It was a tumultuous year for HFA retail members in 2022. They have navigated
various macroeconomic issues, including inflation with rising energy costs,
supply chain disruptions and lingering COVID-19 impacts. In May of 2022, the
Home Furnishings Association Government Relations Action Team (GRAT)
returned to Washington, DC.
Furniture retailers are experiencing a high level of uncertainty in their
businesses. And there was no better way to illustrate these dynamics than
for HFA to explain them in person to Members of Congress, White House staff,
Administration officials and other stakeholders.
While it was not an easy time, furniture retailers and their employees were
resilient in the face of an unprecedented business environment. As we
continue through the current business cycle phase, container and shipping
rates have returned closer to normal and delivery times have become more
reasonable. We recently stared down the possibility of a massive railroad
worker strike ahead of the holidays, threatening huge supply chain chaos.
HFA joined the call to get the Biden administration and Congress to impose a
contract deal to avoid the strike.
Furniture Tipover Standard
Looking ahead into 2023, a pending regulation from the Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) will be significant for our industry. It will
create a mandatory safety standard for clothing storage units and transform
the bedroom furniture category. When the CPSC rolled out its proposal in
2022, it reported that only ONE single clothing storage unit it tested out
of nearly 200 would meet the minimum standard. For furniture manufacturers
and retailers, it means all clothing storage units must be
redesigned/engineered before they are sold. The CPSC Final Rule was
published in the Federal Register in November 2022, giving our industry only
six months until late May 2023 to comply.
In September 2022, the U.S. Senate passed a new version of the STURDY Act,
which requires the CPSC to adopt a revised voluntary standard as its
mandatory federal standard. Negotiations are ongoing in the House to advance
this bill to the President’s desk. Regardless, significant change is
coming to bedroom/clothing storage units. So, if you are a manufacturer,
importer or retailer, you must prepare for these updated standards.
“When the CPSC rolled out its proposal in 2022, it reported that only
ONE single clothing storage unit it tested out of nearly 200 would meet the
HFA looks forward to continuing to share HFA member concerns and experiences
on critical issues at the State and Federal level in 2023. That includes
addressing legislation under consideration regarding the supply chain, ocean
shipping, port capacity, furniture tipover, and more.