From the Editor: A Must-Attend Event for Home Retailers, Manufacturers and Third-Party Service Providers

[one_half]2016 OmniChannel Summit Logo [/one_half][one_half_last]   Azzato, Maureen_pic [/one_half_last]

The global online market for home furnishings is slated to grow 19 percent annually through 2020.

Are you ready?

Everything we’re seeing indicates home retailers and manufacturers are struggling to get a foothold in this rapidly changing retail environment where digital, mobile and social media are changing the rules at a breakneck pace. The disruption is clearly evident in the poor performance posted by many of the industry’s top retail players in 2015 and this year’s first quarter.

There’s room for many retailers to win—from brick-and-mortar operators to e-commerce pure plays and everything in between—if they ramp up their omnichannel playbooks to delight customers in the new retail world. And it’s our mission to help.

In November, we will launch the inaugural HFN Total Home Omnichannel Summit with content developed by the industry for the industry. We are gathering an amazing group of advisory board members—from the likes of Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack/Haute Look, HSN, Pier 1 Imports, Boscov’s, Evine and City Furniture, with more coming—to help us build strategic and actionable content filled with benchmarks and insights to accelerate home retailer and supplier omnichannel success.

Many retailers are investing in supply chain, digital marketing, IT and logistics upgrades, but just as many are drowning in the large number of online returns and the cost of digital fulfillment. Most have not yet figured out how to compete with online pure plays while simultaneously growing—or at a minimum, maintaining—the profitability of their physical stores.

Connecting and communicating with consumers 360 degrees 24/7/365 is a tall order even for pure play e-commerce retailers, but momentum and growth is squarely in their court … at least for now.

In looking at this issue’s Top 50 Home Retailers, page 24, it comes as no surprise that e-commerce retailers posted major sales gains in home, vaulting over industry stalwarts such as HomeGoods, Kohl’s, Ashley HomeStores, RH, J.C. Penney, HSN, QVC, Crate and Barrel and Pier 1 Imports, to name a few. Wayfair posted the largest home sales spike over last year, 72.7 percent to be precise, and moved up 11 slots in the ranking. Amazon’s home sales bumped up 30.8 percent, inching it ever so close to the elite Top 10 segment of the list, just inches away from Sam’s Club, Macy’s and Ikea. At this rate, it’s virtually guaranteed that one or several of these home titans will be eclipsed by Amazon in 2016 … or is it?

HFN’s event at The Whitehall Hotel in Houston is designed to help the industry move from today’s multichannel platform to a true 360-degree blueprint for omnichannel retailing success.

Mark your calendars for Nov. 1-3 and plan to join HFN at the first ever omnichannel event focused on the total home industry.

See you there.

Maureen Azzato is the editor and chief brand office of HFN. You can reach her at or 917-934-2275.

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