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Leather resources focused on fall, winter

LAS VEGAS - The typical summer sluggishness at retail hasn't dampened the spirits of leather upholstery resources exhibiting at this week's market as they strive to help dealers tweak their fall and winter line-ups.
Although product introductions are on the light side, most exhibitors say business has been reasonably good in recent weeks, and they remain confident business will become more brisk after Labor Day.
"It's still a typical summertime pattern, but we've been pleased with the business we've done with existing customers and accounts that have been opened recently," said Mike Campbell, CEO of Leather Italia, an importer of stationary and motion products.
Campbell said his company, which is moving to a new showroom in A-1020, already had numerous appointments booked by mid-July and is expecting a busy summer show.
Those sentiments were echoed by Chris Stevens, president of North American sales and marketing for Violino, which is showing in Las Vegas for only the second time.
"We've had nice increases the past few months," Stevens said. "But I think business is still spotty, in general."
He said Violino is hoping to build on the success of a line of sofas with memory foam cushioning that was unveiled at the April market in High Point.
At market here, the company is adding six stationary memory foam seating groups to its line-up and is introducing its first motion groups with memory foam.
"Consumers are well aware of memory foam because of all the advertising (bedding producer) Tempur-Pedic does, and this provides the comfort they're looking for in a sofa," Stevens said.
Stationary and motion sofas with the new cushioning will retail for $1,199 to $1,499. Stationary models have all-leather covers, while motion sofas use bonded leather or vinyl on the back and sides.
Upper-end resource Omnia Leather, meanwhile, is unveiling three sofas featuring east-meets-west design elements, while Lane is adding to its successful Leather Essentials program with five recliners that retail for $499 to $999.
Omnia's new offerings include Bonanza, a transitional 82-inch sofa; San Juan, a transitional 84-inch model with a bustle-back design; and Stetson, a traditional 92-inch sofa that is available with a designer leather inlay.
Campbell said Leather Italia is focusing on its container-direct product offerings through a program called Direct Classics.

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