• Thomas Russell

Manufacturers fill in gaps with case goods offerings

Mirror PaneThis mirror panel bed is part of Hooker Furniture’s Solana collection. Made with oak veneers, it has a casual wirebrushed natural wood finish.
HIGH POINT - Case goods introductions this market continue to position suppliers as go-to resources for certain styles, price points and features aimed at driving traffic on the retail floor.
     They also help fill perceived voids in their lines that aim to help companies gain, or in some cases, recapture, market share in bedroom and formal dining.
     The launches include large collections such as Broy hill's New Vintage, a 60-piece Americana-inspired whole home line, and Hooker Furniture's Grand Palais, a 65-piece collection that illustrates the company's expertise in executing European traditional designs.
     Broy hill's New Vintage is its largest collection since Attic Heirlooms launched around 2001, said Ben Radoll, director of sales operations. The Americana-themed collection puts a modern twist on traditional forms through the use of multiple finishes on various pieces including ebony, vintage brown, red and taupe. Factoring in these color options, the SKU count rises to 150, Radoll said.
     With four-piece bedrooms targeted to retail at $2,499, it falls in the upper-middle part of Broy hill's price range, offering a host of distinctive pieces such as a panel bed with a metal frame, a tall desk and a sideboard with apothecary style drawer fronts and a key holder attached to the side.
     Broy hill also is filling in other segments of its line, including adding dining to its Arts & Crafts-influenced Estes Park bedroom and a new 20-piece bedroom and occasional collection called Sabra, which adds to its contemporary assortment.
     Hooker's Grand Palais features 65 European-influenced bedroom, dining room and occasional pieces that combine walnut, cherry, mappa burl and ebony veneers.
     Signature items include a 106-inch-long server and four dining tables that retail from $2,199 for a 60-inch round pedestal table to $3,499 for a double pedestal dining table.
Server HutchThis server hutch unit is part of the 60-piece New Vintage by Broyhill. It is shown in an ebony finish and features barristerstyle drawers.

     Falling in the best part of its good, better, best pricing story, the collection features scroll details on table tops, panel headboards and door fronts of case pieces. It also has gold tipping on table edges and other carved elements.
     Solana - Spanish for "sunshine" - is another collection that illustrates Hooker's expertise in capturing European traditional design elements. But this collection is more casual, particularly in the wire-brushed finish that captures the wood grain of oak, walnut and maple veneers. It too is positioned in the best part of Hooker's price structure with a mirror panel bed that retails at about $3,000 and a Parson's leg dining table that retails at around $2,199.
     The company is also expanding its bedroom and formal dining offerings in Sanctuary and is adding bedrooms in Melange. In addition, it has a new 11-piece bedroom called Arbor Place and is adding formal dining to its De Valle line of home entertainment and occasional furniture.
     Look for expansions of licensed collections at maret, including Lexington Home Brands' Tommy Bahama line, Bassett Furniture's HGTV line and AICO's Michael Amini-Jane Seymour line.
     The Tommy Bahama Island Traditions collection "melds classic traditional lines with a refined British take on colonial island living," Lexington said in a statement. Wood pieces are made with mahogany solids and veneers in a dark brown finish called Windsor that is lightly distressed and hand rubbed to a "soft waxy luster." Design elements include turned posts, raised panel moldings, decorative metal accents and hand-carved details on table legs and feet.
     "The Tommy Bahama brand is iconic for its interpretation of relaxed island style," said Phil Haney, Lexington's president and CEO. "Yet the origin of that styling is British traditional design.... With Island Traditions, we referenced the timeless lines of British Colonial style as a foundation upon which to design a traditional portfolio reflecting a modern view of casual elegance. The result is a collection that exudes warmth and familiarity, and one that is certain to invite the attention of a broad range of consumers."
     Lexington is also showing a contemporary collection called Tower Place. Made with cathedral walnut veneers, it has a mid-tone walnut finish called Arlington that offers a warm contrast with custom hardware and metal accents finished in brushed rose gold.
     Among the new licensed collections at market are Klaussner and North Carolina artist William Mangum's Carolina Preserves and Harden Furniture's Mount Vernon collection.
     Carolina Preserves is available in two finishes, a lighter coastal look and a darker brown wood tone finish that help illustrate the geographic reach of Mangum's work, which illustrates rural and urban settings in his home state of North Carolina. Panel beds incorporate door and window shaped architectural themes, while case pieces such as an entertainment console showcase apothecary details on door and drawer fronts.
     The collection has three beds including a $499 sleigh bed and an $899 panel bed and three dining tables that retail from $399 for a 54-inch round with a scroll metal base to a $599 trestle table.
     Legacy Classic is offering short yet focused bedroom and dining room collections such as the cottage-inspired Haven, the transitional Dover and the mid-century modern inspired Palisades to fill in perceived gaps in its line.
     "The cottage area is one that we had woefully underserved for too long," said Mike Harris, president. "We have a good solution for that and for transitional. We are always good with traditional, but we felt we were missing a good casual traditional in a casual finish."
     He said that bedrooms are targeted to retail from $1,799 to $2,399 for four pieces, while dining sets range from $999 to about $1,299. These fall within the starting to medium price point range of its line.
     Riverside Furniture's 39-piece whole home Riata collection has a casual contemporary flair that also fills a void in its line, said Mike Charlton, senior vice president of product development and merchandising. It also addresses a need to better serve younger consumers.
     "It is a very simple whole home collection that will be geared more toward a younger customer in their mid-20s to early 40s," Charlton said, noting that four piece bedrooms are targeted to retail at $1,999 and five piece dining sets will retail at $999. "It has some scale to it that would make it condo-or penthouse-friendly."
     By comparison, its 29-piece transitional Tranquility collection offers four-piece bedrooms that start at $1,250 retail and five-piece dining sets that retail at $1,125.
     Meanwhile, some sources are offering smaller to medium-sized bedroom introductions at market. Look for short bedroom groups from Magnussen Home, Cambridge Mills, Conrad Grebel, Cresent Fine Furniture, Folio 21, Horizon Home and Palmetto Home.
     This market will also feature some companies, and people, returning to High Point.
Somerton Dwelling, formerly Somerton Home Furnishings, last showed in High Point a few years ago, said Dave Pinamonti, executive vice president. This market, it has a long-term lease at the International Home Furnishings Center and is launching its revamped bedroom program, with four groups targeted to retail from $1,599 to $2,499 for four pieces.
     "We are not looking to be in the $1,299 to $1,499 commodity price point," Pinamonti said, adding that the bedrooms also coordinate with dining room and occasional sets launched at the July Las Vegas Market.
     "We are hearing more and more about there being lots of freestanding bedrooms out there, and we hear more and more that dealers want to show collections in environmental settings with forward looking designs," Pinamonti said. "They like to show a collection in a lifestyle setting."
     Gene Clark, formerly president of Ligna USA, has formed a new youth and second bedroom resource called My Home Furnishings LLC with industry youth furniture expert James Millner, formerly an executive with Opus Designs. Their line, which has been developed over the past 90 days, will include four bedrooms, each with 15-20 SKUs.
     "We have the flexibility and the agility to move fast," Clark said. "That is what it takes (to be successful) today. You have to be able to move and to move fast."
     He said the company has developed a product mix that offers the design, quality and safety standards customers are looking for in the marketplace.
     "We are in this for the long term so we can leave something behind for our families and for our customers," Clark said. "We are not going to be the low cost producer - we think the future is us providing great product."
     Other well-known industry executives starting new lines include John Wampler, formerly president of case goods and upholstery importers Amelia Home and Urban Classics, who has launched JGW Furniture; and Steve Kayne, former president of Excelsior Designs, and Alfred Birnbaum, former president and design director of Casa Stradivari, who have started case goods resource Exstra Design.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.


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