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News
Robert Bell
Retailers discuss delivering furniture and reassurance to customers

Walk into most bars and restaurants and the maskless patrons and workers make it appear our pandemic worries are over. Three furniture retailer delivery experts advised an HFA live Covid-19 Webinar audience last week not to believe that. Carl Nyberg, COO of Home Furnishings Association member HOM Furniture in Minnesota, said the biggest issue with furniture delivery these days is resisting the urge to resume normal operations. “They’re still not normal and we have to keep all the safety procedures in place, social distancing,” said Nyberg. “You’re not just here trying to do business. We’re concerned about (our employees) and

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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
CPSC nominee Nancy Beck falters in Senate hearing

Nancy Beck’s Senate confirmation hearing June 16 turned out badly for her. Beck was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the Consumer Products Safety Commission. After a Republican member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation declared opposition, however, it appears that confirmation is unlikely. “Dr. Nancy Beck’s record as it relates to PFAS chemicals, as well as her responses to my questions and the questions of other Senators at yesterday’s Commerce Committee hearing have led me to conclude that she is not the right person to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

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owners of Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture
News
Robert Bell
With summer vacations on hold, outdoor furniture sales take off

Summertime and the living is getting easier for many Americans who don’t have to worry about a zoonotic virus on vacation because they’re staying home and investing those savings into outdoor furniture. Home furnishings Association members say they’re seeing an increase in outdoor furniture sales, as more customers choose staycations — trips to the backyard — over the traditional beach, mountain and lake trips. Business has been up ever since HFA member Fruehauf’s Patio reopened last month in Westminster. Colo. Owner Meghan Maydew says there’s a common refrain from customers in the store. “They’re telling us if they’re not going

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HFA member Chapin Furniture in South Carolina was one of Martin Roberts design projects.
News
Robert Bell
Martin Roberts, award-winning retail designer, dies at 78

Martin Roberts, an award-winning designer who helped physically redesign dozens of retail companies as big as Walmart and as small as independent furniture retailers, died May 29 due to complications from surgery. He was 78. Roberts’ clipped British accent and smile were a fixture at the Home Furnishings Association’s Resource Centers in High Point and Las Vegas, where he discussed the evolving designs of retail stores, merchandising and branding as part of the HFA’s speaker series.  He was also a regular contributor to Take Two, a popular monthly column on retail design in RetailerNOW, the HFA’s former monthly magazine. Sharron

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News
Doug Clark
Ask state leaders for liability protection

The Home Furnishings Association is pressing Congress for liability protection. Republicans agree, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) told HFA’s Government Relations Action Team in recent Zoom meetings. [HFA asks for liability protection as stores reopen] But Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he’s in no hurry to pass more legislation addressing COVID-19 recovery measures. That’s despite the fact that, in Young’s words, “We’re already seeing in the news that lawyers are starting to fire up their engines on this one.” Thousands of lawsuits filed already They’re doing more than that. From Jan. 30 through June

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open for business sign
News
Robert Bell
Retailers ready for a possible second round of closings

After three months of forced closings, furniture stores are up and running again — and doing a brisk business, too. But there’s no guarantee how long that boost will last as health experts warn a second wave of novel coronavirus is inevitable in the coming months. If stores are forced to close again, what have retailers learned from the first go-around they can lean on for the second time? In last week’s HFA live COVID-19 Webinar, three Home Furnishings Association members told their peers it’s important for stores to be accumulating reserves. But leaders also mentioned the importance of staying

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