MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Members of Furniture First’s Next Gen group gathered for networking and professional development in St James, Montego Bay, Jamaica last week. Fifty-one Next Geners from 20 Furniture First member companies enjoyed the hospitality of sponsoring partners TD Retail Card Services and Serta Simmons Bedding. Professional development sessions where members discussed the unique dynamics of family-run businesses were staggered with networking activities and fun outings.
“We are grateful to have supportive sponsors that make these retreats possible,” said Mack Kauffman, Assistant Director of Sleep Products and Furniture First’s Next Gen coordinator. “Their support helps ensure that the next generation of store owners are connected and engaged. This benefits everyone. Family furniture stores stay in business and our sponsors’ clients remain customers.”
The group bonded during active excursions that included ATV riding and a catamaran cruise. Between social sessions, the group got down to business as they learned from each other how to step up to leadership within their family businesses.
“Many of our members face similar challenges. Sometimes it takes an outside point of view to find the best solution. That’s why networking is such a powerful business tactic,” said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First. “Things can get more complicated when you layer on the interpersonal relationships of working with family members.”
The Jamaican trip was the fifth retreat for the group which started in 2017. In prior years the Next Gen retreat visited Olathe, Kansas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Aruba, and Punta Cana.
In addition to the annual retreats, the Furniture First Next Gen group stays in touch through a private Facebook group and at Market events coordinated by the buying group.
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 $3 billion at retail with their approved merchandise programs in the 534 member storefronts. Furniture First will continue to occupy their High Point showroom, IHFC G-770, this October while their new four-story property is under construction at the corner Main and Russell, in the heart of the High Point Market district. For more information on Furniture First Membership, please visit www.JoinFurnitureFirst.com or call 800-411-3477.