Content about HFA member-retailers contributed by HFA.
No longer trapped by COVID I learned
a valuable lesson at the Retail Resource Center
For months I felt trapped by COVID—yearning for the human contact that only furniture markets can bring. Finally, at the June High Point Furniture Market I got to see people’s faces! I mean whole faces from the eyes down. It may not sound like much, but it was a difference-maker for me to see facial expressions. I had been masked so long that the nuances of face-to-face interaction had faded. Then listening, which is something I struggle with, became easier. Seeing people for the first time in more than a year caused me to be more present.
Over the Market’s five days, I learned a lot more about members who stopped by the newly redesigned Resource Center. And I’m not just talking about new acquaintances, but also people I had known for years.
HFA has elevated the retail backlog issue to the Biden Administration and congressional
leaders to explore
Let me give you an example. A single-store retailer from California, a good friend, came in to say hello and catch up. Before he left, he signed up with two more of our solution partner programs after realizing that he would save thousands of dollars every month by making a few simple changes.
By asking about his business and then listening to his challenges, we helped him make significant changes to the way he offers consumer financing. You see, he already loved having Synchrony as his primary financing option (which he can access thanks to his HFA membership); however, he doesn’t offer a secondary option, only a no-credit option.
What concerned him was alienating customers who might get turned down due to their credit score. He wasn’t aware that HFA offers single-application solutions that provide a range of financing options. A customer fills out a short credit application. If they don’t qualify for the primary, they are seamlessly reviewed by a secondary finance provider, and if that doesn’t work, then a no-credit-needed finance company. They don’t know if they have been denied at any point. Instead, they are given only options they qualify for.
Solutions to Challenges
He was also curious about credit card processing. HFA offers the lowest rates in the industry through our partners at Trekstone, so he signed up for that too! He walked out feeling valued and heard. I am happy to say that was the first of many similar interactions with retailers that all started with a willing ear and ended with HFA’s team finding solutions to retail challenges.
That is the goal of the HFA team each day—to listen and respond to retailer’s needs so they can sustain and grow their businesses.
What are your challenges? Come visit the HFA Resource Center at Las Vegas Market #B1050, we’re ready and we are listening.
For more information on what HFA is doing to empower furniture retailers for continued success, join the community at https://myhfa.org/.
A feature about Home Furnishings Association's retail members, legislation affecting the furniture industry and other retail news from HFA.