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Mike Root

The List

November 26, 2012

This last weekend I slowed down enough to catch up on some past reading including furniture industry magazines. On my reading list was the November 12 issue of Furniture/Today with the included supplement of "The List" of all the Top categories Furniture Today chooses to rank.

Now I am not going to say the following because I write this blog on Furniture/Today. This is an unpaid non-promotional plug on my part. If you are in the furniture industry and not reading the physical Furniture/Today magazine, you may miss the essence of our industry. You can only get so much out of the daily emails, and website. Sure many of these articles are repeated online, but to get a true flavor of the industry, the editorial comment, the pictures of new products and of course the extra supplements like "The List" cannot be found easily online. And by the way, as a member of IHFRA you are entitled to a discounted subscription price.

So that last paragraph is what I have to say nice about Furniture/Today. Please do not post comments criticizing Furniture/Today because of my opinions. You may or may not agree with their journalistic qualities, but they deliver content about our industry you should know. I also subscribe to Furniture World, Home Furnishings Business, and the new NHFA publication Retailer Now. They all give different perspectives of our industry and should be read if you are serious about what's going on in our industry. If you service or participate in the higher end of our industry there are a number of fine magazines catering to those professions as well. It is a sign of a robust industry that can support numerous publications.

Now for my editorial comment as if the above was not enough. As I read through my various trade publications, I noticed an overall lack of emphasis on the roll sales reps play in our industry. I felt like Rodney Dangerfield "I don't get no respect" when I read "The List" and saw the compilations of Top 100 stores, Fast growing stores, Beyond Top 100 stores, Top 25 US Furniture and bedding retailers, Top 25 bedding retailers, Top 20 sources for US market, and Top 15 bedding producers.

Where was the list of the top industry sales reps, or top performing sales reps on a retail floor? Seriously, if it is not for the sales people of this world, a supplier will not be a Top 20 source of furniture and a retailer will not be a Top 100 US furniture store. They need our profession to bridge the gap from factory to retailer or from retailer to consumer. Does anyone else think this would be interesting to feature those who are successful selling furniture as reps or sales associates on the retail floors? If so add your comments below.

After reading the list, I came across the advertisement for the Leadership Conference that is this week. I looked at the agenda, and once again saw there was no particular feature for reps. I know some reps running multi-person agencies who are definitely leaders. Their businesses are bigger than a majority of retailers as far as sales volume. So if this is truly an industry leadership conference, why the lack of participation from sales reps. If any reps would consider participating the Furniture/Today Leadership Conference let us know and maybe next year we can lobby harder for inclusion in this important industry event.

That's enough ranting for one day. I'm going to go out and display sales qualities that will put me at the head of my own Top 100 List.