The Furniture First Board of Directors held an in-person meeting in Harrisburg, Pa last month during which three new members were approved and plans were made to move the group’s administrative offices to a new facility being purchased by the organization.
The newest members include Freed’s Fine Furnishings in Rapid City, SD, Interiors, Inc. in Lancaster, PA and Tin Roof Furniture in Spokane, WA. These additions bring the membership member rolls to 218 stockholders, with 464 storefronts in 47 states.
Freed’s Furnishings has been a proud provider of home furnishings, flooring, and interior design services in the Rapid City, SD, area for over 90 years. In addition to a full line of furniture, Freed’s offers full service, complimentary design consultations that include flooring, space planning, wall coverings, paint color selection, window treatments and lighting, as well as custom furniture, upholstery and bedding. Their three locations serve the Rapid City area.
Interiors was founded in 1969 by Lillian Lehman with the goal of meeting the Lancaster area’s need for high quality, fashionable home furnishings. Lillian’s passion and strength of character helped the store build a successful business with a strong connections to the community. Todd Lehman, one of Lilian’s four sons, currently serves at the President of the retail operation and works with his brother Gregg to manage their three showrooms in central Pennsylvania.
The Tin Roof is a third-generation-owned furniture retailer with three locations. Started in 1945 by Arch Hanley as “Acme Electric,” the business has continued to evolve. On the retailer’s website Heather Hanley, Creative Director and 3rd generation owner of The Tin Roof, states her belief that “every person is unique and their home should be too.” The Tin Roof offers in-home interior design consultations with levels of service from personal shopping and paint color consultation to whole home interior design.
The qualifications for membership in the national buying group result in a high-quality cooperative. Furniture First only admits full-line independent retailers. 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, and many feature custom-order products.
Furniture First’s Board of Directors is moving forward with plans to acquire a new office building in Middletown, PA, a location near the group’s current Harrisburg office. Situated close to the airport, the new facility will provide expansive offices for staff and a place for the buying group to host on-site meetings with vendors and the Board of Directors. The move is expected to take place in January 2016 after renovations are complete.
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. Furniture First occupies showrooms at both the High Point and Las Vegas Markets where they display products from several of the group’s approved vendors. This includes the group’s high-margin private label mattress line, Mattress 1st.