Furniture Brands International Inc. has decided to just say
no to online marketing.
The largest U.S. home furniture maker said it would not sell its products on
the Internet and wouldn’t even do business with any company that doesn’t have
a real showroom. The maker of Broyhill, Lane and Thomasville furniture said
online retailers aren’t always committed to customer service, according to a
“We will not be doing business with ‘virtual’ retailers whose sole channel of
distribution is the Internet, or who have established only a token retail
presence to support an operation whose primary distribution channel is the
Internet,” Mickey Holliman, chairman, president, and chief executive officer,
said in a statement.
“We believe the integrity of our strong brand names can only be maintained by
the traditional retailer who has a demonstrated commitment to customer
service,” he said.
However, the company did acknowledge that the Internet can be a powerful
advertising tool, and encouraged its retailers to make full use of online
Furniture Brands said it would review its Internet policy as needed, and
wouldn’t rule out changing it.