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From Home Furnishing Business

California Moves to Scrap Flame Retardants

California took a step toward updating flammability standards, when a state bureau last week proposed new rules that could reduce the amount of toxic flame retardants in furniture and other consumer goods.

The new standards - proposed by the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation - would overturn a 1975 state rule that required furniture foam to withstand an open flame.

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Source: U-T San Diego

Furniture Mall of Kansas Opens Saturday

The Furniture Mall of Kansas is set to open Saturday with its five retail businesses in one convenient shopping location.

The 193,000-square-foot mall will feature Discover Furniture, RoomMakers, Mattress Headquarters, Marlings Furniture and Abbey Flooring Headquarters. The mall, owned by Jeff Winter and the Winter family, which has been in the home furnishings business since 1933. 

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Source: Kansas First News

Williams-Sonoma Shares Drop on Weak Forecast

Shares of Williams-Sonoma Inc., the owner of its namesake, Pottery Barn and West Elm home-goods chains, fell the most in seven months after the company forecast annual profit that trailed analysts' estimates.

The shares slid 4.2 percent to $56.97 at Wednesday's close in New York, for the biggest decline since Jan. 17. Williams-Sonoma, based in San Francisco, has gained 30 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent increase for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
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Source: Moneynews

ARTS Awards Judging Panel Set

Dallas Market Center and ART, the creative home furnishings network, have named the judges for the 25th annual ARTS Awards.

Ashley, Ethan Allen Denied Duty Payments in Court Ruling

Two of the country's largest home-furnishings manufacturers, including Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., have been dealt a pivotal blow in a 10-year legal battle that once threatened to spark a civil war in the domestic industry.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit ruled Aug. 19 in a 2-1 vote that Ashley and Ethan Allen Operations Inc. are not entitled to receive duty payments from a successful anti-dumping case against a group of Chinese wooden-bedroom furniture manufacturers.

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Source: The Winston-Salem Journal

Ikea Opens Factory in China

Sweden-based home furnishing giant IKEA Group opened its first wholly owned manufacturing facility in China on Wednesday, through subsidiary IKEA Industry Group, in a bid to support its rapid expansion in Asia - especially China.

The factory, which will make wooden products, is in Nantong, Jiangsu province, a manufacturing hub for home furnishings and interior decoration material. The factory will supply IKEA stores, mainly in China.

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Source: China Daily

Chinese Consumers: One Life to Live

For Wei Yongshi, the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 was a wakeup call. 

The disaster killed more than 80,000 people. If all those lives could be taken in an instant, the retired science teacher realized, what are we saving all this money for? Beyond the existential, there's the practical: Holding money can diminish its value, he said. 

Here's an interesting analysis of the rising middle class consumer in China, and its outlook on shopping for consumer goods, including home furnishings.

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Source: Global Atlanta

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