Matthew Briggs, the president and CEO of Four Hands, starts the year with a bang as his company hosts buyers at recently expanded showrooms in Atlanta’s AmericasMart, the Las Vegas Market Center and at High Point Market.
Last month in Atlanta, Four Hands helped integrate home furnishings and home accents with area rugs with its 12,000 square-foot showroom on the fourth floor of AmericasMart’s Building 1. At this month’s Las Vegas Market, Four Hands will exhibit its contemporary yet accessible designs in a recently expanded 20,000 square-foot showroom. And in the April High Point Market, Four Hands features items in a mammoth 36,000-square-foot space.
In addition to new products and showrooms, Four Hands comes to market with a new vice president of marketing, Mike Bullock. Bullock joins Four Hands from Springbox, an Austin, Texas-based interactive marketing firm.
Here, Briggs addresses the company’s expectations for the year.
What are your top business goals for 2013?
“With the launch of a new Atlanta showroom, we are winding down from a big focus on expansion in our presence at the major markets. It’s been an incredibly successful endeavor for our company. The new showrooms have allowed us to better share our breadth of products, as well as our culture, with customers and they have been very receptive. This year we’ll shift focus to expanding our online presence. It’s no secret that the market is rapidly shifting to online and mobile buying behaviors and we want to represent our brand and customer experience accordingly on that front.”
What is the biggest challenge your company will face in 2013?
“Four Hands has always been a growth company. It’s embedded in our cultural DNA. As with every company, growth brings an inherent increase in complexity of the business. As we scale, more importance is placed on making that growth deliberate and intelligently designed. For instance, optimizing our product mix will be a specific focus in 2013. We’ll continue to provide new introductions that expand the array of home looks that can be achieved with our collections, but we’ll work with vendors and product designers to improve our approach to product development, manufacturing and logistics so that customers are getting the ‘right’ products to match their customer’s needs at the same high quality standards they demand.”
How is your company evolving?
“The growth topic is relevant to this question as well. As we grow, constant emphasis is placed on improving the maturity of our operations and customer experience. We are investing in systems, processes and infrastructure that allow us to improve levels of customer service and support on an expanding base of customers. On the other side of the business, our product development team has evolved their partnership efforts with vendors to increase product quality. As our customer demands increase, so do our expectations on vendors and they’ve been very responsive to step up to the challenge. It’s an area we feel adds tremendous value for our customers.”
How important is e-commerce to Four Hands?
“As I mentioned earlier, e-commerce is pivotal to our evolution as a company. The same goes for the entire home furnishings industry, really. While Four Hands has a history of creating great solutions in the online arena, we also realize we have to accelerate our efforts to meet the standards that are being set by other industries. That requires investing in our internal skills, as well as finding great partners to help our speed to market. Our goal is to empower retailers with a robust online experience that enables their employees and customers to have full, real-time access to everything Four Hands has to offer. Work has already begun and we can’t wait to build and share it with them.”