We are all members of dozens of subgroups in the marketing sense, not just large groups like religion, race, nationality, political affiliation, etc. There are smaller preference groups such as Ford vs. Chevy, Hershey’s with Almonds vs. Almond Joy, Blue vs. Green, Boxers or Briefs and many more.
Billionaires are a highly ignored subgroup.
Think about it. In recent years they have been vilified in the media, and many politicians continue to want to tax them at the highest rate possible instead of being success stories we should aspire to.
Let’s be clear: I’m not a billionaire, even though I was only missing a thousand million dollars the last time I looked.
Forbes publishes its list of 400 billionaires, and our industry is represented.
For example, Ron Wanek (# 116) and Todd Wanek (# 229) of Ashley Furniture fame had a total of over $ 12 billion last year. But the Waneks have created many millionaires by partnering with licensees in their HomeStores.
Partners Niraj Shah (# 340) and Steve Conine (also # 340) together are worth $ 6.8 billion thanks to Wayfair.
Gary Friedman of HR is No. 247 with $ 4.5 billion.
But all is not fun in the land of billionaires. To make Forbes 400, you had to have at least $ 2.9 billion, and Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey both dropped the list!
And when the stock market drops hundreds of points, people in that subgroup lose millions of dollars, while you and I lose much, much less.
WW “Jerry” Epperson, Jr. is a Founder and Managing Director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd., an investment bank and research firm. Jerry leads their research efforts and has over thirty years of experience in publishing firm and soft dollar research studies focused on demographics, consumer products, furniture (residential and contract) and related matters. Specifically, Jerry’s research in the furniture industry is recognized around the world for its in-depth coverage of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers.