The rebates and discounts Furniture First brings to retailers motivate them to join the group, but many of our members cite other reasons for their continuing participation. Networking and peer-to-peer sharing benefit our members substantially. We maximize these activities formally with retailer round table networking and best idea sessions, and informally with plenty of time for socializing. Members ask one another which programs are working and what merchandise is selling. They seek their peers' advice and guidance in solving common business challenges.
Furniture First Symposiums present merchandising, operations, and marketing topics in informative, fun ways. We make every effort to highlight issues faced by our members, provide solutions and strategies, and introduce new products to our retailers.
Big Returns for a Small Investment:
Furniture First makes attending our Symposiums worthwhile. We encourage member attendance by covering the hotel room (program nights only) for one manager, buyer or store owner from each member store so the only out of pocket expense is transportation to the venue. (One Symposium fee is assessed to each member whether or not they attend.) We do this to ensure that you get to connect with the decision makers at each store.
Furniture First’s Symposium allows our members and vendors to meet in a relaxed but focused setting. Connections are made and in-depth conversations take place without the distractions of Market. You can gain in-the-field insight from our retailers. What are their customers looking for and what challenges they face in their stores.
Market is hectic and it’s easy for retailers to miss new opportunities. Our Symposium allows us to shine a spotlight on the products and services that may have been overlooked or squeezed out by a busy schedule. The ability to report on the post-Market track record of a new product or tell the story of a revolutionary service is what helps to make our Symposium so beneficial to both our members and vendors.
Furniture First’s membership has grown over the past 20+ years, despite tougher conditions for independent retailers. The average Furniture First member has been in business for more than 45 years and many have been in business even longer. These retailers know the value of long-term, strategic relationships with solid vendors. Time and again we’ve seen that the members and vendors who are most engaged with the buying group experience the greatest amount of sales growth.
"What’s really great about coming to the Symposium and networking is that everyone is willing to share because we don’t have competitors here…Everyone’s very open and wanting to help each other, so the ideas that you take home are just tremendous."
Michael Alan Furnishings
"We got triple our money’s worth at the first Symposium we attended in San Antonio! The experience was great, the format was both professional and fun, and the amount of vendor support was amazing. Meanwhile, we’re still sifting through all the information that was shared and presented, and plan to implement some of the ideas immediately."
Isaak's Home Furnishings & Sleep Center
"I have been to several shows and meetings with other groups and I must say this was the BEST!!! The atmosphere and the attitude between not only the vendors but the members was a TRUE PARTNERSHIP feeling; I have never felt that before."
Charley H. Darsey
"It’s the networking that’s so important. It’s the other dealers in the same boat we’re in sharing ideas, overcoming problems, telling each other about products that work, lines that work, and promotions that work."