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Furniture Industry Finance Articles

Consumer Finance: What a Difference a Year Makes!

7/13/2022, Furniture World Magazine

Thoughts about what retailers can expect as we transition to a less favorable credit environment.

Consumer Financing For a Post COVID World

7/29/2021, Furniture World Magazine

Best retail practices using consumer financing options to increase close rates and average sale through 2022.

Published 2004 - 2024

Need To Know Guide to Consumer Financing  - 1/3/2020

A close-up look at the various types, features & advantages of consumer financing plans.  

Grocery Store Conversion Trend: Right Size, Right Cost  - 6/2/2019

How Kloss Furniture used a grocery store conversion to achieve lower overhead, great parking and location.  

Planning For Uncertainty in 2019  - 11/26/2018

Downturns can be times of opportunity, and it's best to prepare for uncertain economic times.  

How To Budget For Success  - 11/26/2018

Only about one in thirty independent furniture store owners produce an annual budget and know how to use it.  

Increase Gross Margin Seven Ways - Part 2  - 5/23/2018

Field-proven ways to maximize your realized gross margin.  

Find Your Top Line Performance  - 3/23/2018

Does your total Gross Margin after deducting Cost of Goods Sold give you a full performance picture?  

SWOT Analysis  - 9/23/2017

Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats facing your business allows you to focus.  

Expanding GMROI  - 6/1/2017

Here's how one retailer used Expanded GMROI, a team approach, to grow GMROI 16% from 2015-2016.  

Investing In Retail: Running the Numbers  - 3/29/2017

Which opportunities should you invest in to get the best return? How do you know if costs will be covered?  

Contractor Misclassification - Are You At Risk?  - 11/29/2016

As Macy’s learned the expensive way, contracting out the work to a third party does not insulate you from liability.  

Improve Performance With Professional Financial Planning  - 3/24/2015

It’s a fact that the FP&A process increases the odds of retail success, producing better profits and cash flow than if you ignored FP&A. Here’s how it works.  

Seven Performance Indicators You Should Track  - 7/9/2014

Here are seven indicators you can use to know your business better, plus how you can use this information to surpass your unfocused competitors.  

Sweating The Retail Details  - 7/9/2014

Business ups and downs you may consider normal, can add up to make the difference between huge profits or crushing losses.  

When To Bring In The Big Guns  - 5/22/2014

A retailer’s perspective on using an outside company to do a GOB, inventory reduction, cash raising sale or other high impact promotion.  

Risky Business: Part 4 - Your Risk For Online Exposure  - 5/22/2014

Today the news is full of stories about online threats directed against countries and large businesses. Although high level hackers may not be targeting your store specifically, you are still at risk of loss from a number of internal and external exposures.  

Improve Merchandise Performance Using GMROI  - 3/16/2014

Willingness to use GMROI as a tool is one factor that separates best performing stores from their peers.  

Sales Volume Planning 2014  - 1/3/2014

By using the break-even sales equation your business can see in advance what volume will be required to produce your desired profit. You will be able to create a meaningful strategy and plan better for the upcoming year.  

Strategic Planning 2014  - 12/10/2013

David McMahon outlines the advantages of putting in place a strategic growth plan for the new year. For your business, strategic growth planning is the GPS for your retail future. It helps your business stay on course.  

Profit Parasites  - 5/30/2013

They are rightly named “Profit Parasites”. Like thieves in the night their insatiable appetites silently steal our working capital. Furthermore, they often evade the focus of our time and attention until they have done irreparable damage.  

Risky Business - Part 2  - 5/30/2013

Prudent furniture retailers in large and small operations purchase Time Element coverage to provide protection for loss due to reduced sales/income and to restore a business to its condition prior to a catastrophic loss. This article by Stephen J. Wisocky explains how to purchase this type of insurance wisely.  

Balancing The Scales Of Business In 2013  - 4/1/2013

Ten areas to consider when seeking to apply focused management and balanced performance.  

Gross Margin Is In Your Head  - 9/25/2012

David McMahon presents proven strategies that can produce 50 to 60 percent gross margins even in highly competitive markets.  

Think Profit! - Part 3: Cash Flow  - 6/6/2012

An in-depth look at how to analyze one of your three critical financial statements: your statement of cash flow.  

Think Profit! -Part 2: Your Balance Sheet  - 4/11/2012

An in-depth look at how to analyze one of your three critical financial statements: the Balance Sheet.  

