As reported in Furniture Today….
Furniture Today Staff – Furniture Today, July 23, 2014
MANCHESTER, Conn. — Bob’s Discount Furniture Charit
able Foundation and Planned Furniture Promotions raised more than $440,000 for local charities through their 27th charity golf outing and dinner July 15.
The money benefits area charities helping children in need, including the Camp Rising Sun, Cardinal Cushing Centers, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Family & Children’s Aid, Prudence Crandall Center, the Jimmy Fund and Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“This event is about the children in the communities we serve, and it’s a labor of love,” Bob Kaufman, co-founder of Manchester, Conn.-based Bob’s, said in a release. “We think it’s wonderful that for 27 straight years our employees, vendors and executive team have enthusiastically supported our commitment to these invaluable nonprofit organizations that help so many children in need.”
The charity golf outing was started by industry liquidator and sales promotion company PFP. Bob’s became an event partner when Kaufman and PFP co-founder Gene Rosenberg opened Bob’s in 1991.
“Over the years, I have been to many of the facilities that support Bob’s Kids. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and the joy that it brings them makes this all worthwhile,” Rosenberg said.
This year 240 people took part in the opening round of golf at the Tunxis Plantation Country Club in Farmington, Conn. An evening gala that included dinner, awards and silent and live auctions at the nearby Farmington Club was attended by 420.
Bob’s Charitable Foundation donates more than $1.5 million a year in furniture, gift certificates and money annually to projects that support children in need.
Planned Furniture Promotions, Inc. (PFP), the furniture industry’s largest liquidation and sales event specialist, named Rick Duffey to the position of Western regional manager. He is responsible primarily for accounts west of the Mississippi river.
Duffey, whose experience in home furnishings spans over 30 years, has worked in both the retail and wholesale sectors of the business throughout his career. For 16 years, he rose through the ranks at the vertically integrated, California-based retailer Krause’s Sofa Factory, eventually serving as vice president of sales and training, as the chain grew from 12 to 87 stores. He has also held a sales management position with mattress company Serta.
Since 2001, Duffey worked for PFP in the company’s auction division. He reports to Tom Liddell, senior vice president.
“His diverse background in retail and wholesale, along with his experience at PFP, give Rick the knowledge and experience to ensure profitability and success at our client events,” said Liddell.
“It’s a privilege to be able to expand on my abilities with such a well-respected organization,” said Duffey. “I look forward to using the unique programs that PFP offers, which are different in significant ways from any other promoter. It will be gratifying to help our clients reach their goals for success with integrity, two important qualities that PFP is known for.”
Edelstein’s Better Furniture, which has been serving customers in the Rio Grande Valley for 107 years, is closing its two Designer’s Showroom stores in McAllen and Brownsville.
The current owner of Designer’s Showroom is Julie Edelstein-Best, third generation in the family business, who is retiring. Designer’s Showroom is holding a going-out-of-business sale in both store locations that starts Feb. 14. The sale is being managed by Planned Furniture Promotions.
“Facing her retirement, Julie had concerns about maintaining the Edelstein family’s good name in Brownsville and the surrounding communities during the closing,” said Tom Liddell, senior vice president, Planned Furniture Promotions, Inc. “We are pleased and proud to help her and the stores achieve this goal, while supporting Julie through this transition to her next phase of life.”
Edelstein’s Better Furniture was founded in 1906 by Morris Edelstein, a young Lithuanian immigrant. Eager to start a business, he went direct to the community, peddling a variety of wares door-to-door in Brownsville. He became the first merchant in the area to offer “time payment plans” on a variety of merchandise, including buggies, Studebaker wagons and furniture. Opera-tions steadily increased and, in 1925, Edelstein opened branch stores in Harlingen and McAllen. Within five years, he operated 13 retail stores that spanned from Eagle Pass to Brownsville, in-cluding stores in Matamoros and Piedras Negras, Mexico.
