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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance expands membership to include retailers, buying groups

Friday, October 16, 2015 > 09:22:43

(Home Goods Online)

The Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance (CHFA) will expand its voting membership to include retailers and buying groups. Its current membership approved the move at its recent annual general meeting.

There are now five classes of membership in the CHFA, which was created through a merger of what was once called the Ontario Furniture Manufacturers (OFMA) and the Winnipeg-based Furniture West two years ago. They include: retailers, buying groups, active members (furniture and mattress manufacturers and importer/distributors), affiliate members (suppliers to the industry), and honorary members.

Affiliate and honorary members will not have a vote in the affairs of the association. Retailers and buying groups will not only have voting rights, but will be represented on the CHFA's board of directors. Long-time chairman of the association's events committee and industry veteran John Power will remain on the board, this term representing the Saskatoon-based Mega Group which also joined.

In previous terms, Power represented Palliser Furniture and Serta Canada.

The OFMA, which was founded in 1890, changed its name to the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance and broadened its membership to include importers and distributors in 2007.

"The CHFA is very excited about announcing its plan to include retailers into the membership," long-time CHFA board chairman Laine Reynolds told Home Goods Online. "What started out in 1890 as a regional association of furniture manufacturers will evolve into a furniture industry association representing all English-speaking Canada."

Reynolds, who is also vice president of sales for Superstyle Furniture, also noted "this change was part of the overall strategic plan following the merger of Furniture West and the dissolution of the CCFM (Canadian Council of Furniture Manufacturers)."

While the CHFA's bylaws have been amended, the work on the details of the expansion will begin next month when its board of directors meet to finalise items such as structure, fee schedules and the services of the expanded association.

"The expectation is that we will commence 2016 with a new format and the beginning of a retailer presence in the membership," Reynolds said, adding, "Already there is interest from both buying groups and retailers to become members."

He noted in recent years it has become increasingly obvious and urgent that closer collaboration is needed between manufacturers, other vendors, industry stakeholders and retailers to face and overcome their common challenges.

"The idea is to pool our industry talent and become more effective together," Reynolds said. "There are many advantages to working together and we need to look to the future to confront our common concerns, issues and threats. Involving retailers will serve to strengthen the overall industry as well as raise the organisation's profile."

He also hopes that by including and involving retailers in association affairs, this will make membership more attractive to manufacturers and other vendors who aren't currently involved.

According to its web site, the CHFA currently has some 21 active members - that is, manufacturers and importers - has well as 16 affiliate members.

In addition to Power, the membership also re-elected Reynolds to the board at its annual general meeting. Also elected were:

  • Terry Clark of Acme Chrome Furniture;

  • Dino Colalillo of Edgewood Furniture;

  • Mike Dunlop of Serta International;

  • Jason Harris of Stylus Sofas;

  • Mike James of Owen & Company (Kingsdown Canada);

  • Rosita Ling of Ratana Home and Floral; and,

  • Bill Zimmerman of Durham Furniture.

For more information about the new association structure, contact CHFA president Murray Vaughan at (905) 677-6561 or by e-mail at murray@chfaweb.ca

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