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Furniture world

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:54 PM Page 2 IN THIS ISSUE The Business Solutions Magazine For Furniture Retailers FOUNDED 1870 • Visit The Industry’s Most Extensive Furniture Site OPERATIONS • MARKETING • SALES • FINANCE Cover: Featured is the Matrix Too from well known glider manufacturer Dutailier. This new model combines Dutailier’s unequalled construction quality with contemporary style at an affordable price. Matrix Too glides, has multiple positions, reclines, swivels and can be personalized with different arm rests, back cushion styles, finishes and fabrics. See Dutailier’s ad on page 1 and the back cover of this issue, or visit for more information. 06 BLUEPRINT FOR A DIGITAL incentives and creative marketing can to work with them appropriately. attract interest and retail traffic. MARKETING STRATEGY 38 THE CASE OF THE A digital marketing strategy utilizes social 28 WAREHOUSE & DELIVERY media tools to help you to connect with, STOLEN FURNITURE listen to, and engage directly with con- CHECKLIST FOR TOUGH TIMES Max Morgan always thought employee sumers. For most furniture retailers it is virtually theft was something that happened to impossible to increase sales this year, so others – until it happened to him. This 14 WE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE! you need to focus on items you do con- article outlines a plan to catch a furniture You made a big mistake and purchased trol, such as warehouse and delivery. store thief working an inside job. too much inventory? Tell your customers about it and give them reasons why your 34 ASCENDENCY OF THE 48 YOU CAN HARNESS store offers great deals that differentiate TRANSACTIONAL SHOPPER your promotions from other sale price THE POWER OF E-MARKETING advertising. There are two broad “types” of shoppers; New media is uncharted territory for transactional and relational. Most are many furniture retailers, but with a bit of not all one way or the other, but you’ll 20 SPORTS MARKETING see a mix of these two shopping motiva- knowledge you can be one of the first in Even in tough times, sports promotions, tions in your customers that can help you our industry to do it right. 54 12 WAYS TO GET YOUR FURNITURE WORLD MAGAZINE • BPA Association of Business Publishers 1333A North Ave. #437, New Rochelle, NY 10804 EMPLOYEES ON THE SAME PAGE Tel: 914-235-3095 • Fax: 914-235-3278 • Take these twelve steps to organize your US POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: FURNITURE WORLD, PO Box 16044, St. Louis, MO 63105. business and you will dramatically increase the focus and accountability of Publisher • Barton Bienenstock • [email protected] your people. Editor • Russell Bienenstock • [email protected] Vice President Sales • Thelma Mason Davis • [email protected] Associate Publisher • Larry Stein • [email protected] 64 THE SIMPLE RULES Account Executive Eastern Region • Jon Siegel • [email protected] Sales Director International Markets • Gary Siegel • [email protected] OF IN-HOUSE FINANCING Associate Editor • S.T. Bienenstock • [email protected] If you’ve considered the highly profitable Canadian & Feature Editor • Janet Holt-Johnstone • [email protected] finance end of the business and need to Art/ Design Editor • Barbara Bienenstock • [email protected] know how to buy contracts for in-house Comptroller • Gifford Dorival • [email protected] credit, try these simple rules. Design Feature Editor • Margarett DeGange • [email protected] Sales Education Feature Editor • Cathy Finney • [email protected] 66 BEST SELLING DESIGNS Operations Feature Editor • Dan Bolger • [email protected] Marketing Feature Editor • Larry Mullins • [email protected] Editors’ picks of best selling designs. Store Design/Branding Feature Editor • Martin Roberts • [email protected] FURNITURE WORLD: (ISSN0738-890X) - Published every other month by Towse Publishing Co., 1333-A North Avenue, #437 80 INDEX & DESIGN CONTACTS New Rochelle, NY 10804. Subscription: $19 per year; $39.00 for 3 years, $29 Canada, $4/copy; Foreign $89; (U.S. cur- rency only). Periodical postage paid at New Rochelle, NY and additional mailing offices. US POSTMASTER: send address Telephone and email contacts for adver- changes to Furniture World, PO Box 16044, St. Louis, MO 63105. Publications Mail Agreement Number 41659018. Return tisers and featured “Design” editorial. undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PO Box 875, STN A, Windsor ON N9A 6P2. Copyright 2008 Towse Publishing Company, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. 2 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:55 PM Page 6 Blueprint For A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY Part 2: Using new and valuable tools to connect with customers. Internet Marketing By Leslie Carothers e have a new President and to convert e-based conversations into engaged in this phenomenon, because the bright promise of hope sales, online reputation management, your customers are! for new perspectives and social networking, and measuring results Once you connect the dots, you will Wanswers on how to more through the implementation of website realize that your brand needs to listen to effectively and efficiently run our country analytics. and engage with customers on this level in the 21st century. The adoption of new media digital by developing a digital marketing strate- How did President Obama win? One marketing strategies can and will save gy. important element was his campaign’s our industry - which means saving many A digital marketing strategy is a cross- brilliant grass roots digital marketing thousands of jobs. That’s a bold state- platform strategy that utilizes social strategy. Each step of the way, he was ment, but it is true, because online is media tools such as blogs, wikis, pod- able to measure and react to changes in where your customers are. casts, video and webinars along with voter sentiment caused by breaking • Over 570 million people use some social networking sites such as news, speaking points released by the sort of social networking site in our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, opposing campaign, and much more. world today. YouTube and Hulu to connect with, listen Obama realized early on that by relying to, and engage directly with consumers. heavily on a digital vs. traditional media • Facebook is growing at the rate of There are three main benefits you can strategy, he could enter into a conversa- 600,000 new users A DAY. obtain if you implement a digital market- tion with the American public to find out • LinkedIn is being used by over 21 ing strategy correctly. their concerns and address them. He million professionals. used the speed of the internet to com- BENEFIT #1 municate his ideas, and at the same time • Twitter is being used by over 4 mil- collect campaign contributions. He did lion people for micro-blogging, LISTEN AND ENGAGE it. And, so can you. including Ford Motor, Virgin Airlines, Number one is the opportunity to lis- Anderson Cooper, Zappos and other In 2008, I wrote five feature articles notable brands. ten to what your customers and potential for FURNITURE WORLD magazine (all customers have to say to you, or already posted to the article archives on the furn- All you have to do is look around and are saying about you on other sites. For website). Each one covered a notice how many people you know are too long, retailers and manufacturers different aspect of what you, as a retail- actively engaged with some sort of social have not directly engaged the end con- er need to know to be effective in the media or social networking site. It does- sumer. online environment. Topics included how n’t matter whether you are actively Social media marketing gives you the 6 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:55 PM Page 8 “Once the strategy is in place, it is free...” A blueprint for a compete e-marketing strategy needs to include the initial set up as well as a plan to make it successful and self sustaining. A good plan will assign responsibility for engaging customers as well as store managers, sales associates, customer service people and support staff. opportunity to listen to and engage the available for all your other potential cus- your mistakes. It enables you to build