Wesley Allen reintroduces Amanda Sutton brand
Iron beds source offering some goods at lower price points
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, August 1, 2011
AT THE MARKET — Iron beds manufacturer Wesley Allen is reintroducing one of its former brands as part of a strategy to offer some product at lower price points.
Yet in reviving the Amanda Sutton name, the company, which is showing at this week's Las Vegas Market in World Market Center C-1195, has adopted a totally different approach regarding the line.
Before it was shelved five years ago, Amanda Sutton represented the highest end of the company's offerings. Now it is produced in China at entry level price points.
In addition to 20 styles of iron beds retailing from $399 to $599, the revived line also now includes 17 metal dinettes, retailing from $599 to $899 for a table and four chairs, and 12 barstools.
In comparison, the Wesley Allen brand line has around 80 styles of beds ranging from around $499 to $1,799 retail. Those beds, produced in the company's Los Angeles factory, are available in about 40 finishes.
The Amanda Sutton line has about six finishes and each bed comes in only one finish.
Company CEO Victor Sawan said the company had pulled the plug on the line a few years ago in response to soft demand.
"The times were not right for it," he said. "We believe the new Amanda Sutton is right for the times."
He added that the line offers new designs that are targeted to sleep shops and mass merchants.
"The response has been very positive, and the dealers that have floored it are selling it," Sawan said. "We have high hopes for it. Even in the recession it has done very well and is retailing right now. The value proposition is good. It meets Wesley Allen standards."
While Amanda Sutton is imported, he said, the company remains committed to its domestic line, which represents its core business. Including a handful of employees it brought on with the company's purchase of Elliott's Designs late last year, the factory now employs 150 production workers, a slight increase from about four years ago.
"Wesley Allen is totally domestic," Sawan said. "It always ways, it still is and always will be.
"With the kind of customization we offer, you need to be domestic and you need the kind of people that have been doing this kind of work for a long time. This is something you cannot transfer to an overseas operation. Our employees have been very loyal and cooperative throughout the years and to me, they make my life easier, so I want to make sure they have a job."