Think Profit!: In-Depth P&L Analysis  - 3/20/2012

An in-depth look at how to analyze one of your three critical financial statements: the Profit and Loss.  

Micro-Managing vs. Micro-Monitoring Your Business  - 6/10/2004

Probably the most destructive outcome of micro-management is that it stifles individual initiatives and innovation and fosters mediocrity. Micro-Monitoring has none of these drawbacks and helps keep furniture retailers on track toward meeting their goals.  

Advantages Of The Modern Warehouse  - 6/10/2004

The the name of the “game” has changed from “bulk buying and storage” to “flow and turns”. Retail operations that invest in warehouse assets with this new philosophy in mind can take advantage of changes in technology and inventory management.  

Revolving Credit Programs - Part 2  - 6/10/2004

Some of the built-in marketing features that most revolving credit programs offer provide a low cost way for you to remarket and communicate to your captive credit customer base.  

Finding The Right Finance Company - Part 1  - 6/10/2004

Offering retail financing can be a wonderful closing tool and it is still one of the cheapest and most effective ways to advertise. Knowing where to look and what to look for are critical components in building a successful program for your customers.  

Winning The Numbers Game  - 6/11/2004

The factors most retailers focus on in making strategic decisions are merchandise based. The fallacy in this approach is that merchandise does not sell or buy itself. People sell merchandise and people buy it. John Egger explains how Performance Indicator Numbers (PIN) can help you to respond appropriately to changing market conditions.  

Plan For Stress Free Business Succession  - 6/11/2004

One of the most difficult issues now facing family-owned home furnishings businesses is succession. The challenge facing these companies is how to turn the business over to the next generation with a minimum of family stress and maximum financial security for everyone involved.  

Intra Family Business Transfers  - 6/14/2004

The private annuity can be an effective way to transfer appreciated property in exchange for lifetime payments to the older generation.  

New Tax Legislation 1977  - 6/14/2004

Although the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 contains the most dramatic tax reductions in 16 years, there are significant tax traps for the uninitiated. This article summarizes the benefits and exposes some of the traps.  

Nurturing Banking Relationships - Ratio Analysis  - 6/15/2004

It has been said that a banker is someone who lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining, and takes it away when it starts to rain. If that's true, then let's deal with the banker when the sun is shining.  

Profit Erosion And Low Margins - Part 2  - 6/16/2004

Retailers may feel that price cutting is their best response to competition, but there is another way. John Egger discusses eight practices your store can adopt to help you to avoid falling into the low price, low margin, low service trap.  

Profit Erosion & Low Margins - Part 1  - 6/16/2004

When margins are squeezed, most stores reduce the level of customer service they provide. Price cutting is, therefore, a leading cause of bad experiences consumers have in furniture stores. There is an alternative to destructive price competition that can boost margins, customer satisfaction and bottom line results.  

Are You Driven By Goals, Or Drifting On Hopes?  - 6/23/2004

Bottom-up goal development, setting personal goals and developing goals for new hires are covered in this important article by Ted Shepherd. Step-by-step calculations make this a valuable reference article.  

Understanding Sales Performance Metrics - Part 2  - 6/25/2004

The second article in this series takes a detailed look at close ratio and average sale. Joe Capillo explains how you can use these two measures as part of a system to promote continuous sales improvement.  

Understanding Sales Performance Metrics - Part 1  - 6/25/2004

Sales metrics, those calculations we use to measure our effectiveness in dealing with customers, are the most misunderstood and underused measurements in retail furniture stores.  

Numbers Game - Part 2 - Is Your Best Salesperson Really Best?  - 6/25/2004

This article by John Egger (Winning The Numbers Game) will look at the reasons why it is important to know the distribution of UPs, the spread in closing ratios and the spread in average sale among salespeople.  

Building Accountability For Performance  - 6/25/2004

One of the most difficult management issues for small business owners and managers is the principle of accountability for performance. In most stores this one issue is the root cause of lower than possible performance in all business areas. The process must start by linking bottom line financial numbers with individual job performance.  

What Salespeople Need To Know About Your Profits  - 6/25/2004

Ask a sales associate how much profit an average furniture store makes. Most will guess in the neighborhood of fifty percent. Larry Mullins explains why this impression, that is also shared by your customers, can sabotage your sales and marketing efforts.  

