Las Vegas Market shifts to Sunday to Thursday dates

Shift To Sunday-Thursday Timing Calculated To Better Serve Retail Needs Winter Co-Locations Offer Synergistic Buying & Selling Opportunities

LAS VEGAS, August 23, 2013— International Market Centers announced today Winter and Summer Las Vegas Markets through 2016, introducing a new Sunday to Thursday date pattern to better serve retailers’ needs for a weekend day and accommodate Friday travel plans. _Markets in 2014 and 2015 also will overlap with other related industry events running in Las Vegas, offering synergistic buying and selling opportunities for both buyers and suppliers.

Running Sunday through Thursday, future market dates are: January 26-30, 2014; July 27-31, 2014; January 18-22, 2015; August 2-6, 2015; January 17-21, 2016; and July 31-August 4, 2016.

“In the face of recent upheaval in the industry show calendar, with other shows switching dates and running times, Las Vegas is maintaining continuity and organizing a consistent timeframe for market participants,” stated Robert Maricich, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Market Centers. “An extremely successful Summer Market – with exponential year-over-year growth in both buyer attendance and vendor participation – has teed-up some great momentum for our future growth, making Las Vegas Market the leading home furnishings and gift destination in the western United States.”

In Winter 2014 and 2015, the Las Vegas Market will continue its existing, and successful, co-location with the Surfaces/StonExpo, which runs January 28-30, 2014, and January 21-23, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

“We are extremely pleased that Las Vegas Market dates will overlap with these industry related markets and look forward to working with their organizers to make the most of our common timing and locations,” Maricich pointed out. “Las Vegas clearly is ‘the place to be’ when it comes to doing business in the home furnishings arena.”

A highlight of the Winter 2014 Las Vegas Market will be the second annual CEO Summit produced by International Market Centers and Eller Enterprises, which will take place January 29 to January 30, 2014. Showrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, January 26, through Wednesday, January 29, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 30.

Looking ahead, the Summer 2014 Las Vegas Market will feature the completion of phase three of the Market’s transformation into today’s complete home furnishings and gift marketplace, with continued growth in better giftware and better home décor to supplement the strong and growing furniture offerings that anchor the market. Phase three features the introduction of new categories of merchandise, including kitchen products and gourmet housewares.

Las Vegas Market is a leading home furnishings and gift marketplace in the western U.S., presenting 2,000+ home furnishings and gift resources in an unrivaled market destination. Las Vegas Market features thousands of furniture, home décor and gift lines, allowing for cross-category commerce among these industries. The Winter 2014 Las Vegas Market runs January 26-30, 2014, at World Market Center Las Vegas. For more information, visit


About Las Vegas Market and International Market Centers, L.P. Las Vegas Market is an international furnishings showcase that combines style, inspiration and productivity in an unrivaled, world-class destination. Situated on World Market Center Las Vegas’ state-of-the-art campus, Las Vegas Market features a comprehensive array of new product from thousands of leading manufacturers and lines in gift, furniture, mattress, lighting, decorative accessories, floor coverings, home textiles and more – delivering Today’s Total Home & Gift Marketplace. Retailers and designers can shop product offerings from trend-setters in all gift and home furnishings categories as well as benefit from complimentary educational, networking and hospitality events. With two markets each year, Las Vegas Market is the only major home furnishings and gift market in the western U.S. offering a unique cross-section of suppliers and buyers spanning these industries. For more information, visit Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Las Vegas Market is produced by International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC), the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. International Market Centers owns and operates 11.5 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas. IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. For more information on IMC, visit


Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Workplace


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves and tendons. Work related MSDs (including those of the neck, upper extremities and low back) are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness. Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors for MSDs increases a worker’s risk of injury.

But work-related MSDs can be prevented. Ergonomics— fitting a job to a person — helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity and reduces the number and severity of work-related MSDs.

Impact of MSDs in the Workplace

Work related MSDs are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time.

