Winning in Retail Hiring For High Point Market Retailers 2016

“Winning” is a big word in 2016 with the imminent Presidential election. Retailers across the country struggle with the “revolving door” of staff especially in the high rent areas like New York and San Francisco.

Winning involves successfully identifying, recruiting and training staff. These are activities which are essential yet comprise a huge time sync.

Many retailers are not schooled in how to truly identify the best hire. They often need some “refreshment” insights in order to find new ways to look at candidates. While they may know what “feels” like the best fit, there are specific tools that can help them refine their process and make it “spot on”.

How do you define the “best fit”?  Marketing Home Furnishings encourages retailers to always be on the “hunt” for motivated talent. Many times retailers make “desperation hires” and this rarely works out and proves to be a very costly strategy. No question that this is one alternative to having no one on the retail floor but, again, can be very, very expensive in time and money.

Marketing Home Furnishings finds a kindred spirit in Shane Spiller, a retailer who “lays it out” from experience and encourages retailers to sort for “passion”. We agree that this particular attribute is significant in an employee.

For more read….

Is Your Retail Hiring in the Toilet?

Beyond “passion”, what other key attributes are mission critical?

Performance Review Score Measurement Level 3d Illustration

Below are Five Important Aspects that Retailers Need to Study and Pay Attention to in Interviews with prospective hires.

Ability to Focus: Needs to be able to focus on the demands of the moment).

Follow up: Does what they commit to do

Conceptual Analytical Abilities (allows one to “think on their feet” with customers).

Distractibility: Retail hiring authorities need to discern if an individual is so distractible that they cannot actually perform the required tasks of the job in an appropriate amount of time.

Communication Style: Is this person an individual who is sharp toned and shows “crital affect”, anger or frustration easily? Conversely, is the person a more “positive” communicator?

There are diagnostic scouting assessments that can help a retailer figure all of these interpersonal and attentional dimensions out. These assessments can be used very successfully in figuring out the “best profile” for one’s retail environment as well identifying prospective candidates who fit the profile. In addition, diagnostic assessments can be used very successfully as a training and coaching tool for all employees.

For more information on how you can “win” with hiring at a cost you can afford;


Linda L. Carey Home Furnishings

Certified TAIS Assessment Specialists









Hot Topics: How to Market to Gen X and Gen Y, High Point Furniture Market

Yesterday at High Point Market I sat in on a great “hot topic” seminar delivered by Storis Corporation at the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), which is a great find at Market for anyone in this business and in retail.

The subject: Marketing to Gen X and Gen Y’ers.

Now I ask you, “Why you should care?” … Well as a “boomer” who also has heard a lot on this subject already, the message was still compelling.  I must say that I truly enjoyed hearing the presenters’ thoughts and seeing the data!

While many have made points about these generations throughout the years, the differentiating factor is technology and how these generations are literally incorporating it in to every facet of their lives and decision-making. While the presenter made the point that these “kids” are becoming Baby Boomer Mom-Dad-Grandparents’ tech navigators and consultants (a thought I find scary), there is a lot of truth to this premise. This is what makes the study of Gen Y’ers and Gen X’ers so fascinating!

I encourage all retailers to start the engagement process with these “friends,” and find out how they can serve you while you are serving them.

If you are planning to stay in the retail business for the next 5 to 10 years, these generations are your future. Meet them where they are hanging out….on Facebook and Twitter, of course!

While you can engage with them “on location ” at these spots, don’t expect them to leave for long to visit your website unless you have given them an authentic reason to “click and travel” and made it easy for them.  Your “Reason” might be a coupon, a contest, an entertaining video, or simply comprehension of their stated needs with an authentic solution. This is after you are deemed credible and likeable in their eyes and have earned your “Facebook Friend” stripes!

Making friends and effective relationship marketing in today’s world has definitely taken on a new dimension!  It involves engagement and interaction how, when and where your audience wants it… including with tech-savvy Gen X and Gen Y’ers.  Retailers who grasp the opportunities are going to be huge beneficiaries.
Reporting “live” from High Point North Carolina, the home furnishings capital of the world.

