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Furniture Biz On Fire For Nationwide

NASHVILLE, TENN. — While the Nationwide Marketing Group is enjoying renewed strength in appliances and CE, it’s the furniture side of the business that’s driving the greatest growth.

The category, along with its bedding subset, is posting solid double-digit growth for the independent dealer organization, executive VP Jeff Knock reported, compared with 2 percent gains for the furniture industry and a 4 percent increase for the bedding business.

“Bedding is an incredible opportunity, and new dealers are joining every day,” he said.

Indeed, a little over half of the group’s 280 member additions to date this year are furniture dealers, and president/COO Dave Bilas said, “We feel great about that direction.”

Much of the credit goes to Nationwide furniture president Bill Bazemore, the executives noted, who led the development of Nationwide’s private-label iAmerica line. The turnkey gallery program, which launched earlier this year with Serta supplying the bedding side, also features upholstery and case goods and is expanding its assortment.

“Electronics and appliance dealers continue to get into the category,” Bazemore said. “It’s a natural progression and they like the 50-plus margins.”

Bazemore also pointed to the outdoor business as “one of the fastest-growing categories.” The sector encompasses grills, heating products and patio furniture, or “eat, heat and seat,” he said, and cited such items as fire pits, wood-burning pizza islands and even hammocks as “huge.”