Finding Better Salespeople  - 6/25/2004

40% of college graduates start in jobs they're satisfied with at $25,000 to $35,000, and 10% more start at twice that. Most can avoid working weekends and holidays. Many can expect to advance in their professions while drawing a predictably increasing salary. Given the fact that successful retail salespeople need to have many talents and ccomplishments, how can furniture stores expect to attract the people who can do the best possible job?  

Sales Performance Accountability  - 6/25/2004

How many sales dollars do you loose every time your least effective salesperson is UP versus your highest earner? Joe Capillo of Shepherd Management Group explains how you can use a performance index to measure sales performance, motivate salespeople and improve sales per UP.  

Effective Retail Salesperson Compensation Plans  - 6/25/2004

This article reviews several common compensation plans. Although each seems straightforward, a more careful review finds that some plans 'de-motivate' salespeople, overcompensate others and even serve to encourage poor customer service.  

Sales Manager Compensation  - 6/25/2004

How do you know that your sales manager is doing a good job? If he or she is, how do you know that you're compensating him or her adequately? Ted Shepherd looks at why many compensation plans based on total sales volume end up rewarding sales managers improperly... causing bad feelings on the part of both owners and sales managers.  

Understanding Sales Performance Metrics - Part 3  - 6/26/2004

This four part series continues with a discussion of additional sales metrics and begins to outline a system for using metrics to improve sales team performance over time.  

Doubling Profits Is Easier Than You Think  - 10/5/2004

The average store netted 4% pretax to sales last year. Most think they made only 4 cents out of every sales dollar… that's a dangerous misconception.. Larry Stark provides the financial management tools to help uncover the truth about the relationship between fixed/ variable expenses and profits.  

Consumer Financing - Part 1  - 10/5/2005

The benefits of consumer finance options are considered along with how to market and manage each to help you to drive sales while increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

Driving Sales: Customer Financing - Part 2  - 2/14/2006

This series continues with a discussion of the kinds of programs and relationships retailers can expect to develop with finance companies. Important issues such as customer contact protocol, customer control, and program customization are discussed.  

Driving Sales: Consumer Finance Programs - Part 3  - 4/17/2006

This series continues with a discussion of boosting sales by managing your primary, secondary and in-house credit offerings.  

Dynamic Inventory Management - Part 1  - 12/5/2006

A two-part series that looks at tools and techniques you can use to measure and improve the health of your inventory over time.  

Interactive Discussion Groups At Winter Gift & Home Accessories Show  - 12/22/2006

Experienced panel of top independent retailers to discuss ways to buy more effectively, and sell more gift and home accessory items.  

Help Bedding Customers To Cool It!  - 5/9/2008

This article is the first in a two-part series exploring the physiology of sleep, the evolution of bedding products, value promises and how to accurately convey these messages to consumers at the point of sale.  

Modern Ways To Increase GMROI - Part 2  - 9/11/2008

Part 2: Old school ways to increase this critical measure are just not enough anymore!  

Wolfgang Kranz leaves Koelnmesse  - 11/14/2008

Organizer of imm cologne, The International Furnishing show announced that Wolfgang Kranz (49) has resigned from his position as Executive Vice President of Koelnmesse.  

The Simple Rules Of In-House Financing  - 1/14/2009

If you’ve considered the highly profitable finance end of the business and need to know how to buy contracts for in-house credit, try these simple rules.  

Measure Gross Margin Return On Inventory  - 10/4/2009

Track this inventory metric to understand your customer’s buying patterns, establish a more relevant product mix, satisfy more people and sell more.  

Create A Family Furniture Store Money Plan  - 1/19/2010

Most families in the retail furniture business just don’t talk about money. Money entices us with opportunities. Money torments us with uncertainty, and leads us to decisions we normally would not make. If you’re not careful, money and possessions will become the downfall of your family and your business.  

Retail Break Even Analysis  - 3/15/2011

This article will demonstrate how to calculate your break-even point of sales. It also provides real world examples of ways smart retailers can reduce their break-even points and level of risk.  

Private Label Credit For Furniture Retailers  - 5/30/2011

Private label credit card programs can be custom-designed to fit the needs of large and small furniture retailers alike.  

Flexible Budgeting For Furniture Retailers  - 10/4/2011

Flexible Budgeting lets you ‘Flex’ your top line and observe the resulting operational effects on your P&L and operating income.  

The Big Furniture Store Hand -Off  - 10/5/2011

Don’t get “tackled” by the IRS when handing off your business to the next generation.