Casual Classics and Telescope Gain Honors

107815-casual-living-header-logoCasual classics furniture group will be recognized as Retailer of the Year and Telescope Casual as Supplier of the Year at the fourth annual Casual Living Conference. Set for Feb. 18-20 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., the conference theme will be “Inside Outdoor – Are You In It To Win It?”

Industry honors will go to the Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based furniture buying group and the Granville, N.Y.-based outdoor furniture manufacturer at the All-Star Awards Dinner, to be held the evening of Feb. 19. Just before the awards dinner, the International Casual Furnishings Association will organize roundtable discussions as retailers, manufacturers and sales reps share their perspectives on some of today’s most pressing industry issues. The day will also include a presentation by Kent Panther, a vice president at Wray Ward, who will share effective marketing efforts and measurement metrics. For more than 25 years, Panther has cultivated expertise in measuring the results of marketing tactics, spending and ways to tie marketing to sales. With the retail industry in the midst of a dramatic change as e-commerce captures the interest and dollars of more consumers, a panel of executives from leading e-tailers will share an insider’s view of selling outdoor furnishings online.’s Senior Director and General Merchandising Manager Ron Hilton and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who oversees the day-to-day management of’s furniture and home décor business, will share their insights with retailers who want to add an e-commerce element to their strategy or find out the best practices for attracting consumers to their own websites.

Homsy Homsy Juckett Juckett

In business a century before e-commerce, Telescope Casual recently has been transforming its production process to maximize efficiency to serve the ever-changing needs of the marketplace. Many of its 285 employees have been involved with the transformation process, which began last summer in conjunction with lean consulting group Honsha, Inc., using the philosophies and principles learned at Toyota. Telescope Casual CEO Kathy Juckett said she thinks employees at the factory, as well as dealers and sales reps, will be excited by the recognition planned. “They’re going to be thrilled, absolutely thrilled because they’re working very hard not only just at their regular jobs, but with our transformation that we’re undergoing to become the premier mass customization facility,” Juckett said. “They’re doing a lot of extra things along the way, and to have some recognition from the industry means a lot.” Buzz Homsy, director of the Casual Classics Furniture Group he founded in 2001 along with two other retailers, was confident the group’s 58 members will be excited to share the recognition as Retailer of the Year to honor the career they all have shared. The group represents nearly 190 casual furnishings stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The buying group was formed in response to competition from growing mass merchants like Home Depot, Costco and Sam’s Club. By leveraging the buying power of a member-owned group, they have been able to keep product affordable for their consumers and work with manufacturers to develop unique product to sell under an exclusive label. One of Casual Classics’ latest introductions is a proprietary grill, Sun Fire. John Moore, the marketing guru who transformed Starbucks and Whole Foods into iconic global brands, will deliver the keynote address on the morning of Feb. 19. The day will continue with messages from outstanding interior designers who create outdoor living areas for clients and who design outdoor furnishings for manufacturers as well as panel discussions featuring full-line furniture retailers who also succeed in selling the outdoor category. Casual Living’s editorial and research staff nominates vendors for the annual awards to retailers and suppliers recognized for their lasting impact on the casual/outdoor business with the final winner selected from a vote by the committee as well as with input from key retailers of each supplier. The vendors nominated are ones that best fit the criteria for the award, which honors manufacturers that “take their company and the industry as a whole to a new level through creativity, innovation and decisive and bold actions.” Hear more about Casual Classics and Telescope Casual’s successful business strategies at the rapidly approaching conference. There is still time to register and be part of this exciting industry event. To register, visit For more information, contact Casual Living Publisher Doug Dauray at or Associate Publisher Kristin O’Brien at Source: