Each year, the Home Furnishings Assn. (HFA) honors retailers across the country who exhibit exceptional examples of philanthropy, technology, customer experience, mentoring, sustainability and store design/merchandising through the Retailer of the Year awards, and each year, manufacturers, industry professionals and even other showrooms nominate the best and the brightest among them. It's this nomination process that makes the award — being recognized for the good work done even among potential competition — so special.
“Furniture retailers are a rare breed,” said Sharron Bradley, HFA’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Their drive and determination to not only create thriving businesses but positively impact their communities and the industry is remarkable."
Retailers can be nominated in one of four categories: sales volume under $10 million, sales volume of more than $10 million, Emerging Star and Trailblazer.
The winners in the $10-and-under category and $10-and-above were announced and honored today in the Retail Resource Center at Las Vegas Market. The Trailblazer and Emerging Star winners were also announced, but they will be honored at the Retailer of the Year celebration at Insights, HFA's upcoming conference in Minneapolis.
So what does it take to be a winner? Meet Sklar Furnishings and Badcock Home Furniture — the winners in the two sales volume categories — and see what makes them stand out.
Sales Volume Under $10 Million — Sklar Furniture, Rick and Pat Howard
Husband-and-wife owners Rick and Pat Howard opened Sklar Furnishings 16 years ago in Boca Raton, FL, creating a must-see destination for modern and contemporary lovers everywhere. The business thrives on its customization program, allowing buyers to choose just the right look for their spaces. In the showroom, buyers can find cool, European brands as well as luxury contemporary pieces that epitomize the style, and the company will also assist in the room or home design.
HFA praised the Howards for their ongoing commitment to philanthropic causes within their communities and the home furnishings industry. In celebration of its 15 anniversary in 2017, Sklar Furnishings chose a different charity to support each month through donations, fundraising and awareness. The showroom supported Habitat for Humanity, Florence Fuller Child Development Centers and the Tri-County Animal Rescue, among other organizations.
In accepting the award, Rick Howard urged attendees to get involved with HFA and other industry associations.
"Give it back," he said. "It comes back to you."
Sales Volume of More than $10 Million — W.S. Badcock Corporation, Rob Burnette
CEO Rob Burnette accepted the Retailer of the Year award on behalf of the W.S. Badcock team. The company, which owns more than 300 showrooms in eight states and headquarters in Mulberry, FL, got its start in 1904 when English immigrant Henry Stanhope Badcock opened the first store in Mulberry. The business remains family owned today, now under the command of the family's fourth generation.
Burnette thanked the HFA, its event sponsors (Coaster, Emerald Home Furnishings and Furniture of America) and his team for their ongoing support in making the business a success.
Congratulations to all the winners!