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Baer's Furniture new store in Jacksonville
Shop Talk
Robert Bell
Baer’s Furniture prepares to open its northernmost store

Home Furnishings Association member Baer’s Furniture will open its newest store Sept. 5 in Jacksonville, Fla. It will be the company’s northernmost store in the state.   Construction of the two-story, almost 85,000-square-foot store, across the street from an Ikea, is wrapping up this week. President and CEO Jerry Baer called the site “a really ideal location.” A large banner says the grand opening is Saturday, kicking off Labor Day weekend.   Baer’s Furniture bought the 4-acre property in 2018 for about $3 million. The company has invested more than $15 million into the new store, said Baer.  He is

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Image shows a damaged building from the air
News
Doug Clark
HFA members recover from Hurricane Laura

“We’re a little overwhelmed,” Tony Kemp admitted Monday. At the same time, the chief operating officer of Home Furnishings Association member Home Furniture Plus Bedding was thankful that “everybody’s safe” among his employees in Lake Charles, La. Lake Charles took the brunt of powerful Hurricane Laura last week. Not only did the storm pack 140 mph winds when it roared over the southern Louisiana city, but “I really think we got hit by a tornado in addition to the hurricane,” Kemp said. Laura didn’t push storm surge into Lake Charles, but extensive roof damage to most buildings let in lots

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Isometric customer journey illustration
Shop Talk
Cate Gallagher
It’s time to focus on digital

A lot has changed rapidly in the past six-plus months and left many retailers feeling unsure about what to do to keep momentum for their businesses. The answer is actually quite simple – focus on digital! According to the Global Web Index, ​social media usage in the U.S. has increased by 36 percent, with Facebook alone reaching more than 190 million U.S. users. In that time, we have also seen online shopping usage increase by 41 percent. Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure your digital presence is buttoned up, and that you are utilizing available tools to engage

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Image shows flowers, buildings and a Showplace sign
News
Doug Clark
Safe in High Point

Plans are shaping up for the much-needed industry event The furniture industry “needs a market, and our city needs a market,” Tammy Nagem said during a webinar Aug. 26. Making that happen safely as soon as October certainly poses challenges. It will depend on state and local cooperation, webinar panelists agreed. Nagem is chief operating officer for the High Point Market Authority. Its plans include health screenings, social distancing, masks, less food and beverage service and more cleaning, among many other precautions against coronavirus transmission. But, because participants will seek more entertainment and hospitality options outside the market, area businesses

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Image shows a container ship in a port
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
HFA joins call for port efficiency

The Home Furnishings Association supports a push to break logjams at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California. HFA joined the Harbor Trucking Association and other industry groups in a letter urging port leaders to address “major issues currently impacting the operations of the San Pedro Bay port complex and hurting the port’s competitiveness.” The San Pedro Bay complex includes both ports. In 2019, furniture was the top containerized import shipped through the Port of Los Angeles, accounting for 529,872 TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units. That number marked a decrease of 50,000 TEUs from 2018, largely because

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Image shows three men and a woman
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
CPSC announces recall of ‘unstable’ $60 chest

A $60 chest sold exclusively at Kmart has been recalled as a tip-over hazard, the Consumer Products Safety Commission announced. The action is the latest of more than a dozen recalls of unstable bedroom clothing storage units in the past two years. They have not involved Home Furnishings Association members. “The recalled chests are unstable and can tip over if not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children,” the CPSC said in a news release. The units are Essential Home Belmont 2.0 four-drawer chests, which come in four

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Congress and the Trump administration are preparing another Covid-19 relief package. The Home Furnishings Association’s Washington representative, Chris Andresen, and government relations liaison Doug Clark

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Everyone is trying to figure out what the “new normal” will look like when your stores reopen. What will recovery look like to you and

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HFA Members