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The Business

“Furniture Retailing 101: The Business” is intended to provide the beginnings of an understanding of the furniture industry to the reader. The volume explains the fact that many of the details presented and concepts considered will vary greatly from one company to another; that every furniture retailer is different. It introduces the business functions of Operations, Merchandise Information, Inventory Control, Merchandising, Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, Finance, Training and Development, and Human Resources in broad strokes. It examines the concepts of a Company’s Architecture, and Organizational Structure, Perspectives and Paradigms, a Company’s life cycle and a Company’s Mission.

The volume looks in greater detail at the “Front Room” functions of Merchandising, Marketing, and Sales. It examines the merchandising function with all of its various component parts. It dissects the function from beginning to completion. The book explores the many steps that a merchandiser may take to create an optimally salable, profitable assortment of product. It looks at such things as basic merchandising decisions, Good, Better, Best Merchandising, line up analysis and creation, opportunity exploitation, inventory maintenance and keeping the inventory clean, merchandise pricing, merchandising programs, the merchandise life cycle, and merchandise variables. It describes a furniture market, a Merchandise Grid, the function of a Manufacturer’s Representative, and examines vendor relations.

Then, the book explores the marketing function in the retail furniture industry and the ways in which it facilitates a retailer’s sales, growth and profitability. It looks at market research and reviews the concepts of market segments and sectors, market selection, and market targeting. It examines niche marketing, how retailers determine who the furniture customer is, what she/he wants, and what may motivate her/him. It then, looks at several Marketing Program approaches from both the retailer’s and the customer’s viewpoints. The volume explores the notions of “The Brand”, differentiation, sales promotion and advertising, the importance and sometimes under-use of “public relations” and merchandise presentation and display.

Finally, “Furniture Retailing 101: The Business” examines the selling function along with a look at retail sales people and designers. It addresses how sales associates may be viewed by the company and the company viewed by sales associates. It also takes a look at what sales associates or designers actually do and what qualities assist in their finding success. Relationship selling is examined along with problems that arise between the company and customer when sales associates oversell or undersell the company’s products. Finally, Two Dozen and Two Tips for sales people on selling furniture on a furniture floor are presented.