• Thomas Russell

Home office addresses modern lifestyles

LAS VEGAS - Home office suppliers here did well with products that aim to address the lifestyles of today's consumers, including Millennials with limited living spaces. While writing desks and other laptop-friendly desks sold well, there also were modular configurations that allow retailers and consumers plenty of choice in the category.
     Resources such as Linon also offered pieces with built-in functionality that allows them to be used for work or study. It promoted a dozen or so vanities that have lift-top and flip-down work surfaces as well as wire management for laptop use. Retailing from $149 to $299, these performed well with retailers who liked the dual functionality.
     The company also saw strong reaction to the dual functionality of ottomans on casters that have jewelry and file storage.
     Office Star Products reported strong traffic and commitments. Its lineup included new chairs as well as a host of new office pieces ranging from open bookcase units to desks that retail from $79 to $299.
     David Walker, vice president of global sourcing, said Monday and Tuesday were busy days at the market, which opened for the first time on a Sunday, Jan. 26. "We had back to back meetings scheduled. It's been a very good market thus far, and responses to new introductions have been positive."
     In particular, he said, dealers were drawn to new finishes and designs, including desks with combinations of wood and glass work surfaces and wood and metal legs.
     "We have drawn interest from brick and mortar, and as a result have strong commitments," Walker said. "It is good to gain their interest."

Office Star Products showed a number of new pieces this market, including laptop-friendly desks with etched glass surfaces and metal legs. Other new products included bookcases and office chairs.
Office Star Products
LinonLinon showed new vanity desks that are suited for laptop use. Retailing from $149 to $299, they have a flipdown work surface as well as wire management.

     Winners Only reported strong dealer response to its Build Your Own office concept, which features small-scale pieces that can be displayed and purchased in many configurations. The Willow Creek part of the line has six SKUs, including a desk and hutch, a file, a desk and return and printer unit. Its Horizon modular office offers eight SKUs of smaller-scale pieces including desks, lateral file units and bookcase-like hutch units.
     With multiple configurations in either group, retailers can pick the setup that requires the least amount of floor space, yet allows consumers to pick from a wide variety of product.
     "We want to get the maximum dollars for them," said Sheue-Wen Lee, CEO.
    Parker House did well with library walls, a core part of its line. These incorporate office pieces such as bookcases, peninsula desks and inset desks as well as entertainment pieces such as consoles and bars, which allows the office category to fit comfortably into family living spaces.
     Retailers were drawn to the updated traditional Aria library, which debuted in High Point in October, as well as the new Stanford collection, which has more transitional lines.
     The company also had positive dealer response to a new line of office chairs, available in nine colors. The colors and styles correlate with 14 library walls as well as executive and writing desks that go with those walls, said Roberta Woodard, vice president of merchandising.
     Riverside didn't bring a lot of new office SKUs to market. However, it did receive strong response to an $899 66-inch executive desk it added to its transitional Riata collection in High Point last fall, as well as a bookcase china unit it added to the same collection.

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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