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Furniture Outlets USA names Jim Heinitz CEO

Has been sales manager of Top 100 company

Clint Engel, Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, October 26, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Furniture Outlets USA has named Jim Heinitz, sales director of the Top 100 company and a former college football coach, as its CEO.

 Jim HeinitzJim Heinitz

Heinitz takes the top leadership post at the four-state, 28-store company from founder Bill Hinks, who will continue to remain active in the business as chairman.

Well-known in the area as the former football coach at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Heinitz is a close friend of Hinks and has worked on and off for the company for the past 10 years. Hinks said Heinitz has been involved in "just about every facet of the business" including sales and marketing. He has been the Sioux Falls-based company's sales manager of the past three years.

"We felt the need for that person who could lead the company in these tough times," Hinks said.

He praised Heinitz for his work ethic, common sense, ability to think on his feet and people skills. In addition, Hinks said Heinitz is competitive, something Furniture Outlets needs in a leader because it operates in markets with two tough Top 100 competitors - Slumberland and HOM Furniture.

Gordy Wallenstein continues as president, and remains the key person over advertising and very active in merchandising.

Hinks said he will remain active as chairman and has told Heinitz that he'll advise the new CEO, "but I want him to overall run the company."

Furniture Outlets USA is No. 53 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessories sales of $111 million in 2008, down about 6.6% from the previous year. The company operates under several banners including Furniture Outlets USA, South Dakota Furniture Mart, Ashley Furniture HomesStores and Carpet One.

To read an interview with Heinitz in the Sioux Fall Argus Leader, click here.

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