, and rustic antiques, it embodies the Western spirit.

For more information on Valerie’s Furniture please visit, call 480-483-3327, or email

This post originally appeared here on

Emerald Home Furnishings Launches Interactive Showroom & Advertising

TACOMA, WA (March 10, 2014) - Emerald Home Furnishings®, a full-line supplier to home furnishings retailers since 1962, is pleased to announce an exciting debut of two new interactive experiences for both its High Point Market showroom and pre-market advertising. Readers of NAHFA’s RetailerNOW magazine will enjoy a full page ad which triggers an interactive smartphone experience. In addition, guests of Emerald’s showroom will be able to use the same smartphone app to interact with upholstery, case goods, outdoor, and bedding groups during their market visit.

“Here’s how to build a next-level user experience in a smartphone centered world” noted David Beckmann, Emerald’s President. “Why show an inert paper ad when your smartphone could bring it to life? Why host just another showroom when it could be an interactive experience for your customers?”

While most advertising deemed “interactive” is a QR code that triggers a separate static webpage, Emerald’s RetailerNOW interactive ad features a video tour overviewing their latest showroom that automatically plays on the user’s smartphone by simply holding their phone over the page. No QR code needed.

In Emerald’s interactive showroom, market guests who have downloaded the free NAHFA app will be presented with six unique experiences. Guests will find their smartphone notifying them when they are near one of the six transmitting beacons placed strategically on high profile furniture/bedding groups, giving guests the opportunity to learn more about the furniture collection they are near, and most importantly, provide feedback to Emerald about the product group.

“This is an opportunity to showcase our vibrant product development concepts, and a chance for our customers to work with a supplier who genuinely wants to listen” says Joe Carman, Director of Marketing.

“Technology is useless without purpose – how do we use it to generate value? We see value in bringing our products to life and hearing what our customers have to say.”

The NAHFA app required for these experiences is available for download in the App Store and Google Play. In addition to the interactive showroom and advertising experiences available in Spaces #105 and #201 at High Point’s Center Point Building at 401 S. Hamilton Street, Emerald is pleased to invite dealers to come see the breadth and range of the company’s latest and greatest products in upholstery, case goods, outdoor, and bedding.


Emerald Home Furnishings®, in business since 1962, is a full-line supplier to home furnishings retailers throughout the United States and around the world. The company’s current product lineup includes fabric and leather upholstery, motion furniture, casual and formal dining room furniture, bedroom collections, occasional tables, entertainment, accent chairs, outdoor furniture, and sleep systems. Emerald is gaining national recognition as a major component of key retailers product mix. Emerald Home Furnishings corporate offices, Emerald Sleep Systems division, distribution center, and mattress manufacturing facilities occupy a 200,000 square foot building in Tacoma, WA. Emerald operates its own fleet of trucks covering the western states, a warehouse supporting a mixed container program in Vietnam, and factory warehouse facilities in Shanghai, China. The company has showrooms in Tacoma, WA, Las Vegas, NV, and High Point, NC, as well as sourcing offices in Haining City (Shanghai), China, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Saigon, Vietnam.

Harkness Furniture pays customers $70,000 in Super Bowl promotion

TACOMA, Wash. — Harkness Furniture celebrated with its customers Monday, March 10 as it distributed more than $70,000 in reimbursement checks for purchases they made during the store’s Super Bowl promotion.

Harkness had promised to reimburse customers who bought furniture between Jan. 30 and game time on Feb. 2 if the Seattle Seahawks returned a kickoff for a touchdown. With Percy Harvin’s 87-yard kickoff return to begin the second half, the store made good on the pledge.

The retailer hosted a reimbursement party and in addition to the checks, gave out door prizes and commemorative gifts, including 8 by 10 color photos of Harvin’s touchdown run. Customers also were invited to sign a giant “thank you” card to be sent to Harvin, whose team beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 to win the game.

SOURCE: FurnitureToday. View original post.

NAHFA Launches Regional Event Program

Roseville, CA, March 10, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) is launching its Regional Event Program to provide members and retailers across the country with local networking and educational opportunities. While the Association offers seminars and opportunities for interaction at its market Retailer Resource Centers and Home Furnishings Networking Conference throughout the year, these regional events will provide other convenient ways for members to build relationships.