Morris’ son, Ruben, a leader in the community for many years, now retired, took over the reins of the family business in 1946 along with brother, Ben, who passed away in 2009. Together, they operated the chain of Edelstein’s stores for more than 60 years.
In February of 2008, The Edelstein family sold its 12 Edelstein’s stores but retained their two high-end Designer’s Showroom stores and their association with Cactus Flower Gifts & Interiors on South Padre Island.
Marketed under the slogan “More affordable than you’d think!,” Designer’s Showroom carries a wide variety of top brands, including Marge Carson, Baker, Sherrill, Century, Henredon, Rach-lin, Drexel Heritage, Caracole, Flexsteel, Hancock and Moore, Lexington, Maitland-Smith, Hooker and Theodore Alexander.
PFP is proud to be part of this complete transition. PFP assisted the owners of Kaplan’s Furniture with their GOB sale, then recommended PFP to the owners of Kurlancheek for their successful Moving Sale! Now the Kuralancheek folks are the new tenants at the old Kaplan location! Who’s on first, right? Congratulations and best wishes to both former PFP clients! Not only were they wonderful to work with from a business perspective, they are extremely friendly, honest and nice people.
WILKES-BARRE TWP. – A closed furniture store on Mundy Street is about to come to life again.
Kurlancheek’s Furniture, a 116-year-old third-generation family-owned furniture business, will open in about two weeks where Kaplan’s Furniture closed last year. A grand opening will be held in February or March, said Ronne Kurlancheek, 62, the third-generation owner.
Kurlancheek’s was located in Exeter for the past nine years and in Duryea for more than 100 years. The Exeter location closed Jan. 1 and manufacturers are delivering new stock to Mundy Street.
Ms. Kurlancheek said she loved being in Exeter but she believes the Wilkes-Barre Twp. building “will serve us better.” She said it’s a good location because it’s close to other furniture stores.
“Competition is very good because it makes it very easy to cross-shop,” she said. “We also have a different look than everyone else around here, so we will be an alternative.”
Kurlancheek’s new building on Mundy Street is 22,000 square feet, about the same size as the Exeter location. Big red signs in front of the Mundy Street business inform motorists Kurlancheek’s is coming soon.
Ms. Kurlancheek said her former location in Exeter was an old building with no air conditioning and needed repairs.
“This store has air conditioning, which we are very excited about,” she said.
She is leasing from David Mayers, the third generation co-owner of Kaplan’s Furniture, who retired from the business.
Walking inside the business with her dog, Dolly, Ms. Kurlancheek showed the new store will have an industrial feel.
“We want it to have a warehouse look because our old store had a warehouse look,” she said.
Her grandparents, Jacob and Sadie Kurlancheek, started the business in 1898, and her parents, Ben and Priscilla Kurlancheek, later operated it.
While other area furniture stores closed because the owners are at the age that they want to retire, Ms. Kurlancheek said she is not ready to retire.
“Even though I should want to retire, I don’t. I still love the business,” she said. “We approach it in a very creative way. It’s not just business. It’s art and business.”
Pointing out that Kurlancheek’s features many one-of-kind items and special orders, Ms. Kurlancheek said, “I like the whole idea. I don’t have it out of my system yet.”
“We have very unique furniture,” she said. “We do things very different.”
Kurlancheek’s employs 15 full-time and part-time workers.
The Piedmont Furniture Club reported that it held its 27th annual golf tournament on August 21, 2013 at a new location – Willow Creek Golf Course, High Point NC.
Proceeds from the tournament went to benefit Brenner Children’s Hospital – Cancer Research. This year’s donation was made in honor of Harold Hart, furniture distributor and owner of Hart Furniture in Siler City, NC. The Piedmont Furniture Club honored Harold for his longevity in the furniture industry, particularly since his diagnosis with Leukemia in December of 2012. Many participants, as well as those who could not attend the tournament, made additional contributions to Brenner’s Cancer Research. Harold was unable to attend, so close friend Maurice Pleasants spoke on his condition and expressed Harold’s gratitude for honoring him at their event.
