Furniture First hires three in merchandising
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, January 14, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Furniture First buying group has made three merchandising hires and shifted other duties in a move that expands its merchandising team.
The member-owned cooperative has hired Brian Hass as director of merchandising and Liz McGoldrick as director of upholstery and motion, both new positions. It also named Jamie Broussard as its new director of accents and accessories, replacing Shauna Snyder, who left the group last February and now works for Markor in China.
In addition, Tony Moretti, former vice president of merchandising, has left Furniture First after three years and is now assisting in merchandising for Furniture First member Pilgrim Furniture in Southington, Conn.
Hass has more than 20 years of experience in the home furnishings industry. He began as store manager for Harrisburg, Pa.-based Just Cabinets, then a four-store furniture and kitchen cabinet retailer. As the business grew, he was promoted to buyer, and ultimately became vice president, helping the chain grow to 21 stores and overseeing aspects of the business including merchandising, product sourcing, advertising and logistics management.
Hass also helped Just Cabinets expand into new categories including mattresses, upholstery, electronics, and appliances.
McGoldrick has 27 years of experience in upholstery, including leather, "along with product knowledge training, merchandising expertise, and a strong sales and marketing background," the buying group said in a release. She most recently was director of sales and marketing for Mary James Marketing.
"As an industry liaison, she has worked to create solid business partnerships with vendors and retailers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions," the group said, adding that McGoldrick has had sales and marketing relationships with suppliers such as Brookwood Upholstery, Leather Trend/Leather Mart, Wambold Furniture and A.R.T. Furniture.
Broussard has more than 20 years of experience in home furnishings and decorative accessories, most recently as director of product development at importer Evergreen Enterprises. She has led sales, marketing, product development and sourcing efforts in the United States, Asia and Europe.
Broussard's career began on the retail sales floor, and she transitioned into buying, management, and product development, having held executive positions at Dezine Ltd., Fenton Art Glass and Bridges Limited.
"Jamie brings expertise at translating trends into product strategies and formulating innovative merchandising solutions for retailers," Furniture First said.
Bill Hartman, president of the buying group noted that decorative accessories are often a weak spot for furniture retailers, "so I'm hoping to make a huge turnaround in that area."
All the new hires report to Hartman.
In addition, Ron Page, former senior director of merchandising, is now senior director of merchandising & memberships, and will add membership recruiting duties for territories west of the Mississippi River. Bill Hartman, who previously handled all membership duties, still covers the eastern half of the United States and is taking on merchandising management duties previously handled by Moretti.
"These additions will allow the current merchandising staff ... Ron Page and Director of Mattresses Andrew Kauffman, to focus in more depth on new membership and core merchandise categories - case goods and mattresses, respectively," the group said.
Furniture First, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year has 211 members, operating more than 446 furniture stores in 47 states with combined annual sales of $1.6 billion.
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