Furniture industry icon Gene Rosenberg dies

ENFIELD, Conn. – Gene Rosenberg, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Planned Furniture Promotions and co-founder of Bob’s Discount Furniture, has died after a brief battle with cancer. He passed away quietly at his home in Connecticut, surrounded by his family. He was 86 years old.

Rosenberg was recently diagnosed with cancer and entered hospice two days ago. He is survived by his wife, Anja, 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

In 1962, Rosenberg and Paul Cohen founded Gene Rosenberg Associates, now known as Planned Furniture Promotions. Remembering Rosenberg Cohen said: ‘Who could have been so lucky to have had a 60 year relationship without ever having arguments, misunderstandings or distrust like I had with my partner Gene Rosenberg’

In 1991, Rosenberg and his cousin Bob Kaufman purchased a five-store waterbed chain, turning it into a retail store offering high-quality furniture at affordable prices in a friendly atmosphere. That business grew into Bob’s Discount Furniture, which Rosenberg helped become one of the top 15 furniture retail organizations with over $700 million in annual sales, before it was sold.

“I have never met a more loving, giving, or giving person in my life,” said Bob co-founder and chairman emeritus Bob Kaufman. “Our original staff used to say G is for Genius,”

In 2015, Rosenberg handed over the reins of Planned Furniture Promotions to his grandson Rob, naming him president of the company, with Gene rising to the role of president.

“We all owe Gene so much. In the 60 years that he and Paul have owned PFP, Gene has mentored and helped thousands of team members and their families,” said Rob Rosenberg, president of Planned Furniture Promotions (PFP). “He will be remembered as a hero to his family, a savior to his customers, an iconic legend in the furniture industry and as a mentor and friend to the PFP team. Most can only dream of leaving a legacy like that of Mr. Eugene Rosenberg.

Funeral services will be held at Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, Conn., on Tuesday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. A celebration of life will follow immediately at the Farmington Club, Farmington.

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