  • In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that industries with the highest MSD* rates include health care, transportation and warehousing, retail and wholesale trade and construction.
  • According to BLS, the 387,820 MSD cases accounted for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases in 2011.

A Process for Protecting Workers

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. In the workplace, the number and severity of MSDs resulting from physical overexertion, as well as their associated costs, can be substantially reduced by applying ergonomic principals.

Implementing an ergonomic process has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of developing MSDs in industries as diverse as construction, food processing, office jobs, healthcare, beverage delivery and warehousing. The following are important elements of an ergonomic process:

  • Provide Management Support – A strong commitment by management is critical to the overall success of an ergonomic process. Management should define clear goals and objectives for the ergonomic process, discuss them with their workers, assign responsibilities to designated staff members, and communicate clearly with the workforce.
  • Involve Workers – A participatory ergonomic approach, where workers are directly involved in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation is the essence of a successful ergonomic process. Workers can:
    • Identify and provide important information about hazards in their workplaces.
    • Assist in the ergonomic process by voicing their concerns and suggestions for reducing exposure to risk factors and by evaluating the changes made as a result of an ergonomic assessment.
  • Provide Training – Training is an important element in the ergonomic process. It ensures that workers are aware of ergonomics and its benefits, become informed about ergonomics related concerns in the workplace, and understand the importance of reporting early symptoms of MSDs.
  • Identify Problems – An important step in the ergonomic process is to identify and assess ergonomic problems in the workplace before they result in MSDs.
  • Encourage Early Reporting of MSD Symptoms – Early reporting can accelerate the job assessment and improvement process, helping to prevent or reduce the progression of symptoms, the development of serious injuries, and subsequent lost-time claims.
  • Implement Solutions to Control Hazards – There are many possible solutions that can be implemented to reduce, control or eliminate workplace MSDs.
  • Evaluate Progress – Established evaluation and corrective action procedures need to be in place to periodically assess the effectiveness of the ergonomic process and to ensure its continuous improvement and long-term success. As an ergonomic process is first developing, assessments should include determining whether goals set for the ergonomic process have been met and determining the success of the implemented ergonomic solutions.

Examples of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries (a shoulder problem)
  • Epicondylitis (an elbow problem)
  • Trigger finger
  • Muscle strains and low back injuries

Existing Guidelines



  • Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling. NIOSH. (2007).
  • A Guide to Selecting Non-Powered Hand Tools. NIOSH. (2004).
  • Elements of Ergonomics Programs: A Primer Based on Workplace Evaluations of Musculoskeletal Disorders. NIOSH Publication No. 97-117. (1997, March).

Ergonomic Process

An ergonomic process uses the principles of an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to address MSD hazards. Such a process should be viewed as an ongoing function that is incorporated into the daily operations, rather than as an individual project.

Top 15 Occupations with MSDs

  • Nursing assistants
  • Laborers
  • Janitors and cleaners
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Registered nurses
  • Stock clerks and order fillers
  • Light truck or delivery services drivers
  • Maintenance and repair workers
  • Production workers
  • Retail salespersons
  • Maids and housekeeping cleaners
  • Police and sheriffs patrol officers
  • Firefighters
  • First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
  • Assemblers and fabricators

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011

How can OSHA help?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It’s confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA’s Workers’ page.

OSHA also provides help to employers. OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. For more information or for additional compliance assistance contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

*BLS defines musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) to include cases where the nature of the injury or illness is pinched nerve; herniated disc; meniscus tear; sprains, strains, tears; hernia (traumatic and nontraumatic); pain, swelling, and numbness; carpal or tarsal tunnel syndrome; Raynaud’s syndrome or phenomenon; musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders, when the event or exposure leading to the injury or illness is overexertion and bodily reaction, unspecified; overexertion involving outside sources; repetitive motion involving microtasks; other and multiple exertions or bodily reactions; and rubbed, abraded, or jarred by vibration.

