Editor’s Letter—May 2017

May 2017—

HFA’s best and brightest: Here’s to the winners!

This month we celebrate some of the best and brightest retailers in our industry: the Home Furnishings Association’s Retailer of the Year nominees as well as nominees for two new HFA awards, Emerging Star and Trailblazer.

No offense to our nominees, but they might not be as bright as we think they are. Seriously, who launches a business venture that has an 80 percent chance of failure in the first 18 months (according to the latest statistics) and a 100 percent chance of mental and physical exhaustion (according to every retailer I’ve ever talked to)?

And yet, when it came time to open their own store or take over the reins of a family business, you’ll soon find out our nominees never blinked. Sure, they might have been scared—petrified even—of the uncertainty. But uncertainty is a dynamic condition that simultaneously fosters great risk and potential for great reward. This month we’re rewarding all the nominees within these pages. We’ll also be rewarding our winners—Hudson’s Furniture and Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture, our Retailers of the Year, Emerging Star Contemporary Living and Trailblazer American Furniture Warehouse—at our annual HFA Networking Conference next month in San Antonio. Congrats to all of our risk-taking, reward-making retailers!

Also this month our cover story answers a question we suspect is on many future Retailer of the Year winners’ minds: With the economy starting to rumble and new home sales growing, is now the right time to open a second store? Reporter Ginny Gaylor spoke with several HFA members who ignored an industry battered by change and planted a new flag. Perhaps their insights will embolden you, too.