Hooker CEO breaks down company’s $200M growth plan


HIGH POINT — In a virtual conference hosted by WaterTower Research this week, several major furniture CEOs gave their take on the state of business, as well as growth initiatives they may be planning.

One of those leaders was Hooker Furnishings CEO Jeremy Hoff, who outlined a growth plan of more than $200 million by fiscal 2027. Here’s what he had to say:

Largest growth opportunity: Interior designers, $60 million

“Our largest growth opportunity we’ve identified is in interior designers,” Hoff said. “Our main driver to accomplish this is through visibility. We added showrooms in Las Vegas and Atlanta. We changed showrooms in High Point.

“Combined, that changed our visibility from about 3,000 customers and potential customers to 14,000 on an annualized basis. That gives us a lot more opportunity, as you would suspect, to open accounts, to gain business, to get in their wheelhouse.

“By the way, there are hundreds of thousands of them. We have 6,500, so we haven’t even scratched the surface. That’s why we’re heavily focused here. It’s also a higher margin area of our company. We’re putting our focus in higher-margin growth.”

Sunset West: $50 million

“Our second largest growth initiative is outdoor through Sunset West. Sunset West has been a West Coast-centric company. The warehouse is West Coast, the cut-and-sew operation is West Coast.

“We’ve added Savannah warehousing to that company. We’ve also added cut/sew and cushion-stuffing capability at HF Custom in Bedford, Va. We’ve also added that line to all of our dedicated Hooker representatives.

“We’ve gone from 15 non-dedicated sales reps total for Sunset West to 42 dedicated. We’ve changed the model from West Coast only to bi-coastal. In Florida, we can ship it there for, call it, 10%. And we can do it quickly because of supply chain and logistics advantages we’ve added. $50 million growth by fiscal ’27.”

HMI: $35 million

“If anyone is positioned in a market where Rooms To Go is positioned, you’ve probably been blasted by Drew & Jonathan Scott Brothers advertisements in those areas. All of those wood products you see in those commercials are us. We feel really good about it. We’re also in major retailers other than Rooms To Go. We’re placed within well over 1,000 floors. It’s working.”

E-commerce: $25 million

“We have an extremely robust e-commerce team. We were quick to adopt as a company. We built an extremely capable team and put real resources to that channel. Over time, that’s turned into a big advantage. We’re able to keep up with the major customers.

Other smaller initiatives

Hoff also projects $20 million in growth for M, a modern aesthetic line, and $15 million in Bobo Intriguing Objects, the company’s lighting, wall art and décor business.

“And really, the key to this growth, I’m not talking about getting Costco to give me $90 million in growth,” Hoff said. “We learned the hard way that what comes up comes down. This type of growth I’m talking about is sustainable over a long period. That’s what we’re interested in as a company.

“We’ve been fairly conservative with our balance sheet over our 100 years. Some might argue we have too much cash sometimes.

“We like having $40 million to $50 million in cash in our balance sheet. We don’t make moves to put that at risk. We’ve paid a dividend for over 50 years straight consistently without one pause. But we’re proud of those things.

“We want to grow,” Hoff added, “but we’re not going to put it all out there to risk our company in any way.”

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