Boards agree to merger of NHFA, WHFA and HFIA
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, January 2, 2013
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Board members of the three largest industry retailer associations — the National Home Furnishings Assn., the Western Home Furnishings Assn. and the Home Furnishings Independents Assn. — have agreed to merge the groups.
The proposal will go to a vote of the groups' members, who will have until Feb. 19 to cast ballots on whether to approve or reject the merger, said Sharron Bradley, executive director of the WHFA.
If approved, the new group will be named the North American Home Furnishings Assn. Its membership will include more than 2,000 corporate entities representing more than 10,000 storefronts, officials said.
The new group would be headquartered at what are now the WHFA offices in Roseville, Calif., and Bradley would be the top executive. It would maintain offices in High Point and Dallas, where NHFA and HFIA currently are based, respectively.
Officials said the merger will bring industry professionals together under one umbrella to create a new resource for furniture retailers. They said it will provide a unified voice, allowing those in the industry to work more cohesively and increase negotiating power and cost efficiency.
"This move eliminates confusion, competition and duplication of resources. It's a total win for our industry and particularly retailers," said current NHFA President Marc Schewel of Schewel Furniture in Lynchburg, Va.
Plans for the group include a new website, a publication launched last spring, enhanced regional interaction, fresh educational offerings, and innovative best practices resources and data.