Hot Topics: Made in the USA- High Point Home Furnishings Market October, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011
High Point Furniture Market

HOT TOPIC – Quick Market Glimpse Reveals the following:
Made in the USA is back by popular demand!

In my opinion, this trend is driven by the following and is here to stay:

(1)The overarching fear of more job loss coupled with the fact that Americans are realizing the best place to find a helping hand is “at the end of your own arm.”  Big corporations do not hire the vast majority of Americans… small business does… and while big corporations are outsourcing work overseas, Small Business America is hiring and producing right here at home!

(2) The realization that along with the “good cheap stuff” consumers love, there is also a U.S.  marketplace replete with imports of poor quality and defective materials. Even food ingredients that have landed here from off-shore markets for consumer consumption have been questionable. (I reference infant formula and pet foods as 2 notable cases.) Another example in the home building business is toxic drywall.  Sick yet?

(3) The realization that we  always were and can remain innovators! Americans really make something here that has more intrinsic value!

Note: Monday High Point Market Reveals that “Sustainable Fashionistas” are demonstrating this market sustainability through regeneration of fabrics into clothing. Big event tonight sponsored by DeStripped Magazine will showcase the local designers who are innovating and regenerating. Good on them! Go to Market Square Courtyard tonight at 7 to 9 p.m. and join in with innovators who have a unique, creative spark!


Marketing Home Furnishings Reporter-On the ground in High Point Market!


What’s Next For the Over-Baby-Boomered Home Furnishings Industry?

The Home Furnishings Industry Is Over Baby Boomered!

OK, Folks… I am a Baby Boomer and proud of it. I happen to like the fact that I was born in the fifties and experienced the last vestige of real freedom from too many government regulations and the dying breed of people with good manners.  Common sense was quite common for Baby Boomers… and still is.

So with that said, I must now gripe about the current state of the Home Furnishings Industry which is OVER BABY BOOMERED! Yes, we have demonstrated great talent, brains, product ideologies… and, alas… now fading beauty! We have done well. Super!

OK …

So what’s next for the Home Furnishings Industry?

Are we just all going to die and leave the industry to flounder and become a Baby Boomer graveyard?

Succession Planning is a must!

It is necessary NOW, and it cannot be brushed under the polypropylene carpet anymore! Of course, this is not a “news flash” to anyone who has really thought about the dilemma.

As an aging Baby Boomer, I will now reveal that my first glimpse as a student in High Point was in 1972.  My, my…it seemed to me that High Point represented a vast ocean of successful “VIP” straight males who figuratively “ran the show” and/or sold the heck out of furniture. The demographics were heavily weighted, of course, towards the upwardly mobile male Baby Boomer.

Haven’t things changed? Today when attending the High Point International Home Furnishings Show or the World Market in Las Vegas, I see women everywhere now and gay males! So… what’s wrong with this picture?  Good grief!… nothing ‘cept the vast majority of these demographic representatives are also aging Baby Boomers …….. that’s what!

Here’s another scoop!

When I conduct my not-so “clandestine” web analytics of some major Home Furnishings Industry Suppliers’ websites (who respectfully shall remain nameless), I find that the predominant profiles of visitors are females between the ages of 55 and 65. This demographic alone, in a nutshell, describes a huge, scary problem for the Home Furnishings Industry… a problem that represents a challenge!

Who better to find a solution to this than …
You guessed it … Baby Boomers!

Suppliers, there are virtually no young buyers even shopping online at your website suppliers! YIKES!

Hey… I love us guys, too, but this is ridiculous.

The industry is replete with aging Baby Boomers, and the succession planning has yet to be addressed in a comprehensive way. Select “not for profit” organizations within the Home Furnishings Industry are doing “their part,” like WITHIT (Women In The Home Furnishings Industry Today). However, the vast majority of suppliers, buyers, wholesalers and retailers are aging Baby Boomers. I see only a small minority of anyone between the ages of 21 to 30 during Markets in Las Vegas, High Point, New York or Atlanta for that matter.

