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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Hearing covers furniture tip-overs

A founder of Parents Against Tip-Overs pointed to common ground she shares with responsible furniture manufacturers and retailers during a congressional hearing June 13. “The compliant industry folks want a mandatory standard,” Crystal Ellis told members of the House Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee. “It’s something we agree on. We just want it tougher.” Ellis testified in support of the STURDY Act, introduced in April by the subcommittee chairwoman, Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois (photo above). The bill would direct the Consumer Products Safety Commission to set a mandatory safety standard for furniture stability – one that would be

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Shop Talk
Robert Bell
Alaska retailer goes to great lengths to save on freight

Five years ago, Home Furnishings Association member Donny Dean could see the writing on the wall. His home electronics store was getting hammered by e-commerce sites, so he pulled the plug and started selling furniture. Image Home Furnishings of Wasilla, Alaska, was born. In 2017, he saw a different writing on the wall. Two bigger furniture chain stores in Wasilla that sold on volume were killing him on price. Instead of getting out of the furniture business, Dean found another solution. He bought a truck. A pretty big one, too. And that, says Dean, made all the difference. These days,

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News
Doug Clark
Hall of Fame class includes Jake Jabs

Jake Jabs is one of four industry leaders who will be inducted into the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame during the High Point Market Oct. 20. Jabs is president and CEO of Home Furnishings Association member American Furniture Warehouse in Englewood, Colo. The others in the Hall of Fame’s 2019 class are Clement “Clem” M. Lange, co-founder and chairman of Best Chairs Inc./Best Home Furnishings; Paul Maitland-Smith, founder of Maitland-Smith Ltd. and Theodore Alexander; and Jim McIngvale, founder and owner of Gallery Furniture. The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation Inc., is an industry-wide organization founded to preserve

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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
California considers CCPA changes

The California Consumer Privacy Act is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, but legislators are still making changes that can affect Home Furnishings Association members in the Golden State. There’s positive movement on some fronts. AB 846, addressing customer loyalty programs, passed the Assembly by a vote of 50-1 on May 28. It would strike out a provision in the law that bars retailers from charging customers more if they ask to have their personal data deleted. Under the law’s definitions, that could apply to purchasing history or other information used in loyalty programs that reward regular customers with special

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Shop Talk
Doug Clark
Kurlancheek finds a new home

Photo: Ronne Kurlancheek and her dog Dolly in her new store. The day after a powerful tornado destroyed her business in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., last June 13, Ronne Kurlancheek’s employees gave her a pair of ruby slippers and a stuffed Toto in a basket. “They will be on the counter in my new store when I open,” Kurlancheek said last week with satisfaction in her voice. Her experience since the tornado has been like a year in Oz, the owner of Home Furnishings Association member Kurlancheek Home Furnishings acknowledged. Through it all, she was grateful. “As long as no one got

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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Congress leaves marketplace fairness to states

The Amazon marketplace is losing some of its attraction, Andrew Youderian, owner of the ecommerce community eCommerceFuel, recently reported, according to Forbes retail contributor Kiri Masters. Youderian conducts an annual survey of merchants and this year found “for the first time ever in our survey (that) non-Amazon sellers grew faster than Amazon sellers on average.” One reason why is the rapid change in online sales-tax collection requirements enacted by dozens of states since the 2018 South Dakota v. Wayfair Supreme Court ruling. ‘An unmitigated disaster’ “The sales tax situation in the United States right now is an unmitigated disaster,” Youderian

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