Dr. Thomas McLean, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Wake Forest University and Principal Investigator for the Children’s Oncology Group and Erin McCloskey, Events Coordinator for Brenner Children’s Hospital attended the tournament and expressed their gratitude for the donation to children’s cancer research. Dr. McLean also spoke at the Piedmont Furniture Club’s inaugural Golf Tournament & Charity Drive in 2011 to benefit Brenner Children’s Hospital in honor of Fred and Jeff Murrow of Murrows Trucking. Our 2012 honoree was O’Connor DesVergers, daughter of Madeline and Kevin O’Connor of Samson Marketing.
The tournament itself was a success with 24 teams and gracious sponsoring partners, the International Market Centers (IMC), Murrow’s Transfer, Zenith Global Logistics, Planned Furniture Promotions, SDJ Trucking, Boyles Furniture & Rugs, and BFI Inc., to name a few. “With the third year of incorporating Brenner Children’s Hospital as the Piedmont Furniture Club’s designated golf charity, we see how honoring our friends and colleagues who have or still are battling cancer, can bring an industry together. We are excited to be able to provide the platform for that purpose. ” notes Ray Haislip, Virginia/Carolinas HFRA President.
The money will benefit organizations carefully selected by the Bob’s Discount Furniture Foundation, formed 26 years ago by Gene Rosenberg and Bob Kaufmann, co-founders of Bob’s Discount Furniture.
The 2013 Bob’s Furniture Golf Outing, an annual event staged by Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation, and Planned Furniture Promotions, raised a record-breaking $515,000 for charity this week.
The money will benefit organizations carefully selected by the Bob’s Discount Furniture Foundation, formed 26 years ago by Gene Rosenberg and Bob Kaufmann, co-founders of Bob’s Discount Furniture. Organizations receiving funds from this year’s event include the American Cancer Society’s Camp Rising Sun, the American Red Cross,Cardinal Cushing Centers, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Family & Children’s Aid, the Jimmy Fund andNutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. The group’s website dedicated to charitable giving is www.BobsCares.org.
Gene Rosenberg, a lifelong philanthropist and community supporter, is a current nominee for election into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have made notable contributions in their roles in the home furnishings industry.
“I am personally gratified by this year’s level of giving, as well as in knowing how the funds raised will help many in need,” says Rosenberg, who also owns Planned Furniture Promotions (PFP). “We appreciate everyone’s support and I can’t say enough what an honor it is to work among this group of generous and caring individuals.”
The 2013 event included its largest number of participants in a round of golf at the Tunxis Plantation Country Club in Farmington, Conn., followed by an evening gala at the Farmington Club attended by more than 430 guests, who enjoyed dinner, as well as silent and live auctions. The event was hosted by Bob’s co-founders Bob Kaufman and Gene Rosenberg, who enjoyed the festivities alongside fellow employees, partners and community members.
The charity golf outing was started 26 years ago by Planned Furniture Promotions, a leading sales promotion company in the home furnishing industry. Bob’s Discount Furniture became an event partner when Kaufman and Gene Rosenberg, also the founder of Planned Furniture Promotions, started Bob’s in 1991.
Past beneficiaries include the American Cancer Society’s Camp Rising Sun, Family & Children’s Aid, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Jimmy Fund and the American Red Cross. Organizations that have benefited from the event in prior years include Nutmeg Big Brothers/Big Sisters, March of Dimes and the Salvation Army.
Well-Known North Carolina High-End retailer, Baker Furniture Co. entrusts PFP with their last and biggest sale event!
As covered by the Gaston Gazette, April 2013 (Cramerton is a close suburb of Charlotte, NC)
A 60-year-old Gaston County tradition is coming to an end.
Baker Furniture Co. in Cramerton plans to close by the end of July, having furnished local homes for three generations.
Owners Jim and Sandra Van Pelt say the time is right to stop working 12-hour days and start spending that time with their four grandchildren.
