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NAHFA takes over Home Furnishings Council initiative

Will educate consumers on industry

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The lead organizer of an effort to revive the Home Furnishings Council as an industry consumer education program said the North American Home Furnishings Assn. is now leading the initiative.

In an email to industry sources who have expressed interest in the new HFC, Eric Blackledge, co-owner of Blackledge Furniture in Corvallis, Ore., said he met with NAHFA's CEO Sharron Bradley and Executive Vice President Mary Frye during the winter Las Vegas Market. They agreed, he said, "NAHFA would now assume active management of the HFC initiative and development of new program content."

When the HFC advisory group met for the first time during the fall 2012 High Point Market, three industry retailer associations were in the process of negotiating a merger that would become NAHFA.

"This was clearly the most logical group to implement and manage the consumer and retailer education programs we had discussed," Blackledge said in the email.

The merger of the National Home Furnishing Assn., the Western Home Furnishings Assn. and the Home Furnishings Independents Assn. into NAHFA was completed about nine months ago. Blackledge said the NAHFA already has produced a four-page holiday version of a new Haven home decorating guide, which was made available to members for printing and online distribution in December and is on the Home Furnishings Council website.

"NAHFA has good support staff for both website development and content creation, but they will still need both some time and some continued support from you and your organizations to develop the kinds of consumer materials and educational videos for retail websites that are needed to stimulate home furnishings purchases," he said in the email.

Blackledge said NHFA will set up an advisory committee to guide the HFC program, and also will develop new retailer education programs to train management and sales staff, something that was identified as a key need by the advisory group during the High Point meeting.

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