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Let's get ready to Rumble
Shop Talk
Caroline Jansen
From technology to delivery, furniture is the next retail sector ripe for disruption

Over the last several years, the home goods sector of retail has grown and developed, changing the way consumers shop for furniture. Retail giants Walmart and Target have expanded their offerings, and technology, through various partnerships or private label lines — both in store and online. And Amazon added three furniture brands to its list of private labels offering home decor in the last two years —  Rivet, Stone & Beam and, most recently, Ravenna Home. The expansions are for good reason, too. Between 2013 and 2018, the home goods markets in brick-and-mortar and e-commerce grew 20.9 percent and 88.7 percent, respectively, according to Euromonitor. As the

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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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Greg Rich
News
Doug Clark
Greg Rich wants to help customers enjoy life more

Gregory Rich carries conversations in unexpected directions, which makes him an entertaining radio host and a creative furniture entrepreneur. So, listeners of “Drink in the Style,” broadcast on KTNF-AM 950 in St. Louis Park, Minn., recently heard Rich speak sympathetically about O.J. Simpson, the former football star accused and acquitted of a bloody double murder. Most Americans might believe that Simpson, in a fit of jealous rage, stabbed to death his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in June 1994. The next year, after a lengthy televised trial, a jury found Simpson not guilty. No one else

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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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HFA leaders get out in the industry

Photo: HFA CEO Sharron Bradley, left, and Executive Vice President for Membership and Marketing Mark Schumacher, right, visit the future home of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame with CEO Karen McNeill in High Point, N.C., in April 2019. Home Furnishings Association executives are participating in many industry events during June. CEO Sharron Bradley welcomes HFA members to Insights Experience in Portland, Ore., June 17-18. Insights offers networking and education with branding as the focus. Presenters include Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company, local social media influencer Cait Pearson of She’s Hungry, and McMenamins, the popular family owned chain

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Risky Business
News
Robert Lopez
HFA members share their stories about chances they’ve taken and the payoffs that came with taking them

Nobody said selling furniture was easy. Some would say it’s, risky business… When she first heard Raymour & Flanigan was building not one, but five stores in central Pennsylvania, Ronne Kurlancheek of Kurlancheek Home Furnishings had every reason to:  Keep doing the same old, same old and hope customers remained loyal.  Slash prices and try to compete with the big chain.  Throw in the towel and buy a condo in Florida. Instead, Kurlancheek, a longtime Home Furnishings Association member, checked a different box: Blow up a retail strategy that worked for more than a century and three generations of Kurlancheek

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