First Tuesday launches online platform

HIGH POINT – The First Tuesday committee has unveiled MyFirstTuesday.com, a new dedicated website to support event related communications among participating exhibitors and their customers.

Created by committee member FurnitureDealer.Net, the mobile friendly site focuses on promoting the dates for the ongoing First Tuesday events and acting as a guide to open showrooms for attending retailers and designers. The site kicked off with a portfolio of 109 manufacturer profiles for a digital showcase that will grow to include key differentiators unique to each brand, as well as product photography.

The next First Tuesday event is scheduled for Feb. 2-4. According to Emily Severson, vice president of supplier relations at FurnitureDealer.Net, attendees soon will be able to request and schedule appointments with participating manufacturers via links to each company on the site.

“Our goal for the First Tuesday site is to make it easy for attendees to plan their shopping trips prior to arriving in High Point, and to help maximize the use of their time while on the ground here via their smart phones,” Severson said. “The content is therefore centered around connecting people and helping attendees understand what each brand has to offer, a get-smart-quick guide if you will.

“We believe this is particularly important given the generational shift our industry is experiencing and the varied constituents expected to attend overlapping events such as Designer Wednesdays.”

She added that the way the industry does business will continue to evolve, especially as the pandemic forces reallocation of resources and an accelerated focus on digital business interaction.

“We all see the research on consumers spending more time and money online, but the same thing is happening on the B2B side as well,” Severson said. “Manufacturers are not traveling overseas to review product, while retailers are scheduling more private meetings with vendors, and video calls have quickly become the norm for everyone. We see our job as providing tools to help pave the way forward in this evolution, and this new site is simply one example of our commitment to the industry.”

The site will continue to change to meet First Tuesday participants’ needs and improve connectivity among buyers and sellers.

“We’ll be adding to this site and making improvements moving forward as we get feedback,” Severson said. “We think it’s a good opportunity to keep the event evolving.”

As the list of participating manufacturers continues to grow, new profiles are being added quickly. Severson noted the committee is actively reaching out to all First Tuesday participants, but exhibitors can hasten the profile-development and promotion process by proactively contacting FurnitureDealer.net’s editorial team for the site via e-mail at Kimberley@furnituredealer.net or by phone at (336) 627-0825.

“The First Tuesday event was created as an alternative buying platform for the Retail community as our industry responds to safety issues during this Pandemic,” said First Tuesday Committee Chair Kevin Castellani. “With the support from Furnituredealer.Net we are now able to increase the buying experience for First Tuesday with product information from open showrooms in High Point. The committee will continue to work on improvements to this event making sure safety and new product information are priority No. 1.”

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Raymour & Flanigan promotes Seth Goldberg to president

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Furniture retailer Raymour & Flanigan has named Seth Goldberg as the company’s new president.

With this move, Neil Goldberg, the company president and CEO since 1982, will become chairman and CEO. Steven and Michael Goldberg, previously executive vice presidents, will also now become vice-chairmen.

Seth Goldberg, a third-generation member of the family business, had previously been the company’s senior vice president of marketing, e-commerce and information technology.

“Since Seth joined us, he has made it his mission to learn every aspect of our business,” said Neil Goldberg. “He has worked closely with teammates across the organization, fostering genuine relationships while earning the respect of our associates. Seth grew up in this business and understands the importance of valuing each associate and treating our customers well. We are so excited to see him carry on our family legacy.”

He said Seth Goldberg helped pioneer the company’s rapid expansion across digital platforms while growing its customer base. The new company president joined Raymour & Flanigan in 2008 after graduating from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The company said that Neil, Steven and Michael Goldberg will remain actively involved in leading the organization as they continue to work closely with Seth and his siblings, Adam Goldberg, Shira Boschan and Jared Boschan.

The organization is continuing to prioritize investment in new technology to build omnichannel guest experiences. The leadership team also plans to focus on developing and growing its team of associates, investing in e-commerce, enhancing the in-store shopping experience and expanding its sustainability efforts.

Raymour & Flanigan, based in Liverpool, N.Y., was No. 11 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 report last year, with estimated furniture, bedding and accessory sales in 2019 of $1,478 million.

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NCTO commends new focus on ‘made in America’

WASHINGTON – The National Council of Textile Organizations issued a statement today to support President Biden’s plans to sign an executive order mandating a new government focus on products that are Made in America.

“We commend President Biden for taking action in his first days in office to strengthen our domestic supply chain and manufacturing base with a ‘made in America’ executive order directing the federal government to spend taxpayer dollars on American-made goods produced by American workers using American-made components,” said NCTO CEO Kim Glas.

Glas said that increasing the domestic procurement threshold and the price preferences for domestic goods under the current ‘Buy American’ law will bolster domestic production and stimulate more investment in U.S. manufacturing.

The NCTO said it believes it is critical that taxpayer dollars are used to invest in American manufacturing and its workforce. “It is essential that we close loopholes in our ‘Buy America’ laws, expand application and product coverage of domestic content rules, and close unnecessary contract waivers that undermine American manufacturing and its workforce,” Glas added.

