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Ray Allegrezza, Editor in Chief of Furniture Today welcomers you to Editor's Desk. Each week we will take a look at interesting news or events in the furniture industry. The most important part of this whole process will be your input. So, take a look at my posts below and weigh in with what you think by clicking on "Add Your Comment" at the bottom of each blog.
Every time I read the latest round of government statistics regarding unemployment, housing or other drivers that impact our business, I find myself thinking of a phrase often used by Mark Twain, who observed, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."While I am not suggesting that any of these numbers for housing and unemployment are meant to intentionally misle... Read MoreComments (0)
While many of us were busy at the High Point Market, Time magazine's April 22 issue ran a cover story that examined the migration of manufacturing back to the U.S.Simply called "Made in the USA," the story reported that "against all odds, manufacturing is staging a comeback."As you know, we've been following this trend, particularly with upholstery, in our sector for quite some... Read MoreComments (0)
Last week, we reported that Ron Johnson's short-lived stint as CEO of JCPenney was over.The Internet was immediately flooded with scores of news updates and commentaries, almost all slamming his performance - or lack thereof.For the record, the company's shares in the Johnson era were down a staggering 51% and the market cap took sickening nosedive from $6.84 billion to $3.49 billion.I think the f... Read MoreComments (5)
If you've been in this business longer than a week, you know that we are an industry that loves to celebrate our people as much as we do our products.When I first joined the industry decades ago, some of my favorite moments involved hearing industry veterans share classic tales involving many of the companies, men and women who had made an indelible mark on the fabric of our business.Some of those... Read MoreComments (0)
This just in from the "and you'd thought you heard it all" department.The other day Clint Engel, our senior retail editor, showed me an item he found online reporting that a specialty food retailer in Australia had begun charging customers a $5 fee to come in and browse in his shop.The retailer, who obviously had had his fill of being showroomed, put a sign in the window stating: "T... Read MoreComments (0)
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Myriad Software's annual user conference. As in past years, Carolyn Crowley and her staff did an excellent job of providing their customers lots of great information designed to not only expand their knowledge of Myriad and its products and services, but to also leave armed with some new ideas to help them grow their businesses.A session I always enjoy is... Read MoreComments (0)
At a time when business is admittedly spongy-soft for plenty of retailers, the movers and shakers of our industry are hitting it hard when it comes to investing in the future of their businesses - weak economy or not.One perfect example is my friend Jake Jabs of American Furniture Warehouse. We spotted each other at the recent Tupelo Furniture Market and before I could shake his hand, he was wavin... Read MoreComments (3)
Every jazz musician knows, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing."At retail, the phrase that's playing and paying these days goes something like this: "You can't make a buck if your supply chain is stuck."Bad parody aside, since the days of the earliest peddlers, retailers have known that you can't sell from an empty cart and without an effective supply chain and a... Read MoreComments (0)
Back in 1955, "Rebel without a Cause" was the flick everyone was raving about.Today, at a time when retail is theater, the last thing you want is to have your customers critiquing your starring role in Retailer without a Cause. Here's why: According to the Cone Cause Evolution Survey, purpose impacts purchase. Specifically, the study found that 47% of consumers buy a brand monthly that s... Read MoreComments (0)
As expected, the sparks are already flying over California's recent announcement that it wants to eliminate a longstanding regulation that requires the use of chemical flame retardants in upholstery.The fire safety standards, which have been on the books in California since the 1970s, require that any foam used in furniture cushions withstand a 12-second exposure to a small open flame without igni... Read MoreComments (4)
During the halftime show on Super Bowl Sunday, I was browsing online and was dismayed to see so many retailers all working from the same playbook - free furniture contingent on some score or other aspect of the game.It was enough to put me to sleep. So, here's a story about a sleep-related solution that has the potential to wake the industry up.After purchasing what she thought was a luxurious hig... Read MoreComments (0)
During the final weeks of 2012, I saw factory owners in Malaysia warning customers about imminent price hikes as a result of the new minimum wage laws that the country's government enacted effective Jan.1 of this year.In one memo, a factory owner suggested that, as a result of the new laws, "The wages of all workers will rise at least by 40 %."He went on to maintain that the pricing stru... Read MoreComments (0)