Pent-Up Demand Turns to Sales at Turner's Fine Furniture

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Austin Turner, co-owner with his brother Fortson of Turner's Fine Furniture, believes "things are getting ready to turn in the housing market." Business at the furniture retailer was up in August compared to the same period in 2011.

"There appears to be an increase in activity with customers redoing their existing homes and with the purchase of second homes. We are optimistic about the 4th quarter," Turner said.

Turner's Fine Furniture is a fourth-generation family-owned business with four showroom locations in Albany, Tifton, Valdosta and Thomasville/Tallahassee. Its market area extends from Americus to Live Oak, Fla. and from Crawfordville, Fla. to Columbus. The company is focused on providing the best value in quality furniture.

"We're big enough that we can buy in volume and get discounts that our competitors can't. We pass the savings along to our customers," Turner said.

That focus on good quality at moderate prices, is what sets Turner's Fine Furniture apart. According to Turner, customers who have moved away from the area to places like Savannah, where retailers offer high- and low-end furniture but little in the middle, come back to shop at Turner's.

A Great Southern Look

Among the retailer's best sellers are the Paula Deen Collection and the Paula Deen Home Collection, which was introduced about a year ago. Made by Universal Furniture International, the collections feature bedroom, living room and dining room furniture.

"It's a great southern look with multiple finishes and broad appeal," Turner said. "It's also well made and reasonably priced. I expect they will keep expanding it with new collections and new looks."

Other strong sellers at Turner's include new outdoor furniture lines. Sales are seasonally high with outdoor entertaining peaking around Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.

Improving the Customer Experience

Turner's invested in a new software system to improve delivery routing. Not only does it improve efficiency for the company, it also delivers a better experience to customers.

"Our deliveries are more on time. Delivery windows are typically two hours and we'll call the customer when the truck is 15 minutes out," Turner said.

"Also our drivers now have tablets when they go to a stop. When the customer signs for the delivery right on the tablet, they are asked to take a brief survey on their delivery experience. If the response is below a certain level, we are notified instantaneously and we will contact the customer right away."

The retailer is also notified as soon as a delivery truck leaves a stop and will call customers to ask how their furniture looks and if they are happy with it. It's part of Turner's Fine Furniture focus on customer service.

"Most of our business is repeat customers and that's due to our people. Each of our sales professionals builds a loyal base of customers that comes back," Turner said.

More information on Turner's Fine Furniture is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.