Image shows the Virginia Capitol building
Doug Clark
Virginia sets nation’s first COVID-19 workplace standard

The coronavirus spreads quickly, and so do government regulations. That was true recently in Virginia, where the state implemented new workplace safety requirements. “It’s been a very fast-moving train,” Courtney Malveaux said during a webinar for the Virginia Retail Federation last week. “It moved so fast that, frankly, a lot

Image shows a man in profile, sitting and speaking
Doug Clark
HFA panelists see strong sales as Wessel expects slow recovery

Noted economist David Wessel, speaking on a Home Furnishings Association Covid-19 Webinar July 2, forecast a slow recovery – but fellow panelists appeared to surprise him with reports of strong furniture sales now. “I think the industry as a whole, not just furnishings but the whole home category, has come

open for business sign
Robert Bell
Retailers ready for a possible second round of closings

After three months of forced closings, furniture stores are up and running again — and doing a brisk business, too. But there’s no guarantee how long that boost will last as health experts warn a second wave of novel coronavirus is inevitable in the coming months. If stores are forced

Image shows a woman wearing a mask placing an open sign in a store window.
Doug Clark
Was your employee’s COVID-19 case work-related?

When an employee at a Schewels Home store tested positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago, Director of Store Operations Matt Schewel knew a strong response was required. But what? “There hadn’t been much of a roadmap for what we’re supposed to do if there is a case,” Schewel said. “So

image shows a courtroom
Doug Clark
HFA asks for liability protection as stores reopen

Furniture retailers would love to see customers lined up at their front doors when they reopen after weathering the public health crisis. Attorney Pascal Benyamini warned of a different possibility in a Home Furnishings Association webinar May 7. “If you start on the wrong foot, by not showing that you’re

Human Resources
Robert Bell
Retailers need to form a plan, be flexible when bringing employees back

Furniture retailers might be eager to return to work, but their employees might not share that enthusiasm. In Thursday’s Home Furnishings Association live COVID-19 Webinar, “Getting Your Employees Back to Work,” a pair of human resources experts said store owners need to be open-minded and flexible when inviting employees back

Image shows a government office building
Doug Clark
Recalling employees could lead to conflicts

The owners of a furniture store in a Midwestern state furloughed most of their 15 employees after their governor issued stay-at-home orders several weeks ago. Now, ready to reopen, they’re calling them back. Some aren’t ready to come. One is caring for a child who’s out of school for the

image shows the president's hands and a signed bill
Doug Clark
Paid sick leave, family leave law takes effect

Many furniture retailers and other businesses must provide their employees with paid sick leave and family leave under some circumstances, according to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The new law, which takes effect April 1, covers businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can

Robert Bell
HR experts answer members’ HR questions

HFA executive vice president Mark Schumacher spoke with HR experts Erick Becker of Cummins & White, LLP, and Eric Martin of ACG Consulting Services, Inc. on March 27 about pressing HR-related concerns HFA members are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Retailers were invited to ask questions related to their businesses.

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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