end user before your company makes tomers to see whenever they conduct trust and authenticity. Will it potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in their pre-purchase research. cause you to have to change your busi- expensive mistakes. These mistakes So, for this reason alone, it is critically ness model? Yes. Will it, on occasion, be could be in your selling system, your important to begin an active program of painful to hear the truth? Yes. Will it be inventory, your customer service policies, listening to and engaging your audience worth it? Yes. Why? Because if your cus- delivery, warranties, or any other busi- through a social media strategy so you tomers begin to really believe that you ness area. If you are honest, transparent, can at least participate and influence the are listening, engaging, responding and responsive and engaged on the impor- conversation about your store, your acting, these customers will become a tant social media platforms, your cus- brand, your people or your products. sales force for your store and your brand tomers and potential customers will tell that no amount of money would ever be you what they want and think. SECOND BENEFIT able to buy. This, dear readers, is what Can this be difficult to swallow? Yes. IT’S INEXPENSIVE every brand hopes for - customers who But every company needs to know what are so energized and excited that they its customers really want and think of The second main benefit is that a dig- cannot wait to tell their circle of friends them. What company can afford to put ital marketing strategy is extremely inex- about the great experience they had with merchandise on the floor without really pensive compared to a traditional adver- you! Creating your own loyal cadre of knowing for sure, that it is the merchan- tising strategy. How much are you spend- brand evangelists for your store is a wor- dise their customers want to buy? Think ing on traditional advertising right now? thy goal for any retailer. of this: how much money have you spent 7% of sales? And, once the strategy is set in place, over the past two years in advertising Your traditional advertising is pushing it is free (with the exception of monitoring markdowns and/or getting rid of unsold a message out, hoping potential cus- the conversations). This is why so many inventory? tomers will respond and buy. major brands are adopting and re-allo- cating their traditional ad budgets to You can drastically reduce that expen- A social media marketing strategy social media. diture by engaging your audience direct- allows your customers and potential cus- ly with social media, letting them co-cre- tomers to opt in to the conversations they ate your store. want to have about your store, brand THIRD BENEFIT Do you give up an element of control? and services. In other words, you set up IT’S MEASURABLE Yes. But, the hard truth is that control is the opportunities for them through a vari- Now, how can you know that it works already in the hands of your customers. ety of means on social platforms to inter- well? Because it is directly measurable Most of you know what it is like to be a act with you. You invite them (through through the use of analytics on your web- customer in the digital age. You do pre- your email lists) to participate and they site. You can see, with analytics, which purchase online research, and If you have the choice to opt in. It is much more sites are referring traffic to you. If, for don’t like something about a store you powerful to have customers who have instance, you post a link to a page on shop in, you can easily go to an online chosen to engage with you than to push your website in a LinkedIn group, you review site like or an advertising message out to them. can see how many people clicked and let the world know. Once that con- Social media is not advertising. through to your website from that link. tent is posted, it is impossible to take Instead, it helps you listen, engage and Here is the final key: Social media down. It’s there, forever indexed in respond. It lets you enter into a conver- influence people, but it is not a hard sell. Google and Yahoo search engines and sation with your customers and admit Your customers will believe what their 8 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:55 PM Page 12 “Monitoring conversations consumers have with your brand is the job of a community manager...” trusted circles of friends tell them more Develop production materials need- icant sales as a result of your traditional than a broadcast advertising message. 2.ed to support your strategy. This can advertising expenditures? No, for most Once they are influenced by social include website development, videos, retailers lately. media, it will drive traffic to your website banners, newsletters, content writing, With social media, you only have to re- and your store. That is an important rea- administrative setup, etc. allocate existing dollars budgeted for son why you need to have a very well advertising. That’s all. designed website (if you are an e-com- Set a budget for events to be mar- merce player like or 3.keted through social media-if any. The only major ongoing cost associat-, or very well-trained ed with implementing a social media pro- sales consultants to close those sales. Implement your program with the gram is the cost of talking to your cus- and strategy you’ve devised. It tomers. Once the initial fixed costs are If you choose to participate in social media marketing then you must make takes some time to execute an effective covered, your bottom line operating costs sure your sales team is part of, under- cross platform strategy. will decrease dramatically. This, is why so stands, and is trained to work with cus- many brands are re-allocating to social tomers who have come to trust you Enable ongoing monitoring of social media marketing, and why you might through your social media marketing sites. This task is the respon- want to consider it, too. efforts. If you build up trust in the virtual sibility of a “community manager”, a. world and your customers’ real world person or team that is directly engaged Leslie Carothers, is a 25-year veteran experience is full of angst, inattention and on your behalf in the conversations con- of the home furnishings industry and the apathy, you will lose them forever and sumers are having with your brand principal of The Kaleidoscope Partnership they will, depending on how bad the dis- (store). This is the only ongoing larger - a national company that helps retailers connect is, voice their displeasure on the cost associated with implementing a and manufacturers leverage the internet very sites you have set up to engage social media strategy and can be out- and their websites to powerfully and prof- them! Yikes. But even when problems like sourced. itably impact their businesses. Her areas this occur, if you are engaged, you can Educate your executive team in of expertise include: Online reputation immediately go online and admit your 6.preparation for launch. management; use of analytics to drive goof. Customers will generally forgive profitable growth through different busi- brands that are honest, admit mistakes, Train your sales team in how to con- ness units; content writing for retail and and try hard to make amends. With social 7.vert e-mail or phone based inquiries manufacturer websites; phone and email media, you can document your efforts into in-store appointments or immediate inquiry conversion rate enhancement; and that is worth its weight in marketing sales. social networking implementation and gold. website layout for ease of consumer and consultant use and functionality. So, what steps do you need to take to Now, let’s go back to the initial discus- set up your program? sion about the costs of traditional adver- Questions on any aspect of internet tising. These costs go on year after year, marketing including how to easily man- Set up an initial strategy that outlines right? Yes. Are they directly measurable? age your online reputation, can be direct- 1.the general program, sets goals and Unless it’s direct mail? No. Do the costs ed to Leslie at [email protected]. She assigns responsibility for achieving keep increasing? Yes. can also be reached directly at results. Most importantly, are you seeing signif- 713.705.2482.

