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Wax Joins StepUp Commerce

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Mark Wax has joined StepUp Commerce as general manager of the home furnishings division.

StepUp is a provider of Internet sales solutions for manufacturers with independent retail channels. With Wax joining the company, StepUp will expand the product offering to the home furnishing industry.

Wax has held a variety of management, sales and marketing positions with Universal Furniture, The Lane Co. and John Boos and Co.

"Mark will lead StepUp's efforts to provide the home furnishings industry with a comprehensive Internet solution designed to drive Internet shoppers to local retail store locations," said John Sullivan, senior vice president of sales. "With Mark's relationships and his in-depth knowledge of the industry, he will be able to effectively communicate the StepUp offering to manufacturers and their retail partners."

This End Up Opening Second Store

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Furniture retailer This End Up is opening its second store this Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C., at the Crabtree Valley Mall.

The retailer had a store in the mall in the 1990s when it was among the country's top retailers. The company closed its 136 stores after filing in 2000 for bankruptcy.

This End Up is now under new ownership and based in Sanford, N.C. The company's other store is also located in Raleigh and opened in 2004.

Joe Elmore Joins Master Design

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Sourcing and product development veteran Joe Elmore has joined case goods and occasional importer Master Design as executive vice president.

Elmore assumes management responsibility for all divisions other than operations and reports to Charles Lee, current president of Master Design, and president of parent company Test Rite USA.

Since October, Elmore has worked as a consultant coordinating activities among designers, trading companies and offshore furniture factories. Prior to that, he spent five years directing product development and sales for HomElegance.

At Master Design, Elmore will oversee all aspects of sales, marketing and product development, responsibilities previously held by former president Gene Hodges, who retired from the company last week.

ISPA Names New Chairman, Board Members

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 The International Sleep Products Association has named a new chairman and elected six new trustees to its board.

Kerry Tramel, president of Lady Americana Associates, will chair the ISPA board and preside over membership meetings and work to advance member interests, including the newly revised ISPA strategic plan.

A former member of the Better Sleep Council, Tramel will serve a one-year term as chairman and succeeds David Orders of Park Place Corp., whose term as board trustee continues through spring 2007.

"I appreciate the confidence that has been placed in my leadership and will do everything possible to advance our entire industry's interest at home and abroad," Tramel said. "ISPA remains committed to becoming even more proactive and a strong, united voice that contributes to everyone's business success."

Other officers who continue their roles for one-year terms are Dick Doyle, president and chief executive officer, and Bob Bobowski, treasurer. Both are from ISPA.

The newly elected trustees are: Neil Ellman, International Bedding Corp.; Hank Little, Atlanta Attachment; Harrison Murphy, Ventex; Bryan Smith, Southerland; Don Wright, Wright of Thomasville; and Dave Young, VyMa Corp.

FBI Confident on First Quarter Assessment

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006

Full-line major Furniture Brands International reaffirmed its guidance on business trends and operations for its first fiscal quarter of 2006. An announcement of actual results will come May 3.

"Business conditions remain relatively unchanged from the end of January when we last commented on current trends," said FBI Chairman and CEO Mickey Holliman in a release Thursday. "Orders are tracking up in the mid-single digits and sales are slightly positive versus the year-ago period."

Holliman anticipates first-quarter earnings per share of $0.43 to $0.47, which include a previously announced restructuring, asset impairment and severance charge of $0.02 per share.

FBI's brands include Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, Henredon, Drexel Heritage and Maitland-Smith.
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