Author Archives: Duke Ratliff

Duke Ratliff

About Duke Ratliff

Editor-in-Chief | dratliff@hfnmag.com

No Stone Unturned

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By Duke Ratliff Returning from the recent International Home & Housewares Show, I had one word on my mind. The word? “Halloween.” As usual, the Housewares Show was a much-anticipated, well-oiled machine offering up a treasure trove of items from companies big and small. Retailers looking for anything from cookware to men’s shavers and cleaningMore »

Last updated: April 8, 2014

There’s Nothing Generic About Somerton Dwelling

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By Duke Ratliff Rita Ho-Bezzola, the CEO of Somerton Dwelling, is not the average furniture industry executive. She grew up in the business, helping out in the furniture factory her parents founded in Dongguan City in southern China. Now, she’s overseeing the rebranding of the company. In addition, she’s a classically trained pianist; she ownsMore »

Last updated: April 3, 2014

Love American (Consumer) Style

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Divorce rates, along with consumer debt, are on the rise in the United States—thank goodness. While divorce and consumer debt are troubling from a social and moral view, they serve as indicators of a positive outlook for the home business. After plunging to a 40-year low at the end of the recession in 2009, divorceMore »

Last updated: March 17, 2014

Safavieh’s Self-Branded One-Stop Shop

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By Duke Ratliff Safavieh’s newest store is a test lab for all things Safavieh. The 20,000-square-foot unit, which opened last month in Farmingdale, N.Y., is the first of the company’s 10 stores to be completely stocked with all Safavieh products. Safavieh’s executives will monitor and evaluate shopping patterns in the central Long Island store, thenMore »

Last updated: March 17, 2014

Jerry’s Kids

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I loved the old Jerry Lewis movies when I was a child (not so much as an adult). Mostly forgotten, one of the films featured Lewis slapsticking and mugging his way through his duties as an employee at the fictional Tuttle Department Store. The movie was called “Who’s Minding the Store?”, a phrase that hasMore »

Last updated: January 22, 2014

Resolutions for 2014

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By Duke Ratliff With holiday shopping (and selling) in the rearview mirror, home furnishings executives can now focus on the year ahead. Here are a few resolutions for the new year that notable individuals and institutions can make to make it a successful 2014. Walmart’s new leaders Doug McMillon and David Cheesewright should resolve toMore »

Last updated: December 20, 2013

(Selling) Home for the Holidays

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If the consumer press was any indication, the universe almost ended. More precisely, the civilized world as we know it could have come to a crashing halt on Thanksgiving Day. That’s when the Scrooge-like retailers such as … well, pretty much every single retailer of note—opened for business. Macy’s suffered an unfair share of theMore »

Last updated: December 20, 2013

“Bay-zos,” not “Bee-zos”

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By Duke Ratliff It’s interesting how Amazon is easily the most influential retailer since Walmart and most of us don’t even know how to pronounce the founder’s name. Yes, it’s “Bay-zos” instead of “Bee-zos,” according to the recently published book “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” by Brad Stone. The public’sMore »

Last updated: November 1, 2013