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Thread: Trips to the local furniture stores today

  1. #1
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Trips to the local furniture stores today

    I went into two major furniture stores today with my wife, because I'm researching a line I think I want to carry and they both have it. One in Maryland, one in Virginia. These are major players, not small timers. And no, I don't identify myself - I just act like a regular customer looking around.

    The first store in Maryland stunned me. I expected this one to be beautifully decorated, put together, and organized. It wasn't. It was a warehouse dump. Furniture just strewn around with no organization or even attempt to make it look nice. Salespeople were.....well....idiots. Now I see the frustration many of you experience at stores when you shop. They say two things: 1) "This is really nice furniture, what color do you like?" 2) "We have it on sale right now".

    Oy.

    The Maryland store is also a Hancock and Moore dealer, the only one in that region and its in a high dollar zip code. I ask "Where's your Hancock and Moore? All I see is Hooker leather furniture". The answer was "Oh, we don't have any Hancock and Moore floor models, their rep needs to get in here and get us some inventory". Huh? Reps don't do that - you order your own inventory. As we got back in the car I said to my wife "This is the competition across town? Seriously? Not one floor model and they still sell it?"

    Then we went to the big warehouse store in Virginia. I've been in there before and its so unappealing. Just furniture put on a concrete floor, much of it damaged when it didn't have to be damaged! And its dirty, really dirty. The exposed employee break area was filthy. Gross. Now they did have Hancock and Moore floor models, but all just shoved together, no concept of display or arranging Quite frankly, unappealing. And yet this store moves product - I guess a lot of people just don't care. My wife saw me intently listening to one of their salespeople talk to a couple about leathers and it was all wrong She saw I was ready to interject and she said quietly to me "No - you stay out of that and just move along....this is not your store and they don't need your help."

    If I were a little younger, I think based on what I saw today from these two "Big Players" I'd go five times as large on my store and have a highly trained staff and could just dominate this region. They are that bad.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    628

    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    I wonder if that is on purpose. NC is historically known as the place you can get "deals" on furniture. The warehouse atmophere might actually be a sales gimmick to give the impression that you are getting "warehouse" prices. Mark something down 30% from MSRP and many people really unaware that is no great deal or anything you should not be able to find all day long, every day of the week at nicer stores. I hate shopping at places like that. I also wouldn't trust a place like that stand behind what they sell or help me out when I needed someone to go to bat for me with a manufacturer. My local store, which is one of the higher end chain stores has gone out of their way time and again to make sure I was happy with whatever I bought from them. I trust you would do the same.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    The North Carolina "Deal" places are all gone, and have been for some time. That doesn't mean your local person is priced better, it varies from dealer to dealer. We all have the same cost structure, the NC guys don't operate on special pricing from the suppliers. Where you see "deals" on floor models are all what we call "graveyard" items, that no one really wants. Showroom models in strange covers, pieces that were returned to the manufacturer, designers or stores that can't pay their bills and their orders accumulate, mistakes in building, etc. There are a few stores that deal only in graveyard items, so you see big markdowns because the suppliers don't want those items hanging around the factory floor and want them gone. Those truly are outlet items, but they are few and far between - and a lot of them are plain out ugly. I looked at graveyard Your Way sectional at H&M when I was down there, done in the worst Highland House fabric, it was awful. The dealer had ordered it in Deeper depth (Your Way) and they made it in a Standard depth, so they had to re-make it. But even at a steep discount, i didn't like it so I left it for some other dealer - someone will buy it.

    Of course I stand behind what I sell, thirty five years in business means you pretty much have to in order to have lasted that long. However, the furniture industry is not Nordstrom's and it can depend on what the issue might be.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    20

    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    I love the last line of your first post....After 35 years of doing it, you still love what you do, have a passion for it and a vision for how it still ought to be done! It ain't work if you love what you do and it shows! That is why we read and learn from you and buy from you....I love that you still have the P&V in you about your industry....I feel the same way about mine....and when I wake up one day and don't feel that passion you showed in the last line of the post, it will be time to hang 'em up, whenever that day comes...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    It's a pretty good industry to work in. I really like working with my suppliers and going to the Hancock and Moore factory, for example. They don't say "The Keeping Room" is coming, they say "Duane is visiting today!" and that's like family. Really good people that care about what they do and they try to do it right for their dealers and customers. We always go out for lunch and talk about kids, dogs, trends, tell stories in a very informal setting. That makes it fun.

    Today one of my customers (Hi Judy!) drove three hours to my store to pick up an H&M office chair, then went three hours back home. She can buy that same chair much, much closer to her home but I'm her dealer and we talk about her new home she just bought, her old home she is selling we did the decorating in ten or twelve years ago, her dogs (she raises champions) and sports cars - plus all sorts of things more than just furniture. That's what I enjoy.

    Someone wants to come in my store and be adversarial and do that whole customer vs dealer thing, I have no patience for that. And there are a few people that do whom sap the energy from you - who wants to bother with that? It's supposed to be FUN to get new furniture, have fun - be fun - don't make it a chore.

    It's all good!
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    Here in one photo is what I really like to do, create unique pieces to put on the showroom floor rather than keep pumping out brown leather recliners in Chinese leather @ $ 1,299. That's the business part of it, this is the fun part.

    I just got this Hancock and Moore Boho Chair in this morning, and I love it! I used leathers that most other dealers would never dream of building for a floor model because 1) they don't understand them 2) they have no vision. I have it next to other creations outside the norm, a Shin Warmer Chair, Kent Chesterfield in a high end leather and a hair on hide / w suede Braiding chair. Takes a long time to get these in this climate, so I rarely order more than one for stock, but I actually smile and get jazzed when these beauties arrive from Hancock and Moore (no other companies really do this).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    I'd have said blue is not my color preference, but dang that Boho Chair looks awesome! What leather is that? The wrinkles in the seat and the color differential in the bottom foot panel look amazing in that photo - so much character.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Trips to the local furniture stores today

    More on that chair here in this post, and of course, it can be made in any leather. I will be very surprised if this chair stays around very long.

    http://www.myfurnitureforum.com/show...hire-Burnished

    I have another Boho chair and matching sofa on order in a special Moore and Giles leather I saw on my trip to the factory. This new order probably won't arrive until November, however. They are going to add this leather to the line and it likely will come in as either a GR 3 or GR 4.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

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