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From Home Furnishing Business

It's Time For The Next Plateau

By Bob George

Institutions, companies, and, yes, magazines evolve through stages of growth. Each stage addresses the needs of its constituency while pushing the boundaries of its mission. This is true of Home Furnishings Business. The founding editor and publisher of Home Furnishings Business identified a need for a voice for the traditional retailer in the home furnishings industry. It was not to be a newspaper for the industry. Instead it was a publication that addressed for retailers the issues that were at the forefront of their concerns.

Over the past decade the industry has undergone significant changes with alternative channels of distribution challenging the traditional independent retailers and the migration of manufacturing offshore. The results are a declining retailer base and the loss of many established manufacturing brands sought by consumers. Today the demarcation between manufacturing and retailing is blurring. The movement offshore and the subsequent savings have been passed along to the consumers often with a reduction in product quality.  Some retailers have assumed the role of suppliers, some with mixed results, but, for the most part, reducing the traditional supplier’s role to that of an importer. The results are a sector of the industry that is driven by price overlooking the primary focus of the consumer which is to create a beautiful and functional environment.

In 2013 the magazine changed ownership with the acquisition by Impact Consulting Services/FurnitureCore. This added another dimension to the acquirer’s mission to utilize and apply information to create high performance retailers and manufacturers. Changing the magazine’s masthead to “The Strategy Magazine of the Furniture Industry” and increasing its scope to include manufacturers and service providers was the first change. However, more than the cosmetic change was the addition of more specific content to allow readers to visualize their own business and to identify areas for improvement.

The content was authored by subject matter experts within the ranks of Impact Consulting with “Strategically Speaking” and “Coaches Corner.” The intent of this change was to establish a “point of view” of Home Furnishings Business concerning the home furnishings industry and the direction forward.

We continue this next phase of the evolution of Home Furnishings Business. We plan to explore the issues that are critical to creating high performance retailers incorporating business intelligence and market research along with input of industry thought leaders. Our goal is to raise the performance of the industry with critical discussion. 

This is just as the process of our Performance Groups where active sharing increases the performance of all members of the group.  We want to work with the industry to create that same atmosphere of striving for excellence.

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