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:55 PM Page 14 Hey dude, Cool. I bought too Why don’t we tell many sofas. our customers? We Made A Huge MISTAKE! ...and other ad ideas that explain to customers that you offer great deals, and that will differentiate your promotions from other sale price advertising. Retail Traffic by Brett Kitchen & Ethan Kap ith an unprecedented number ing your customer base, all is not lost. You see ads that promise a lot, and they are of retailers running liquidations, can still reach them with an effective direct increasingly skeptical. That’s why they are GOB’s and warehouse sales, mail piece that compels them to come and looking for a “reason” to believe what you Wand consumers being skiddish buy from you. are saying. and afraid to spend, how can you break The average furniture ad offers “Slashed through the clutter and get the traffic you THE SECRET Prices” and “Buy Now Pay Never” financing need? IS THE REASON WHY options. What compelling, believable rea- The secret to success in times like this is We’ve all seen successful liquidations son does the customer have to believe that having strong relationships with your list of and GOB’s. Why do these work so well, this is a legitimate, compelling, urgent clients, nurturing them, making sure they when in reality the ‘deals’ aren’t any better offer? They Don’t! don’t go buy from “Costco” or any other than average? The secret is in the concept They see it as just another “Me Too” ad big box store because they have ‘lower of “The Reason Why.” that sells the same stuff for the same prices prices’. This is one of the most powerful advertis- as everyone else, and there is no com- Well, if you have been guilty of neglect- ing and marketing concepts. Consumers pelling reason to get off their duff and Like I said at the top of this letter, I’m going to give you free delivery and removal, free financing and 10% off every purchase during the month of January. So the question you’re probably asking is, WHY AM I DOING THIS? OK, here’s why... I MADE A MISTAKE! I’m not proud about this- but I dropped the ball. And the only solution I can come up with to correct the error turns the tables in your favor... So, I’M URGING YOU TO READ THE REST OF THIS LETTER.. What I did wrong was not pay close attention to how much inventory my Merchandise Director was buying. He went absolutely “hog-wild” and now my store is stocked to the walls with a huge inventory of outstanding home furnishings... and I still have shipments coming in!!! I COULD HAVE STRANGLED HIM!!! So when I realized how overstocked we were - there was nothing left to do but move as much of these great furnishings out the door as soon as possible. And yes, that meant taking responsibility for not monitoring my Merchandising Director, cutting my losses, and eating my mistake - BY PASSING ON A GREAT DEAL TO YOU, MY PREFERRED CLIENT! 14 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:55 PM Page 16 The landlord just lowered our rent... One of our suppliers hit hard by the recession sold us fantastic dining groups for pennies on the dollar... “Is the 4th of July a good reason why customers should shop you? Nope!” come in before it’s too late. they can always wait until the “Next Sale”, Consumers have been trained by us, that you are actually giving them a reason not just another sale, is just another sale. to buy now. Nothing special, no real reason to take So how do you come up with a good action. reason why? It’s the concept of deflation, on a differ- Here is an example of a marketing piece ent level. Right now talking heads are say- that works like gangbusters every time it is ing that declining prices lead to a slower used. employee (manager or owner) purchased economy because consumers keep thinking One big reason why this is such an effec- too much inventory. Then he or she explains prices are going to go down. tive letter is because of its well written, that in order to get rid of that excess, it is Are you causing a kind of deflation on entertaining, personalized copy. necessary to make some difficult and yourself by not providing a powerful REA- But even more important is the BIG painful concessions. SON WHY in all of your promotions? BELIEVABLE REASON WHY. First, the store- As you see, he isn’t just saying “I’m giv- If you are training your customers that owner tells a true story about how an ing you a great deal.” He’s saying the “Reason Why I’m giving you such a great deal is because of this: The Inventory Manager bought too much stuff.” Now does your “Reason Why” have to be such a catastrophe? Not at all. You can use a “Retirement Sale” a “Flood Sale” Bill Glazer is famous for his “Fire Sale” and the list goes on and on. Is the 4th of July a good reason why? Nope. Sorry. Give me something that legit- imately shows me why you are giving me a reason to buy. Are you celebrating your son graduating from college? A Wedding, A milestone? Did your landlord just lower the rent, or did an employee just have a baby? Take an occurrence in your life, and turn it into a LEGITIMATE reason why you are making an offer, and why they must act now. Another important part of this is the copywriting. You can’t write poor copy and expect good response. It just doesn’t work that way. So this next segment will give you some “copy and paste” copy examples that will help your ads perform better. Most home furnishings retailers forget that they aren’t just competing with other furniture retailers. They are competing with ipods, cars, cell phones, laptops, and most importantly big screen TV’s. This means you must use compelling copy to show your customers why they can 16 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

01-09 travelamerica 17:Furniture World 12/31/08 5:15 PM Page 17 America’s Trusted Travel Incentive Provider to Furniture Retailers •Increase Furniture Sales by Over 30% •Increase ad response •Generate Excitement •Exclusive Territories •User friendly Cost $ 159 We’re Sending Your Furniture-Purchasing Customers on a 3 Day Las Vegas Getaway for Two (Including Air)! Their Choice of One of Three Exciting Vacations: *3 Day Las Vegas Getaway for two (including flight) *5 Day Cancun Resort Vacation for 4 *5 Day Carnival Cruise for 2 CRUISE CANCUN LAS VEGAS Point of sales and marketing material FREE on your 1st order! Call for your free information package: 1 877 993 6835

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:58 PM Page 18 You could spend your You could buy a new money on a new electronic gizmo .... monthly expenses even car and drive up your further... “Here’s an example of copy you can use...” get a tremendous value by buying furni- with home furnishings? You just need to ture/bedding… and buying it from you. make customers see the logic in spending How do you do it? Here’s an example of whatever money they have on stuff for the copy you can use in radio, tv and print ads. home, not on “disposable gizmo’s”. “Of course you could spend your money Combining effective copywriting tech- on a disposable electronic gizmo that gets niques with compelling reasons “Why” lost, broken, stolen or outdated in the next makes your ads more powerful than any- 6 months. You could also spend your hard thing else competitors are doing. earned money on a new car that drives up Be sure to remember “If you don’t have your monthly expenses even further. But we a reason why, the customer won’t buy.” both know those are not the best way to get REAL VALUE for your money. Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap are “More and more folks are spending time cofounders of Traffic Guys Publishing, and at home with family and friends. The best are commonly known as the \"Traffic Guys.\" value for your money right now is in an Brett and Ethan run a retailer Marketing asset that won’t become lost or outdated, Mastermind Group to help retailers but give you the luxurious living you’ve increase store traffic and sales, while cut- been wanting and deserve without costing ting the fat and waste from current advertis- you a fortune. ing. They also provide Done-For-You ads “Now is the time to invest, that’s right, and promotions along with other systems to invest in home furnishings that make being help retailers consistently drive in paying at home a joy, and allow you to make a customers. very wise financial decision.” Questions can be sent to Brett and Ethan 1-800-393-2054. For more information, You see how you can sell against buying care of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine at visit their free home furnishings resource any of those other products that compete [email protected] or call them direct at center at CLOSING PERCENTAGES OF 90% OR HIGHER! • Audio Learning Course • 10 Lessons • 2 CD’s or 10 file MP3 Downloads House Calls • Boost Average Sale & Closing % • Great For Weekly Sales Meetings by Cathy Finney • Listen between UPs • Learn while commuting Click on the red “FW Online Store” button on or call for more information. Audio Download or CD-ROM Set $200 for single store license. call 877-235-3095 or email [email protected] 18 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:58 PM Page 20 Profiting From SPORTS MARKETING No industry is better suited than ours to take advantage of sports marketing. Furniture Trends by Janet Holt-Johnstone ome spend winter months dream- sports heroes and the reality of your with much better known sports franchis- ing of the “boys of summer”. store’s brand. Sports celebrity endorse- es, creating instant and long-lasting Others long for football’s drama, ments, carefully crafted promotions and associations. Perhaps the most intriguing Sbasketball's thrills, and all the meet-and-greet events are some