"Who are you? Why are you here? How are you unique?" Tom Peters
Dateline: HIGH POINT, NC. FURNITURE MART.
I come here with my wife, who owns a home furnishings company, twice a year, for the Big Market. This year, the atmosphere is decidedly downbeat. Travel restricted. Recession. Fallout from 11 September.
BUT THAT'S NOT THE REAL PROBLEM. THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THE FURNITURE INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE WORST-RUN INDUSTRIES IN AMERICA.
Sometimes I think health care is the worst. Often I think the auto industry is the most screwed up. And then I return to High Point for my semi-annual visit, and realize it's no contest â€“ furniture "wins," hands down.
The furniture industry...
Doesn't understand BRANDING.
Doesn't understand FASHION.
Doesn't understand WOMEN. (Who buy all the product, effectively.)
Doesn't understand SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS & VALUE-ADDED SERVICES.
Doesn't understand EXCITING RETAIL PRESENTATION & "EXPERIENCE MARKETING."
And is run by a bunch of old, conservative white guys... who don't even understand that they don't understand all of the above.
Yeow. What a downer. (Or, rather, what an opportunity - just ask Ethan Allen, almost the sole exception to most of the above.)
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.