MIDDLETOWN, PA -- In their September meeting the Furniture First board of directors approved the applications of two retailers to join the furniture and mattress cooperative buying group: J. Allan's in Brookhaven, Mississippi and FX Marcotte in South Portland, Maine.
Furniture First will open sponsor commitments for the group's May 2018 Symposium on November 1st at noon eastern time. Only approved vendors will receive a link via email that will allow them to select their sponsorship. Sponsorships are expected to sell out quickly.
"Our members and vendors really value the information and networking that they get at our Symposiums," said Darby Hawkins, Furniture First's on-staff Event Planner. "That's why since 2015, our sponsorships have sold out in quicker and quicker timeframes. Last year we ran out of table and booth spaces within four days. Even after adding additional tables, we had to turn vendors away."
The group is returning to the venue that hosted their 2014 Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 14-16, 2018.
J. Allan's two locations in southern Mississippi are owned by Christopher Robinson. He acquired the stores from his previous employer and Furniture First member, Lott Furniture in McComb, Mississippi. Robinson's experience running stores under the Lott ownership showed him the value the cooperative buying group brought to the chain. J. Allan's product mix is expected to take advantage of the groupâ€™s mid-to-higher end merchandise and business services for back end functions like consumer financing and credit card processing.
FX Marcotte came to Furniture First after owner Michael Bonneau hired staff who had worked for a now-retired furniture retailer in his area. These staff members, employed at Crockett Furniture until the owner retired, had experience working with Furniture First programs and systems. When the territory became available, Marcotte was a natural fit with the group, in terms of merchandise and operations.
"We're thrilled to add these two companies to the Furniture First family," said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First. "The familiarity of their staff will make it easy for them to maximize their returns quickly."
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 represents $2 billion in retail sales through 483 member store fronts. Furniture First occupies showrooms in High Point and Las Vegas where they display products from several of the group's approved vendors.