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Thomas Russell

Compact, functional home office still selling

HIGH POINT - Home office resources experienced continued success here in small office merchandising concepts that don't take up much space on a dealer's floor.
     They wrote orders on items ranging from writing desks to companion file cabinets and bookcase units. While such pieces offer storage for printed materials, they also feature smaller work surfaces that accommodate laptops and iPads.
     Legends Furniture reported strong demand for a new merchandising concept that showcases a 54-inch writing desk with drawer storage, a file cabinet and bookcase units ranging from 36 inches to 84 inches tall.
     Made at its Arizona factory, these come in five styles and various finishes. Made with combinations of oak and maple solids and veneers, a desk, file cabinet and bookcase combo is targeted to retail from $599 to $699. The groups are in stock and ready to ship.
     "When we introduce something, we want to have it in stock and ready," said Tim Donk, marketing director. "That gives both of us an opportunity to get turns faster."

The SantaThe Santa Fe desk by Sunny Designs has a mini hutch unit for additional storage. It is in distressed birch solids and veneers and has slate accents.
This office group by Legends Furniture features a writing desk, a file cabinet and several bookcase options. A desk, a file cabinet and 48-inch bookcase unit retails from $599 to $699. This particular group features slate accents.
This office group
Euro StyleEuro Style received strong dealer response to its new Gunar high back office chair. It has an aluminum base in a chrome finish, and a foam seat and back covered in a gray leatherette.

     Office and entertainment furniture resource Hekman touted a merchandising concept called Home Office Express that shows several key SKUs in 185 square feet of floor space. It includes executive desks, writing desks, bookcases, file cabinets and L-configurations from five home office groups.
     The concept, which includes full-color POP support showcasing several full office groups, requires a $6,400 investment from dealers. That, in turn, can translate into $125,000 in home office sales, said Rick Stroud, national sales manager.
     The company also received strong response on its new 9290 series in mahogany solids and veneers. Dealers liked the contrasting mapa burl accents of the contemporary group, which features 72-inch executive desks that retail at $1,995 and other pieces.
     Writing desks and small half pedestal desks were seen at plenty of wood resources here. They were sold as individual items at vendors such as Sunny Designs, or as part of collections at companies including Lexington Home Brands, Bernhardt, Universal and Stanley.
     Others sources said they had continued success with larger scale footprints that include executive desks as well as credenza deck units. That includes Hooker Furniture and Sligh Furniture.
     Sligh's Breckenridge includes 24 pieces of home office and home entertainment. Dealers liked the casual traditional styling of the collection, as well as functional elements in each piece such as charging and docking stations.
     Available in two finishes, a burnished brown tone and a weathered black, it features four desks, including a kidney shaped version, a writing desk and 66-inch and 56-inch executive desks.
     The company also saw strong response to eight new office chairs, some of which are in Breckenridge. The executive desks in that collection retail for about $2,500 and the chairs retail for about $1,500.
     "We are seeing activity at the high end because people want to be able to sell at a higher price," said Rob Sligh, president. He said dealers that sold at lower prices during the recession are looking to achieve higher profits with higher tickets.
     Contemporary office resources Euro Style and BDI said they were pleased with dealer response to new and existing items. In Euro Style's case, new office chairs were among the most popular, while BDI received positive feedback on a new black satin finish on its contemporary Format office group and a host of configurations in its Semblance modular office group.
     While some said traffic was lighter than they had expected this market, they were pleased with business.
     "People are coming to the showroom and they want to write orders," said Judith Ets-Hokin, vice president of sales and marketing for Euro Style.

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