of the aspect of sports marketing is that a pro- blood, sweat and tears of professional available tools. motion can be crafted to attract men, and collegiate sports. Hockey, golf, gym- No industry is better suited to take women and families representing virtual- nastics and NASCAR; each have their advantage of benefits of sports marketing ly any socio-economic demographic devotees, fans and the clinically than the furniture industry. There is just group. obsessed. no reason why sports fans should watch How to translate the significant power their favorite pastimes seated on worn NATIONAL FURNITURE OUTLET of the bond that exists between your cus- upholstery in shabby surroundings. A “I’m a ridiculous football fan,” Randy tomers and their teams into solid busi- compelling pitch can be made that new Wingard told us. “I am a football infor- ness, vastly increased traffic and surging furniture enhances the entire sports view- mation machine. I can tell you about any sales? The key is to create links between ing experience. A little creative copyright- team or player’s detailed history. For the loyalty home town fans have for their ing can cosy up a furniture store brand example, the NFL College draft is two When the Saints march in... When the saints march in, there is instant excitement at National Furniture Outlet. Their “Special Home Town Team Sale” ad featuring logo emblazoned upholstered items attracted attention. Shown standing (from left to right) above are Charlie Durham, sales and Randy Weigand manager of the Westwego, Louisiana store. Seated is Matthew Gomez, owner/president, George Taix, manager and Raassan Holmes, sales. 20 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:58 PM Page 22 “When Duke plays UNC how about...” days long and is broadcast for 18 hours. sent three players by (for a fee). They Most people watch the first round or filmed a few commercials for us, signed A maybe the first day. I record and watch autographs and took pictures with the all 18 hours straight!” customers and employees. We took it a Randy is a Manager at National bit further by having free food and drinks Furniture Outlet in Westwego, Louisiana. by hiring barbecue catering. We had He believes that wherever there’s sport, give-aways every 15 minutes, with the there is also passion and opportunity for final give-away being a free recliner with profit. “After Hurricane Katrina, the a Saint’s logo. whole region was Saints crazy. The “Approximately 500 people came region got behind the team as a symbol through the store that day, about five of the city. For a city that lost everything, times normal traffic. At least 150 of them it was something that could not be taken had never been to our store before. It B away.” was about 50/50 women and men but Owned by Eddie Gomez and his son, almost every one of them had a child Matthew Gomez, National Furniture has with them! Sales were a little better, but been in business in Westwego for 21 we knew that day would be difficult to years. “At one time we had only three sell the furniture. The goal was for the sales people and one manager. We now people who came to have such a happy have 10 sales people, 16 truck drivers experience they would come back again and warehouse personnel, and six man- and again. Especially those who had agers. In 1992, the store was about never been here before! 9,000 square feet with a back room for “As far as what didn’t work, the food C a warehouse. Sixteen years later, the was a bad idea. The cost of the food, the store is 20,000 sq. ft. with three ware- tables, the cleaning and the general has- houses.” sle of the food, was not worth the time or When the Saints march in, there’s effort. I guess the best way to put it, the instant excitement at National! “We first food did not bring in any customers that started in 2006 giving away two tickets were not coming anyway. to every Saints game. Just as a little “We told the players that we would do something for the customers. One entry something again on a smaller scale dur- per purchase helped to make sure we ing the season. We had a weekday pro- (A) Pictured left to right are some of National Furniture Outlet’s employees at were rewarding paying customers. In motion with two of the Saints’ players. the event. Standing are Edith, Adinis, 2007, I went with Matthew to the Tupelo (Due to the Football Season, it could not Lorainny, and Paula. Seated left to right MS Furniture Market. We saw the be on a Saturday.) We still had free auto- are Amanda, Julia, Patricia, JoAnn and Baseline licensing group. Being sports graphs and free pictures, but no food. Audrey. Jeannie is kneeling in front. fans ourselves, it caught our eye immedi- We gave free gifts, (Fatheads, pictures ately! We placed one order to try it out. and rugs), and a free recliner. It was (B) Seated and waiting to greet customers The New Orleans Saints products sold much easier the second time around. We are Saints wide receiver Lance Moore, right away. knew what to expect and had about 200 running back Pierre Thomas, “Baseline’s head of marketing, Jay less people due to having one less play- agent/consultant Mike Harris and wide Shurling, sent one of his investment part- er and having it on a Tuesday. receiver Marques Colston. ners over to meet with us. It turned out “We still give away tickets to every (C) Line of fans and customers waiting to that he was connected with several home game, still one entry per purchase, meet the players and get autographs prominent athletes, including members with the entries that don’t win tickets signed. of the New Orleans Saints. He suggest- going in the drawing for the Saints’ ed that we have Saints’ players come by recliner at the end of the season. and tie the appearance with product pro- “It’s interesting that the economic motion. downturn has not really affected our “We had a huge promotion on May Sports promotions. We definitely plan on 10, 2008. The players’ agent actually having more Saints’ players here in the 22 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:58 PM Page 24 “The downturn has not affected our sports promotions.” Olindes promotes sports themed furniture built around college teams, baseball and NASCAR. Shown is a print ad for their their recent “Big Game Celebration” promotion touting recliners and HDTV’s delivered before the big game. Also shown is Conway Furniture's foray into racing sponsorships. future. It’s a sure way to generate excite- “There are less extravagant ways to “Even straight-forward sales can be ment for the customers as well as the attract attention,” he continued. made to appeal to fans. Let’s say that sales crew.” “Retailers need to be creative. For exam- next year ‘your team’ makes the playoffs. ple, a New York area furniture retailer Why not celebrate with a sale on select National doesn’t really work with little league events. We may donate to a local could use traditional media, in-store sig- home theater groups that will make playground, and they’ll put our sign up, nage and the powerful social networking watching the big game more enjoyable? but no promotions.” tools discussed by Leslie Carothers in the Round out the promotion by sending a November/December 2008 issue of mailer to your preferred customer list. Randy admits he’s “a big Saints fan. FURNITURE WORLD to generate a Invite them to come to a kick-off party But I’m an even bigger fan of football in sports fan following. It would be easy to featuring new home theater merchan- general.” He is also “a moderate basket- start a hometown Linkedin usergroup, dise. Entice them with a playoff ticket raf- ball fan. I follow the NBA, but there’s not call it a support group, for spouses look- fle and throw in a percent-off sale on much more room in my brain for any ing to spruce up their significant others’ promotable ‘your team’ merchandise, other stats or information other than foot- ugly sports dens. Another user group tee shirts and backpacks for the kids so ball!” could feature furniture design tips for that your team’s fans, young and old, Ranger fans with children. can enjoy this post season with all the IDEAS FOR PROMOTIONS “Such a retailer might ask customers cool gear. Jon Siegel, FURNITURE WORLD to enter a drawing to pick the correct “Or here’s a lure. Run a series of radio Magazine’s Account Executive Eastern number of strike-outs that starting a ads saying, ‘its 2009 all Texas Long Horn Region, who has a background in sports pitcher is going to throw. The winner Fans. Receive an NCAA official pig skin management, says that, “it isn’t difficult could receive a ‘sports fanatic’ room football with any purchase of $500 or for furniture retailers to attract and keep make-over with Yankees themed furniture more for your college dorm or off cam- the interest of sports fans. The highly and accessories. If the Yankees get into pus home furnishings only at XYZ publicized Jordan’s Furniture promotion the playoffs that year, the retailer might Furniture of Houston.’ that resulted in 24,000 of Jordan’s cus- follow-up with a give-away by random “Stores in most areas of the country tomers winning furniture is just one big drawing for themed merchandise, includ- will be more successful promoting with example. This promotion generated a ing a mix of upholstery, lamps, kids furni- collegiate or pro teams playing at the surge in business and publicity leading ture, signed photos, pens, mugs, etc. The start of a new season or in post season up to the Boston Red Sox’s World Series believable premise for the promotion play. College promos should be geared win. It was reported that the insurer of the could be that the storeowner is such a die not just by playoff scenarios, but also by promotion paid out between 20 and 30 hard fan that he or she has to do some- rivalry. When the Duke Blue Devils play million dollars to consumers. thing to celebrate! the UNC Tar Heels, how about, ‘Attention TURN BROWSERS INTO BUYERS! Ten lesson audio presentation that will help you: TURN BROWSERS INTO BUYERS, FOLLOW -UP, LEARN WHAT TO SAY, TURN CUSTOMERS INTO CLIENTS, GET ORGANIZED AND GET REFERRALS. To learn more, go to & click on “Marketing of Me” Or Call 877-235-3095. See Order Form on Page 75 In this issue. 