NAHFA Will Offer Educational Session on Association during HFNC 2014

NAHFA 101 – the Who, What, When, Where, and Why
Educational Session on NAHFA during HFNC

Roseville, CA, April 22, 2014 —The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) will offer an “NAHFA 101″ session during the Home Furnishings Networking Conference (HFNC), June 1-3, 2014, to ensure that attendees know all they want and need to know about their Association. Since the May 1, 2013 merger of three organizations that formed the NAHFA, there have been ongoing efforts to inform members and industry partners of how the merger effects them. There is no substitute, however, for face-to-face communication. The early riser session on Monday, June 2, at the HFNC is the opportunity for this communication.

Attendees will hear about how NAHFA compares to the organization they originally joined. Each of the merging organizations brought long time members and leaders to the new organization. The session will provide information about why there was a merger; why the reasons for the merger matter to members; how members are better off because of the new organization; and what the NAHFA can do to help members run better businesses and enjoy being in business more.

“Deciding to merge organizations is not a casual decision,” said Sharron Bradley, NAHFA’s CEO. “Even doing so for all the right reasons doesn’t promise a smooth transition. The NAHFA leadership and staff are committed to taking every opportunity to talk with members about anything they want to know more about. We look forward to the NAHFA 101 session at the HFNC in Phoenix. NAHFA 101 could be one of the most important sessions we have.”

For registration and details on the Home Furnishings Networking Conference, visit thehfnc.com or call 800-422-3778.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:

The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

NAHFA Announces ROTY 2014 Winners

Roseville, CA, April 4, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) is proud to announce the winners for its 2014 Retailer of the Year award, which celebrates the outstanding achievements and progressive leadership of the nation’s home furnishings retailers.


Olinde's Furniture Tom Olinde, Olinde’s Furniture, Baton Rouge, LA is the NAHFA 2014 Retailer of the Year in the category of businesses with a sales volume of $10 million or above. Olinde’s has been a southern Louisiana mainstay since 1886. Today there are 12 furniture and bedding stores, including two large full-line Olinde’s stores, two bedding superstores, and eight Ashley Furniture HomeStores.

Harkness Furniture Dave Harkness, Harkness Furniture, Tacoma, WA is the NAHFA 2014 Retailer of the Year in the category of businesses with a sales volume under $10 million. Harkness Furniture was founded in 1920. Their 60,000 square feet of showrooms feature top-name home furnishings displayed on four floors, as well as a sleep center and Furnish 123 gallery next door.


The 2014 North American Home Furnishings Retailer of the Year awards will be presented on June 1, 2014 at the annual Home Furnishings Networking Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

“Congratulations to Tom and Dave,” said Sharron Bradley, NAHFA’s CEO. “All of the nominees are exceptional retailers with compelling stories; the judges really had their work cut out for them.”

NAHFA members in good standing were nominated by members of the home furnishings industry based on their exemplary service to the industry and to their communities and for providing an exceptional customer experience in their store. A selection committee, comprised of two members of NAHFA’s Board of Directors; two NAHFA members; two manufacturers; two service providers/suppliers; and two members of the industry media, reviewed the nominations.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

NAHFA to Participate in Prop 65 Public Workshop

Roseville, CA, April 1, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) will participate in a public workshop in Sacramento on April 14 to present furniture retailer views on proposed reforms to California’s Proposition 65. The NAHFA has been working closely with the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) on Prop 65 and other issues that affect the home furnishings industry.

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed reforms aim to reduce unnecessary litigation and result in more useful information for the public on what chemicals they are being exposed to and how they can protect themselves. CA voters approved Prop 65 in 1986, requiring the Governor to annually publish a list of chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. CA businesses that sell product containing chemicals on the list must provide a clear warning to the public.

The proposed reforms seek to cap or limit attorney’s fees; require stronger demonstration by plaintiffs that they have information to support claims before litigation begins; require greater disclosure of plaintiff’s information; set limits on the amount of money in an enforcement case that can go into settlement funds in lieu of penalties; give the State the ability to adjust the level at which Prop 65 warnings are needed for chemicals that cause reproductive harm; and require more useful public information.

The reform provides an exemption for businesses with fewer than 25 employees. This revision would give retailers who’ve been notified of a minor violation a 24-hour window in which to correct the violation (missing sign for example) or 14 days if software or equipment must be repaired/replaced.

