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David McMahon
David McMahon: Finish the year strong (and get ready for 2020)

In that final mile, I was smiling. The crowd had delivered a thunderous roar for the past 25.2 miles. Officially, the Boston Marathon begins in Hopkinton, Mass., but the journey starts long before that. In that final mile, I reflected on where I came from. I thought about all it took to put this together and made a final strong push. By the time I crossed the finish line at this year’s race, I was already planning for next year. The experience was that incredible. That final mile also got me thinking about the stretch run for 2020 – the

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Since 2015, HFA Hermann Furniture has supplied furniture and holiday decorations for a local historical building in Brenham, Texas.
Shop Talk
Robert Bell
Hermann Furniture decks the halls (11 rooms, too) of historic mansion

Home Furnishings Association member Jennifer Hermann can’t remember a time when the big house on Century Circle wasn’t a part of her life. Even in high school, Hermann remembers roaming the ornate hallways and 11 rooms of the Giddings Stone Mansion, a magnificent example of 19th-century Greek revival architecture in Brenham, Texas, on the other side of town from Hermann’s store, Hermann Furniture. “It’s always been there for me and everyone else here in town,” says Hermann. “It’s a part of our history.” The mansion is so much a part of Brenham and Washington County’s history that Hermann wants to

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Rick Howard
Policy Matters
Home Furnishings Association
HFA government advocacy update: Florida retailers want tax fairness

Featured Story | Political Update | Retailer News Watch | State Reports HFA members in Florida want tax fairness Home Furnishings Association members in Florida are still looking for tax fairness. Florida is one of only two sales-tax states – the other is Missouri – that doesn’t require remote online vendors to add the tax to purchases by its residents. The failure leaves Florida retailers at a disadvantage against giant online competitors based in other states. “We pay local taxes,” said Andrew Koenig, president of City Furniture, which is based in Tamarac and operates 20 stores in south and central Florida.

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Century Furniture shwowroom
News
Doug Clark
Furniture orders down, but Smith sees positive signs

Ken Smith uses a couple of reliable exhibitors to help him evaluate the High Point Market. “Unless it’s a really good market, they’re usually in a sour mood,” Smith said after the October show. “They were in a good mood, and one said it may have been the best market he’s ever had.” Smith, assurance partner for the High Point accounting and business consulting firm Smith Leonard, doesn’t have the numbers yet to back up his positive assessment. His latest Furniture Insights survey of home furnishings manufacturers and distributors found a 3 percent decline in orders in August 2019 compared

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Photo shows Scott Whittier with a dresser with demonstration weight
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Whittier urges retailers to address furniture safety

Scott Whittier does not mince words. “I love kids. The last thing I want to do is kill one,” the president and CEO of Whittier Wood Furniture said in his showroom at High Point Market. He urges furniture retailers to make sure they don’t kill children, either, but he fears that most aren’t taking tip-over risks seriously enough. No one intends for accidents to happen. It’s just that “a lot of retailers don’t want to talk about it,” Whittier said. He understands. Just a few years ago, he was no different. Then a customer of his Eugene, Ore., manufacturing company

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Matt Schultz
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Tax fix bills benefiting retailers gain support

Legislation aimed at fixing a tax glitch that affects Home Furnishings Association members has gained support from majorities of U.S. House and Senate members. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was the co-author of Senate Bill 803, the Restoring Investments in Improvements Act. A news release from his office explained: “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made historic, positive changes to the federal tax code, including allowing businesses to immediately write off costs associated with improving facilities instead of having to write off those expenses over a long period of time. An inadvertent drafting error (prevented) restaurants, retailers and other leaseholders from taking

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