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Robert Bell
La-Z-Boy spells out best practices for reopening stores

Even when some states allowed the company to remain open, HFA member La-Z-Boy Incorporated dutifully closed all of its stores nationwide last month as the coronavirus spread and COVID-19 cases began to spike. La-Z-Boy Vice President and General Counsel Steve Krull said his company’s decision was a no-brainer: “We wanted to be part of the solution to flattening this virus and not part of the problem.” In the same breath, however, Krull said he wants La-Z-Boy — with its 340 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores and 560 Comfort Studio locations — to be part of the solution to the nation’s economic

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News
Doug Clark
Loan program urgently needs fixes, HFA tells leaders

The Home Furnishings Association is asking leaders in Washington to implement the Paycheck Protection Program lending initiative as Congress intended. While Congress wrote the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, an emergency economic relief bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, implementation was assigned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration. Their decisions don’t match what Congress intended in three ways: Loan forgiveness is pegged to an unrealistic timetable. Businesses are allowed too little leeway in how they use the funds. And the loan repayment schedule is too short. HFA’s Government Relations Action

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News
Robert Bell
Open or not, your store needs to be active on social media

Marketing your business on social media has never been easy in normal times, but in the midst of a pandemic when your store is either closed or doing next to nothing in business, it can seem all the more challenging. Outside of the physical dangers that COVID-19 presents, many consumers are numb with fear and anxiety. Retailers might share those sentiments and be tempted to sit things out until better days come. But now is not the time to rest. While others might be fading, Home Furnishings Association members should be doing everything possible to maintain a presence on the

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Ken Smith
News
Doug Clark
Take a personal approach when you can’t pay bills, Smith advises

With little money coming in, many furniture retailers have no means to pay their suppliers. And the funds from most Small Business Administration loans can only be used for payroll, mortgage interest or rent and utilities – not for the cost of products just sitting in the warehouse. Retailers need grace to defer payments until conditions improve. Banks, credit unions, other lenders and governments require businesses and individuals that can’t meet deadlines to file deferred payment request forms. Furniture retailers who owe money to vendors, manufacturers, importers and others can take the same formal approach. But Ken Smith of Smith

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News
Doug Clark
Furniture retailers ‘think outside the box’

Since halting normal operations March 19, “We’ve been trying to think outside the box a little bit,” Rob Decker, sales manager for Outdoor Elegance Patio Design Center in LaVerne, Calif., says. “We can’t afford to close down with no end date in sight.” That means doing whatever business can be done. So Outdoor Elegance invites customers to come in one at a time by appointment or to pick up orders at curbside – without having to leave their vehicle. Decker and other managers also make front-door deliveries. “Outside the box” isn’t unusual for Outdoor Elegance, which hosts hugely popular barbecue

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News
Doug Clark
Here’s why your furniture business is essential

Home Furnishings Association members sell many products that are essential to customers’ daily lives and needs. That has never been more true than now when so many Americans must remain at home. Yet, all businesses face a bewildering assortment of stay-at-home directives. While there are exceptions for “essential businesses,” definitions of that term vary from state to state and within some states. As a result, some furniture stores are closed, but some are still operating. In either case, it is important to explain to state and local leaders what essential products customers need for their homes. HFA, with the American

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Congress and the Trump administration are preparing another Covid-19 relief package. The Home Furnishings Association’s Washington representative, Chris Andresen, and government relations liaison Doug Clark

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Everyone is trying to figure out what the “new normal” will look like when your stores reopen. What will recovery look like to you and

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HFA Members