Middletown, PA: Furniture First opened up sponsorship registrations for their 2022 Symposium on Monday, November 8th and sold out in record time. Table sponsors sold out within 45 minutes of the registration site activation, and booth sponsors sold out a short time later. All slots were gone within 80 minutes. The symposium, twice rescheduled due to Covid, will take place in-person at the Omni Champions Gate Hotel in Orlando, Florida May 23-25, 2022.
“We are fortunate to have such robust support for our meeting, especially after two years of not being able to gather in-person,” said Hawkins. “We expect the next year to be even bigger. In 2023 we will be meeting in Palm Springs at a venue that will allow us to accommodate more tables and booths.”
Following the sponsorship sell-out, Furniture First’s board of directors met in-person at the buying group’s headquarters in Middletown, Pennsylvania on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Eric Sinclair, owner of Montgomery’s Furniture in South Dakota, presided over the semi-annual session in his role as Chairman of the board.
Among the topics discussed by the board were container programs, and a sales analytics review, in addition to board development and governance. The board is seeking to grow Furniture First’s container programs with leading manufacturers, an enterprise that began 2018, and was expanded with new models last spring as many stores were struggling to get merchandise and the program has allowed them to get product on a shared container basis.
The board also reviewed the insights gleaned from the group’s Tools 2B First program, Furniture First’s exclusive version of Tools 2 Win. Macro trends and item performance from the sales analytics tool are used to inform the merchandising strategies of Furniture First’s merchandising team.
Consultants from the North Group, a leadership development firm, also met with the board to help implement the new governance model North developed with the board. Both the board and the staff of Furniture First recently completed DISC Profiles with North, and the results were discussed in regard to how the board and staff can best work together to advance the group’s goals.
“It was great to get everyone together in one place last week. Its something we all missed since Covid hit,” said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture first. “I think it really says something about character of our members that they genuinely like one another. Last September members got together on their own at a lodge in South Dakota as friends, not just Furniture First members. It was a chance for them to reconnect with each other after COVID kept them apart. It was so successful that they are considering doing it again next September.”
Three members of Furniture First’s board of directors will be featured panelists a the up-coming Furniture Today Leadership conference. Randy Coconis, owner of Coconis Furniture, Todd Lehman, owner of Interiors Home, and Jack Steger, owner of Steger’s Furniture, will be discussing the leadership dynamics of family businesses as the next generation assumes more responsibility.
Furniture First is a cooperative national home furnishings and mattress buying group serving full line independent retailers with sales over $2 million. Collectively, the group sells over $3 billion at retail with their approved merchandise programs in the 521 member storefronts. Furniture First occupies showrooms in Las Vegas (B530) and High Point (IHFC G-770) where they display products from several of the group’s approved vendors. For more information on Furniture First Membership, please visit or call 800-411-3477.