• Clint Engel

Rooms To Go to launch licensed Sofia Vergara furniture line

 Image of Sofia VergaraSofia Vergara

ATLANTA — Rooms To Go has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with Hispanic actress and businesswoman Sofia Vergara and plans to launch a home furnishings collection in her name in late fall.

The 130-store Top 100 company plans to start "smallish," said CEO Jeff Seaman. While he declined to disclose the number of pieces or SKUs in the contemporary line, he said it will include living room, bedroom and dining room furniture along with accessories.

Seaman said the line should appeal to shoppers across many cultures, not just Hispanic consumers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"True to the retailer's strategy, the Sofia Vergara Collection will be merchandised and displayed in complete room groupings designed to provide customers with inspiration, affordability and ease of shopping," RTG said in a statement.

Named one of the world's most powerful Latinas by Forbes magazine, Vergara stars as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on ABC's Emmy award-winning series, "Modern Family." She has starred in films, including Tyler Perry's "Madea Goes to Jail," "Smurfs," and "Happy Feet." Vergara has been nominated for the Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards for her "Modern Family" role.

"I love beautiful furniture and am so excited to be working with Rooms To Go to create my own furniture collection," Vergara, a native of Colombia, said in a release.

Her relationship with the retailer began more than 15 years ago when she moved to the United States as a single mother "and furnished my first apartment entirely from their store," Vergara said, adding that she has since purchased new groups from the retailer, but "some of the original pieces are still in my family."

"My collection will offer gorgeous contemporary designs with the same amazing quality and affordability I've always known from Rooms To Go," she said.

Vergara will be appearing in RTG's commercials and other marketing material as well as visiting stores, Seaman said. The retailer - with dual headquarters in Seffner, Fla., and Atlanta and estimated 2012 sales of $1.61 billion - hasn't chosen all the suppliers for the collection yet, something Seaman said it wants to accomplish at the April High Point Market.

"We haven't picked the suppliers, but they will be different from the Cindy Crawford Home suppliers," Seaman said, referring to another popular licensed line for RTG.

Rooms To Go wants the two celebrity lines be distinct so that the Vergara "brings in extra customers and extra sales. We really don't want the two lines to step on each other."

That's not to suggest Cindy Crawford Home has been anything short of a home run for the retailer. That eight-year collaboration "is going great both wholesale and retail," Seaman said. He wouldn't provide sales figures, saying only that "it's as big as it's ever been."

The Crawford collection is now carried by other retailers, including Warren, Mich.-based Art Van Furniture, Liverpool, N.Y.-based Raymour & Flanigan and The Brick in Canada. Asked if Vergara will be released to others, too, Seaman said, "Probably once we get going."

And just as with Crawford, Seaman said RTG will count on Vergara's collaboration in creating the line.

"The see a lot of fashion and they're exposed to so much globally," he said. "We've been with Cindy for eight years, and we've learned a lot from Cindy's eye.

In addition to her acting career, Vergara is a founding partner with Luis Balaguer of Latin World Entertainment, a Hispanic-owned entertainment company serving the U.S. Hispanic market.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.


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