New case goods lines spice up summer
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, July 30, 2012
LAS VEGAS - Case goods vendors here are showcasing product they hope attracts new and existing customers in order to boost business during a typical summer slowdown, which has some worried about their prospects for the second half.
Riverside Home Furnishings is engineering its largest Las Vegas product launch ever this market, with about 70 new SKUs. About a third of these are in a new 25-piece collection called Summerhill, a casual, lodge-inspired group whose bedroom, dining and occasional pieces are made with pine solids and veneers in a mid-tone pine finish.
At the middle to upper part of its line, Riverside features two beds - sleigh panel and poster models - and two dining tables including a rectangular farmhouse leg table and a rectangular gathering height table.
"The design elements make it a value," said Mike Charlton, senior vice president of product development and merchandising. "We feel the customers will have a reaction to it that is not so much price driven."
Riverside also is launching a dining group called Williamsport that has casual, farmhouse-inspired design elements. Made with birch veneers and hardwood solids, it includes a 48-inch round table on a single pedestal base. It has a 19-inch leaf, allowing it to seat six comfortably.
Other Riverside introductions include standalone occasional table groups, TV consoles and a home entertainment wall.
Emerald Home Furnishings is launching two 28-piece whole home collections as well as eight occasional groups that tie in with its upholstery assortment. The whole home introductions include bedroom, dining room, occasional and entertainment.
One is Grand Dunes, a desert resort-inspired collection made with cathedral ash veneers in a sandstone finish. The other is Harmony, a collection with modern design elements in walnut veneers and hardwood solids. Drawer fronts feature a figured walnut veneer in a diamond pattern.
Each group features four-piece bedrooms targeted to retail at $1,599 and five-piece dining sets priced at $1,199.
Standard Furniture also has an aggressive case goods launch, with 11 master bedrooms, three youth bedrooms and six casual dining groups. The bedrooms include a number of groups priced from $999 to $1,599 for four pieces.
The company said the looks cover a variety of styles from traditional to contemporary. But much of the emphasis has been on transitional in order to attract a large audience.
"We have primarily focused on transitional looks that have versatility and broad appeal and will work with contemporary, casual and traditional home decors," said Debbie Dilbeck, a sales and merchandising representative with Standard. She added that a number of pieces have mixed media elements such as embossed tin panels, faux alligator inserts, multi-colored glass tiles, slate and smoked mirrors.
Case goods importer HomElegance is showing eight new bedrooms and three new formal dining groups, including a standalone group and two that tie in with previously introduced bedrooms.
The bedrooms range from clean contemporary to European traditional, said Jaime Collins, vice president of sales and marketing. Dining rooms also range from contemporary to more traditional forms.
"We are seeing a lot of interest in medium to medium-low price points for contemporary and a medium-high price point for traditional European looks," Collins said. "If you are going to have a bigger ticket, you have to really step up the design."
Added functionality is another part of the company's strategy this market. Features include drop-front drawers in dressers as well as hidden drawer storage and electrical outlets on the backs of various case pieces.
Solid wood stories can be found at Simply Amish and Modus Furniture, both of which have new bedroom offerings in contemporary/urban design footprints.
Modus introductions include a solid wood bedroom made with local mahogany targeted to retail from $1,799 to $1,999 and a solid wood casual dining set targeted to retail around $999 for five pieces.
Simply Amish's Monarch group is a contemporary bedroom shown in solid maple. The eight-piece group has two beds - a panel and a platform panel - two nightstands and several dresser options. Available in any of 80 standard finishes and seven wood species, a four-piece group is targeted to retail at $11,500, said Kevin Kauffman, co-founder and owner.
Based on the design elements inspired by the butterfly of the same name, he is optimistic that Monarch will do well.
"What we are hearing is that even though that is on the higher end of our collections, people are looking for better goods with a lot of value, and our collections have a lot of value," Kauffman said. "This is part of the new high end."
Simply Amish also has a new Mission-inspired dining collection called MaRyan that is shown in quarter-sawn white oak in a bourbon finish. It includes four dining tables - a leg style, two with trestle bases and a counter height table - and two sideboards. A table and six chairs is targeted to retail at $9,800, again at the top of the company's price range.
Sunny Designs plans to show three to four new Indonesian-made bedrooms and five new dining rooms made in China and Indonesia. The bedrooms are targeted to retail around $1,999, while five-piece dining sets are targeted to retail around $999 to $1,099.
These and other new items represent a launch that's about 60% of the size of the 100-plus SKUs the company usually brings to market, said Hokeun Lee, vice president. He said the smaller introduction helps simplify the company's post-market production cycle.
"We are paring it down and are being more selective about what we are going to bring," Lee said. "But I am excited because we have a lot of good stuff and we are anxious to see the buyers' reaction to it.... Markets are always exciting for us because we get a lot accomplished."
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