“Bringing members together is important,” said Mary Frye, NAHFA’s executive vice president and regional events liaison. “Whenever you get a group of retailers together, whether it’s at market or a conference, magic happens. They talk to one another about what’s important to them; their successes and their struggles. I’m told they can leave an event with a money saving idea. There’s value in associating so we’re making it easier for them to do just that with regional events.”

Retailers can view and register for upcoming events on the Association’s website,, or subscribe to the calendar via their favorite calendar program (iCalendar, Outlook, etc.). Events are also listed in the Networking News column in each issue of RetailerNOW.

This month retailers are invited to the Dallas Regional Lunch & Learn, March 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., at the Dallas Market Center, Seasons Gallery. A $20 donation to the Dallas Furniture Bank gives attendees access to Paul Thompson’s presentation, Increase Your Merchandising Results. Next month, Denver retailers are invited to Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies vs. Phillies game, April 18, at 6:40 p.m.

For registration and details on these and future events, click here or visit or call 800-422-3778.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit

NAHFA to Debut Association Mobile App at High Point Market

Roseville, CA, March 6, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) will debut its proprietary app during the upcoming High Point Market, April 5-10. A preview of the mobile engagement platform will be available in RetailerNOW’s April issue, available starting March 25. The issue will include interactive content throughout, showcasing the features and benefits of the NAHFA app. Market attendees can learn more about the app by visiting the interactive hub in NAHFA’s Retailer Resource Center, on the first floor of Plaza Suites, where staff will help visitors explore its capabilities.

“As an association, we’re continually finding ways to better communicate with and educate both our members and the industry,” said Sharron Bradley, NAHFA’s CEO. “We encourage members to embrace technology in reaching their customers—and with our app we’re setting the example. The app gives instant and interactive access to information and allows users—and members—to connect with us anywhere, anytime.”

The NAHFA app will be available for free download starting March 24 in the App Store and Google Play. The app will allow users to access extended content from the Association, industry partners, and RetailerNOW, view calendars and details of upcoming events (including access to event specials), and check in to Association events, all from their smart devices. The app will include member-only access to exclusive program offers, legislative updates, and more.

The mobile engagement platform will also allow users to participate in Augmented Reality (AR) experiences simply by scanning print pages. The potential for print to come to life with live video, slideshows, and interactive social media pages raises the bar on content. This will also open the door for NAHFA’s advertisers, sponsors, and vendors to showcase their products and services through AR.

The NAHFA has teamed up with Emerald Home Furnishings for the High Point Market launch of the app. Using short-range communications technology, Emerald’s showroom will feature six interactive experiences. Beacons placed near showcased product will alert market attendees when they are in range, allowing them to learn more about the product and to give feedback.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:

The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit

NAHFA Announces 2014 High Point Market Seminars

Roseville, CA, March 5, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) has announced its schedule for the 2014 High Point Market Seminars, April 5-8, 2014. The NAHFA educational seminars, which are free to market-attendees, are held in the Retailer Resource Center (RRC), 1st Floor of Plaza Suites, 222 South Main St.

“This Market we’ve added two government relations focused seminars,” said Sharron Bradley, NAHFA’s CEO. “The Association’s lobbyist will discuss the issues that we’re monitoring for our members and the industry, and we will have an informative seminar on the Affordable Care Act that will provide critical information on the Act’s impact on both large and small businesses.”

The NAHFA hosts seminars during both Las Vegas and High Point Markets in the RRC—a place designed to give retailers access to information, vendors, workshops, and speakers that can help improve and grow their businesses. Sessions topics include everything from sales and sales management to social media, operations, government relations, promotions, technology, and more.

Seminars are offered Saturday, April 5 through Tuesday, April 8 during the High Point Market.

For more information about the NAHFA’s Retailer Resource Center or the seminars, please visit or call 800-422-3778.

