Tuesday, October 29, 2013

James Keane is the Next Chief Executive Officer of Steelcase

Steelcase Inc., the global leader in the office furniture industry, today announces the appointment of James P. Keane to Chief Executive Officer. Keane will officially succeed long-time CEO James P. Hackett in March 2014 at the beginning of the company’s next fiscal year.

 In his current role as President and Chief Operating Officer, Keane is responsible for product development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution for all Steelcase brands around the world.

“Throughout his 16 years at the company, Jim has proven to be a strong leader with a passion for winning and a deep understanding of the business,” said Rob Pew, Board Chair, Steelcase Inc. “His creativity and strategic execution make him a great steward of the Steelcase legacy and the right choice to lead Steelcase into a future of continued growth and tremendous technological change.”

At various times, Keane led research and development, corporate strategy, information technology and finance for the company before taking over leadership for the Steelcase brand in North America in 2006.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Steelcase.  I’ve learned a lot by working with Jim Hackett as he guided the company through significant changes in the world of work,” said Keane. “We have a talented leadership group, and an amazing network of employees worldwide who help our clients create great experiences wherever work happens.”

Keane, a Chicago native, earned a bachelor of science degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois and a master's in management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves on the boards of Rockwell Automation, IDEO and the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA).

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jim for many years, and he understands what is needed to drive innovation in today’s globally competitive environment,” said Jim Hackett. “His results-oriented approach and proven track record will only continue to grow the business and deliver increased value to the company and our shareholders.”

As previously announced, Hackett will assume a new position as vice chair for one year when the CEO transition is complete.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ICFA Continues Fall Webinar Series

The International Casual Furnishings Association will continue its fall webinar series on Wednesday, November 20, with "Your Customer Doesn't Live Here Anymore," designed to help businesses identify and target market to their core customers.

Presented by Tom Shay, an author and speaker on business-building marketing techniques, the 2-3 p.m. webinar is free for ICFA members and only $95 for non-members. Few businesses can afford the detailed demographic research typically used to identify their core customers. Shay helps business owners bypass this expense by taking a strategic view of their current customers and what those customers are buying or identifying as what they want to buy now. He cautions retailers not to rely on a customer profile from years gone by – that customer "doesn't live here anymore!"

By providing retailers with the tools they need for developing the customer base that is most profitable to their business, Shay helps companies pave the way for future success.

Shay's first job was working in his grandfather's general store, and he later spent 26 years in successive family businesses. In 1997, he sold the family business to devote his time to developing seminars and writing about proven, business-building marketing strategies. He has authored 12 books, among them a series of management guides that includes "100 Profits Plus Ideas for Power Promoting" and "100 Profits Plus Ideas for Power Managing."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

LofaSofa Announces New Sofa-Bed is Made-to-Order in Canada

Mitch Wapen, owner of Lofa Sales International, has achieved success with his LofaBed, which completely redefines the traditional concept of futons, sofa sleepers, and Hide-A-Beds. His design combines a davenport base with a futon mattress, resulting in a practical and economical alternative to the traditional pullout sofa-bed. The LofaBed looks like a traditional upholstered piece of furniture, but instead incorporates an 8" buttoned futon mattress of standard dimensions, a storage compartment big enough to hold sheets, blankets and pillows, and an easy-to-use wall-hugging mechanism. And for those living in small spaces, the LofaBed can be "knocked down" for easy carrying and placement in locations too small for other sleepers.

Upon completion of his first design, Wapen went about marketing it through a network of retail furniture dealers in both Canada and the U.S. The problem was that the "landed" price, including freight, was simply too high for retailers to be competitive. So Wapen created a website, LofaSofa that offered the LofaBed at wholesale prices, directly to the North American consumer over the internet. What he found was a huge audience of customers who not only loved his invention because of its comfort and practicality, but also absolutely hated the bar-in-your back, heavy, and skinny mattress mentality of the existing array of sofa sleepers.


Source: PR Web

Friday, October 18, 2013

IKEA Group Celebrates Increased Sales

The IKEA Group total sales increased to EUR 27.9 billion in the financial year 2013, an increase of 3.1% compared to the previous year (+3.6% adjusted for currency impact). Sales in comparable stores grew by 1.8%.

“Value for money is increasingly important to our customers – and our sales development shows that people all over the world appreciate our concept of good quality, well-designed products at low prices”, says President and CEO Peter Agnefjäll.

“Reducing household energy bills is the most important issue for many people today when it comes to living more sustainably at home. In the last year, we sold 20 million energy saving LED products at affordable prices. And by 2016 we will convert all of our lighting products to LED to help even more people save money at home. Sustainability should not be a luxury good,” continues Peter Agnefjäll.

Some of the strongest growth was in Russia and China, and there was also significant progress in North America during the past year. While southern Europe continued being affected by the current economic situation, the IKEA Group continued gaining market shares in almost all markets.

Source: FORDAQ