Casual dining brings innovation to the table
Las Vegas - Casual dining suppliers here said retailers reacted positively to new or hard-to-find materials on tabletops, innovative ways to cut prices but maintain quality, and even the idea of selling a table with various types of chairs.
Cameron Cook, marketing communications manager at Four Hands, said retailers took a liking to the introduction of a Bonham dining table in the company's Thomas Bina collection. The table has a concrete top with a clear lacquer finish and angled legs of peroba wood.
At A-America, "It's all about the wood," reads a business card of Dean Banks, senior vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing. But he also credited tables with blue stone tops for some "fantastic" business. The material, used in the rustic West Valley and traditional Andover lines, has a sealed surface that is resistant to water and stains, he said.
Fred Henjes, president and CEO of Riverside Furniture, said he had enough commitments and orders to put the Castlewood collection into production. This offers a way to mix or match several types of chairs with one rustic farm table. Retailers may show the table with one type of chair or with a variety.
Henjes encouraged the idea that a consumer could revive the old farmhouse habit of using different types of chairs with one table.
Howard Cohen, an executive at Canadel Furniture, said his company soft-launched a new Gourmet Collection here, which will enable the company to offer casual dining at lower price points than its regular line, $1,399 to $1,899.
The tops of tables, seats and buffets will be made of solid birch, but the rest of the collection, including legs and aprons, are in less expensive hevea wood, enabling 20% to 30% cost reductions that will result in lower prices, Cohen said. When the woods are finished, the collection maintains the same look throughout.
Cohen said the company needs enough product to meet demand before it starts processing Gourmet orders, which he promised to fill within 30 days. The goal is to meet the order goal by the April High Point Market.
In Standard Furniture's showroom, several casual dining collections made headway with retailers - including the Landmark, which features a thick stone composite top in a warm mid-tone gray. Roy Yates, chief merchandising officer, described the Landmark table as an outdoor success story developed for the indoors and called it durable, light and water-resistant.
Mary Settle, marketing director at upscale bamboo furniture specialist Greening ton, reported great success with a new table that starts at 64 inches in length and can expand 20 more inches; this offers an often-requested smaller alternative to the 72-inch table in the popular Currant collection.
Allison Eremita, marketing manager at Magnussen Home Furnishings, touted her company's rustic Adler collection, saying "it's the kind of thing you can put in your home and not worry about when it's going to be used." She added that the Adler and the Barnhardt collections "are doing so well that we're developing them into a whole-home collection."
Four Hands’ Bonham dining table, part of the Thomas Bina collection, has a concrete top.
Standard Furniture’s landmark table features a thick stone composite top in a warm midtone gray.
Furniture Today's Ray Allegrezza Speaks with Stephen Bogart about Fine Furniture's New Bogart Line