The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) is accepting nominations for its 2020 Retailer of the Year, Trailblazer and Emerging Star awards.
The annual recognitions honor the best and brightest furniture retailers in the industry and are a much-anticipated highlight for all HFA members.
And this year, HFA is adding something new – the Partner of the Year. It will shine a light on providers dedicated to building success for furniture retailers.
"No question this has been a tough year for all our members,” said HFA CEO Mark Schumacher. “But every week I’ve seen those challenges bring out the best in our members. I’m excited to celebrate those who truly rose to the occasion this year.”
The HFA honors two retailers – large and small – with its Retailer of the Year awards. The large retailer category applies to businesses with 50 or more employees. The small retailer award covers businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Both winners will be HFA members in good standing who set high standards for philanthropy, technology, customer experience, mentoring, sustainability and store culture.
The Emerging Star will be awarded to an HFA member 40 or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1980) with three to five years in the furniture retail business. The Trailblazer award recognizes an HFA member who’s been in the business at least 20 years. Both retailers will display excellence in one or more of these areas: philanthropy, technology, customer experience, mentoring, sustainability and store culture.
“Our members and the businesses they run have always been there for their employees and communities this year,” Schumacher said. “Now it’s our turn to celebrate and recognize them for everything they’ve done.”
Now the recognition will extend beyond retailers. The HFA Partner of the Year award will honor the vendor that best supports the HFA through sponsorship, thought leadership and growth of the association’s membership.
The retail awards are about more than just recognition. HFA member Howell Furniture, based in Beaumont, Texas, won last year’s Retailer of the Year in the large business category. Co-owner Shawn Hanley said the award was a nice honor for her staff, and it also helped sales. “We saw a nice increase in traffic after it was announced,” she said. “Winning something like this only enhances our brand in the communities we serve.”
Brakenridge Furniture Co. in Feriday, La., was HFA’s small Retailer of the Year in 2019. Greg Crowley, owner of Crowley Furniture & Mattress based on Liberty, Mo., won the Trailblazer award, and Joe Bright, president of Dunk & Bright in Syracuse, N.Y., received the Emerging Star award.
The deadline to nominate a retailer is Oct. 30. Nominations must be submitted online at myhfa.org/roty. Nominees will be notified and asked to submit information to support the nomination. A panel of judges comprised of industry leaders and media, retired professionals and past honorees will select the winners.
HFA will announce the Retailers, Trailblazer, Emerging Star and Partner of the Year in January, launching recognition and celebrations throughout 2021.