A complete listing of the dates and times of NAHFA’s seminars follows:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
3 Sensational Ways to Jump Start Your Business
Phillip Gutsell, GutSELL & Associates
Jump start your business with three sensational reasons for having a special event—re-merchandising, remodeling, or reorganizing. If your sales are flat, you’re making major line changes, or adding vendors, a re-merchandising event can help. A remodeling sale is a great option if you’re updating displays, renovating your building or relocating. If it is time to pass management on to the next generation, the re-organizing promotion can triple your volume for 30 to 90 days. Learn why and how to take advantage of these events to increase volume.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
NAHFA is Looking Out for Retailers, is the Government?
Bill Simmons, Managing Principal, Grayling

NAHFA’s lobbyist, Bill Simmons, managing principal at Grayling, a Washington, D.C. government affairs firm, outlines the legislative and regulatory issues facing the furniture industry today. Find out how recent budget negotiations and pending environmental and labor regulations—like formaldehyde and flammability regulations in furniture and hours of service and proposed labor rules—can make or break your stores. Whether you have one or 100 stores, issues like health care, immigration, tax reform, and the 2014 midterm elections will influence how you do business this year. Bill has been working on behalf of the industry for many years—he knows the ins and outs of the Beltway and can help us help you influence the movers and shakers. Don’t get caught with your head in the sand—make a difference.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
5 Steps to Profitable Mobile Marketing
Tim McLain, Netsertive

You’ve been asked hundreds of times, “Is your website mobile-friendly?” While you may have addressed that question, have you addressed whether your mobile site is optimized to convert mobile shoppers into buyers? Mobile shoppers that land on your website are likely to buy from you within the first 24 hours. One of every three clicks to retailer websites now come from mobile devices. This session offers you the rundown on mobile marketing—from start to finish—in five steps that cover everything from strategy and concepts (like geo-targeting) to effective placement and writing mobile-friendly copy. Stop living in fear of the mobile shopper—this market you will come away with all the necessities for converting local buyer spontaneity into $$$$

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Business Intelligence Tools and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the New Era of Big Data
Donnie Surdoval, STORIS

Furniture retail software provider STORIS will present innovative approaches to better understanding your business and leveraging new technologies in the information age. Topics will include how to leverage data that already exists in your organization and new tools that allow you to gather more of it; how evolving data analytics tools can empower your most valuable resource, your employees, with new formats and customizable views; how KPIs can make your organization more agile – the value of knowing who your customers are, what they buy, where they buy it and how much they spend; and the future of data analytics – predictive analysis and simpler and easier user interfaces.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Reap the Rewards of Advertising with Online Video
Jim Knutt, Sheila Duffy-Lehrman and Delaun Petersen, Tropic Survival/CometAds

Research shows a significant increase in brand awareness and brand retention among consumers who have viewed online video ads. US digital video ad spend will rise 41.4% this year and by another 40% next year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that much of this new digital video spend increase will come out of former TV budgets, and that video advertising recall is twice as high as TV spot recall. You will learn how digital video presents increasingly more opportunities for using cross-platform campaigns, maximizing online budget, and attaining meaningful consumer engagement.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Think Like a Marketer, Not an Advertiser, and Grow!
Doug Knorr, Knorr Marketing

New research and case studies will defend and define what retailers today must integrate into their advertising program to enjoy stronger results with their advertising investment. Attendees will learn how to reach the changing consumer, conquer the dynamic advertising landscape, increase the effectiveness of their advertising, and increase advertising ROI.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
The Outlook for the Furniture Industry
W.W. “Jerry” Epperson, Jr., Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd

Furniture industry guru Jerry Epperson will once again enlighten us with his furniture research expertise on the current state of future of the furniture industry, and how it affects your business.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Back to Basics: Retail Store Design 101
Martin Roberts, M Roberts Design

Why are store design and layout important? Starting with the basics and including the latest trends, Martin will share his vast experience in the world of retail furniture store design. Highlighting successful tricks of the trade and today’s latest trends, he will also share his thoughts on the future of the industry. This informative presentation will be followed by a Q & A period.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Making Traditional Media and Online Advertising Work Together
Charlie Horich, Brad Lebow, Chip Hector, David Weinstein, Horich Hector Lebow Advertising

HHL will examine ways that furniture retailers are maximizing their promotional and branding messages by integrating online advertising with traditional media. They’ll present an innovative online strategy that targets consumers who have demonstrated an interest in buying furniture, including case studies for both small and large retailers. In addition, they’ll look at creative executions that drive traffic to your website as well as through your front door.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
E-Commerce: The Truth about Selling Furniture Online
Denise Keniston, Web4Retail

We’ve all heard the astounding online shopping sales numbers reported for 2013 from online giants such as Amazon, Wayfair, and But, what does it take to for a smaller furniture dealer to start an online store in today’s world? This seminar examines the ups and downs of starting a new online store, how much it takes, and the likelihood of success.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Omni-Channel Marketing: Strategy or Struggle?
Jeremy Gustafson, Sr. VP of Retail & Digital Strategy, Kreber

Today’s consumer expects to engage a brand whenever, wherever and on whatever device or medium they choose. Today’s marketing professional is struggling to supply engaging content for print, TV, radio, web, tablet / mobile and social media channels. Building a sound strategy to create and deploy your brand content in the appropriate venue is more important than ever before. Jeremy and his Kreber colleagues will provide insight on today’s consumer and what you can do today to rebalance your marketing portfolio so it supports your omni-channel plan. He will also share success stories from key retail clients including Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The Affordable Care Act and Your Small Business
Greg Stancil RHU, ChHC; Director of Healthcare Reform, Scott Benefit Services

The North American Home Furnishings Association invites small business retailers to attend this important seminar on Affordable Care Act Updates, presented by Scott Insurance. Learn how ACA will affect you, your employees, and your small business. Even if you think you’re ready for the roll out, this webinar provides a clear, concise breakdown of the rules and regulations, some of which you might not be aware of. The seminar includes information on expected cost increases; Healthcare Exchanges; penalties; and options.

Monday, April 7, 2014

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing
Kevin Doran, R&A Marketing

Every day, 55 million photos are uploaded, 86.4 million comments are posted, and 691.2 million users like various photos in their feeds on Instagram. If your marketing strategy includes marketing to Generation Y and Millennials, Instagram is kind of a big deal. Learn how best to utilize Instagram in your marketing and website to effectively showcase your store, your business, and your message.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Adapting to Maximize the Evolving eCommerce and Digital Landscape
MicroD, Inc.

MicroD will host an industry panel to discuss winning ways to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape. Through a synergistic collaboration between manufacturers and retailers, panelists will outline their experiences in fulfilling these new consumer expectations. Recent trends have shown that Marketing expenditures on home furnishings are significantly shifting to digital channels that focus on the consumer, their wants, needs, and expectations. Working together – manufacturers and retailers need to broaden their appeal within this expanding online environment.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Key Performance Indicators: Knowing What Counts
Learn the top 10 metrics for the furniture industry & how to manage them successfully
Lee Rychel & Shelley Parlin, PROFITsystems, an Accellos Product

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used for two main purposes: define what is important to your business and to measure progress toward your company’s strategic goals. There are a thousand things that can be measured, so how do you know which are the most important? This interactive session will provide a practical approach to managing your KPIs. Discover the top 10 KPIs that will help improve your company’s productivity and profitability, and how to manage them in your business. Lee Rychel and Shelley Parlin have spent their careers studying the furniture industry KPIs and how to use them to create a competitive advantage. Join in on a lively discussion showing you which metrics to follow and how to use them to build the results you want.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
The Pros and Cons of Different Sales Compensation Plans
Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management

Every retail outfit is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all model for sales compensation. During this seminar, we will cover different ways of compensating; pros and cons of each system; effective methods; how to determine the amount a salesperson should earn; and stress-free ways to change the way you compensate.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Safe-t-y Window Treatments & Design  (.01 CEU)
Margi Kyle, The Designing Doctor

Attendees will have an in-depth look at how to update old blinds/shades and make them safe. The world of window coverings is changing to protect our children. We lose at least one child a month to infant cord strangulation. The laws have changed and designers, store owners, retailers and parents need to learn them and make sure their children and businesses are protected. Margi discusses how to design safe window treatments that will finish the space through color, style, light and function. Also learn the business side of windows—how to brand your company in new and exciting ways.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Targeted Advertising
Bob George, FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting

Driving traffic and purchasers into your store is what great advertising does, right? You have your list of your best customers, but sometimes your advertising doesn’t seem to be working. What can you do to stack the odds in your favor?  In this seminar you will learn what you need to do to bring in shoppers who are your targeted consumers – the ones most likely to come in your store and purchase furniture.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
The Essence of Retail: Every Dollar Your Earn Passes Through the Hands of Your RSA
Gerry Morris, Inner Spring

There is a moment in time, where all the efforts of manufacturers and retailers come down to a single conversation between Retail Sales Associate (RSA) and shopper. This is where the ownership of goods is transferred from the supply side to the demand side of the equation. Until that happens nothing else matters! RSAs must be prepared and given every opportunity to make the sale. This seminar will teach retailers five steps to increased sales.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
How to Keep and Add Customers in a Tough Economy
John Egger, Profitability Consulting Group

This one-hour seminar will review several tried and true methods to maintain your current customers’ loyalties while increasing your customer base. Attendees will leave with ideas they can put into practice as soon as they return to their stores, such as dealing with competition; identifying the “Value Driven” customer and knowing how to sell to them; understanding the buying motive in a savvy shopper; and how to build a long lasting relationship with your consumer.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
How To Create Capture & Convert Prospects Into Paying Customers 24/7
Jeff Giagnocavo, Mega Mattress Info Systems LLC

What is your website missing? Jeff will cover three key critical elements every retail website is missing, and why no amount of added effort to drive more traffic to your website will pay off until these three elements are in place. Learn how to set up your business to attract your ideal clients and begin a relationship with them before they even step foot in your store. Retail store owners will learn how to re-evaluate where client relationships actually begin, and to understand that the goal is not to get more traffic, but to begin real relationships with new prospects that are value-added.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Use Deep Social Media Engagement to Drive Sales
Anna Shkolnikov, Resident Marketing & Social Media Expert, Autodesk

Are all your likes and followers really translating into sales? To keep your business top of mind with today’s social media-savvy customers, you need to truly connect with them in a context that supports your brand. Autodesk gives you the cutting-edge social media tools and engaging interactive visualization content you need to find, target, connect with, and track millions of engaged home-design consumers, enthusiasts, and interior designers.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Turning Demanding Consumers into Satisfied Customers
Tom Connard, Content Services & Technical Sales Manager, Autodesk

A relentless wave of new technologies is empowering consumers to be more expressive and expect greater participation. These changes are beginning to shape furniture and furnishings markets, just as they have impacted so many other industries. Now the consumer directs the experience. What does this mean to you? What does this empowered population do with the technology and media that are now under their control? And how should you respond? Learn how you can take advantage of advanced, yet easy-to-implement visualization solutions to drive customer engagement and increase sales. From photo-realistic product configuration to 360° product viewing, and floor planning to 3D room design, you can help your customers integrate your products into the story of their lives and homes.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:

The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit

NAHFA Urges House Judiciary Committee to Modify Language in MFA

Roseville, CA, February 26, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) sent a letter to Representative Robert Goodlatte, (R-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to immediately draft legislative language based on his ‘Basic Principles of Internet Sales Tax’ in order to establish marketplace fairness and an equal playing field for all retailers, whether they be brick-and-mortar stores or online sites. The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled “Exploring Alternative Solutions on the Internet Sales Tax Issue” on Tuesday March 4, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C.

The letter explains that like many others in the retail industry, furniture retailers are facing increasing competition from online sales. Industry data suggests that e-commerce websites sold $2.4 billion in furniture in 2011 and that number is expected to double by 2016. Online furniture sales increased 11.1% year-over-year in 2012 alone and account for roughly 9% of total furniture sales.

The special treatment of online sellers distorts this market and puts many local brick-and-mortar businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

“Our members are strong pillars of the local community and are very well-known, respected, and involved with local activities,” NAHFA’s CEO, Sharron Bradley wrote in the letter sent to Chairman Goodlatte. “When their businesses are threatened because they cannot beat an online price point purely due to the application of the sales tax, that not only negatively impacts the owner and the employees, but it creates a ripple effect in a community that will not be repaired by a website that has no connection to that locale.”