When I look at other niches that are attracting young people as cottage industry participants, I see where fashion reins supreme. A trip to MAGIC was most revealing in that there’s a boatload of young faces who are spinning their dreams with fashion. Granted, the barriers to entry are lower, but this is where you will find the entrepreneurs who are jumping out to claim their fame and fortune… not in Home Furnishings. Yes, they are tweeting, digging, facebooking and gmailing, plus they are exhibiting their designs at fashionista related trade events. They are super charged and psyched.

So…what’s wrong with us?

In my opinion, the U.S.A. Home Furnishings Industry needs to innovate with a national, comprehensive, public relations/awareness campaign integrating internet marketing genius and social media (which is both available and affordable) with television, radio and print media to get the message out there that:

  • This is an industry to consider for a career and
  • There are mentors, capital and resources available to those who are savvy enough to want to be a part of something great.

I am convinced that the capital resources must come from those “captains” or “angels”  in the industry who have experienced great success in days past and who are interested in benevolence and/or the thrill of incubating entrepreneurial innovation. Most classic venture capitalists are not interested in taking chances in this industry sector.

Bright, young entrepreneurs are needed in all sectors –  manufacturing, retail, wholesale, design, etc. – who will also attract their contemporaries to realize that there is a “real” business here.

If not, sooner than later, the shrinkage of the industry will continue. There are already too many suppliers, not enough buyers, a retraction of retailers, and a huge deficit of Gen Y’ers and Millennials in the buying marketplace.

‘Nuff said.

Let's go Back to the Future in Home Furnishings!

Let's Go Back to the Future in Home Furnishings!

Linda Carey
Home Furnishings Industry Veteran
Online-Offline Marketing and Planning Consultant


High Point Home Furnishings Show – WITHIT ‘Best Of Market’

Hot Topics At High Point International Home Furnishings Show, April 5th

“Best Of Market Scoop”
WITHIT Market Intelligence Wrap Up

WITHIT Market Wrap Up in Outer Limits Furniture showroom at High Point Market

Waiting for WITHIT's Market Intelligence Wrap Up at High Point Market hosted at Outer Limits Furniture

High Point Market guests were in for a great treat Tuesday night as Women In The Home Furnishings Industry Today “unpacked” the Best of the Best that Market had to offer. During the evening, WITHIT members and Guests alike shared what they saw, heard and liked during Market.

Taking the lead in the discussion was Ellen Gefen of Ellen Gefen Productions, a home furnishings reporting company.  Ellen has covered the International Home Furnishings Market for the CBS MORNING NEWS and NBC’s WEEKEND TODAY, reporting on styles and trends in the home furnishings industry and offering tips for the consumer on smart furniture buying.

Attended by retailers, designers, manufacturers and industry business leaders, WITHIT’s Market Intelligence Wrap-Up is an event not to be missed each Market. Packed full of tidbits and the “Best of Market Scoop,” attendees get a chance to find out if there are “hot topics” they missed during their own Market navigation. Of course, since getting around this mega market is a huge time sink, no one can be everywhere all the time. WITHIT’s market intelligence powers up the collaborative eyes and ears necessary to identify the “Best of the Best.”

Tricia Bellocci, Outer Limits and Daniel Silva, Temahome sponsor WITHIT Wrap

Tricia Bellocci, Outer Limits Furniture and Daniel Silva, Temahome, Sponsors of WITHIT Market Intelligence Wrap Up

Owner-designers Mike and Tricia Bellocchi of Outer Limits, 220 Elm in High Point, hosted the Market Intelligence Wrap in their lovely showroom, where they feature modern furniture. Outer Limits Furniture is a 20 year old, custom upholstered furniture design company whose cutting edge designs successfully represent the epitome of modern American furniture design.

Also sponsoring the event was Daniel Silva of Temahome – sleek, modern, inspiring and exclusive stylish design furniture and home decor by top European designers, made in Portugal.

Mega thanks to our most generous hosts and sponsors!  See you at WITHIT’s Market Intelligence next year!

