MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Furniture First has added two new members to its rosters: Brashears and Samsen Furniture.

Doug and Susan Brashears are the third-generation owners of Brashears, with two locations in Arkansas and one in Missouri. Founded in 1935, the furniture store was an outgrowth of the family’s lumbermill business, and today prides itself on offering a “unique shopping experience with a distinctive mix of products,” according to a release.

The retailer was recognized as a Home Furnishings Assn. Retailer of the Year in 2010, making it the 11th Furniture First members to have received the honor.

“Our membership standards have brought some outstanding retailers into our fold. You can see this in the number of our members who have won industry recognition awards,” said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First.

Samsen Furniture, located in Northwest Ohio, recently re-instituted the family store name after the closure of Art Van, under which the owners had operated as a franchisee.

Originally founded in 1954 by Robert Samsen with the help of his father, Walter, over the years the store has changed locations and expanded, at one point operating as an Ethan Allen until more space provided room to expand their selection. Today, Doug Samsen operates the family store and is in the process of reestablishing his family brand.

“These retailers are recognized for their leadership and insight and they see all the advantages that our cooperative brings them,” noted Kauffman. “It’s not just the rebates, it’s the open communication between the stores since they are not in head-to-head competition with each other that makes us different, and makes a difference to their to their businesses.”

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