NRF panel focuses on finding new ways to foster female retail leaders

Shelley Zalis, top left, Gail Tifford, Karen Beebe and Shannon Gordon.

HIGH POINT – For women in the workplace, mentorship is a key part of growth. But, during a conversation at National Retail Federation’s annual retail conference NRF 2021, a panel of female leaders agreed: It is an evolving process and format.

“Mentorship has evolved,” said moderator Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient. “It needs a little disruption and reinvention.”

Speaking just about changes in this past year, the group agreed that the coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting rise in working from home, has changed the way mentors and mentees meet.

“When I think of what a mentor is at the core, that has not changed,” explained Gail Tifford, chief brand officer for WW International Inc. “But how you find that person has changed dramatically.”

Mentees need to be more proactive and intentional when seeking out mentors, both because they have to now try and connect digitally and because they need to be seeking out a more diverse group of mentors no matter the meeting format.

You can have a too “myopic” view of the world if you are just seeking out people you know from your workplace or

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Ethan Allen fiscal Q2 sales tick up 2.4%

Ethan Allen, Albany, N.Y.

DANBURY, Conn. – Vertically integrated manufacturer and retailer Ethan Allen reported a 2.4% increase in net sales to $178.8 million for its fiscal 2021 second quarter ended Dec. 31.

That increase didn’t reflect the pace of business. Like most of the industry, Ethan Allen is struggling to turn written orders into sales even as the company ramps up production to meeting new demand and catch up with its existing backlog after last year’s temporary plant closures. Given the production cycle from written order to delivery, that low single-digit second-quarter sales uptick compared with 44.9% growth in retail written orders and 28.1% growth in wholesale written orders.

Ethan Allen more than doubled its bottom-line performance, with fiscal 2021 second-quarter net income of $16.9 million compared with $7.1 million for the same prior-year period.

Operating income of $22.6 million compared with $9.2 million in the prior year period. The 2.4% net sales increase of $4.3 million coupled with disciplined cost and expense controls, including strong cost containment measures and expense management, drove operating income growth. Operating with headcount down 19.2% year-over-year also helped improve consolidated operating income and margin.

Ethan Allen increased wholesale segment sales 10.5% to $101.6

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Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana Recipe

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Hall of Fame Foundation elects 2021 officers, board members

HIGH POINT — The board of directors of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation has elected new officers and board members for 2021, including the Foundation’s first female board president.

Caroline Hipple, president of Norwalk Furniture, has been elected president; Scott Eckman, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of International Market Centers, first vice president; Tyson Hagale, president-furniture hardware division of Leggett & Platt, second vice president; and David Gebhart, CEO of Global Views, secretary-treasurer.

Martin Ploy, president, AICO/Amini Innovation Corp, will continue to serve on the executive committee as board chairman.

New directors are Michael Faus, senior vice president of Carpenter Co.; Jeremy Hoff, CEO of Hooker Furniture; and Steve Rusing, president of U.S. sales, Tempur Sealy International.

“The vision for the Hall of Fame building is really threefold,” said Hipple. “First, to create a home for our $150 billion industry where we can gather for activities and create engagement; second, to be a symbol for leadership, innovation and excellence, just as our inductees are; and, third, to be a place where our story is told to us and to the whole world.

“It’s going to be a living space to celebrate our industry. It will

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Pacific Coast Lighting releases 2021 catalog

Pacific Coast Lighting announced the release of its new 2021 catalog. The full-color nearly 200-page catalog showcases the company’s lamps and portable lighting designs, along with looks from its Kathy Ireland Home collection.

“We are very proud to once again share our catalog with our network of design professionals and retailers. We believe that lighting is the ultimate home accessory that helps define space, creates ambience and drama, and serves as an integral part of any décor. In the pages of this book you will find everything from classic to contemporary, showing how we consistently deliver a wide array of styles at a great value” said Clark Linstone, president of Pacific Coast Lighting.

The catalog is available on Syndigo marketing platform and can also be viewed at the Pacific Coast Lighting website, Hard copies can be obtained by emailing

Lauren Roses is Home Accents Today’s product editor, responsible for selecting and compiling product and trend stories, and for overseeing product submissions and coverage of intros and market debuts. Lauren studied at the University of Arizona and has lived in San Diego, California and New York City. Prior to joining Home Accents Today, she worked in

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