The cooperative buying group was founded in 1994 by a group of five retailers who were then clients of Media Marketing Associates. Two founding members are still active with the group today: Kloss Furniture in Highland, Illinois and Great Deals on Furniture in Martinez, Georgia. The founders drew up the bylaws for the cooperative and started recruiting other furniture retailers to join them. Several charter members, who have been with the group since 1994, are still active with Furniture First today:
-Bilt Rite of Greenfield, WI
-Butterworth's Furniture of Petersburg, VA
-Ernie's in Ceresco of Ceresco, NE
-Old Brick Furniture of Albany, NY
-Oskar Huber Furniture & Design of Southampton, PA
-Pilgrim Furniture City of Southington, CT
-Short Furniture of Litchfield, IL
-Smith Village Home Furnishings of Jacobus, PA
-Sylvan Furniture of Lewiston, ID
"The Gala has given us a reason to take a look at where we started and where we are today," said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First. "When we launched, the goal was to have about 60 members and 12 to 15 suppliers. Today our members collectively operate more than 500 retail locations and we work with more than 170 merchandise and service partners."
Furniture First is a cooperative national home furnishings and mattress buying group serving full line independent retailers with sales over $2 million. A recent analysis found that collectively the group sells $2.5 billion at retail with their approved merchandise programs in the 501-member storefronts. Furniture First occupies showrooms in High Point (IHFC G-770) and Las Vegas (B530) where they display products from several of the group's approved vendors. For more information on Furniture First Membership, please visit www.FurnitureFirst.coop/join
or call 800-411-3477.