Convinced that safe operation is the single most important consideration for whether a company should remain open during a regional or nationwide health crisis, the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) canvassed companies in all segments of the home furnishings industry from all regions of the country to find out how they were protecting health and preserving jobs in their communities. AHFA is a trade association representing 200 top manufacturers and importers of residential furniture for the U.S. market, plus more than 100 companies in the global furniture supply chain.
One key finding of this research was that different parts of the country were experiencing the pandemic in very different ways. For some, the threat level was fairly low, for others it was very high. In all cases, though, AHFA found that the threat was manageable, and members of the industry were responding to conditions in their communities in ways that ensured safe operations and preserved jobs.
Results of this research were reviewed, and supported by:
the International Casual Furnishings Association, an AHFA division representing 300 manufacturers, importers, retailers and sales representatives of outdoor home furnishings;
the Specialized Furniture Carriers, an AHFA coalition of 30 companies with expertise in handling, warehousing and delivering home furnishings nationwide;
the Home Furnishings Association (HFA), a trade association serving the needs and interests of more than 1,200 retail home furnishings members representing 7,000 storefronts; and,
the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association (IHFRA) representing 2,000 sales representatives across the U.S. and Canada.
To assist businesses in all these industry segments in developing and implementing the right response for their companies and communities, we compiled examples of best practices representing the full range of current conditions. Understanding that a strong, working partnership between the public and private sectors is crucial to success, the Alliance4Safety strongly urges all companies to follow any state and local government guidelines relating to the safe operation of their facilities. We provide these best practices for those companies that must operate without government guidelines and for those that wish to exceed their state and local requirements.