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Trade barriers suppress economic growth
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Don’t increase tariffs, HFA asks

Higher tariffs are set to take effect Oct. 15. The Home Furnishings Association submitted comments asking the government to change course. “The Home Furnishings Association fully supports the administration’s objectives in reaching a comprehensive trade agreement with China, but we do not agree that tariffs should be a negotiating tool,” HFA said in comments filed with the Office of U.S. Trade Representative. “Therefore, we respectfully ask that the government suspend the October 15 increase in tariffs on List 3 imports from China and eliminate the existing tariffs.” List 3 covers most home furnishings products imported from China. Those products are

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From left, Jameson Dion, Chris Fox and Greg Crowley lead a discussion on furniture safety moderated by Doug Clark
Policy Matters
Home Furnishings Association
HFA government advocacy update: Take the lead on safety

Take the lead on safety, HFA members tell industry Three retailers of different sizes shared a common message at a Regulatory Summit on the furniture industry’s tip-over issue: Don’t wait for regulators to tell you how to do what’s right – take the lead yourself. “The issue isn’t going away,” Greg Crowley, of Home Furnishings Association member Crowley Furniture & Mattress in the Kansas City area, told a roomful of manufacturing executives, “so it only makes sense to get out front on this and be the change you know is coming.” Crowley’s comments, along with those from Jameson Dion of

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The Canadian Furniture Show canceled its 2020 event following years of declining attendance from retailers and manufacturers alike.
Shop Talk
Robert Bell
HFA members in Canada lament loss of show

Home Furnishings Association retailers in Canada are lamenting the loss of the Canadian Furniture Show, their country’s only furniture market, but they’re not surprised. After 47 years, organizers of the Canadian Furniture Show canceled the 2020 event. The show, annually held in May in the International Centre just outside Toronto, never gained footing after a 2015 comeback. Fewer retailers in attendance meant less interest from manufacturers over time. “It was just a downward spiral in recent years,” said HFA member Jim Fee of Stoney Creek Furniture in nearby Stoney Creek, Ontario. “It’s sad because it used to be a big

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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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