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Risky Business
Robert Lopez
HFA members share their stories about chances they’ve taken and the payoffs that came with taking them

Nobody said selling furniture was easy. Some would say it’s, risky business… When she first heard Raymour & Flanigan was building not one, but five stores in central Pennsylvania, Ronne Kurlancheek of Kurlancheek Home Furnishings had every reason to:  Keep doing the same old, same old and hope customers remained loyal.  Slash prices and try to compete with the big chain.  Throw in the towel and buy a condo in Florida. Instead, Kurlancheek, a longtime Home Furnishings Association member, checked a different box: Blow up a retail strategy that worked for more than a century and three generations of Kurlancheek

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HFA opposes Massachusetts bills

The Home Furnishings Association has asked Massachusetts legislators not to approve House and Senate bills restricting the use of certain flame retardants in upholstered furniture and mattresses. An identical measure was passed in the final hours of the 2018 legislative session but vetoed by Gov. Charlie Baker in January. There was no opportunity for an attempted override. The new bills, S 1230 and H 3500, are both under review in the Joint Committee on Public Health. HFA CEO Sharron Bradley wrote the following to the chairs and members of the committee June 7: Adverse impact on business “The Home Furnishings

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New orders still flat, survey says

Furniture orders for the first quarter of 2019 were flat, following a slight dip in March from a year earlier, the latest Smith Leonard industry survey found. “Only 42 percent of the participants posted increased orders year to date,” the High Point, N.C., accounting and consulting firm said of its monthly survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. It released its report May 29. “We just keep thinking that business should be better than it is,” Assurance Partner Kenneth D. Smith wrote in a commentary with the report. “Job creation and increased incomes should not only help with home buying

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New York acts on tip-overs

Photo above: Erica and Aaron Fried (courtesy HarperSmiles) A tip-over tragedy inspired Harper’s Law in New York state, which places legal obligations on furniture retailers who sell new clothing storage units. The legislation was approved by large margins in the New York Assembly and Senate May 30 and is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It prohibits the sale of new clothing storage units 27 inches high and taller that don’t comply with ASTM’s stability standard and requires retailers to display, keep in stock and offer for sale “tip restraint devices.” It allows fines of up to $500

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Color Ad’s Rose Oldenkamp, longtime HFA supporter, passes away

Rose Oldenkamp, one of the leaders in the retail advertising and printing industry and a longtime supporter of the Home Furnishings Association, died May 7. She lived in Hermosa Beach, Calif., and passed away peacefully, her family said. Oldenkamp and her company, Los-Angeles-based Color Ad, were fixtures at the HFA’s Retailer Resource Center – especially in Las Vegas. Oldenkamp was Color Ad’s founder and vice president of sales. In her 25-plus years in the business, she was known as the premier printer and advertising agency for a wide range of business dealers and worked with national programs and some of

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U.S. hits China for mattress dumping

American mattress producers that lodged an anti-dumping complaint against China applauded the U.S. Department of Commerce for its preliminary determination May 29 to impose import duties. “We are thrilled that Commerce has confirmed that Chinese producers are relying on significant dumping margins to unfairly compete in the U.S. market with margins as high as 1,731.75 percent,” Yohai Baisburd, lead counsel for the petitioners, said in a news release. Dumping occurs when foreign producers export goods into another market for less than “normal prices,” usually with the intent of injuring competitors and forcing them out of business. Some analysts said the

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