BrandSource Summit Sharpens Focus on Furniture Biz

By Alan Wolf, YSN

As more and more furniture dealers migrate to BrandSource, the group has increased its home furnishings content accordingly for this month’s Summit 21.

Building on last summer’s exclusive Convention interview with Ashley division president Rick Coppola, BrandSource has prepared an extensive program of furniture-focused presentations for the virtual meeting and expo under Seth Weisblatt, director of home furnishings merchandising.

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Dubbed The Furniture Channel, the lineup includes a series of one-on-one interviews with senior furniture industry execs and experts, including Michael Campbell, CEO of Leather Italia, David Crimmins, sales senior VP at Flexsteel, and a return engagement by Ashley’s Coppola, who heads North American sales for the company.

The Furniture Channel is an attempt to speak to the heart and soul of our industry — the mom-and-pop retailers who are fighting on behalf of their families and communities to remain a valued shopping destination,” Weisblatt said. “The goal of the ‘Channel’ is to provide retailers insight into the industry in short chunks, and to identify new partners that will help them accomplish their goals.”

Also on deck is Larry Furiani, dealer relations VP for Coaster Company of America; Steve Riley, former chief furniture merchant at Nebraska Furniture Mart; plus topical discussions with Editor-in-Chief Bill McCloughlin and the staff of FurnitureToday, the iconic industry publication.

In the course of their conversations, Weisblatt and his guests will:

  • Examine how retailers large and small are working through the industry’s supply chain challenges
  • Discuss strategic solutions that support the independent retailer
  • Share their predictions for retailing in a post-pandemic world
  • Offer insights on meeting the demands of a changing consumer.

“I’ve never seen such a tough environment for retailers,” Weisblatt observed. “This a scary time for many of our stores. But BrandSource and AVB Marketing are here to provide you with the tools to help you stay in front of the ever-changing customer, to stave off the fierce competition, and to help ensure your profitability as an independent retailer.”

The Furniture Channel will also present product introductions, vendor trainings and a look at the efficacy of point-of-sale software. And, as an added bonus, attendees will have a chance to win a Yeti Cooler, courtesy of Furniture of America, by visiting The Furniture Channel booth at the show.

BrandSource’s annual industrywide event, running March 23-25, will also feature a state-of-the-union update from AVB CEO Jim Ristow; a virtual appliance and home furnishings expo; a series of on-demand educational sessions; interactive Social Hours; and 777 Lunch & Learn, a daily short-form panel discussion with seven top manufacturers, each answering seven questions in seven minutes.

As the show’s “Double Down” theme suggests, Summit 21 is designed to inspire dealers to double down this year on business, knowledge, digital marketing … and success.

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BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.