• Thomas Russell

Case goods vendors bring new approaches

Case goods vendors bring new approachesLas Vegas - Case goods vendors stepped out of the box at the Las Vegas Market with introductions that offered new designs, finishes and materials that some companies were attempting for the first time.
     The introductions came at a time when the economy is seeing positive tailwinds, particularly in housing and employment. Case goods vendors say they want to be prepared with fresh new looks and approaches to both bedroom and formal dining.
     Somerton Dwelling said its new glam-inspired, 30-piece Soignee bedroom and dining room collection performed well with dealers who liked the styling of pieces ranging from a leg dining table to a wood panel and upholstery panel bed in both darker and lighter finishes, retailing from $999 to $1,299.
     Its contemporary Milan bedroom, which was added to a successful dining collection, also scored high marks for its mix of walnut veneers and zebrano veneer borders on a panel bed and tops of case pieces. With a four-piece set retailing at $1,999, the company achieved these looks through a membrane press technology that gives a waterfall look to the veneers.
     AICO also continued to do well with glam-inspired looks, particularly in its new Bel Air Park collection, part of the Michael Amini, Jane Seymour Design Collaboration. The collection includes signature elements such as vinyl-wrapped case goods as well as mirrored and crystal accents.
     What was new is the use of acrylic legs on a dining table, a desk and a sideboard. Dealers also responded well to etched elements on mirrored accents seen on the apron of a dining table and curio china display cabinets.
     Stanley Furniture had positive response to its third Coastal Living collection, Coastal Living Retreat. The 36 wood SKUs are available in six finishes, including five painted and one wood tone finish. There were not only new colors - Spanish orange, Gloucester gray, English blue and Belize teal - but also a choice of sheens, including a three-level sheen for the blue, gray, white and cerused oak varieties and a 30-level sheen on the teal and orange.
     "We didn't just want to have a painted program," said Adam Tilley, vice president of product. "Each finish is purposeful and deliberate. It's not just an option, it creates a certain aesthetic and a certain feel."
     Gray wood tone finishes have also been increasingly popular of late, and Standard Furniture added a new one this market, gray driftwood. It's on a new bedroom called Garrison, which includes a mansion panel bed that retails at $499. Expected to hit retail in June, a four-piece set will retail around $1,499.
     Sunny Designs re
Stanley FurnitureStanley Furniture’s new Coastal Living collection, Coastal Living Retreat, features this panel bed, shown here in a white finish.
ceived good response to new designs it is achieving at its new Indonesia factory, including the Estate bedroom, whose traditional framed panels are a departure from Sunny's typical rustic looks. Made with mahogany solids and veneers, a queen bed retails at $799. The factory, officials say, is helping drive business, thanks to its ability to work with a variety of materials and also produce bedroom, a category that continues to face high duties out of China.
     "The bedroom business is growing so fast because we have so much coming out of the Indonesia factory," said West Allen, vice president of merchandising. "We're trying to branch out a little without going too far," he added of Estate's traditional styling.
     Leggett & Platt's Fashion Bed division also did well with new looks in its line, including a new bonded leather bed retailing at $999 and a new contemporary panel bed with a nickel-plated frame and PU inset panels that retails at $599. Dealers also responded well to new industrial looks the company was introducing for the first time in new beds retailing from $399 to $599.
     Emerald Home Furnishings drew interest and orders in bedrooms in its middle-of-the market price points of $1,599 to $1,999 for four-piece sets as well as five piece dining sets retailing from $799 to $1,199. However, it also did well its new transitional entry level priced Nova bedroom, which retails at $1,099 for four pieces. In particular, this helped the company tap into a more promotional to lower middle pricing structure.
     "(Up to now) we haven't been able to hit price points to reach those retailers, so we are trying to do more of that," said John Iasiello, vice president of wood products.
    Emerald's showroom was busy for another reason as well - dealers were able to order from a new mixed container program out of Vietnam that allows them to combine multiple Vietnamese-made groups on a single container.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.


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