Columns

Houzz’s Study Full of Surprises

Duke_Ratliff

By Duke Ratliff “Trendy” just might be a dirty word when it comes to home furnishings. As retailers head to the New York Tabletop Show and the High Point Market this month for two of the year’s most important product-procuring events, it’s more than a little interesting to note that consumers are not big onMore »

Last updated: October 13, 2014

I Will Survive: The Continued Use of Noncompete Agreements

Kristi A. Davidson

The popularity of noncompete agreements ebbs and flows. Businesses laud them. Employees shirk them. Legislators’ views change depending upon which party is in control. Consider, for example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is one of two states yet to adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (see September 2013 HFN article concerning the federal government’s possibleMore »

Last updated: October 23, 2014

How Can Excellent Customer Service Minimize Liability?

Deborah A. Little

By Deborah A. Little Over the past several years, companies have capitalized on various technological advancements that have routinized customer service and, some may argue, made it more efficient and cost-effective. But these practices should not be a substitute for personalized customer care, nor should they become a substitute for prudent risk management. To leverageMore »

Last updated: September 15, 2014

Great Expectations

Duke_Ratliff

Pity the home furnishings industry exec on a long summer vacation—he or she will return to work with a whole new landscape of retail leaders. For those keeping score at home (along with the imaginary, anachronistic exec who could actually take vacation all summer), here’s a brief rundown on the recent CEO shuffle: Target namedMore »

Last updated: August 28, 2014

Restoration Hardware: In the Black

Duke_Ratliff

Gary Friedman, Restoration Hardware’s CEO, owes me $5. Upon returning from my vacation, I found a massive, black block wrapped in plastic on my dining room table. My dogsitter had left it there with the rest of the mail. After quite a bit of effort to rip apart the wrapping, I discovered the approximately 12More »

Last updated: July 24, 2014

Risk Management 101: Other Contractual Protections (Part 2)

Kristi A. Davidson

As promised, this month we conclude our Risk Management 101 series discussing some remaining “boilerplate” terms: limitations periods; dispute resolution (including choice of law and choice of form); and notice provisions. •Limitations Periods. The law imposes time parameters for the commencement of certain types of claims. Contracting parties, however, may choose to shorten or lengthenMore »

Last updated: July 3, 2014

IHA Shoots For the Stars

Duke_Ratliff

Did anyone watch the Cosmos television show? The recently concluded Fox series, an updated version of the old Carl Sagan program, took viewers on trips to new, unexplored  worlds. The International Housewares Association last month unveiled a plan to boldly go where no home furnishings trade association has gone before—to the world of consumers. BestMore »

Last updated: July 2, 2014