24 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:59 PM Page 26 “Promotions can be crafted to attract men, women & families from virtually any socioeconomic group.” all Blue Devil’s fans! Receive a $100 gas individual players through programme Sales Manager at Olinde’s Furniture in card, or Visa gift card, if our team wins advertising and the high school hockey Baton Rouge, Louisiana, loves to “Turn this Saturday, only at our store.’” team in fundraising for a European tour. business into pleasure and pleasure into business!”, and how better to do that “My manager is the president of the CONWAY FURNITURE Listowel Cyclones, Midwestern Junior B than with sports interaction? Back 120 In Canada, hockey is big. And the league, and my controller/I.T. man does years ago, Olinde’s was a small hard- ancient art and craft of curling has its the bulletin for them here at the store. It ware store, now there are four Olinde’s devotees. Our friend, Paul Dekker, takes time from work, but they are both and four Ashley Home Stores. “We Conway Furniture in Listowel, Ontario, great employees who get their work decided on sports promotions a few has “never used the celebrity angle” in done, so it isn’t a problem. The partici- years ago when one of our buyers was at his sports marketing, “but we sponsor an pation in that organization connects High Point. And we’ve had big traffic annual curling bonspiel, in fact, it’s them with many potential customers. building promotions for the last two years called the ‘Conway Bonspiel’. We don’t “I did sponsor a car race for four years with team players at the store. We do our tie into it at store level, but we do get as well! And we have a golf sign up in the ads in college colours. We’re using acknowledgements for it. We also regu- office and book two or three tee-offs on sports themed furniture built around col- larly sponsor ice time both for minor Wednesday evenings after work. A little lege teams, baseball and NASCAR. Our hockey tournaments and figure skating social time, followed by food and bever- give-aways have been Big Man recliners competitions. It is $50 to $100 for an age. When we are on the ball, we invite in purple and gold with the LSU logo.” hour of ice time. Again, we’re acknowl- some of our manufacturers’ reps to join On game days, Olinde’s opens an hour edged for this. We have in the past spon- the fun, and hopefully buy a round! or two early, and their ads tell customers sored sweaters for soccer, a great sport to “come by before you go out to support for kids, low cost and maximum partici- “For the most part these sponsorships your team.” It works for Olinde’s! pation. are a part of small town life. We know It has been said that when things are the people who are involved and the par- “We also support our local OHL hock- not so bright in the economy, we tend to ey team, Midwestern Ontario Junior B ents of the children who are playing. If turn to sports and sports-related activities league, with a sweater sponsorship and my business were in a larger population, for escape and to work off our frustra- major ad in their programme. And minor I would handle it differently. I would tion. Stir the imagination and enthusiasm hockey, Midwestern Ontario Junior C, in sponsor one thing visibly instead of many of your customers. Hit them where they two neighbouring communities in our things in a small way.” live! Consider your options and climb on trading area. Minor hockey support is the proverbial band wagon. You’ll have generally through sponsoring ice time for OLINDE’S FURNITURE fun while you’re at it and might even tournaments, and we have sponsored Down south again, Tommy David, make money! twitter... facebook.... linkedin... newmedia! What are you doing? From tkpleslie: Leslie Carothers 713.705.2482 • [email protected] • • 26 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:59 PM Page 28 When Times Are Tough, Use A WAREHOUSE & DELIVERY -LIST It will be tough to post sales increases this year, so focus on opportunities that you can easily control. Operations by Dan Bolger “ o improve is to change; to be per- framework to eliminate waste every step walking around, you will probably want to visit the warehouse on subsequent fect is to change often” is a Sir of the way with the ultimate goal of Winston Churchill quote that achieving a perfect delivery. days to observe operations needing Tstrikes home in these difficult For most furniture retailers it is virtual- improvement and develop action plans times. That quote, and the use of ly impossible to increase sales this year, to address these issues. Managing By Walking Around tech- so you need to focus on items you do niques (described in the 1982 book “In control. This article is focused on oppor- OBSERVE DELIVERY Search of Excellence” by Tom Peters and tunities that you identify using your eyes • Was the workplace left clean and Robert Waterman) are the driving princi- and ears through “Managing By Walking neat the previous night for the start of ples that need to be used by every furni- Around” and the use of common sense. the new day? ture retailer in these tough times. In If you have broad management respon- recent years Lean process has con- sibilities, rearrange your schedule to • Is the entire staff at their work tributed another dimension to overall spend time in warehouse and delivery stations ready to start work on time best practices strategy. In simplest terms, operations over a three-week period. or, do people sit around drinking cof- applying Lean principles to furniture Your entire first day should be spent in fee and chatting? warehouse and delivery provides a operations. Based on what you see while • Does the warehouse manager have GOAL COMMENTS Reduce the cost __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Improve customer service __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Improve safety __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Prepare for growth __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Reduce damage & errors __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Improve inventory control __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Become more flexible __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Facilitate information visibility __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Reduce downtime __________________________________ ______________________________________________ Add your goals and comments about each of the items listed above as you walk around and then rearrange them in the priority order that fits your situation. Reproduced with permission from “Lean Warehousing” by Ken Ackerman, Ackerman Publications, 614-488-3165. It is a a useful reference for the general topic for application in warehouses. 28 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/8/09 3:56 PM Page 29 “Spend time in operations over a three week period.” the day’s work planned so there is •What can be done to reduce the time delivery be shortened? productive work that can be started between receiving and delivery? • Walk the warehouse and observe immediately. Conversely, are on time • Can the distance traveled between put-away and stock pulling. Is every- workers killing time while a manager receiving, warehousing, prep and one hustling? figures out what has to be done? • Assuming that your company loads trucks in the morning, are returns already properly identified, unloaded, DEFINING HOMES FOR accounted for and waiting in your returns area? NINE INCREDIBLE DECADES. • Are there procedures in place to help your employees understand why the goods came back? • Are there mysteries to be solved regarding previous deliveries or non-deliveries? • Are the trucks swept out, and are blankets and tools already loaded on the trucks? • Are all the goods properly prepped and ready to go? • Are there any defects to be fixed before loading? • Is the dock well organized so the delivery team can load the truck in a timely manner, or are there delays while they hunt for missing parts or units? • Is furniture being dragged on concrete or are dollies and/or hand trucks used to properly handle furniture? • Is everything blanketed in the truck? • Is the light side of the blanket always toward the product and dark side “IN OUR HOME THERE ARE TWO TREASURES—MAGGIE MAE AND BEAUTIFUL CAPEL RUGS.” out? Are all furniture surfaces protect- ed from damage? –Bruce Hric, President and CEO • Are ties properly used to prevent Creating rugs that define the home is at the heart of the Capel tradition. And, products from shifting? with 10,000 different inspirational designs, our selection goes well beyond other rug companies. From American Originals™ to colorful contemporaries, • As each delivery team prepares to leave, pay attention to their appear- from fine hand knots to functional outdoor styles, we’re creating rug classics for ance. Do they properly represent a new generation of style. your business image, whether in uniform or personal work clothes? CAPEL RUGS AMERIC A’ S R UG COMP ANY OBSERVE RECEIVING L A S V EGAS W O RLD M ARKET C ENTER, A226 • Are all the support documents avail- WWW. CAP E LR UGS.COM | 800-334-3711 able for easy reconciliation?

