Furniture First forms 4th store owners’ performance group

1st in-person meeting planned for Feb. 12-15 at Marty Rae’s of Lexington, South Carolina

MIDDLETOWN, Penn. — Furniture First has announced the formation of a fourth performance group for store owners.

Dubbed “Delta,” (following Alpha, Beta and Gamma) the group will have its first in-person meeting Feb. 12-15 at the store of Furniture First member, Marty Rae’s of Lexington, located in Lexington, South Carolina. Owner George Carson said, “Trae and I are looking forward to hosting the group at our first store visit in February.”

Other stores that make up the Delta Group include Esprit Décor Home Furnishings in West Chesapeake, Virginia; Lake Country Furniture in Grand Rapids, Minnesota; Vinson Fine Furniture in Columbus, Ohio; and Wendell’s Furniture in Colchester, Vermont.

Furniture First began facilitating performance groups for its cooperative members in 2017, expanding focus from store ownership groups to sales managers groups three years later. Each group consists of several progressive retail owners who meet to share their best ideas, financial results, and strategic plans. Each group belongs to the members and is run by its members, with an elected executive committee.

“Only another store owner can appreciate the challenges of the furniture industry today,” said Mike Kordik, Furniture First’s Director of Member Engagement and former retail store owner, as well as a member of Furniture First. “From driving traffic to delivery driver compensation, there are a lot of moving parts in running a furniture store. For me, being in a performance group gave me guidance and insight to know that I was hitting performance targets. That’s hard to do when you are all on your own.”

Members vote on the stores they accept into their group, ensuring that all members are in non-competing markets. Store owner groups meet in-person three times a year, rotating locations among participant stores. Store manager groups meet in-person twice a year. Each group holds monthly calls.

While Furniture First operates the groups, financials are kept confidential and are only viewed by the groups’ members and the facilitator. Furniture First facilitates the process by coordinating the meeting, providing an industry perspective, and processing individual company data to ensure comparable information. Weekly performance comparisons and monthly follow-ups allow the participants to make timely decisions.

“Many of our members belong to a performance group,” said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First. “By bringing them within our cooperative, we’ve lowered the barrier for our members to join one. In fact, if you were to ask the 42 members who already belong to one of our performance groups, many would say joining the group was among the best business decisions they have made.”

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