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Weekends Only introduces new non-commission pay system


From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS — Weekends Only Furniture and Mattress has announced a permanent break from furniture industry tradition and has switched its sales staff to a non-commission pay system.

The change was effective Aug. 14.

“By switching to non-commission, it allows customers to feel even more confident that the Weekends Only sales staff is helping them find the best solutions for their needs,” said Weekends Only President Lane Hamm. “We listen and are only interested in helping customers find the furniture that meets their needs. Nothing more, nothing less.”

The decision to switch to a non-commission system has been in development for three years. The change was supported by customer research that consistently shows that customers like a friendly and low, pressure sales approach.

The non-commission system was tested for the past year at the company’s Fairview Heights location. The store noticed an immediate change in customer interactions once customers were informed that the sales staff had one objective with each recommendation in mind: ensuring the satisfaction of the shopper.

Director of Human Resources John Wennemann said the non-commission system also creates a better working environment for employees. Using sales data, the company created a formula to calculate hourly wages to ensure, over the long haul, employees would be earning comparable income under the new system. The response from managers and sales staff has been consistently positive.

Pay starts at $11.50 per hour for a home furnishings assistant. Based on ability to match furniture with the customer’s needs, the employee can be promoted to home furnishings advisor and, subsequently, home furnishings consultant where pay can reach as high as $24 per hour.

“We provide a living wage, with the opportunity to grow your pay based on performance, and a predictable income without a conflict of interest in selling,” Wennemann said. “It’s better for our customers and our employees.”

Hamm added: “By committing to a living wage, rather than a commission that can vary from week to week, our sales associates have a more reliable income all through the year. This improves stability for households, allows for better planning and reduces anxiety for employees who are the primary breadwinners for their families.”

“My vision is that Weekends Only serves as an agent for human happiness – for our associates, our customers and the community,” adds Weekends Only CEO Tom Phillips. “I believe that engaged associates create engaged customers. Our unique culture is helping us create a sustainable organization of value, an enduring corporation that makes the world a better place.”

Weekends Only has five locations in the St. Louis area and recently opened its first location in Indianapolis. The retailer is currently hiring in both St. Louis and Indiana.

Founded in 1997, Weekends Only Furniture is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and says it is able to save customers money while offering special buys and truckload purchases. Weekends Only has grown to include five locations in the St. Louis area, including West County, Bridgeton, Fairview Heights, Mid Rivers and South County, an ecommerce online store, and a new Indianapolis location that opened May 2015. The company’s corporate office is located in Webster Groves, Mo.

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