Interline Italia launches galleries in 3 Cardi's stores

Joan Gunin, March 29, 2004

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Leather upholstery resource Interline Italia has launched three Spaziogetto galleries in Cardi's Furniture stores.

Spaziogetto ("space of items") galleries have opened at Cardi's units in Swansea, Mass., Attleboro, Mass., and Warwick, R.I.

"We are pleased to have been able to open our first test galleries with an organization of the caliber of Cardi's," said Johne Albanese, president and CEO of Interline Italia. "President Nick Cardi and his company represent what we believe to be the very best in professionalism and merchandising acumen. We are humbled by our association with them."

While it is premature to project results, Albanese said he was confident the gallery concept would improve sales.

Each Spaziogetto gallery measures 1,000 square feet and includes eight collections of leather and microfiber upholstery, as well as accessories and occasional tables. Interline's design team creates all of the upholstery products in-house, while the accessory and occasional items are sourced in Italy.

"We believe strongly in the value of 'Made in Italy' and want our galleries to provide consumers with a true Italian experience," Albanese said.

The turnkey program can be installed in a store in two or three days, and doesn't require construction or lighting enhancements, he said. The self-contained concept includes flooring, fixtures and lighting. Interline is committed to providing its gallery system without cost to participating retailers.

"We believe the manufacturer has an obligation to assist the retailer in displaying products in their stores," Albanese said.

Another three galleries will open in April at independent dealers in New York City, Virginia Beach, Va., and Ontario, Canada, he said.

Meanwhile, Interline unveiled a number of pieces at last week's premarket in High Point. The Masters Collection, introduced in October, was expanded from two to six frames. The new models feature transitional and classic styling, deep seats, high backs, down-blend cushioning, variable-density foam and cover and leg options.

Interline's introductions, totaling 16 groups, included two models using "mixed media" cover combinations of leather, fabric and microfiber.

"These allow a consumer to have mix of textures within a style," Albanese said.

Other introductions included a motion sofa and microfiber sectionals.

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