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:59 PM Page 30 A. B. “As you walk around notice...” A. Mess and disorder. Your team should fold blankets and create neat work spaces as they work, without leaving the cleanup for later. B. Missed steps that can cause furniture damage. Furniture should be wrapped with blankets before strapping. C. Good staging practices. C. • What stock is dusty or possibly damaged which indicates lack of inventory control? • Are cycle counting programs in evidence? OBSERVE PREP • Can unpackaging and basic prep be done by less skilled workers? • Are the most skilled workers doing highly productive work? • Is merchandise movement efficient? • How is the trash handled? • Observe the staging for each truck bay. VISIT THE SHOP • What is the level of professionalism in every aspect? VISIT THE OFFICE • Listen to office communications and observe the functions. • How do the staff members work together to achieve overall customer service goals? Throughout this grand tour, consider whether you would be pleased to have your customers walk through with you, includ- ing the break areas and restrooms. That’s an acid test. As you move from area to area, speak with all the people who contribute to operations. People who actually do the work are frequently aware of, and glad to tell you what needs to be done. Sometimes though, management never asks or is not lis- 30 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/5/09 5:43 PM Page 32 WAREHOUSE& DELIVERY E. -LIST E. Watch for employees who might injure themselves, the furniture or F. others. For example, don’t stand on bedrails, practice safe box cutter protocol and refrain from horseplay. F. Another example of professional staging. tening. You may also want to reference previous North America. FURNITURE WORLD Your notes will provide an internal FURNITURE WORLD Magazine articles Magazine readers can contact him at assessment of strengths and weaknesses. (posted to the Operations Article [email protected] or call him direct at They will help you focus on improve- Archives on the website) 740-503-8875. ments achievable with your internal staff that provide specific recommendations For more information on this or other and help you determine areas in which for receiving, hiring and compensation. transportation, logistics and furniture ware- you may need to hire outside consultants Daniel Bolger P.E. provides operations housing topics, go to to to supplement your in house expertise. consulting services to clients throughout read all of Dan’s articles. 32 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 3:59 PM Page 34 Ascendency Of The TRANSACTIONAL SHOPPER Transactional shoppers are more interested in price than relational shoppers. They shop around and rarely make their purchase on the fist visit. Sales Management Magic by Joe Capillo here to begin? The family businesses: Take control of the cations to be funded. November/December issue point of contact. Companies who hope to thrive need of FURNITURE WORLD In our business, nothing fails like suc- to take control of the point of contact WMagazine included thirteen cess. All the sales you’ve ever made, and between customers and salespeople. Be points to attend to in this awful economy all the sales your individual salespeople right there with them all the time. This is and I hope they were helpful. Now let’s have ever made, have been closed in an not the time to trust that things are being take a closer look at steps you can and environment that no longer exists. In the done well. You know that there is a con- should take today, tomorrow and every past, you’ve probably approached cus- sistent, wide range of performance day from now on. tomers in ways that no longer will work, among your salespeople, and you can- I have personally been affected by this so you’d better have a Plan B. not afford to let anyone get away who perfect storm of events that overtook us Things may never go back to the way could buy, and should buy from you. in the past 18 months, having been they were in, say 2005, 2000, or 1998. Business owners and managers, par- involved in a family business that spi- Maybe those companies that survive this ticularly at the highest levels in large, raled out of control through the failure of will end up being one of the few places multi-store companies, are just not close a group of branded stores, an attempted left in the neighborhood to buy furniture enough to the point of contact. In these merger with an even sicker company, and thrive in an under-stored market- large companies it’s understandable. But and the crashing housing market. I place. Perhaps other channels of distrib- in smaller companies, it’s inexcusable. speak to you from close to where you ution will become stronger than ever and Someone from ownership or manage- are. I hate to say it this way, but I feel the whole idea of furniture stores will ment needs to be out there every hour of your pain. become passé. But, meanwhile there are every day to make this happen. You’ll Here’s my advice for owners and mortgages to be paid, health insurance close some sales that otherwise wouldn’t managers at all levels, particularly small premiums to maintain, and college edu- be closed, and you’ll learn a lot about TURN YOUR TRASH INTO CASH NOW! Cut Packaging Disposal Costs. Become A “Green” Retailer. Generate A New Revenue Stream. International Industries & Associates • Corrugated, Styrofoam, Poly Wrap tel: 954-979-3368 • cell: 817-692-1481 • [email protected] •

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 6:57 PM Page 35 “Everyone becomes more transactional in times like this.” what your customers are thinking to help work with them appropriately. folks, though. They’re just as likely to buy you promote and advertise the right Transactional shoppers are most inter- somewhere else the next time. They’re things. ested in price or “the deal” you’re offer- not interested in a “relationship” with ing. They shop around a lot, and rarely, your store or your salespeople, just in TRANSACTIONAL VS. if ever, make a purchase on their first visit getting the best price. They also don’t to your store. This partially explains why value design help. RELATIONAL SHOPPERS close ratios for home furnishings are low When you get these people back a Here’s some interesting information compared with some other kinds of second time on the same shopping pro- that supports this assertion. There are retailing. These shoppers will tell every- ject, they buy a very high percentage of two broad “types” of shoppers; transac- one they know if they believe they got a the time because you’ve already con- tional and relational. Most people are good deal at your store, so when you sell vinced them that you’ve got great prices. not all one way or the other but you’ll see them, they can be a good source of new Relational shoppers on the other a mix of these two shopping motivations business. hand, are typically less concerned about in your customers that can help you to There’s little or no loyalty with these price, or “the deal,” and seek a relation- January/February 2009 FURNITURE WORLD 35

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/8/09 3:27 PM Page 37 “Be-backs are everything in our business. Especially now.” ship with your store and, if they earn it, with a salesperson. These peo- ple need a lot of help with the design aspects of their purchasing deci- sions, and need someone they trust to tell them to go ahead and buy. These people are more likely to buy on their first visit as long as they feel they are valued and their needs for support are met. They’ll be loyal to the relationship as long as you work to maintain it. Just remember that these are different times from “normal.” Most of us display a mix of the two modes depending on the nature of the products we’re shopping for. For example, where product distinc- tions are clear as in cars, or TV’s, and there is a lot of information avail- able regarding quality, features, and pricing – as would be the case in both product categories when a rating source such as Consumer Reports exists, we tend to be more transactional. Where more consultative sell- ing is required, as it is in furniture, little comparative information is avail- able, and outcomes affect quality of life issues, we become more rela- tional. So how does this affect us now? Everyone becomes more transac- tional in times like this. Still, experience shows that when customers return to your store a sec- ond time, your close ratio will be over 70% and as high as 90% for your better salespeople. The problem is getting them back, particularly those transactional types. This is why you need a system for dealing with both types of customers the first time you meet them, and ways to determine if they lean toward transactional or relational buying. You also need a strong follow up system that is transparent to management and man- aged closely. Of course, before you can follow up, you have to have the customer’s contact information and permission to follow up. For this to happen, you have to serve everyone at the highest possible level, accounting for the uncertainty customers have about your products (no information or ratings available) and the affect the decision to purchase has on people’s lives. Be-Backs are everything in our business, and in these conditions more so than ever. Everyone is a transactional shopper these days, but you can still uncover the hidden core of need if you pay close attention, and get them back one more time. This is the kind of game that needs to be coached play-by-play, on the field by the top managers working with their players in the game. This sport, unlike real sports, is one where the coaches and owners can actually play in the game. Joe Capillo is a furniture industry veteran with 35 years combined experi- ence as a retail consultant and retail industry executive. He is a contributing editor to FURNITURE WORLD and a frequent speaker at industry functions. Joe makes himself available for private consultations on any aspect of retail sales management and sales education. He can be reached at [email protected]. See all of Joe’s articles on the information packed FURNITURE WORLD website January/February 2009 FURNITURE WORLD 37

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 4:15 PM Page 38 A Case Of STOLEN FURNITURE Max Morgan always thought employee theft was something that happened to others – until it happened to him. Prevent Employee Theft by James W. Bassett ax Morgan, owner of investigating crimes against persons. He examiner told Max that, because of a Morgan’s Furniture Gallery, also said “The truth is that we don’t have federal law called the Employee was stunned. Three of his enough manpower. Property crimes like Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA), Mmost expensive bedroom sets, yours usually get moved to the back he could not ask any of his employees to two entertainment centers and three burner.” take polygraph tests unless two require- sofas were missing from his warehouse. Max decided to go a different route ments were met. The requirements are: He double-checked his computer and and have all his employees take poly- 1) the employee must have had access physical inventories. This was no mis- graph examinations. He to the stolen customer property, and 2) take. It had to be employee theft. The Max had to have what is called “reason- only people who had access to the able suspicion” that the employee stole warehouse were Morgan’s employ- what was missing. ees. The more questions Max Max Morgan never had an asked, the more confusing the employee theft problem in his com- polygraph examiner’s answers pany before. He called the police. A became – and the more frustrat- uniformed officer promptly arrived ed Max became. Max thanked and took a report. The next day, a the polygraph examiner and detective showed up and inter- hung up. viewed Max. The detective told him Max decided to try an internet they had run criminal record search using the search term checks on all his employees, but “Solve Employee Theft.” The first none had criminal records. The three search results all referred him detective explained that since to the same web site and the same there was no physical evidence investigator. Max went to the web- and no witnesses to interview, site and studied it carefully. He there was little the police could believed he might have found the do. He went on to explain that solution to his problem. And it was police were not eager to inves- entirely legal. tigate employee theft cases because when police did catch According to the website, Max would the perpetrators, their employers usually grabbed order theft investigation questionnaires decided not to prosecute. This made the phone book, opened it (written interviews) for each of his police feel they had wasted their time. to “Lie Detection” and called a private warehouse employees. He would admin- The detective said their first priority was polygraph examiner. The polygraph ister the questionnaires like tests to his 38 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/8/09 3:26 PM Page 40 STOLEN FURNITURE warehousemen and their supervisor. Then Max would mail the received them promptly via email. That afternoon, he adminis- completed questionnaires back to the investigator. The investi- tered theft questionnaires to his employees and sent them back gator would analyze each employee’s answers and write a to the investigator by overnight mail. report explaining which employees Max could legally ask to Two days later, Max was reading a report that had been take polygraph tests in compliance with the EPPA law. The emailed from the investigator with results for each of his ware- investigator’s report would also advise Max regarding which house employees. An attachment contained completed forms qualified employees should be asked to take the polygraph so Max could ask his number one most likely suspect to take a first, second, third, etc., based on who was most likely to have polygraph examination in compliance with the EPPA law. committed the theft. Then the investigator would fill out the paperwork required so that each qualified employee could be According to the employees’ answers on their question- legally asked to take a polygraph test. naires, the most probable culprit was a truck driver named Chet. Chet was one of Morgan’s four delivery drivers. A close Max got the investigator on the phone and asked “What is runner-up to Chet as the most probable culprit was Nathan, his your success rate in solving theft cases with these question- warehouse foreman. The investigator seemed to think the two naires?” The investigator answered “In cases like yours, ninety- of them might be working in cahoots. five percent. But I can’t guarantee you will get your merchan- dise back.” Max said “I understand that. My first priority is find- Max Morgan couldn’t believe his warehouse supervisor was ing out who stole my furniture and getting rid of that person.” involved. Nathan was the first employee Max ever hired and he was the last person Max would have ever suspected of stealing Max ordered the theft investigation questionnaires and from him. But the information in the report was pretty clear.   ! !   \"    # $      %  &  ' (    ) *  %   ) *%  %' %      + %          '   ,   % ''-  * .) %   / 40 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 4:15 PM Page 41 Here’s some of what the report said regard- ing Chet’s involvement in the theft: “The most probable Chet’s helper, Scott, wrote on his question- naire, “Chet told me he got charged with culprit was a truck drunk driving two months ago. He said he had the money to make bond but didn’t have the money for his lawyer’s retainer. He told me if driver named Chet.” he didn’t come up with the scratch for the lawyer, he would get convicted of DUI and lose his job.” It hasn’t been very long since the two of them didn’t like each other – hardly even spoke to Freddy, a warehouseman wrote: “Chet’s been acting real up-tight lately, not like his each other. Now, all of a sudden, it’s like usual self which is kidding around with all of us they’re buddy-buddy.” and joking.” Here’s what the investigator’s report said about Nathan: Marcel, a delivery driver, wrote: “Something’s not right with Chet. It seems like Tom, a delivery driver, wrote: “I hope I’m he and Nathan are always having these private wrong, but maybe something’s going on with conversations in the corner of the warehouse. Nathan and Chet. Every day for the last two

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 6:58 PM Page 42 weeks, Nathan’s been sending out Chet’s truck last. Before that, it was whoever’s truck was loaded first was the one that left first. Chet and Scott used to get their truck loaded first almost every day. Scott liked to finish early. Now, he don’t much seem to care. I’m trusting that you’ll keep my name out of it.” Alvin, a delivery driver, wrote: “Last year Nathan bought a new house and a new car. Not long ago, his wife got laid off. Now Nathan’s saying he’s gotta have a raise.” George, a touch-up man, wrote: “Just this Monday, Nathan came into my area, took an entertainment center with a big scratch on it, and loaded it on Chet’s truck. He told me he’d touch it up himself at the cus- tomer’s house. When I asked why he was going out with Chet, he said they had to make a special delivery after working hours. Very strange. Never happened before since I been here that Nathan went out on a deliv- ery.” Along with the theft investigator’s report, Max received completed forms so he could legally request Chet and Nathan to take polygraph exams in compliance with the EPPA law. The investigator advised present- ing the forms to Chet first. He thought Chet might prove more cooperative than Nathan. Max called Chet into his office, closed the door and said, “Chet I want you to read these two forms carefully. If you have ques- tions about anything you read, let me know.” Chet read the forms slowly and deliber- ately. Then he said “These forms say I don’t have to take the polygraph test if I don’t want to. I can refuse.” Max asked, “Why would you think about refusing if you are innocent?” Chet said “I have to protect my rights.” Max responded “And I have to protect the company. Did you read the part that says I have the right to fire you if you refuse to take

