From Home Furnishing Business
City Furniture Forecasts Record Sales, Adding 500 Jobs
With strong demand driving year-over-year sales growth, furniture retailer City Furniture has announced plans to hire more than 500 employees by the end of this year.
“Families coping with the Covid environment suddenly need their homes to multitask as workplace, school and staycation refuge,” says Andrew Koenig, president. “By making their online or in-store shopping process fast, easy and safe, with great values, we’re on track for our highest-ever annual sales in our company’s history.”
With sales up significantly, the most intense demand is for upgrading family rooms/living rooms, establishing home offices and creating comfortable outdoor living areas.
Most of the new jobs will be in South Florida, with about 200 in sales, another 250 in warehouse, delivery and customer care, and 50 corporate positions, including IT, eCommerce, etc. To expand its talented, diverse team the firm has transitioned almost completely to virtual interviewing, including online assessments and using a team hiring approach that Koenig said is yielding high quality new hires.
As South Florida’s economy reels under pandemic pressures, the company is finding that many applicants with sales experience in retail, hospitality, automotive, real estate and restaurant industries make a smooth transition to sales for City Furniture, where first-year sales associates average $60,000 to over $100,000 in earnings, Koenig said. Delivery drivers are in high demand, he added, and those who drive City Furniture’s “green” fleet of compressed natural gas-fueled trucks average first-year earnings of $50,000 to $70,000, receive extensive training and do not need a Commercial Driver License (CDL).
To keep pace with growth, City Furniture has ramped up its already active outreach to veterans, and to college grads through a college-recruiting program. Virtual hiring events within and outside of the firm are a crucial recruiting tool, including those with community partners such as the Urban League and Hire Heroes USA.
In today’s economy, fast action to transform operations is essential, said Koenig. He draws ideas from kaizen continuous improvement for businesses, and studied the process in Japan. This spring, City Furniture streamlined the customer experience with contact-less payments and availability of free contact-less delivery, fast checkout using sales associate iPads, deeper website product content, and unlimited free design services staffed 24/7 online to de-stress the shopping process and help customers create great spaces on a budget. The company plans to roll out 3D models and Augmented Reality on its website this fall.
“Our showrooms and warehouses are open safely and operating 100 percent, while following all CDC safety guidelines including social distancing, face masks, and frequent deep cleanings,” Koenig said. “Our corporate office team and customer care associates continue working remotely, and are transforming their areas with virtual training and virtual meetings, all going well.”