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Ashley for the Arts set for Aug. 8-10

Photo: Last year’s Ashley for the Arts drew 70,000 fans to Arcadia, Wis. Arcadia, Wis., punches above its weight. The small town on the Trempealeau River counts only about 3,000 residents but claims one big company: Home Furnishings Association member Ashley Furniture Industries. It also hosts one huge summer event: Ashley for the Arts. Ashley for the Arts is a three-day music and art festival that drew 70,000 people last year. Even bigger crowds are expected at 51-acre Memorial Park Aug. 8-10 for a star-studded lineup of entertainers as well as an Art and Craft Fair, car show, hot-air balloon

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North Carolina port touts its furniture traffic

Above: Furniture is a major product category for the Port of Wilmington in North Carolina. The Port of Wilmington, N.C., calls itself the Port of Home Furnishings when addressing one of the Southeast’s leading industries. North Carolina Ports made the most of that opportunity as the premier sponsor for the Logistics Conference held by the American Home Furnishings Alliance Specialized Furniture Carriers June 17-19 in Wilmington. “The Port of Wilmington is the heart of the furniture industry evolution in North Carolina, whose High Point region has long been known as the furniture capital of the world,” the NC Ports website

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Don’t evade tariffs, lawyer warns

International trade lawyer Rob Pisani (photo, above) offered predictable advice to importers looking for legal ways to avoid paying high tariffs: “Consult an international trade lawyer.” That’s not as self-serving as it sounds, Pisani told an audience at the American Home Furnishings Alliance Logistics Conference in Wilmington, N.C., June 18. Pisani, a partner at Pisani & Roll LLP in Washington, D.C., said he plans to retire soon. But he cautioned that the risks of making mistakes speak to the need for expert counsel. “Merely shipping China goods from a third country could land you in jail,” Pisani said dramatically. “I

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Disruption is nothing new, Cole tells industry group

Alan Cole recited a love letter to furniture at an industry conference June 17, but at times it was tough love. “I love furniture, I do,” said Cole, who retired as president of Hooker Furniture Corp. in 2014, in his State of the Industry address to the American Home Furnishings Alliance Specialized Furniture Carriers Logistics Conference in Wilmington, N.C. “I’m passionate about the furniture business.” “My mother and father, when they went on to glory, they left a lot of furniture,” Cole said. “I put it all in one room. But I don’t see furniture, I see stories. It’s a

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Bill Freeman, center, and his wife, Tracie, right, opened their third Badcock Home Furniture & more store this week in Elkin, N.C. Their daughter, Laura, left, will manage the new store.
Doug Clark
HFA member Badcock opens three N.C. stores

In years past, Bill Freeman was busy during the week of July 4 putting together firework displays for towns and military bases throughout the Mid-Atlantic. But not this week. This week, the licensed pyrotechnic engineer was putting the finishing touches on the grand opening of his third Badcock Home Furniture & more store. More than two dozen residents of Elkin, N.C. – along with several executives from Home Furnishings Association member Badcock’s corporate headquarters in Florida – showed up Monday to christen the store with a ribbon cutting and donation to a local adoption agency. Oh, and sell some furniture.

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Car dealers ‘drive’ sales; you can, too

For any home furnishings retailer, no matter how big or small, you need look no further than your local car dealer to find out how to drive your business (pun intended). The automotive world has seen its share of challenges. Consolidation and new ways to buy started emerging in a big way around 2000. Large dealership chains like Autonation rose to prominence as they began to gobble up car dealers across the country and grow into a behemoth. At the same time, CarMax changed the buying landscape as prices were set, no haggling needed, and trade-ins were a breeze. While

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