6 guidelines to prevent workplace slips, trips and falls

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of inattention thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway. A trip over an uneven surface. Slipping on the ice. It can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:

  • 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • About 25 percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Metal surfaces – dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.

(1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.

Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started

  • Plan ahead– Know what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and what the particular work area should look like when you are done.
  • Assign responsibilities– It may be necessary to assign a specific person or group of workers to clean up, although personal responsibility for cleaning up after himself/herself is preferred.
  • Implement a program– Establish housekeeping procedures as a part of the daily routine.

(2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include

  • Parking lots
  • Sidewalks (or lack of)
  • Food preparation areas
  • Shower stalls in residential dorms
  • Floors in general

Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.

  • Keep parking lots and sidewalks clean and in good repair condition.
  • When snow and ice are present, remove or treat these elements. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to suspend use of the area.
  • Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint whenever possible.

Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.

  • Use moisture-absorbent mats with beveled edges in entrance areas. Make sure they have backing material that will not slide on the floor.
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
  • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Create a procedure for taking the appropriate action when someone causes or comes across a food or drink spill.
  • Use proper area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.

(3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas clean and orderly.
  • Avoid stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or in any designated aisle.
  • In office areas, avoid leaving boxes, files or briefcases in the aisles.
  • Encourage safe work practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor.
  • Conduct periodic inspections for slip and trip hazards.

(4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.

  • Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
  • Keep work areas well lit and clean.
  • Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  • Keep poorly lit walkways clear of clutter and obstructions.
  • Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
  • Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.

(5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.

(6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries.

It’s ultimately up to each individual to plan, stay alert and pay attention.

MicroD Strengthens eCommerce for Retailers with Channel Redefined Acquisition

Charlotte, NC and Green Bay, WI, August 22, 2013 — MicroD Incorporated and Channel Redefined have announced that MicroD, Inc. will acquire the successful eCommerce organization in order to enhance its leadership position for online solutions to better serve its clients in the Home Furnishings Industry. Channel Redefined, an eCommerce solutions company, has been helping traditional furniture retailers navigate the emerging eCommerce trends, providing them with control of their online marketplace, building their eCommerce strategy, and creating compelling online opportunities for retailers to increase sales. Jesse and Jennifer Akre, as well as the other founders of Channel Redefined, have over 15 years of experience in business-to-consumer eCommerce sales, have witnessed the evolution of eCommerce business practices, and have built and adapted their model to this changing landscape.

“eCommerce and e-tailing have and will continue to be a growing trend in the home furnishings industry” commented Manoj Nigam, President and CEO of MicroD. “The talent, experience, and knowledge that the Channel Redefined team brings to MicroD will enable us to offer our customers unparalleled success and proven results for eCommerce. Our goal is to continue to be a leader in the industry and provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for our clients. While the addition of Channel Redefined allows MicroD to better help the retailers succeed in the eCommerce environment, the recent acquisition of FurnishWEB enables MicroD to provide a complete portfolio of online solutions for manufacturers. With the merging of these two outstanding companies combined with the outstanding talented team we already have, MicroD is poised to strengthen our position as a leader and a single source solution in the industry for both the retailers and manufacturers.”

Channel Redefined is also the creator of iStore, a dynamic system that was developed with Hooker Furniture to provide an eCommerce program to integrate with existing dealer websites. The iStore system, like all eCommerce systems, is a 24/7 sales tool that gives shoppers the ability to make purchases when a brick-and-mortar location is closed. With the thousands of custom upholstery combinations offered by the manufacturer and their four affiliated brands, Hooker Furniture knew that Channel Redefined was the best and most qualified eCommerce provider for the job.

“The Channel Redefined team and I are excited to join the MicroD family and are eager to integrate our eCommerce systems and service solutions with MicroD’s unique technology solutions and product content”, stated Jesse Akre, CEO of Channel Redefined. “Through the combination of MicroD and Channel Redefined’s talents and resources, we are confident that our robust eCommerce system, as well as Managed Services, will further enhance the MicroD product offerings and create a highly desirable and versatile solution for the home furnishings industry.”

Jesse Akre will join MicroD as the Senior Vice President of eCommerce Solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the privately held companies.


About Channel Redefined
Launched in 2012, Channel Redefined has quickly become an up-and-coming leader in the eCommerce services and solutions industry. With the addition of the iStore Program, the fully integrated eCommerce solution developed in conjunction with Hooker Furniture, Channel Redefined has continued to “redefine” their services to meet the needs of their diverse portfolio of clients. Among their many eCommerce services and solutions, their primary goal is to help traditional retailers drive omni-channel growth. Channel Redefined prides itself on finding eCommerce services and solutions that will help their clients succeed.

About MicroD
More than 85% of the top 100 furniture retailers and brands trust MicroD’s online solutions. Select customers include Ashley, Bassett, Drexel Heritage, Ethan Allen, Kittles, Henredon, Klaussner, Lane and Lexington among others. Nearly 2,500 solutions are in use by furniture retailers, suppliers and manufacturers throughout United States and Europe. More than 650 manufacturers are connected through Exim Commerce to exchange close to 100,000 EDI documents each day with leading retailers such as Kittles, Bassett Retail Stores, Mathis Brothers, Sleep Country Canada, American Furniture Warehouse etc.

For more information, contact:
Mona Nigam
Executive Vice President

HPMKT Names Fall 2013 Style Spotters—Rewind!

High Point, NC, August 22, 2013 — The High Point Market Authority is welcoming back an all-star selection of past competition participants to the award-winning Style Spotters team for the Fall 2013 Style Spotters – Rewind! program.

  • Michelle Wiebe, Spring 2013 Market Winner, Studio M, @StudioM_
  • Gretchen Aubuchon, Fall 2012 alumni, Fashion + Décor, @fashiondecor
  • Tobi Fairley, Fall 2011 alumni, Tobi Fairley Interior Design, @tobifairley
  • Lisa Ferguson, Fall 2011 alumni, Decor Mentor, @DecorMentor
  • Shay Geyer, Spring 2012 alumni, IBB Design Fine Furnishings, @designerShay
  • Janel Laban, Fall 2012 alumni, Apartment Therapy, @AptTherapy
  • Lisa Mende, Fall 2012 alumni, Lisa Mende Design, @LisaMendeDesign
  • Stacy Naquin, Fall 2012 alumni, Stacy Naquin Interiors, @StacyNaquin
  • Traci Zeller, Fall 2012 alumni, Traci Zeller Designs, @tracizeller

Style Spotters, launched during the Fall 2011 Market, are home fashion trendsetters that showcase their favorite products and top trends from Market exhibitors on Pinterest, a website that lets users organize and share photos on virtual pinboards.

At the Fall 2013 Market, the Style Spotters will revisit their past picks and provide an update on the top products and trends they spot. Market attendees can also participate by voting on pinboards and products, generating “likes” or re-pinning their favorite Style Spotters pick on the Market Pinterest board (Style Spotters will present exhibitors with signs that highlight their name with a QR code and URL).

High Point Market has received international recognition as one of the top brands using Pinterest.  Social media and branding experts have touted the Market’s Style Spotters program as a unique way to take advantage of brand building on Pinterest.  To discover more about the Style Spotters, go to

For more information, contact:
Mona J. Delia
Vice President, Communications

NAHFA Government Relations: Getting Involved

August 2013

The merger of the Home Furnishings Independents Association, the National Home Furnishings Association and the Western Home Furnishings Association into the North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) earlier this year brings together resources, programs, members and staff while giving home furnishings retailers a united voice for common concerns. NAHFA is enhancing its collective best practices and expanding its commitment to programs and services important to its members and the industry as a whole.

One of the areas NAHFA is focusing on is its commitment to and involvement with government relations.

Working for the Industry

Being aware of legislative issues is important to all businesses, regardless of physical or fiscal size, number of employees or location. It’s not about politics—it’s about the Marketplace Fairness Act for sales tax collection, interchange fees on bankcard processing, EPA regulations that affect retailers and manufacturers, Department of Transportation regulations, healthcare reform, tax reform and much, much more. Many of these issues affect you as a business owner, just like they affect the tire shop across the street, the mom and pop restaurant around the corner, the bookstore, the bakery and all of your local merchants.

Some of these issues affect you, specifically, as a home furnishings retailer—flammability testing, formaldehyde in home products, juvenile product safety and more. We’ll monitor the issues and keep you informed on both a state and national level. We’ll be your eyes and ears; we will help promote and protect your interest as a home furnishings retailer.
As a vibrant industry, it’s our collective responsibility to make sure lawmakers understand the value, benefits and opportunities offered by the home furnishings industry. Being aware and responsive to the legislative issues helps protect you, your business and your community.

Working for Our Members

We’re working with our Washington, D.C., counsel to determine the key issues as they pertain to home furnishings retailers and we will let you know how those issues will affect your business and, more importantly, what you can do about them. We’re also partnering with other organizations to turn up the volume on the home furnishings industry’s voice on Capitol Hill and across the country.

In the coming months you’ll find much more information on, such as policy positions that explain the Association’s stand on key legislative issues as outlined by members of our Government Relations Action Team (GRAT). You’ll also see an increased flow of information on our social media platforms, as well as more consistent direct communication to members.

We’ll gather the information, study its impact, share the results, recommend courses of action (i.e. call your representative), provide sample documentation (i.e. labels for furniture) and facilitate meetings—the next step is up to you. You are the constituent, the business owner and the voice your legislator wants to hear; we can give you the talking points, but you have to do the talking.

Answering calls to action is easy—most often you just need to call your representative and let them know where you stand on the issue at hand. Many in the industry are already involved in government relations. They belong to chambers of commerce, sit on local retail boards, belong to county committees or meet regularly with their legislators. If you’re interested in getting involved with NAHFA’s efforts toward growing our collective voice, contact me or volunteer to be a member of NAHFA’s GRAT.



Lisa Casinger is NAHFA’s government relations liaison. You can reach her by email or by calling us at (800) 422-3778.

High Point Market Authority Announces New Exhibitor Microsite

Special website shows how to take maximum advantage of Market Authority communications

HIGH POINT, NC, August 20, 2013 – Today, High Point Market exhibitors will get their first look at a new online tool designed to help them increase showroom traffic. The website – – outlines a few, simple steps that exhibitors can use to take advantage of the Market Authority’s extensive marketing program.

“Our most successful showrooms tell us that the key to earning a high traffic count is to reach out to your customers as they’re planning for Market, to make sure your showroom is on their schedules,” said Tom Conley, president and CEO of High Point Market Authority. During that critical planning period, the Market Authority is in constant communication with buyers, encouraging them to search for suppliers and plan their visits at “Typically, we enjoy a very strong response to these communications. In the 90 days before Market we see an average of more than 2,300 visitors and almost 3,400 exhibitor searches every day.

“With that many buyers searching for suppliers, our Exhibitor Profiles are a very valuable showroom marketing tool. Simply by making full use of the free features found in their Profiles, exhibitors can leverage our marketing efforts to increase buyer interest in their showrooms. Other services they’ll want to consider include free banner ads, our Online Press Center and at-Market Media Center, and a selection of excellent sponsorships. All of the options are detailed on the new website – – I would encourage everyone who shows at The High Point Market to start using these valuable tools today,” Conley concluded.

Casual Market MMPI Announces Final Phase of Renovations at Chicago Merchandise Mart

CHICAGO – Aug. 13, 2013 – The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market / Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) today announced a redesign and renovation project for the 16th floor at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. This portion of MMPI’s redesign plan will be led by Cannon Frank, an award-winning design firm specializing in custom interior design and was recognized as Chicago’s Interior Design Firm of the Year earlier this year.

The redesign will incorporate new lighting designs, a fresh color palette for the walls and ceiling, and new floor coverings. The light fixtures will provide a brighter area for show-goers to peruse permanent showrooms. In addition, a neutral color scheme has been chosen for the common areas, hallways, trim, and ceiling to complement the diverse range of hues seen in the adjacent showrooms. New floor coverings will adorn the corridors of the 16th floor, providing a modern, sleek style.

“We are reaffirming our commitment to the outdoor industry by providing new efforts of improvement for our clientele,” says John H. Brennen III, executive vice president, MMPI. “The entire renovation will correspond nicely with more than 45 high-end permanent casual showrooms, and will provide a more luxurious shopping and buying experience for our tenants’ customers.”

The Casual Market is a 4-day trade show event dedicated to showcasing the best of new products and trends in the outdoor furniture and accessories categories. It is the only show exclusively endorsed by the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) and provides attendees with 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to explore at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. Buyers can register now for the Casual Market, scheduled for Sept. 17-20, at


Note to Editors: Seek supplemental information, photos and advanced interviews with exhibitors, MMPI representatives, and key industry leaders by contacting Eberly & Collard Public Relations at the telephone number or email addresses at the top of this release.

Media Contact:
Eberly & Collard Public Relations
Dominique de Bruin and Don Eberly
Phone: 404-574-2900
Emails: and

Starcke Furniture accepts Texas Treasure Business Award

August 15, 2013

Source: Seguin Gazette

AUSTIN, Tex. — State Rep. John Kuempel has recognized Starcke Furniture Co. of Seguin with a Texas Treasure Business Award from the Texas Historical Commission.

The Texas Treasure Business Award program was created in 2005 to recognize well-established Texas businesses and their exceptional contributions to the state’s economic growth.

Accepting the award were Hilmar H. Starcke III, Frank Starcke and their sister, Lalla Schmidt, and those attending included their children and grandchildren.

Starcke Furniture Co. is a locally-owned business that has had the same name, been the same company and has been operated by the same family as a furniture store for more than 100 years.

Starcke Furniture Co. is a proud member of the North American Home Furnishings Association, regularly attends the Association’s annual Home Furnishings Industry Conference, and was previously involved with Texas-based Home Furnishings Independents Association before their merger with WHFA and NHFA.

Hilmar Starcke Sr., grandfather of Hil, Frank and Lalla, started in the business in 1910-11 with Weisskopf & Starcke Furniture. He launched Starcke Furniture Co. in January 1912 with the store originally located in the 200 block of North Austin Street, a block that later became a parking lot for the bank across the street.

Within a couple of years of the store’s opening, Hilmar Sr. hired Atlee B. Ayers, the noted San Antonio architect, to build a store at 300 S. Austin.

Company leadership went from Hilmar Sr. to his son, Hilmar Jr., and eventually to Hilmar III.

“We’re at the tail end of all of it,” Hil said.

The Starckes were presented a special plaque from the Texas Historical Commission and a proclamation presented by Campbell’s office. A special decal identifying Starcke Furniture Co. as a Texas Treasure also was awarded and will be displayed in the window of the furniture store.

Hainje’s Home Furnishers wins Tupelo Furniture Market buyer award

August 13, 2013

Source: Furniture Today Staff — Furniture Today, August 13, 2013

TUPELO, Miss. — The Tupelo Furniture Market’s National Buyer Appreciation Award to be given at this week’s market will go to Brewton, Ala.-based Hainje’s Home Furnishers.

Hainje’s Home Furnishers is a member of the North American Home Furnishings Association and was involved with the National Home Furnishings Association before the merger.

The retailer has locations in Greenville, Monroeville and Atomore, Alabama, and sells everything from furniture to electronics.

The buyer award is presented to retailers and buyers who have supported the Tupelo Furniture Market and Mississippi furniture manufacturers. Hainje’s was started in 1914 by John A. Hainje and is 100% employee owned.