Last year more than 200 notices of Prop 65 violations were filed against furniture companies for failing to notify consumers in California that their upholstered products contained the common flame retardant chemical TDCPP. Many of the cases remain unsettled, but, according to AHFA’s most recent review of the California Attorney General’s website, which logs all settlements, the home furnishings industry has already paid out more than $3.6 million in court costs and attorney fees for these violations.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), which is the California agency that administers Prop 65, is sponsoring the workshop; OEHHA may make changes to the proposed reforms, but final adoption is not expected until early summer 2015.

If adopted, the reforms to Prop 65 would establish new minimum requirements for the warning labels. In addition to the word WARNING, the labels for all products other than food would be required to carry the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) pictogram for toxic hazards.

Further, the proposal calls for OEHHA to establish a list of up to 12 “commonly-known” chemicals that would have to be mentioned by name in the text of the warning. Among the 12 chemicals currently on this list are “chlorinated tris,” formaldehyde, and lead. The proposal states that this list “is not intended to be exhaustive and may be changed over time as the public becomes more familiar with the improved warning format.”

New warning labels also would have to carry a link to a new OEHHA website. The website, which is not yet under development, would be intended to provide the public with access to more information on chemicals, including possible routes of exposure and, if applicable, any actions that individuals can take to reduce or avoid exposure.

Manufacturers would bear the responsibility of providing OEHHA with the information posted on the new website, including: the name and contact information for the manufacturer of any product covered by the warning; the name of the chemical or chemicals for which the warning is provided; the type of occupational, environmental or product exposure the warning is intended to cover; the type of harm (cancer, birth defect or reproductive) caused by the named chemical; the anticipated route of exposure to the chemical; and information about preventative actions a person can take to minimize exposure.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

Industry Associations Oppose Leno’s FR Label Bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  –  A bill proposing to dictate point-of-purchase signage in California home furnishings stores will be opposed by both the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and the North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) at a Senate committee hearing here this week.

Senator Mark Leno proposed the measure (SB 1019) last week in an effort to provide California consumers with easily accessible information on whether upholstered furniture contains flame retardant chemicals.

Last year California adopted a new fire safety standard – Technical Bulletin 117-2013. The new standard requires upholstered furniture to pass a smolder test to ensure that it is resistant to ignition from a burning cigarette – the number one cause of household fires involving upholstered furniture.

The smolder test replaces an open flame test that California required for more than 35 years.  The state’s new standard does not prohibit flame retardant chemicals, but the smolder test can be passed without them.

Sen. Leno’s legislation proposes a lengthy addition to the law label that is currently required on all upholstered furniture offered for sale in California. After stating that the product meets California’s furniture fire safety standard, manufacturers would have to indicate whether the product “contains added flame retardant chemicals” or “contains NO added flame retardant chemicals.” This would be done by checking a box next to the appropriate statement.

Leno also proposes that the law label include the following statements:

“The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation found that flame retardant chemicals in furniture do not provide a meaningful fire safety benefit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such flame retardant chemicals can migrate into air and house dust where people can be exposed to them.”

In addition to lengthening the law label with this required “flame retardant chemical statement,” Leno proposes that manufacturers of upholstered furniture be required to provide point-of-sale signage with this same statement for each product shipped to California retailers.

Stores would be required to display the sign “next to the price or description of the covered product.”

Furthermore, Leno wants the sign to be “sized and placed so as to remain clear and conspicuous to consumers.”

Catalog retailers would have to place the message on each page containing a description of an upholstered product and Internet retailers would need to place the message “in close proximity to the price” on each web page that contains a description of an upholstered product.

“Although we support the intent of the legislation to disclose if a piece of upholstered furniture does or does not contain added flame retardant chemicals, SB 1019 goes well beyond this intent and is unworkable as written,” a joint statement from the associations asserts. Additional disclosures beyond the basic presence or absence of FR chemicals will only serve “to alarm and confuse consumers without any scientific merit.”

The joint statement, which was submitted on behalf of AHFA, NAHFA and the Polyurethane Foam Association, further asserts that the point-of-sale requirement puts the burden of compliance on retailers, who have little control over what individual products contain.

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The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus over 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide. AHFA is the home furnishings industry’s sole representative on Capitol Hill and elsewhere throughout the United States on legislative and regulatory matters that impact the industry.

NAHFA Partners with NewComLink

Roseville, CA – March 31, 2014 – The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) announced today an exclusive partnership with NewComLink, the first multi-lender, multi-product, and multi-device financing platform that simplifies retail credit programs for retailers.

The partnership gives NAHFA members exclusive access to a bundled, secondary financing solution through the NewComLink platform. NewComLink simplifies consumer financing. A single integration of the NewComLink financing platform provides retailers the ability to offer multiple financing products from different lenders using a variety of devices at the point of sale.

