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Sunny Designs launches five outdoor collections

Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, July 30, 2013

Sunny Designs is venturingSunny Designs is venturing into the casual furniture category with a launch of proprietary designs at the Las Vegas Market.
LAS VEGAS - Case goods manufacturer and importer Sunny Designs believes it has found a niche when it comes to the outdoor furniture category.
     Sunny Living is showing about five outdoor collections at this week's Las Vegas Market in its showroom here in B-1180.
     As part of the initiative it brought in Scott Coogan, a veteran of the casual furniture industry, to work with the company on product development. It has another eight groups planned for the High Point Market.
     The company, which quietly began introducing the category in January and is now offering outdoor furniture under the name Sunny Living, will allow dealers to ship the category mixed with indoor items on containers.
     "Our dealers are already flowing containers. It just rides with their indoor," said Hokeun Lee, vice president of sales.
     "The timing is right for that whole category. There's a lot of interest in patio," Lee said. "Retailers are looking for new dollars. Obviously you're still looking at a tough retail climate out there and anything retailers can generate extra dollars on is always an added bonus."
     Lee said January's soft launch was meant to help Sunny Designs get acclimated with the category and spread awareness to retailers about its outdoor presence. That launch didn't include the proprietary designs in its new offering.
     This launch includes dining and pub tables, bars, deep seating, sectionals, sofas, loveseats, end, coffee and occasional tables and eventually fire pits and chaise lounges. Construction features include cast aluminum and wicker and sling fabric meshes on frames.
     "Our dealers will be able to compete with any of the outdoor specialty stores in terms of pricing as well as design," Lee said.
     Items will be stocked and consolidated in China at the company's factory, where outdoor will be incorporated into its overall inventory. In pricing, Lee said Sunny Designs wants to attract customers "that want better end goods but don't want to pay specialty store prices."
     Product that is cut from the Las Vegas market will be ready to ship in 60 days, Lee said. Sunny Designs isn't currently requiring and order minimum for shipping.
     All new collections use Sunbrella fabrics for seating, except for the matching umbrellas that will be solution dyed polyester. Dining and pub table tops will have umbrella holes with plastic insert caps to hide them when not in use.
     Cushions are all polyester foam with Dacron wrap that is covered in a water resistant fabric covering and then inserted into a cushion cover. Lounge seating will usually have polyester- and Dacronfilled cushions that are about seven inches thick; chaise cushions will be about four inches thick.
     Lee said Sunny Designs' logistical advantages - owning multiple overseas factories and warehousing - make it a good resource for the outdoor category, since few suppliers allow outdoor pieces to mix on containers with indoor items.
     That's important because seasonal ordering nuances with outdoor items can leave retailers with either too much or not enough inventory. One cause is that retailers often order big outdoor shipments before Chinese New Year to have enough stock for the spring retail selling season, he said.
     Guessing at inventory needs can result either in leftover inventory that is discounted at the end of the season, or too little inventory with little time to reorder before the summer selling season ends.
     With Sunny Designs, retailers can buy what they need and reorder with no obligation to buy full containers since they can mix products with indoor goods.
     "You don't have to over buy. You won't be stuck with any inventory," Lee said. "I think we can definitely take a lot of risk out of the patio and yet give our dealers a great new avenue and new dollars for them."

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