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Flexsteel responds to ‘voice of the customer’ with major retail push


DUBUQUE, Iowa — Flexsteel Industries recently announced several investments designed to accelerate its growth in the independent retail channel.

“Flexsteel has been around for nearly 130 years, and the investments we are making now will ensure our continued success well into the future,” said Jerry Dittmer, President and CEO of Flexsteel.

Dittmer emphasized that Flexsteel is one of the few large domestic manufacturers in North America without its own brand stores. “We sell Flexsteel exclusively through our major retail partners and we are strategically committed to this business model. Expanding our investments into this channel, including dedicated resources, is critical to enabling continued growth and our long-term success.”

The biggest driver of the company’s investment decisions was improving the customer experience. “Last year we completed a very thorough research project on the ‘Voice of the Customer’. We implemented many changes in response to feedback from our customers during this event. Now that we’ve completed several ‘just do it’ items, we’re moving on to bigger, more strategic opportunities,” said David Crimmins, vice president of sales and products.

Flexsteel’s main investments

  • Adding a new VP of Retail Sales to focus exclusively on driving growth in the retail channel.
  • Expand the company’s sales team by more than 10% to enable a closer relationship between sales professionals and retailers.
  • Partnership with Salesforce, Inc. for customer relationship management software focused on improving communication and service levels between customers, customer service and sales teams.
  • Continuous improvements at Flexsteel University, delivering fast, impactful training to retail sales associates from live events to remote settings.
  • Omnichannel training for the company’s independent retailers. In addition to introducing the Homestyles brand and business model to hundreds of retailers, Flexsteel is also making significant investments in digital content.
    According to David Crimmins, “We believe that when a retail buyer makes the decision in the marketplace to add our product to their floor, they shouldn’t have to worry about putting that product on their website as well. Our goal is to deliver the digital assets at the same time as we deliver the physical product.”
  • Flexsteel is returning to the Las Vegas market with a newly signed multi-year showroom lease.

Changes in the organization

Flexsteel also announced significant organizational changes implemented to ensure the company and its employees remain agile and responsive to changing market conditions:

Tim Newlin was promoted to Vice President of Strategic Business Development. In his new role, Newlin will leverage his experience and intimate knowledge of the furniture industry to accelerate innovation that expands Flexsteel’s business models, brands, products and channels, and to build organizational capabilities aimed at attracting new consumer segments.


David Crimmins expands his responsibilities to vice president of sales and products. He will have leadership responsibility for sales across all channels, as well as product management, development and engineering.

Brian Des Biens was promoted to retail sales, vice president. He has been with Flexsteel for four years and most recently served as Regional Vice President of Sales – North Central. In this new role, DesBiens will lead Flexsteel’s retail sales team and focus on developing and executing the company’s strategies in the independent retail channel.

Marissa Tavarozzi has been promoted to e-commerce sales manager and will lead all sales efforts for Flexsteel Industries’ Homestyles online brand. Tavarozzi will continue to leverage omnichannel capabilities, enabling Flexsteel’s traditional customers to expand into e-commerce with the company’s turnkey dropship solutions.

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