NAHFA’s retailers want to continue providing high quality products to customers, and the Marketplace Fairness Act would allow them to compete on an equal playing field with those online sellers that are exploiting the current system.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit

WithIt Takes 2014 Professional Conference to Atlanta

February 19, 2014

GREENSBORO, N.C. — WithIt, the home and furnishings industries’ leadership development network for women, has set the focus for its 2014 Professional Conference, slated August 11-13 in Atlanta.

The two-day program offers industry professionals at all stages of their careers the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, develop leadership skills and connect with industry peers. Titled “The Art and Science of Leadership,” the 2014 event will present accomplished leaders from a variety of industries to inspire and educate attendees.

“Our program will help attendees identify and cultivate leadership attributes that are more of an art – like building rapport, influencing others and learning to ‘listen to your gut’ – as well as those leadership attributes that are more of a science – such as learning effective techniques for networking, managing time and priorities, and negotiating effectively,” explains 2014 Professional Conference Chair Carol Gregg, president of Red Egg.

The 2014 Professional Conference will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, centrally located in the heart of the Buckhead business, shopping and entertainment district. The hotel is within walking distance of the MARTA-Lenox Station, steps away from Lenox Square Mall, and convenient to many of the area’s major attractions.

“The 2014 conference will empower our attendees to return to their companies throughout the home industries with new skills and knowledge to perform their jobs better,” states Violette Forman, WithIt’s 2014 president and general manager of Haverty’s in Monroe, La.

Conference registration is $300 for WithIt members and $425 for non-members. Students may attend for $150. A discounted group rate of $159 a night (single or double) has been negotiated for attendees at the Marriott Buckhead. Registration and a link to the hotel are available on the WithIt website,


WithIt was formed in 1997 to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries. It is based in High Point, N.C.

For more information, contact:

Sara Lyke, 336-880-2188

Top Furniture Retailer HD Buttercup Goes Live on STORIS Vision9

Mt. Arlington, NJ – February 2014

STORIS, a leading supplier of Retail Solutions and Services, is proud to announce that Top Furniture Retailer, HD Buttercup, is now live on STORIS’ hosted Vision9 Cloud Solution.

With a mission to deliver an outstanding selection with zero compromise on style and value, HD Buttercup strives to create a memorable shopping experience. Offering high-end furniture and home furnishings accessories, which are displayed in innovative ways, this retailer is no ordinary furniture store. This retailer has two unique store locations which are Brick & Mortar Emporiums that are merchandised with an ever evolving mix of vintage, modern, and antique collections. The first location is in the historic Helms Bakery Building in Los Angeles, CA. The second destination, which is the largest furnishing store in the Bay Area, is in the Soma District in San Francisco, CA.

As an industry-leading furniture retailer, HD Buttercup will benefit from Vision9’s fully integrated platform from advanced analytics to exceptional point of sale and inventory management. “STORIS’ Vision9 business intelligence suite and real-time inventory system will enable HD Buttercup to not only continue our history of success but also bring all aspects of retail under one roof” states Nestor Navarro, HD Buttercup’s Vice President of Finance. In today’s omni-channel retail environment, STORIS’ V9 provides scalable tools for businesses to reach their customers through multiple touch points in retail—ecommerce on the web, mobile technology and the traditional brick and mortar store.

HD Buttercup will utilize Business Intelligence applications, such as Executive Vision, EIS, and FGII for analytics. Additionally companion products including STORIS Accounting, Warranties with Service Tracking, and Wireless Handheld Bar Coding, will be implemented to streamline their operations. For sales opportunities and customer relationship management, store locations will have Vision9′s CRM software, InTouch with the Up System.

We are proud to enter a business partnership with this prestigious retailer and have built our company by forging long-lasting working relationships with industry leaders like Evan Cole, Owner of HD Buttercup. We look forward to supporting HD Buttercup as they depart from a traditional system and exploit the V9 technology platform that will optimize their successful business,” concludes, Tim O’Neill, Senior Business Development at STORIS.

For 25 years, STORIS continues to be the leader in providing Solutions and World-Class Service to Big Ticket retailers of ALL sizes.

For more information, contact:
Kaitlin Surdoval
(973) 601-8285