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Furniture Biz 101

Jim Green's blog
Jim Green Hi, I’m Jim Green, author of the three volume set of books on the retail furniture business, Furniture Retailing 101 . The set of books looks at the industry from a newcomer’s perspective and covers the fundamentals and basics of nearly every aspect of furniture retailing. Though it has been written for the novice, I believe the book set will have real value to individuals entering the business from other industries, journalists, analysts, manufacturing executives and representatives and anyone with an interest in learning more about our industry. I have over 30 years experience in both the supply and retail sides of the furniture business, and hold an MBA in Management. In this Web log I will write about some of the more basic and rudimentary aspects of our business and present observations of some of what I have learned over the past three decades. Visit my web site at www.furnitureindustry101.com . Contact me at jim@furnitureindustry101.com or phone 727 347-1201.
  • Black Thursday

    I remember a time when pretty much all stores of any kind, in any retail segment, save perhaps some restaurants and gas stations were closed on Sundays and all holidays. Gradually, some retailers opened their doors on Sundays; then New Years Day became just another retail selling day along with other more secular holidays; excuses for sales to begin. Soon the only days sacred to retailers were Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Now, Thanksgiving Day has become a day for business. In the area in which I live, not only were the big box stores opened at varying hours, but several ... Read More
  • Loyalty

    When I was a kid, I remember my father only drove Buicks, my mother only shopped at the A&P, and we only ate Sunbeam bread. For furniture, my parents only went to Lester Brothers, a locally owned, hometown furniture store. I think in today's retail environment, consumers still have their loyalties to some products and retailers. My last four vehicles have been Honda products. We only shop at Publix and eat Merita bread. Today, however there seems to be little store loyalty in the furniture industry. At least at the promotional end of furniture retailing, it seems to ... Read More
  • Proactivity

    I have written about this before, but I think it bears repeating. There are so many marketing opportunities available that are absolutely free or very inexpensive to any furniture retailing business aimed at engaging potential customers to visit the showroom; in my observation most are just not being exploited. In these next few posts I would like to toss out a few ideas.Some retailers seem to think that the only way to employ effective marketing is to have to pay for it. How often, does a retail manager or owner venture out to the selling floor to find sales ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates # 7

    I have been identifying concepts and tactics which retail salespeople might utilize to better optimize their sales. My hope is that managers will use these as topics for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers for feedback.The First 15 SecondsIt has been said, and I fully believe, that most sales are made in the first 15 or 20 seconds of interaction between a salesperson and a prospective customer. It is also abundantly true that a person has only one chance to make a positive first impression. These two realities point to the ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates # 6

    I have been identifying concepts and tactics which retail salespeople might utilize to better optimize their sales. My hope is that managers will use these as topics for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers for feedback.Borrowing SkillsMany years ago, I visited an electronics store to shop for a new stereo hi-fi (that's what they called it in those days). I really had no intention of buying right then; just to see what was out there. About an hour later, I walked out with the phonograph, speakers including something called a ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates # 5

    In this series, I have been identifying a few tricks, tips and truths which retail salespeople might use to achieve the sometimes elusive ‘increase in sales'. My hope is that managers will use these as topics for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers for feedback.Selling and TrustI was raised in the men's clothing business. My Dad owned a clothing store in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida for 30 years. He was a crackerjack salesman and he taught me a great many lessons on the craft of selling; and after all, most ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates # 4

    In this series, I have been identifying a few tricks, tips and truths which retail sales people might use to achieve the sometimes elusive ‘increase in sales'. My hope is that managers will use these as topics for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers for feedback.FABIn ‘For Sales Associates #3', I spoke of the need on the part of sales people to understand that their objective is not necessarily to close the sale on the customer's initial visit but to recognize that the customer will likely aggressively shop the competition ... Read More
  • 9/11

    11 years ago today, had a profound effect on me as it did on hundreds of millions of other Americans, indeed, hundreds of millions of people around the world. I had spent decades in the furniture business in both the retail and the manufacturing sectors of the industry. The destruction of the twin towers, not only beautiful buildings but also soaring symbols of America's ingenuity, creativity, work ethic, and commercial endeavors compelled me to examine my own life and the value of that life. I came out of college as a high school social studies teacher and taught for ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates #3

    In this series, I will try to identify a few tricks, tips and truths which retail sales people might use to achieve the sometimes elusive ‘increase in sales'. My hope is that managers will use these as topics for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers for feedback.Getting Them BackThe retail furniture business was very different decades ago, before the advent of mega-furniture retailers (Levitz, Mangurians, etc.). In cities and towns across the land there existed a certain loyalty between customers and retailers. People bought furniture from their favorite store. Often, their ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates #2

    In this series, I will try to identify a few tricks and truths which retail sales people might use to achieve the sometimes elusive ‘increase in sales'. My hope is that managers will use these as topics for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers for feedback.Stalking on the Sales FloorIn my opinion, there is one thing that potential customers detest more than almost anything else when visiting the local furniture store; that is, the feeling they're being stalked. I expect that most sales people hate it as well when they ... Read More
  • For Sales Associates #1

    Some managers view retail sales associates as minor ingredients in the road to success, or worse ‘necessary evils'. Believe me...I've actually heard it said. The reality is, that at the very least they are the direct link between the company and the consumer; at the most the key element in success and growth for the company. In this series, I will identify some truths of which retail sales people should always keep sight. My hope is that managers will use these as catalysts for group discussions with their associates. I would love to hear back from readers that ... Read More
  • For New Buyers #11

    Question: When is a dresser not a dresser? Answer: When it is a buffet, a console, a hall piece or a sofa table. Question: When is a nightstand not a nightstand? Answer: When it is a chairside table, an end table, or an accent piece.Knowing Too MuchSometimes it is possible to know too much. Clearly, a bedroom dresser is meant to be used in a bedroom. That's why it was manufactured. Knowing this is self evident and obvious but suppose we display a dresser elsewhere in the showroom and demonstrate a different use for the piece of ... Read More