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From Home Furnishing Business

Double Down in Vegas

By Sheila Long O’Mara

No doubt about it, home furnishings markets are big around our industry. It’s a biannual marathon that keeps every one of us in planes, trains and automobiles skirting bouncing from Atlanta to Dallas to Las Vegas to Tupelo. Toss in a few of the international markets like Cologne, Toronto and Shanghai, and the road warriors among us are in full force schlepping from place to place.

Right or wrong, the rituals of semi-annual markets carry a great bit of cachet. They’ve become—dare I say it—a necessary evil in the cycle of the furniture supply chain. No retailer “wants” to miss market and miss seeing the hottest introductions. No supplier “wants” to miss out on the opportunity to capture more retail floor slots. However, getting away from the office or store can make for tricky time and business management issues.

Markets are exciting and invigorating. We, as a collective group, come together to share, learn and seek out the new. The events are like a huge brainstorming meeting where great ideas blossom.

Here, at Home Furnishings Business, we jump into the market fray, too, and eagerly plan out market issues, interview schedules and showroom visits. It’s a big darn deal.

As part of our planning, we look at the best, most efficient way in which to cover the Markets and to provide our valuable readers the most useful information possible. Our goal is to arm you with valuable tools and knowledge that can be used to better your business strategies back at the storefront.

As part of our strategy, we deliver to you this, our first-ever double issue. We’ve doubled up on some of our most popular features to give you a jumpstart on the New Year and the new Market cycle. Inside, you’ll find two times the cover stories— one on sales management and the other on sustainability in the home furnishings realm.

You’ll also find two consumer surveys in which shoppers who have recently bought furniture share their tales from the retail floor. What Sells zeroes in on the dining—both casual and formal—category. Our expanded On Bedding explores consumers and their mattress buying preferences and features top-selling frames from the supply viewpoint.

We’ve also included a look at products being showcased at the Las Vegas Market to whet your buying appetite for the show. Here’s to doubling down in Vegas and kicking off the New Year in home furnishings in fine fashion. Our entire team will be at the Market; give us a shout across the courtyard or in the hallways. We’d love to catch up. Happy 2014! Here’s to a great year filled with new adventures.

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