Furniture First celebrated its twentieth anniversary Saturday night with a Gala dinner. The cooperative’s independent Members, manufacturer and service partners, as well as other industry figures, gathered at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC. The evening’s festivities included a video montage featuring photos of Member meetings and gatherings over the years and a series of Member interviews, conducted by Gefen Productions at the group’s 2013 Symposium in New Orleans. In the video Members described how their participation in the cooperative has benefitted their business over the years.
The Gala’s post-dinner program recognized the organization’s Founding Members with the presentation of plaques. The Founding Members originated the cooperative’s charter and by-laws.
- Steve Kloss – The Tin Shed, Highland IL
- Ed Kennedy – Great Deals on Furniture, Martinez, GA
- Ed Bergland (retired) – Top Hat Furniture, Kearney, NE
- The late Jerry Fried – Media Marketing Associates, Harrisburg, PA
- Bill Mathis (retired) – Mathis & Bolinger, Visalia, CA
- The late Steve Nowicki – Stephen’s Furniture, Venice, FL
Following the Founding Members, the group’s Charter Members and Vendors, were recognized and awarded plaques as well.
- Bilt Rite – Greenfield, WI
- Butterworth’s Furniture – Petersburg, VA
- Colonial Heights – Lancaster, OH
- Ernie’s in Ceresco – Ceresco, NE
- Fleming Furniture – Padukah, KY
- Great Deals on Furniture – Martinez, GA
- Old Brick Furniture – Albany, NY
- Oskar Huber Furniture & Design – Southampton, PA
- Pilgrim Furniture City – Southington, CT
- Short Furniture – Litchfield, IL
- Smith Village Home Furnishings – Jacobus, PA
- Sylvan Furniture – Lewiston, ID
- The Tin Shed – Highland, IL
- Ashley Furniture
- Leggett & Platt
- Pulaski Furniture
In addition to the Gala, Furniture First will hold its General Membership and Annual Meeting during the High Point April Market on the morning of Monday, April 7 and additional events will be held in the group’s High Point showroom in the IHFC, G-770 (Green Wing). The showroom displays merchandise and exclusive collections developed for the group and serves as a meeting point for Furniture First Members to network and catch up with their home offices.
Furniture First was founded in 1994 and today the group is comprised of 211 independent retailers with 444 stores in 47 states. Collectively, Furniture First Members produce $1.7 billion in retail sales. Furniture First is a national “Home Furnishings and Mattress” only buying group serving the over $2 million full line independent retailer, representing $1.7 billion in retail sales. For more information on Furniture First, please call Bill Hartman at 800-411-3477, ext. 123 or email BHartman@FurnitureFirst.com.