The Furniture First Board of Directors recently approved the applications of two retailers to join the national buying group: Four States Furniture and Matter Brothers Furniture.
Four States Furniture operates five retail locations in Texas and Arkansas with two under the Four States marquee, two Ashley HomeStores, and one America’s Mattress. Brothers Adam, Paul and J. D. Wilson took over the family business from their parents Johnny and Sharon Wilson, who founded the operation 35 years ago. Serving the middle market, Four States Furniture brings a personal touch to the market with interior design and in-home delivery and service.
Matter Brothers Furniture operates several stores along the gulf coast of Florida — five as Matter Brothers Furniture and six as Florida Leather Gallery. Stewart Matter Sr. founded the company after working as a sales representative for Simmons Mattress Company. When he decided to leave the constant travel of a sales representative behind, Matter founded Wayne-Stewart Furniture in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Matter’s hometown, in 1958. In 1977 the operation was moved to Fort Meyers, Florida. Over the years, his sons, Stewart II, David, Tom, John, and Gary joined him in the business and oversaw its expansion.
“It’s particularly fitting that both of these new members are retailer operations run by brothers” said Andrew Kauffman, Furniture First’s COO. “You know, we hear all the time that what makes us different form the other buying groups is that our members are like one big family. That’s the natural result of so many retailers passing on their businesses from one generation to the next.” A recent survey by the group found that 70% of their member stores are run by a second, third or greater generation of ownership.
“We are excited to grow our family of retailers with these two new members” said Dino Cifelli, CEO of Furniture First. “Both are in markets where we have not had members previously.” The group represents 469 store fronts in 47 states, collectively generating $2 billion in retail sales.