Customers have come to expect the VIP treatment from the business. Sandra Van Pelt often travels to customers’ homes to measure spaces before placing orders.
Baker’s has built a reputation of carrying high-end brands.
It’s come a long way since Sandra Van Pelt’s father, Floyd “Red” Baker, opened the store in 1949 in his garage.
He sold discount furniture to people still recovering from the Great Depression.
Sandra Van Pelt recounts how the business was born. Her parents drove to Hickory to buy a mahogany bedroom suite from a manufacturer. Baker, hunting a bargain, asked if he could get a good deal.
The salesman agreed, but on the condition that Baker buy six bedroom suites instead of one.
The couple made the deal. They put one set of furniture in their home and the other five on the lawn for sale. Customers soon arrived, and “Red” Baker watched the business continuously expand until his death in 1985.
That’s when Jim and Sandra Van Pelt became owners. Their grown children, Greg Van Pelt and Holly Hite, also work at the store.
Less attention to quality
For the last five years, annual sales at the furniture store have totaled $5 million, said Jim Van Pelt. He and his wife take pride in serving discerning clients from Charleston, S.C., to Atlanta.
But the Charlotte region provides loyal customers who, Sandra Van Pelt says, wouldn’t go anywhere else to buy furniture.
“In a small business like this, your customers become your family,” Jim Van Pelt said. “So that’s the bittersweet part.”
Styles and customer habits have changed dramatically over the decades.
Two decades ago, clients wanted everything in a living room to match. From the draperies to the armchairs to the sofa, the “matchy-matchy” style was the rage.
But these days, eclectic styles are in fashion and anything goes.
The Van Pelts have filled fewer custom furniture orders in recent years. Some customers lost interest in picking out solid wood frames, flipping through sample books and selecting ornate fabrics.
They want to walk in a furniture showroom, scout out items they think will look good and leave with the purchases in tow, Sandra Van Pelt said.
Many customers are also paying less attention to quality and are more focused on the price tag.
“Most people have become a lot more conscious of price because of the economy,” she said. “Even people that have money, they’re not throwing it away. They’re still careful with how they spend it.”
Beverly Cole of Gastonia has moved several times over the past five decades. And the staff at Baker Furniture Co. has been there to help her redecorate each home.
“They wanted to please you so much. I really do think that’s the thing that Gastonia is going to miss so much,” she said. “You knew when you went over there, if you couldn’t find it, they were going to order it for you. That personalized attention is going to be hard to come by now.”
She can’t recall exactly how many furniture pieces she’s bought from the Van Pelts. Since 1960, they’ve helped her select beds, living room furnishings, dining room tables and framed pictures.
After recently moving into an apartment, she found herself once again calling on the services of the Van Pelts. They helped find a headboard for a bed that matches her night stand.
Then Sandra Van Pelt arrived to help her place furniture in different rooms.
“I’m going to miss them terribly,” Cole said. “It’s been a wonderful relationship with needing furniture and having some wonderful people to buy it from.”
The store is still fully stocked. The Van Pelts replenish the showroom with items from an on-site warehouse. They hope to have all furniture and rugs liquidated by the end of July.
Jim Van Pelt said the property and 40,000-square-foot brick building are for sale.
The business has always been on Market Street. Additions and renovations have been made over the years to accommodate more showroom space.
Sandra Van Pelt said longtime customers hear about the store closing and stop by to greet her. Then they cry together and remember the friendships made.
It’s emotional because she’s been involved in the business all her life.
“We have always strived to sell people good furniture and give them choices,” she said.
As covered by the Gaston Gazette, April 2013
If you are liquidating, closing or moving, it’s critically important to sell it all. It’s easy to sell the cream off of the top, few promoters can sell it all. When PFP offers a “Broom Clean Guarantee“, we mean it!
Savvy Spaces, Charlotte, NC: One day after selling every single piece of their significant inventory… at a profit!