The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) has joined the Alliance4Safety, a broad initiative designed to reinforce a unified industry message that “Safe=Essential” for home furnishings companies.
ISPA has supported growth and innovation across the mattress and sleep products industry for over 100 years. It joins the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), International Casual Furnishings Association, Home Furnishings Association, International Home Furnishings Representatives Association and Specialized Furniture Carriers in the effort to steer government officials away from arbitrary definitions of “essential” products, services or businesses during a nationwide or regional health crisis.
According to the Alliance4Safety website, the most important aspect of operating a home furnishings business during a health crisis is operating safely – not whether its products meet someone’s definition of essential. Businesses and industries that are committed to operating safely and that adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, along with state and local departments of health, “can and should remain open, even when other closures are deemed necessary.”
The website states, “Whether a company is a manufacturer, importer, supplier, retailer, designer or specialized furniture carrier, the business is essential to those whose livelihoods depend on it.”
The Alliance4Safety recently explained its mission in a mailing to the governors of all 50 states.
“In the first months of COVID-19, the home furnishings industry learned useful and effective ways to manage the spread of infection during a pandemic,” explains Andy Counts, AHFA CEO. “Companies learned new ways to monitor employees’ health, how to manage executives working from home, how to socially distance production workers in our factories and how to serve retail customers while minimizing physical interactions.”
The industry also learned that when containing a virus results in community shutdown, the cost of that shutdown – measured in lost jobs, lost income, lost tax revenue and massive expenditures at all levels of government – is crippling.
“That’s why we spearheaded the Alliance4Safety,” Counts says. “The website provides a centralized resource for companies to use to convey the ‘Safe=Essential” message to relevant government, business and health officials.”
“With many Americans spending more time at home because of the pandemic, consumers have recognized the importance of comfortable furnishings to leading a safe, healthy and productive life during this crisis,” states Ryan Trainer, ISPA president. “As a result, consumer demand for mattresses and furnishings has risen to historic levels. Put simply, consumers are speaking through their purchasing behavior that they need these products. We encourage elected officials who are deciding how to respond to the recent increase in COVID cases to recognize the important benefit that our industry’s products provide to their residents.”
The Alliance4Safety website not only addresses the importance of home furnishings products to home-bound Americans, it also explains how the home furnishings industry is keeping industry workers:
- Safe at the factory door;
- Safe on the factory floor;
- Safe in the store; and,
- Safe at the customer’s home.