So…do you want to know the market scoop?  If so, contact the lovely Sara Lyke, Executive Director of WITHIT – Women In The Home Furnishings Industry Today at and get involved in WITHIT!

Thanks to Linda Carey, Live from High Point!

Linda Carey of Marketing Home Furnishings and Vibrant Business Today, LLC has been a WITHIT member for 10 years. She has served as the Northwest Regional Vice President and on the Board. She is “Withit!”


Sustainable Furnishings Hot Topic: Design Legacy Launches ‘Goods Made Good’

Design Legacy’s “Goods Made Good”

A Truly Great High Point Market
“Hot Topic” In Sustainable Furnishings,
A Responsible Idea Whose Time Has Come!

I always knew I liked Kelly O’Neal from the first time I stepped foot in his showroom in High Point, when he welcomed me with a big smile and gracious handshake.  Now this man is now elevated to a Prince for “doing well doing good!”

With the launch of Design Legacy‘s new recycled pillow and upholstery line, Kelly is literally giving new life to cast away fabrics from Goodwill Industries which cannot be sold on their floor. Not only is Kelly now officially part of the sustainable furnishings movement, but the program also provides work for local populations of disabled people among other “employment compromised” groups.


Congratulations Kelly! I hope every consumer out there finds your products at their local retail store.

To all home furnishings retailers:  Please consider carrying and promoting Kelly O’Neal’s recycled pillow and upholstery line.


Linda L. Carey
Vibrant Business Today, LLC
Home Furnishings Veteran & Consultant
Internet Marketing Webinar Co-Leader

P.S. – Hey, don’t forget to share this post with your friends if you like it!

P.P.S. – And leave a comment if you’re at High Point Market . . . and even if you aren’t. Kelly O’Neal would appreciate knowing what you think about his socially responsible and environmentally responsible new product line.

Sustainable furnishings combined with employing the disabled …
Now that’s a win-win that can’t be beat!

Views From High Point Market – Surya Rugs Ride

Decorative Accessories:
Why I Love Surya Rugs!


Interior designer shares ride fun with son at High Point Market

Interior Designer with son at Surya Rugs ride in High Point Market

I do love area rugs, don’t you? Not only do they help define interior space and provide comfort for feet, a non-skid surface and other use benefits, they provide innumerable options in color and design to pull together the whole look and feel of your décor.

But that’s not all these versatile decorative accessories do. It may not be a magic carpet ride, but…

Other than the obvious choice of area rugs, look at how wonderful they are to a young Mother, an interior designer accompanied by her 3 month old son, Tim, and sister-helper at High Point Market!

Surya Rugs sponsored free rides around the Market in rickshaws.

Yep! That is “Raleigh Rickshaws” those girls are riding in with a 3 month old bebe!


Linda L. Carey
Live from High Point Market
And loving it!

P.S. Why not share this home furnishings delight with your friends on Facebook and Twitter?  Can you Digg it?

Sunday Home Furnishings ‘Hot Topic’ At High Point Market

Designer And Author, Thomas Jayne’s “Finest Rooms In America”

My Choice For Sunday’s ‘Hot Topic’ From The Home Furnishings Show At High Point Market

The best seminar I attended at High Point Market on Sunday was sponsored by WITHIT – Women In The Home Furnishings Industry Today – an exciting professional group of which I’m a Former Board Member and Regional Vice President.

The featured speaker was the amazing Thomas Jayne, author of the book:  “The Finest Rooms In America.”

Thomas Jayne is a super talented designer who possesses a wonderful blend of humor and humility as he disarms his audience with ease.  I’m impressed with how masterfully he seals their hearts and souls as he shows excerpts of fine rooms taken from his books!

Simply beautiful.  I can’t recommend Thomas Jayne’s book enough to anyone interested in home furnishings – whether designer, manufacturer, distributor, retailer, marketer or simply a home owner.  It doesn’t matter.  Get the book!


Linda L. Carey
Vibrant Business Today, LLC
Home Furnishings Veteran
Marketing Webinar Co-Leader

P.S. If you like this post, why not DIGG IT and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter? Thanks!