“NewComLink offers a unique solution for in store secondary financing, giving furniture retailers the ability to capture more sales and improve customer satisfaction,” said Kaprice Crawford, NAHFA’s membership director. “We believe this solution addresses a gap in current retail credit offerings and are excited to bring it to our members at a discount rate.”

“Furniture retailers invest heavily in marketing to drive customers to their stores. Unfortunately, they lose that investment when they can’t provide financing to close the sale,” said Doug Caruso, national vice president of major market sales at NewComLink. “Using the NewComLink financing platform for secondary financing, NAHFA members can see a big boost in their bottom line.”

To learn more about the partnership please visit: http://bit.ly/OxG4mN

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

About NewComLink:
Based in Austin, Texas, NewComLink is transforming the way consumers access financing at the point of need, beginning with retail credit. The company’s innovative technology solution brings new efficiencies to financing all while driving incremental sales, profits and improving customer satisfaction. NewComLink was founded in 2008 and is privately held with venture capital funding from Austin Ventures and StarVest Partners. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.newcomlink.com.

NAHFA’s High Point RRC Packed with Business Service Providers

Roseville, CA, March 26, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) provides High Point buyers a one-stop marketplace filled with business service providers offering money-saving tools to improve their businesses. The Retailer Resource Center (RRC), located on the first floor of Plaza Suites, hosts more than 30 vendors that offer products and services ranging from advertising and marketing, financial, consulting, and design, to technology, training, and warehouse distribution.

Companies exhibiting in the Retailer Resource Center:

ACA – Advertising Concepts of America
AutoDesk, Inc.
Best Buy For Business
Clear Destination
Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery
Diakon Logistics
Fisher Printing, Inc.
Furniture Wizard
FurnitureCore by Impact Consulting
FurnitureDealer.net
GE Capital
iConnect
JRM Sales & Management
Knorr Marketing
LS Direct Marketing
Mail America
MicroD, Inc.
Moso Graphics
Myriad Software
NAHFA Warehouse Store
Nellymoser
Netsertive
NewComLink
Profitability Consulting Group
PROFITsystems, Inc.
Service Lamp Corporation
STORIS
The Smart Designer
Trekstone Financial
Tropic Survival Advertising & Marketing
United Steel Storage, Inc.
VividWorks
Web4Retail

Buyers are invited to start their day in the Buyers’ Lounge with a complimentary breakfast (Saturday-Wednesday, 8:00-9:30 a.m.) and refuel in the afternoons with specialty hot dogs and snacks (Saturday-Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.). The Buyers’ Lounge is sponsored by Myriad Software.

The NAHFA will offer free trips to the 2014 Home Furnishings Networking Conference in Phoenix, AZ, June 1-3, (a $1,500 value). Buyers who join the Association during market receive free conference registration, $500 towards airfare, and a $500 room credit.

The NAHFA’s Membership Representatives will be on site April 5-10, 2014 in the RRC (located by the Buyers’ Lounge) to answer questions and provide information about becoming an NAHFA member or to help existing members get the most out of their membership.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

NAHFA Sets High Point Next Gen NOW Events

Roseville, CA, March 17, 2014 — Based on the success of Next Gen NOW events at previous markets, the North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) will host several NGN networking and educational opportunities at the April High Point Market.

Sunday, April 6, the Association invites young professionals to a Lunch with Leaders, with appointments available between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Marty Melcher, group vice president of sales, Serta, Keith Koenig, president, City Furniture, and Kevin Castellani, president, Furniture Today Media Group are among the leaders who will meet with NGN members to discuss best practices and the importance of mentoring, and share their insights on our industry and their respective roles in it. Interested market attendees can register at ngnow.org.

Later Sunday night, NGN members and those interested in learning more about the NGN community are invited to the Surya-hosted Market BASH, 6:00 p.m. at Showplace 4100 for cocktails, appetizers, and a live DJ. Unwind from a day at market in the exclusive NGN area with foosball, air hockey, and double shot basketball.

Monday, April 7, NAHFA offers endorsed market education for NGN members in the Retailer Resource Center (RRC), 1st floor of Plaza Suites. MicroD, Inc. will host Adapting to Maximize the Evolving eCommerce and Digital Landscape, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Monday afternoon, Bob George from FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting, will present a seminar on Targeted Advertising from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

“Networking with peers and getting the opportunity to meet with leaders in our industry are so important for our community of young professionals, “ said Next Gen NOW member Alex Macias, Muebleria Del Sol Furniture. “While we obviously come to markets to see and buy new product, we’re also here to work on building relationships that will benefit the future of the industry.”

