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Cindy Hodnett

Upholstery Showrooms Busy at High Point Market

New color, collaborations driving category

Younger Furniture collaborated with several exhibiting suppliers to supplement upholstery introductions with case goods, lighting and retro-inspired accessories.Younger Furniture collaborated with several exhibiting suppliers to supplement upholstery introductions with case goods, lighting and retro-inspired accessories.
HIGH POINT - It's all about relationships in the upholstery category - relationships between dealers and suppliers, between case goods, upholstery, rug and accessories manufacturers and between sales reps and their clients. (See product slideshow.)

Upholstered furniture is doing well at market, and several suppliers are reporting at least a 10% increase in showroom traffic over fall. Consumers are finally ready to buy again, and sales reps are helping dealers find products to excite shoppers, officials say.

Also noteworthy here are the collaborations behind the scenes to get the showrooms ready for buyers - which could be a Surya rug finishing a living room vignette for Klaussner, or Huntington House offering an upholstery complement in Alden Parkes' case goods showroom. Such partnerships are making a big difference in market activity, companies report.

"Our attendance is up approximately 15% and a part of that percentage is new dealers, which will relate to increased market share," said Len Burke, vice president of marketing at Klaussner Home Furnishings. "We have also seen a positive response across all product lines from dealers."

For the dealer's endless pursuit of "her," the decision-making female consumer, manufacturers are making it easier to purchase with built-in styling power. Burke says the addition of Surya rugs to the showroom helps.

"The rugs help dealers see how everything works together on the floor," he said. "It's all about providing solutions for our dealers."

Schnadig President Jeff Young said that traffic is up 17% last October but down 8% from April 2012. The Caracole custom upholstery collaboration with Vanguard is creating excitement at market, and Young added that the mood of dealers was noticeably more positive.

"For whatever reason, much of the economic ‘angst' experienced in the last four High Point markets has dissipated, and that, frankly, has been a long time coming," he said. "Order writing versus commitments this particular market has accelerated demonstrably."

 

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