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  • Ray Allegrezza

HTL opens larger showroom

Leather upholstery major HTL International has put the finishing touches on an impressive new 50,000-square-foot High Point Market showroom in Plaza Suites that will enable the Singapore-based producer to showcase its three divisions.

The space will be segmented into distinct display areas for each of the company's divisions — HTL, Trends and Domicil, a brand well known in Europe.

Previously, the company had shown in two separate spaces in Furniture Plaza. “But now, for the first time outside of Asia, we can give buyers a good idea of who we really are,” said Brian Parker, president of HTL Furniture, the company's U.S. business unit.

The showroom, Plaza Suites 400, was designed by the German architectural firm AikaDesign and essentially triples HTL's High Point space.

Parker said the showroom, which will have a single entrance, has a number of large exterior windows that the company will creatively decorate, “much like the best and most fashion-forward department stores do.”

He said the HTL line is focused on middle and upper-middle price points, while Trends is primarily a container-only business at promotional price points. Domicil represents the company's designer-driven, upper-end goods featuring sleek contemporary European lines.

“We really feel that with these three divisions we can legitimately tell retailers we can be their A-to-Z upholstery source,” Parker said.

To visually reinforce that proposition, he has allocated about 20,000 square feet to display some 90 HTL upholstery groups that feature pillow-top seats, contrast stitching and better seating and enhanced fiber blends. Retail prices for sofas range from $899 to $1,299.

Typical delivery times are four weeks, and buyers can take advantage of container pricing at less-than-container quantities that ship from four warehouses in California, Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin, Parker said.

The Trends division, which is best known for value-driven leather and vinyl matches, will occupy more than 7,500 square feet. Buyers at market will see 38 new models of 90-inch to 92-inch frames with features that include contrast stitching and bucket seats. They are set to retail from $899 to $999.

“Our Trends division is a container-only business that ships goods from Huaian, China,” Parker said. Products include motion, leather and vinyl upholstery, fabric motion goods and promotional stationary upholstery.

Buyers walking the 10,000 square feet allocated to Domicil will see the products displayed in a retail store environment. “Domicil is among the top 20 German luxury brands, along with Porsche, Maybach and others,” Parker said.

Recognized in Europe as an upscale version of Crate & Barrel, Domicil operates 35 stores in Germany, a similar number of units in the United States and about 235 galleries worldwide. HTL's retail team built what Parker describes as “an authentic retail environment complete with wood floors and display walls,” and shipped it to the new High Point showroom.

During market, HTL will offer retailers the opportunity to create Domicil galleries, which can range in size from 1,500 square feet up to 10,000 square feet. The Domicil retail team will be at the showroom to work with interested retailers.

Parker said the company has a goal of establishing 100 U.S. galleries and doesn't plan to sell single frames, nor will it sell outside the program.

“At this market, we will do a full launch and will floor about 35 of the 75 frames in the Domicil Designer Collection,” he said. The frames, available in leather and fabric, will retail from $1,499 to $1,999 and feature memory foam cushions, contrasting welting and upgraded textiles from Belgium and Italy.

HTL has a Greensboro, N.C., office that facilitates customer inquiries, parts replacements and sales support.

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