Next Gen NOW members can learn more at ngnow.org or by contacting Cindi Williams at (800) 422-3778 or cwilliams@nahfa.org.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

About Next Generation-NOW:
Next Generation-NOW is a community of young, passionate, vibrant home furnishings professionals that represents the future of the home furnishings industry. Working together, this community helps develop the next group of industry leaders through educational events, social networking, and peer guidance and gives a voice to the distinctive needs of future generations in the furniture industry. For more information, visit www.ngnow.org.

NAHFA Launches Regional Event Program

Roseville, CA, March 10, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) is launching its Regional Event Program to provide members and retailers across the country with local networking and educational opportunities. While the Association offers seminars and opportunities for interaction at its market Retailer Resource Centers and Home Furnishings Networking Conference throughout the year, these regional events will provide other convenient ways for members to build relationships.

“Bringing members together is important,” said Mary Frye, NAHFA’s executive vice president and regional events liaison. “Whenever you get a group of retailers together, whether it’s at market or a conference, magic happens. They talk to one another about what’s important to them; their successes and their struggles. I’m told they can leave an event with a money saving idea. There’s value in associating so we’re making it easier for them to do just that with regional events.”

Retailers can view and register for upcoming events on the Association’s website, www.nahfa.org, or subscribe to the calendar via their favorite calendar program (iCalendar, Outlook, etc.). Events are also listed in the Networking News column in each issue of RetailerNOW.

This month retailers are invited to the Dallas Regional Lunch & Learn, March 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., at the Dallas Market Center, Seasons Gallery. A $20 donation to the Dallas Furniture Bank gives attendees access to Paul Thompson’s presentation, Increase Your Merchandising Results. Next month, Denver retailers are invited to Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies vs. Phillies game, April 18, at 6:40 p.m.

For registration and details on these and future events, click here or visit nahfa.org or call 800-422-3778.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

NAHFA Revives Home Furnishings Council

Roseville, CA, March 10, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) has assumed management of the Home Furnishings Council (HFC), the industry source for consumer education. In December, the NAHFA produced a four-page Holiday version of Haven, which it made available to members.

The Association is in talks with industry groups and NAHFA’s Consumer Relations team to determine the future scope and direction of the HFC, its website, and content development.

“First and foremost our mission is to support our retail members,” said Sharron Bradley, NAHFA CEO. “Providing them with tools and resources to educate consumers is an integral part of what our Consumer Relations team does. The team is comprised of member volunteers who are passionate about reaching out to consumers and finding ways the industry as a whole can influence their understanding of our products and their purchasing habits.”

Consumer education historically has been a conundrum for the home furnishings industry as a one-size fits all push will not sufficiently meet the needs of each segment. It will take a combined, industry-wide educational effort to reach a level of consumer awareness that can even begin to chip away at the focus on price above quality.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

NAHFA to Debut Association Mobile App at High Point Market

Roseville, CA, March 6, 2014 — The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) will debut its proprietary app during the upcoming High Point Market, April 5-10. A preview of the mobile engagement platform will be available in RetailerNOW’s April issue, available starting March 25. The issue will include interactive content throughout, showcasing the features and benefits of the NAHFA app. Market attendees can learn more about the app by visiting the interactive hub in NAHFA’s Retailer Resource Center, on the first floor of Plaza Suites, where staff will help visitors explore its capabilities.

“As an association, we’re continually finding ways to better communicate with and educate both our members and the industry,” said Sharron Bradley, NAHFA’s CEO. “We encourage members to embrace technology in reaching their customers—and with our app we’re setting the example. The app gives instant and interactive access to information and allows users—and members—to connect with us anywhere, anytime.”

The NAHFA app will be available for free download starting March 24 in the App Store and Google Play. The app will allow users to access extended content from the Association, industry partners, and RetailerNOW, view calendars and details of upcoming events (including access to event specials), and check in to Association events, all from their smart devices. The app will include member-only access to exclusive program offers, legislative updates, and more.

The mobile engagement platform will also allow users to participate in Augmented Reality (AR) experiences simply by scanning print pages. The potential for print to come to life with live video, slideshows, and interactive social media pages raises the bar on content. This will also open the door for NAHFA’s advertisers, sponsors, and vendors to showcase their products and services through AR.

The NAHFA has teamed up with Emerald Home Furnishings for the High Point Market launch of the app. Using short-range communications technology, Emerald’s showroom will feature six interactive experiences. Beacons placed near showcased product will alert market attendees when they are in range, allowing them to learn more about the product and to give feedback.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:

The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.