Furniture First recently launched a redesign of their website for retailers interested in learning more about the National Buying Group. The site, www.furniturefirst.coop/join, highlights the benefits of joining, acquaints visitors with Furniture First’s history and mission, and outlines the qualifications for membership.
Visitors can see current members describe the benefits they value most by watching the videos integrated in the website. Their testimonials were recorded during the group’s 2013 Symposium in New Orleans by Ellen Gefen of Gefen Productions. In these videos, members share their Furniture First experiences and successes, citing the advantages they’ve enjoyed through membership.
The new site was built in-house by Furniture First staff using the WordPress platform. Its responsive format allows for optimized viewing on iPads, phones and other devices. The refresh was performed to improve functionality, readability, and to streamline content.
The website features an interface for retailers to submit preliminary details to begin the application process. Inquiries about membership from retailers west of Mississippi are directed to Ron Page, Senior Director of Dining & Membership, and inquiries from east of the Mississippi go to Furniture First President Bill Hartman. “Furniture First’s membership has grown substantially in recent years, so it was a good time to enhance our outreach tools,” said Mr. Hartman. “The website redesign helps present all of our programs, discounts, and networking advantages in an improved format.”
The qualifications for membership in the national buying group result in a high-quality cooperative. Furniture First only takes on stores that are full-line independents that have been in business for more than five years, though the average age of member businesses is more than 45 years. Stores are required to have good credit and meet minimum volume requirements. Most members, whether they have a single storefront or a chain of locations, serve the solid middle market of consumers. Since the group is geographically exclusive by representation, members are rarely in direct competition with each other, adding to the overall willingness to share and collaborate.
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. For more information on Furniture First, please call Bill Hartman at 800-411-3477, ext. 123 or email BHartman@FurnitureFirst.com.