Last month the Furniture First Board of Directors approved the applications of two retailers to join the national buying group: DAW’s Home Furnishings and George’s Furniture & Mattress.
DAW’s Home Furnishings is located in El Paso, Texas where it was originally established as S.O.S. TV and Appliance Company in 1951 by Yazbik Daw with three other partners. Growth spurred by the market for color TVs allowed the company to expand to new locations and add furniture to their merchandising mix. In 1969 Yaz and Rosalie Daw broke from the chain to establish DAW’S S.O.S. TV Appliance and Furniture Company, with the vision of bringing their eight children into the family business.
By 1984 the furniture side came to dominate the business and the company name was changed to its current DAW’s Home Furnishings. Today the operation is operated by Daw siblings Wade, Mark, and Teresa, with a third generation represented by Yaz’s grandchildren Bryan and Stephanie.
George’s Furniture and Mattresses is located in Napoleon, Ohio. Founded in 1962, George’s is currently owned and operated by Chris Chamberlin. Paul and Becky Chamberlin, Chris’ parents, purchased the well-established community business in 1993 and added “Bedding” to the store’s name. Paul retired from the business in 2010 after a 40-year career in the home furnishings industry.
“Many of our retailers have passed their business from one generation to the next, just like DAW’s and Georges,” said Andrew Kauffman, Furniture First’s CEO. “We serve family-owned businesses, many of which are multi-generational, and that impacts how our members interact with one another. We hear all the time that what makes us different from the other buying groups is that our members are like one big family, because our members are not in direct competition with one another.”
A recent survey by the group found that 70% of their member stores are run by a second, third or greater generation of ownership. The group represents 469 store fronts in 47 states, collectively generating $2 billion in retail sales.