Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 35

Family Company
The Doerr name was a fixture in the New Orleans furniture
market even before it was made into a now-historic neon
art deco sign hanging over Burgundy Street. Charles Doerr, Mutter's great grandfather, started out making rocking
chairs in the building that would eventually house his namesake store. The rocking chairs soon led to a wholesale business, which in turn led to a moving company and eventually
the furniture shop.
In the eight decades since, Doerr Furniture has become
known as one of the leading furniture retailers in New Orleans. "It's a brand that people can know and trust," Mutter says. "For 80 years, the same family has been running
the operation, as opposed to going to a corporately-owned
store where the employees working today might not be
there tomorrow."
It's those employees who provide the strength that has allowed Doerr Furniture to endure through four generations
of family ownership. "We treat them as family and work hard
to make sure that their customers are treated the same way
we want to be treated," Mutter says. Most of the sales staff
has been with the company for a long time and they know
their customers well, often working with the same buyers
over many years.
It's not easy to find those kinds of skilled employees.
When hiring, Mutter prioritizes communication skills and
wants people who have long-term goals over resume accomplishments. "In sales, the personality you have or the way you
present yourself a lot of times is a very key factor in whether
or not customers are going to do business with you," Mutter
adds. "The people that I have recently hired, within the last
five years, those individuals have turned out to be extraordinary salespeople and two out of the three had no prior
experience in furniture. It was really their work ethic and
personality that won me over."
That expertise and loyalty is unusual in the retail industry, which is why Doerr Furniture takes care to create a
family-style environment that encourages its employees to
stay. "We have a family business and you understand there's
quality of life issues when it comes to employment," Mutter
says. "We try to be flexible with our employees and our employees' lives."

Commitment to Quality
Ultimately, treating employees well leads to happier customers, but it's the quality of Doerr Furniture's sofa, chairs and
dining rooms tables that makes them repeat clients. "We
have a nice assortment [of products]," Mutter says. "I like
to say we're middle to upper end, focusing on quality at all
levels." Price doesn't necessarily dictate quality, so Doerr tries
to find a range of items that suit every kind of customer. "If
Volume 58, Issue 2

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 7
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 20
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 21
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 25
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 35
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 36
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - 37
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Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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