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 7:01 PM Page 43 “Max couldn’t believe his warehouse supervisor was involved...” the polygraph test?” Nathan’s. Nathan found out I got a DUI 50-50.” last month. He said I could beat the rap Chet said, “Yes. Would you do that?” Max said “I understand why you stole. with a good lawyer. I asked if he was Why did Nathan steal? Did he get Max said “Tell me about the furniture going to loan me the money. Nathan behind on his payments? Did his wife that’s missing from my warehouse. said he had something better in mind. He lose her job?” Maybe it’s not all your fault. If not, you explained how we could overload my shouldn’t take all the blame.” truck and that we could deliver the extra Chet said “Heck no! Well, his wife did furniture to the houses of various guys he lose her job, but the very next week she Chet turned away from Max and found a better one. His problem is that stared at the wall. His eyes began to get knew. He said if I didn’t show my helper he developed a liking for nose candy. misty. Then he began to get angry. the invoices, then Scott would never Can’t get enough of it.” catch on to us. Nathan said we’d split the Chet said, “It wasn’t my idea. It was money he’d get from selling the furniture Max asked “Cocaine?” January/February 2009 FURNITURE WORLD 43

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 4:38 PM Page 44 “Hurricane damage, recession, inflation and foreclosures are just a few of the things driving American workers to steal from their employers....” Chet said “Yup! He does two lines Chet said “Why not? He’s the one that foreclosures are just a few of the things every day at lunch. He’s got a buzz on got me into this mess. And he hasn’t paid driving American workers to steal from right now.” me my share.” their employers. Some are also seeking solace in illegal drugs. Max said “You’re a good worker. I Chet wrote and signed his apology wouldn’t have fired you for the DUI. I (i.e., a confession) and provided Max Max Morgan always thought employ- would have moved you to a helper’s job with the addresses where the stolen fur- ee theft was something that happened to and trained one of the helpers to drive niture had been delivered. Because Max others – until it happened to him. your truck.” had a signed confession from one of his employees and information concerning James W. Bassett has been a theft inves- Chet said “What happens now? the locations of the stolen furniture, the tigator and polygraph examiner for Max pulled out the blank Apology police agreed to assist with search war- more than three decades. His new Form the investigator had sent to him via rants and arrests. book, Solving Employee Theft: New email, handed it to Chet and said, Insights, New Tactics is available from “Here, fill this Apology Form out com- Both Chet and Nathan are currently, and from pletely and truthfully. Don’t hold anything awaiting trial on Grand Larceny charges. the author himself. You can contact him back. Then sign your name. I can’t Nathan was also charged with posses- promise you anything, but maybe some- sion of cocaine. The police managed to directly at (352) 277-6222, via email at thing can be worked out to keep you out recover all of the stolen furniture except [email protected], or visit his web- of jail and help you find another job for one sofa. site to learn somewhere. You may also have to testify In today’s world, hurricane damage, more about theft investigation question- against Nathan.” recession, inflation and home mortgage naires. FINDING GREAT PEOPLE IS WHAT WE DO! Furniture Team is your top talent recruiting solution! From mid-level managers to top executives in retail, wholesale, and distribution--let us find the best candidates for you. We will access, qualify, interview, evaluate, and secure potential candi- dates to help you get the best team possible. • We work with home furnishings companies nationwide and abroad. • We not only find great candidates for you, we can also assist in the offer/ negotiation and transition processes. • We have worked with over 200 client companies in 10 years. • Member, NFHA and WHFA. Furniture Team Management Recruiting, Inc. Call Pete Tomeck today! 717-361-7858 • • [email protected] \"I put my name on the line with each placement!--Pete Tomeck, President - Member, SHRM 44 FURNITURE WORLD January/February 2009

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0109 wizard pages 46-47:furniture world 1/1/09 10:36 AM Page 47

0109 furn world 2:furnworld 1/4/09 4:38 PM Page 48 Shift To Modern Media THE POWER OF e-MARKETING Four tips to strengthen customer relationships. Operations by David McMahon here is a shift that is occurring in tomers from shopping in other places (like tomers will come back. They hope that the advertising world. Resources your store). just by changing the mix of traditional from newspaper, yellow pages, TV, Some of these companies collect email media, buying smarter and tweaking the Tcable, and radio advertising are addresses from shoppers, buyers and on message, they will attract more business. being reallocated to web sites, internet the internet and then they follow-up with To a degree, this strategy can work, espe- search, email media, and mobile media. various levels of customer contact. Most cially with retailers that have made poor This change has just started to occur in send a general monthly or semi-monthly media buys, neglected to quantify results, the furniture industry. New media is email promotion that is totally advertising and run tired advertising that fails to dif- uncharted territory for many furniture focused. This is a start, and it is easy to ferentiate their store brand or motivate retailers, but with a bit of knowledge you do. customers can be one of the first in our industry to do A few provide value driven content- Those of you who have been following it right. based e-marketing newsletters targeted to Leslie Carother’s excellent FURNITURE The big guys such as Rooms to Go, their customer’s interests. This is even bet- WORLD Magazine series that covers e- IKEA, Thomasville, Ethan Allen, Nebraska ter then emailing a promotional message marketing and social networking (posted Furniture Mart and many independents because it provides value to current cus- to the article archives) have are aggressively collecting and using cus- tomers/prospects and helps to build long seen that there is an opportunity to con- tomer and prospect email addresses to term relationships. nect with customers in a substantial way at help build customer loyalty I define e-Marketing as permission- low cost by using new media. and keep their best cus- Furthermore, it can be done in a way that based marketing and follow up done through interactive other retailers in your market probably media such as the haven’t even considered. internet. It can be New media enables independents to Provide done through web compete on a similar playing ground pages, search locally as a national or regional power- engine optimiza- house! It is far less costly than traditional Value tion (SEO), mobile media as it is driven by brains, creativity, short message ser- and knowledge of the virtual world. You vices (SMS), or may not be able to match Ashley email. In this arti- Furniture’s newspaper insert budget, but cle we will largely you can connect with customers and give focus on using email. them targeted information that supports Even as e-Marketing is on the rise, your brand, boosts retail traffic and sales. most independent furniture retailers hang on desperately to old guard marketing. Consider these points: They see change as a risk, and decide to • Most stores get the majority of their stick with what and whom they know. sales from within a 30 mile radius of Traditional media has worked in the past where their customers live or own a for them and they hope that their cus- property.

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