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The Strategic Concepts


“Furniture Retailing 101: The Strategic Concepts” addresses many of the component elements and concepts managers and executives in the industry deal with in the course of meeting their responsibilities. This volume begins with a look at the notion of competition and the concept that retailers compete against their own past performances, other furniture retailers, and retailers in other industries. The book looks at the four classes of furniture competitors: Market Leaders, Market Challengers, Market Followers and Market Nichers. It then identifies the various strategies employed by each to compete. Finally, the chapter ends with an examination of five common traits shared by many of the most effective competitors: Excellent Merchandise Selection and Value, a Lasting Competitive Edge and Core Competencies, an Innovative Approach, an Established Company Brand, and a Corporate Culture, which prizes its leadership position.

Next, “Furniture Retailing 101: The Strategic Concepts” addresses the concept of Change, along with many examples of changes in the furniture industry that have occurred over the past 60 years or so. It examines the inevitability of change, the scope of change, resistance to change, negative reactions to change by employees and how resistance and negative reactions may be managed. It concludes with the lessons of change, and seven simple rules of change.

Next, the book introduces Furniture Retailing by the Numbers. It presents the reader with financial highlights of retailing. It uses a fictional retail furniture company along with its fictitious Financial Statements and Statistical Measures to explain some of the financial elements in basic language to non-financial employees. The volume examines a Balance Sheet and an Income Statement along with various Financial and Productivity Measures. These include Gross Margin of Profit Percentage, S, G, & A Percentage, Net Income Percentage, Sales per Square Foot, Inventory Turnover, Months Sales in Inventory, Sales per Salesperson, Sales Close Ratio, and Average Transaction. Each is explained as to how the numbers are derived, what each means, why they are important, and how they may be used.

“Furniture Retailing 101: The Strategic Concepts” ends with a look at Balance. It submits the notion that there are forces in existence, some of which compliment and some of which oppose other existing forces, within any retail furniture company and that these forces must be in balance for a retailer to achieve an optimum level of performance. The emphasis is placed upon an understanding that decisions made and actions taken will often have positive or adverse affects on other activities within the business. The forces described are:

Price & Value
Growth & Profitability
Gross Margin & Operating Expenses
Merchandise & Services
Customer’s Needs & Customer’s Wants
Markups & Markdowns
Merchandising & Marketing