Joe Ruggiero launches gallery concept

JR Collection Gallery showcases entire licensed line

Gary Evans, November 6, 2009

 Image of Joe RuggieroJoe Ruggiero
LOS ANGELES — Furniture and fabric designer Joe Ruggiero has launched a gallery concept that unites all of his licensees under one roof and ties them into his collection of performance fabrics for Sunbrella.

Ruggiero, a host on HGTV, showed how the JR Collection Gallery could be set up in the showroom of his upholstery licensee, Miles Talbott, at the recent High Point Market.

Besides Miles Talbott and Sunbrella, other licensees include Gat Creek for case goods, Craftmade for lighting, W. King Ambler for art and Casa Fiora for draperies and bedding.

The gallery would include best-selling chair and sofa frames such as Ruggiero's versatile Tribeca upholstery, which provides 296 seating options. Gat Creek's Swanson table, which has been in Ruggiero's line for nine years, also is among the best sellers.

Stores can use anything in the Ruggiero collection to bring their own personality into the mix. The total cost of set-up is estimated at $10,000 to $12,000 for minimum space of 500 to 600 square feet.

"Every one of the vendors in some way is involved with the Sunbrella product," said Ruggiero, noting that his Sunbrella line is used on Gat Creek dining chairs, on lampshades, upholstery, draperies and bedding, and even in wall art that includes big, bold flowers taken from sketches of fabric patterns.

"Obviously, this is not a new concept. But we've pulled in all these elements and made them kid-friendly," Ruggiero said. "I think this whole kid-friendly concept is a strong one."

Sunbrella's fabrics are stain-resistant, and the finishes on the Gat Creek products also are "basically kid-proof," he said.

 Designer and HGTV host Joe Ruggiero got his licensed products together in the Miles Talbott showroom to demonstrate his new gallery concept.Designer and HGTV host Joe Ruggiero got his licensed products together in the Miles Talbott showroom to demonstrate his new gallery concept.
 A statue stands at the entrance to the JR Collection Gallery.A statue stands at the entrance to the JR Collection Gallery.

A prototype JR Collection Gallery has been set up at Dwellings, a design studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a second will open early next year at LaChance Furniture in Gardner, Mass,. A half dozen others also are planned.

"We just believe it's an easier story for the sales associate to tell if all the items are available in a dedicated area," said George Jordan, Miles Talbott president.

"It tells the story and allows the sales associate to grab the concept and simplify it to the end user," he said. "I think what makes it unique is the cleanability and the fade resistant story versus another gallery that does not have the same cohesive package."

The gallery package comes with benefits including two 10% off, 15-day sales periods supported by the vendors, free swatches and wood samples, and discounts on initial floor stock.

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