Board members from the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) and Home Furnishings Independents Association (HFIA) completed voting on Jan. 2 to approve the merger of the three organizations, which will be called North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) upon sanctioning of its members. Announcement of the merger comes after months of collaboration between the three boards. Members of the organizations, which number more than 2,000 corporate entities representing over 10,000 storefronts, will vote on the merger for final approval.
Current president of NHFA, Marc Schewel, enthusiastically endorsed the merger saying, “This move eliminates confusion, competition and duplication of resources. It’s a total win for our industry and particularly retailers.”
Howard Haimsohn, President of Lawrance Furniture in San Diego and past president of both NHFA and WHFA, echoed his sentiments. “This is an amazing opportunity to pool the strengths of all of these organizations,” he says. “It brings the best retailers, best minds and best practices together. This is going to be a positive for every aspect of our business.”
Providing a unified voice, the organization will allow those in the industry to work more cohesively as well as increase negotiating power and cost efficiency. Three offices will serve the organization with locations in the East, West and Central United States.
An array of plans include a new website, a bold new publication launched last spring, enhanced regional interaction, fresh educational offerings, innovative best practices resources and data and exciting opportunities for impactful involvement in the new trade community.
Sharon Davis, Director of ART—Accessories Resource Team, says she hopes ART can work with NAHFA as it did with HIFA.
“ART and HFIA have been in a 3-year-long reciprocity agreement allowing members to join the other organization at a reduced rate. The associate membership provides our joint members the benefits of each organization. We expect to continue a similar agreement with NAHFA in the future.”