Convention 2020: Retailing Furniture in the Age of a Pandemic

By Seth Weisblatt, AVB/BrandSource

There are many words that can be used to describe life in 2020.  All of them are accurate and none of them portray the reality of what life is like. Especially true for business owners and retailers, 2020 will likely go down in the books as “&%$S#!”

The largest manufacturer of furniture is Ashley Furniture. When the pandemic became a global crisis, Ashley reacted immediately and worked to provide resources and a continuation of product supply.

Like most manufacturers in the home category, Ashley has experienced unprecedented demand. Yet every aspect of the supply chain has been disrupted — from domestic production to the importing of containers to the retailing of the product.

BrandSource is incredibly fortunate to have a great partnership with Ashley Furniture and its executive management team. At the 2020 Virtual Convention, we invite you to listen to a special guest: Rick Coppola, President of North American Sales for Ashley Furniture Industries, will discuss the Ashley world of today and selling furniture during unprecedented times. 

My interview with Rick will be held Monday, Aug. 31 at 2:00 p.m. Central, and will be followed by a live question-and-answer session, providing our members an incredibly unique opportunity to visit with the leader of Ashley’s sales team.

In addition to the Ashley event, there will be further value for furniture retailers in attending the 2020 Convention. For the modest investment of the registration fee, you and your teams will receive first-hand insights from AVB CEO Jim Ristow, CMO John White and Merchandising VP Chad Evans on where the industry is heading, how to improve your marketing strategy and how the inventory situation is shaping up for the balance of the year and beyond. You will also learn from your fellow retailers which tactics that are working to stay profitable and win customers. 

We’ll also have a few furniture offers at the much-anticipated Stampede buying event, in addition to many show specials from our vendors. You will have the chance to learn which vendors have product in stock immediately; open new accounts with many of our preferred vendors; and take advantage of great digital marketing strategies that work, including PERQ’s marketing cloud solution, targeted mailings by LS Direct Marketing and live chat from Podium.  Feinblum Real Estate services will also be on hand to meet with you and strategize ways to manage your real estate portfolio in these times of unrest and uncertainty.

This will be a show you will remember — the first virtual gathering for BrandSource and the industry, with all of us geared towards helping you, our members, stay profitable and competitive. We certainly feel it is a can’t miss opportunity.

For all things Convention related, visit the Virtual Convention page on YSN.

Seth Weisblatt is Director of Merchandising /Home Furnishings for BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc. He previously served as Executive Vice President at Sam’s Appliance & Furniture and Vice President of Digital Marketing at Ashley Furniture Industries.