Garth Robinson has long been in the furniture biz, having served as sales representative for Theodore Alexander since 2007, and before that, in similar roles at Henredon, Hickory White and Lexington since 1994. Earlier this month, he was named North American vice president of sales, reporting directly to Theodore Alexander USA president Neill Robinson. “Garth has a decade of experience working with Theodore Alexander and our customers in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. I am pleased that he can now join us in an executive role to help further build the TA brand in North America,” said the president.
Garth Robinson answers EAL’s top questions about his new role, what designers can expect from the brand, and the changing retail landscape:
What are some of Theodore Alexander’s most unique qualities as a brand?
Since TA is one of the last few vertically integrated brands in the industry today, it gives us the unique quality of controlling the entire process from design to the finished product. With our handmade/bench-made ability (meaning we hand-carve, inlay by hand, create our own veneers by hand, and [have] one person assembling each item by hand), we truly deliver the highest quality-to-price ratio in the industry today. Our factory is truly a special place.
How do you plan to leverage these in your new role?
To leverage our unique qualities, I plan to continually educate all designers and salespeople, at wholesale and at retail, in order for the end user to appreciate and realize that the item they are placing in their home is truly unique. There is a certain je ne sais quoi, an inexpressible something, about a handmade item in a home. It has the ability to stand out and add warmth to a room. That is what Theodore Alexander does!
What are the particular challenges of the furniture industry today?
Besides consumer education, the time it takes to get a product or collection out in the marketplace is a challenge. We are in the fashion industry, and consumer tastes and styles can change on a whim. We are in the fortunate position to stock 1,200 of our best-selling items in North Carolina, from traditional styles such as our Cabinet Maker and Althorp Collections to more modern forms, like Michael Berman and Jamie Drake and everything in between.
With our in-stock program, we always have relevant styles in stock no matter the style the end user wants to reflect. I also am very fortunate to have Gregory Heller as our new chief creative officer to focus our efforts and to bring great fashion for us to the home furnishings marketplace. Gregory is an experienced home industry strategist and I have no doubt he will have an impact on our future success.
What are your goals for the next quarter? The next year?
My goals for the next quarter and year are basically the same: to do my part daily in introducing quality, fashionable home furnishings and making sure they are distributed to the design trade, retail stores and, ultimately, the end user. At the end of the day, we need to be in front of the end user, and we have the best team of retail and trade partners to help us accomplish this goal.