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Furniture safety summit
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Safety stands out at furniture summit

The failure to talk enough about safety is “an incredible oversight for our industry,” Pat Bowling, vice president of communications for the American Home Furnishings Alliance, said at the organization’s Regulatory Summit Oct. 3. AHFA will work to remedy the problem, she vowed. AHFA is an association of leading furniture manufacturers. The summit, held just outside Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 2-3, more than 150 participants from a cross-section of industry, including retail. The focus was furniture stability. Among the speakers were Commissioner Peter Feldman and two staff members of the Consumer Products Safety Commission. One panel covered the retail perspective, presented

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New furniture orders
News
Doug Clark
Orders for new furniture rise, report says

Ken Smith was getting tired of reporting monthly declines in new orders for residential furniture. His latest survey of manufacturers finds better news. “The July orders were up 6 percent over July 2018, following five months of reporting declines in new orders,” said Smith, assurance partner for Smith Leonard, an accounting and consulting firm in High Point, N.C. Smith’s practice focuses on the furniture industry. “I think it was good,” Smith told the Home Furnishings Association about his report, which was released Sept. 27. “I just hope it’s not a blip. I hope we’ve started a trend. At least we

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HFA member Joaquin Rodriquez and his store. Hacienda Furniture, does a robust business with Hispanics in Oxnard, Calif.
Shop Talk
Robert Bell
Connecting with Hispanics: How one HFA member does it daily

The face of the retail furniture consumer is changing. That’s because America is changing, too. There are 131 million multicultural Americans in the United States today, according to a Claritas report earlier this year. Those Americans make up 37.5 percent of the U.S. population with Hispanics accounting for the largest portion at 19.6 percent. Minority groups now make up more than half of the population in 400 U.S. counties and that Hispanics are a significant part of this change. For 16 years, HFA member Joaquin Rodriguez, profiled in the HFA’s Fall Insights issue, has successfully understood the Hispanic market and

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HFA member John Rose likes to use raw, unedited video in his social media campaigns.
Shop Talk
Robert Bell
Social media video for your store: Keep it raw (and real)

When HFA member John Rose learned a competitor was spreading false information about his furniture store, J.R. Furniture, he decided to set the record straight through social media video. But Rose knows social media isn’t always what it seems. With so many filters and editing tools available, who can tell if that picture of your niece on prom night is the real deal? So Rose pulled out his cellphone and made a video. It was anything but polished, but it was also authentic. The best part of creating a video for a platform like Facebook Live is that what you

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David McMahon
News
Robert Bell
Forecasting your business for 2020 starts now

Marathons are a lot like running a furniture store. It’s important to finish strong. In the HFA’s Fall Insights magazine, David McMahon offers furniture retailers advice on the final push. But that’s just the start, says McMahon. Here he offers some tips on forecasting for the next year. Retailers can forecast any time, he says. “The end of the year or the start of the new year is just a convenient time that people like to do this,” he says. “They’re reflecting on what happened in the past and are hopeful for the future as to what could happen.” McMahon

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Tepperman's Furniture opened this "pop-up store" to recruit employees.
Shop Talk
Robert Bell
This pop-up didn’t sell a single thing. It was a huge success.

Two months after its opening, the Tepperman’s Furniture pop-up store in an Ancaster, Ontario, mall closed without selling a single appliance or piece of furniture. Andrew Tepperman is delighted with the pop-up’s success. That’s because the pop-up, filled with 35,000 square feet of product, was never created to sell furniture. Instead, it was designed to sell something else. Passersby were invited to apply for jobs at Tepperman’s newest store opening in a nearby former Sears building. By that measure, the pop-up was a hit. Nearly all of Tepperman’s 50 employees at the new store, which opened in August, came through

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