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Gold Bond Sales VP Goes Old School

By Home Furnishings Business in Bedding on May 16, 2013

Gold Bond Vice President of Sales Skip Naboicheck is taking a retro approach to selling mattresses to the company's furniture retail customers.

When a retailer schedules an appointment with Naboicheck, he doesn't just give a brochures or a presentation, he drives up in his 18-footer and shows the mattress he wants to sell.

€œWe cater to independent retailers through out the east,€ said Naboicheck. "Many of our best customers work in their stores everyday, so they don€™t travel to High Point Market often. But that doesn€™t mean they shouldn€™t have the ability to get a proper sales presentation and the opportunity to see and feel our product."

Loading up a truck with a variety of mattresses and futons, Naboicheck and local sales reps map out a route and drive from town to town along the Eastern seaboard, putting hundreds of miles on the odometer in order to meet with prospective and established customers. Unloading the truck at each stop, Naboicheck has retailers €œrest testing€ Gold Bond products right in their own showrooms.

The response to Gold Bond€™s personalized visits has been so successful; the company has hired new people to grow its sales force. Since January 2012, Gold Bond, Hartford, Conn., added multiple
accounts in Virginia and Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, North And South Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania while simultaneously expanding its models on the floors of existing customers along the East Coast.

€œFrom my father and grandfather I learned that customer service is king and now we€™re taking it up a notch,€ said Naboicheck. €œWe were searching for a way to better accommodate those clients who are really tied to their retail locations and ended up taking the idea of €˜door to door€™ sales and turned it into €˜store to store€™ sales. The feedback we hear from retailers is that this personal approach is making their lives easier and it€™s much appreciated.€

Gold Bond is investing in client relationships by flying customers to its Hartford manufacturing facility and headquarters.

€œOur ultimate goal is to get customers to Connecticut because they are able to see all of our collections, how they are made, and we are able to spend time designing product especially for them,€ said Gold Bond President Robert Naboicheck. €œGold Bond has more than a century of experience handcrafting quality products. That€™s a unique selling point, and something we are proud to put on display.€

As Gold Bond expands its sales territory beyond its Connecticut base, it has reinforced the company€™s decision not to renew its lease at the World Market Center in Las Vegas, but doubled its space at High Point Market.

Decorium Expands Reach with E-Commerce

By Home Furnishings Business in Internet on May 16, 2013

Canadian home furnishings retailer Decorium has revamped its Web site to incorporate e-commerce.

The company's site offers new functionality with more than 500 items available for purchase. New options allow to search by "Classic", "Metropolitan", "Modern" style and more, while being directed to a myriad of choices which lead to the shopping cart feature.

"We are excited to showcase our new website to our shoppers," said Steve Forberg, CEO. "We have noticed that demand for an online shopping experience has increased dramatically this year. Customers that come into our store to shop around, and aren't ready to make a decision on the spot are encouraged to go to our Web site and make their final purchase decision from there."

Decorium expects to become a one-stop shop for customers searching for the perfect pieces for their home. The new shopping cart experience promises to accommodate shoppers that are not only in the Toronto area, but across the country and North America.

Groovystuff Names Design Challenge Winners

By Home Furnishings Business in Green on May 16, 2013

Reclaimed teak furniture vendor Groovystuff has winners for its Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge at High Point Furniture Market.

The four winning students are Ian O€™Hare of Appalachian State University; Ami Seuki of North Carolina State University; Malachi Payne of the University of Idaho; and Bethany DeLine of the University of Minnesota.

The four students placed first from their respective schools in the €œPopular Vote at Market€ at the April 20-25 Market for their environmentally friendly product designs and innovative contributions to the home furnishings industry.

Students from their respective schools were charged with designing an environmentally friendly product that reflects the Dick Idol Legends brand and can be produced using sustainable furniture manufacturing practices. Students produced miniature models and product display boards for market attendees to vote on during the High Point Market. The four student designs were voted €œMost marketable€ and €œMost likely to show a profit€ by retailers, interior designers and trade professionals attending market.

Each student received a $250 cash prize along with permanent royalties for life.

O€™Hare, a second-year Industrial Design student, won for the €œKhunkhea Table Collection€, teak wood table tops inspired by the mountain ranges of Northwestern Thailand.

Seuki, a third-year Industrial Design student, won for the €œGoza Side Table/Chair,€ which was built with reclaimed wood.

Payne, a second-year Interior Architecture student, won for the €œCurve Appeal,€ which used simple elements and form to take an elegant approach to modern rustic design with reclaimed teak barkwood and reused steel wagon wheel hoops to make an all-purpose chair.

DeLine, a second-year Interior Design student, won for her Montana table lamp, which expresses the modern rustic spirit of Dick Idol through its big-sky silhouette and rough, earthy texture from the reclaimed steel drums found in the Groovystuff Moonshine Collection.

"As a designer intrigued by the possibilities of repurposing materials, I identify with Chris Bruning's commitment to sustainability and transformation," DeLine said. "With direction from the Groovystuff team, we discovered the key to a successful finished product was exploiting the inherently positive characteristics of each reclaimed material."

India in No Rush to Open 1st Ikea Store

By Aggregated Content in Furniture Retailing on May 16, 2013 from The first Ikea store to open in India may not open for years, with the India head of the Swedish furniture giant prepared to wait years if needed to find the perfect location.

The Indian government approved last week Ikea's 105-billion rupees ($1.95-billion) plan to open 25 of its trademark blue-and-yellow stores in India as part of a wider push into emerging markets to increase sales.

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Theodore Alexander Opens Stores in China

By Home Furnishings Business in Store Openings on May 15, 2013

Luxury furniture vendor Theodore Alexander has opened five new retail stores in China and plans an additional 12 stores there by the end of 2013.

Theodore Alexander opened its first two retail spaces in Shanghai in late 2012; and the Guangzhou and Beijing stores in January 2013. Each store ranges from 3,000 to 9,000 square feet and includes furniture, lighting and accessories from all Theodore Alexander brands. Created to cater to an affluent, sophisticated clientele, each location has design experts on staff to work closely to assist customers.

The furniture€™s finishes, fabrics and design elements are specially selected to complement the cultural aesthetic for that store's geographic area. The stores are designed and displayed to reflect the current buying trends of each region.

€œOur exceptional growth in the Chinese market has been the catalyst for our expanded retail presence,€ said Harvey Dondero, CEO of Theodore Alexander, which is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. €œAs we are one of the largest furniture manufacturers in Southeast Asia, it makes sense to continue our eastern expansion.€

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