• Thomas Russell

Lifestyle adds day to Forbidden City event

Lifestyle Forbidden CityBuyers at the Lifestyle Forbidden City show check out the company’s new upholstery assortment. The event was held just before market at the Riviera Hotel and Casino.
Las Vegas - Lifestyle Enterprise completed another successful run of its Forbidden City show recently, drawing dealers from around the U.S. and the world seeking value-driven case goods and upholstery they hope will drive business in 2014 and beyond.
     The show was originally scheduled for two days but the company added a third day to accommodate dealers who were arriving later.
     The event, held Jan. 23-25 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, drew attendees from more than 350 retailers, including more than 275 dealers in the U.S., 50 from Canada and 25 from Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. Attendance was up about 12 % from last year, officials said.
     Among the majors visiting the show Saturday were Rooms To Go, American Furniture Warehouse, Value City, Sam Levitz Furniture, Haynes, Art Van and The Room Place.
     Lifestyle showed 16 first time-seen bedrooms and also brought in four bedrooms shown at the October High Point Market. These were targeted to retail from $399 to $999 for a bed, dresser and mirror.
     Based on response at the show, officials expect at least half of the intros to go into production, with product shipping in March and expected to hit retail in April. Groups already shown in High Point are either already shipping or expected to ship between now and mid-February.
     Thirty new first-time-seen dining sets displayed at the show were targeted to retail at $199 to $599 for a table and four chairs.
     Styles across the wood categories ranged from traditional to contemporary and included looks the company was attempting for the first time. Among these were a rustic transitional group in acacia veneers, and a European contemporary-inspired set in a high gloss white finish and featuring a $199-retail bed with a bookcase headboard.
     Bedrooms, particularly those priced over $799 for three pieces, had a number of step-up features including velvet-lined top drawers and full-extension metal side guides on drawers.
     Lifestyle also showed five new upholstery groups, four motion and one stationary. Sofas were targeted to retail at $399 for stationary and $499 to $699 in motion.
     In addition, the company was showing four new KD dining sets and one new PU bed as part of its Stocking Stuffer promotion. Available at entry level price points, these small-scale items are aimed at helping retailers fill up remaining space on a container.
     "It has been very good," said Lifestyle President Gabriele Natale. "We've been seeing a lot of people. Everyone who came in was pleased and placed orders."
     Among the retail customers was Brett Yother, a buyer for Muldrow, Okla.-based FFO (Furniture Factory Outlet) Home. He was attending the show for the second time and said he was pleased with the product selection.
     "The deals are good, as they usually are," he said. "This is one of the bigger showrooms we shop at market, so it is nice to get it out of the way early."
     "They had a great presentation," said Steve Tronstein, president of Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Gardner-White. "Their case goods were outstanding. It's a show where they're looking for commitments and they will probably get a lot of them."
     Lifestyle included an added incentive for attendance by presenting customers with an iPad mini with Retina display, which retails around $399.

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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