20 People to Watch | Neill Robinson, Legacy Classic|Modern

by decwells
20 People to Watch | Neill Robinson, Legacy Classic|Modern

After just over a year as CEO of Legacy Classic|Modern, Neill Robinson has overseen a company name change, a rebrand, a website overhaul and a major redesign of the company’s High Point showroom.

He is an ambitious force. And he’s clearly not afraid to shake things up.

An industry veteran, Robinson began his career in retail at Cabot House in New England, before moving to the wholesale side as a sales representative for Universal Furniture and Craftmaster. Robinson thrived, increasing sales, opening accounts with top 100 clients and winning several sales awards.

He moved to Theodore Alexander in 2014 as vice president of sales, before being promoted to the role of president of North America. Showing no signs of slowing down, Robinson doubled Theodore Alexander’s upholstery business, launched new licenses with Alexa Hampton and Ralph Lauren Home and increased the company’s merchandising business.

Since early 2021 he has been leading the charge at Legacy Classic|Modern. He worked to reposition the company as a trusted and complete source for classic and modern furniture. He helped add several top 100 clients and boost the company’s stock position in the US

Robinson described his leadership style as inclusive.

“Inclusive would be a good word,” he told Furniture Today. “An effective leader in the furniture business must have an open office door policy and create an atmosphere where the company’s employees are part of leading the company to success. Clear communication and guidance from the start, with all team members knowing why we do what we do.”

He cited Legacy Classic founder and American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame inductee Kevin O’Connor as one of his primary mentors, as well as his father.

“Kevin O’Connor was an incredible mentor to me, as well as my father, Brian Robinson,” he said. “I also learned a lot working for Roy Calcagne, Jeff Sheffer and Harvey Dondero.”

What’s next for Robinson?

“Our demand is still high, and we’re working hard to keep it that way,” he said. “To do that, the focus is market share. We can control our future demand by adding new customers, as well as new placements with current customers. New products must continue to sell well and be priced well.

“Our backlog is still very high, so sales will be higher than last year, orders are running double digits ahead of 2021, so we expect another good year.”

His long-term goals include entering new categories, improving the company’s ‘good, better, best’ pricing strategy and increasing its e-commerce presence with its new Home Furnishings division.

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