NCTO is a Washington-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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Badcock breaks major new ad campaign

MULBERRY, Fla. – Badcock Home Furniture & More is rolling out a major brand campaign this week built on the new tagline, “Just Right.” The tagline and campaign are the culmination of a year-long strategic effort to understand the company’s position in the marketplace, how its long-time customers perceive the brand and what role a new generation of consumers see Badcock playing in their lives going forward.

Barb Scherer

Barb Scherer

“We went out to the marketplace and spoke to consumers and what that gave us were these critical insights that helped build this brand position and campaign,” Barb Scherer, vice president of marketing, told Furniture Today. “We not only did focus groups but broad surveys, then came back and tested multiple TV story board concepts to arrive at the winning direction.”

Scherer explained that what emerged repeatedly in the company’s engagement with consumers was the role the Badcock brand played at various stages throughout their lives, whether that was recalling Badcock furniture in their parents’ homes or setting up their first home and going to the store for their own first purchases.

“Between being available at the right time and with the right furniture and finance options we were just the right fit for their lives when they needed us,” Scherer said. “We also heard that they shopped other furniture stores and in the process of their purchase journey they would shop smaller and they would shop larger but they would come back to us because the combination of factors made us just right for them.”

If that sounds a little like Goldilocks, it’s no accident. Internally, the company referred to its learning and the campaign as “The Goldilocks Effect,” and that theme plays out in its campaign, albeit subtly. Scherer explained that what the company discovered and what is reflected in the campaign is that consumer’s connection is not just about furniture but about, “the moments in their lives and what they need at that moment,” whether that is during a life-stage change or at a time where a particular type of financing can provide access to what they need for their homes.

The “Just Right” campaign will make its debut this week with 30-second ad spots (see examples below) through streaming venues such as Hulu and will be rolled out in all 38 of the company’s markets. That will be followed the week of Feb.1 with a flight of 30-second ads using the same creative on broadcast television across the same 38 markets. It will also be utilized across the company’s social and digital media channels, its print campaigns and its website.

Scherer noted that the initial ads incorporate user-generated content to demonstrate those key moments in life and noted that in the near future the company will be inviting users to contribute their own content for use in similarly-themed efforts.

rob burnette 2017

Rob Burnette

While the company declined to offer details on its expenditures, CEO Rob Burnette told Furniture Today, “This will be a signature campaign and create a lasting impact for us. It will dominate our advertising for years to come.”

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Fil Doux Textiles predicts fabric trends for 2021

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Textile company Fil Doux has outlined some trends the company predicts for the coming year, including more solid patterns, along with brighter colors as well as a move to more natural and performance fabrics.

“We are seeing more and more plain, not pattern stripe, but a solid pattern with texture and a mix of colors. There is texture both on the yarn and in the ligament,” said Leonardo Novik, Fil Doux Textiles founder and CEO and the third generation to run his family’s mills. “And, there is a trend coming back to natural materials, more linens and cottons. They are selling better than in the past.”

Novik said people are also asking for performance fabrics. His company recently created Copper Shield by Pro-Tech, a copper-based layer that provides an antimicrobial shield. The company used properties found in nature to kill viruses and bacteria using copper. A topcoat of Copper Shield is applied directly to the company’s fabric products to work without harsh chemical cleaners in order to stop the spread of viruses on upholstery items.

The family’s textile business, which started 80 years ago with a mill in Chile, now operates vertical mills in both Chile and Brazil. Novak started the Fil Doux brand in the U.S. in 2006 geared toward contract use, while the company’s Siama brand is more suited for residential use.

“We are completely vertical,” Novik said. “We make the yarn, then dye and weave it, and we finish the fabric all in the same place. I believe there are few companies that can do that.”

Novik said separating the two brands into Fil Doux and Siama was intentional because they had different needs, but now they are getting closer. The company is seeing more requests for performance fabrics in residential and for the beauty of residential to be used in the contract market.

Sustainability is also a key focus for Novik, whose company uses wind and solar power, as well as recycling its dye water and reusing fabric for packaging. The company has also partnered with One Tree Planted to plant 1,000 trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every 1,000 yards of Otratex, a new degradable vinyl alternative, that’s sold.

The company’s products are available to ship in four to six weeks from its South American mills. The entire line includes woven fabrics, leather and digital textile prints. Novik said the difference in the fabrics comes down to the touch.

“We want to have fabric that will move with as little backing as possible, we don’t use glue in order to limit pollution,” he said. “Our goal is to make product with no pilling that offers a great long-term solution without losing its touch.”

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Lorts revamps company website

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Case goods manufacturer Lorts has revamped its website to offer dealers and designers more specifics about its growing product line.

In addition to new photos and information about product dimensions, the site, www.lorts.com offers downloadable digital tear sheets, a new dealer locator as well as a standard product information, a search engine and information about the history of the company, which got started in 1966.

In a video presentation, company President and CEO Michelle Lorts discusses recent changes at the company including updates in equipment that have added manufacturing capacity. The revamped website, she said, is among the latest updates at the 55-year-old manufacturer.

She said the site features additional product categories that are accompanied by product photos that are updated weekly. Customers can also contact the company via email or phone with specific questions about the line or its many custom wood stains and painted finish colors. Other custom options range from wire brushing, leafing and distressing to leathers, fabrics and nailhead trim.

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