Short Wood Groups Aimed at Sparking Sales
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, August 16, 2011
LAS VEGAS - Most case goods introductions at this week's Las Vegas Market will be short bedroom and dining room groups geared at helping dealers boost sales in the categories this year and into early 2012.
Meanwhile, a number of wood resources are focusing on introducing products that got strong dealer reaction at the April High Point Market to a Western audience.
In either case, companies say they're adding value to the category partly by designing product with more features and benefits
SLF is showing five new bedrooms that retail from $1,999 to $2,499 for a fourpiece set. The company is known for groups that retail from $799 to $1,199, but this time, it sought to offer items that could help retailers generate higher sales and margins.
Included in these five is a youth bedroom called Tiara that retails at $1,499 and is an updated version of a group launched last fall.
"They will be great looking groups with great looking finishes," said Guy Walters, vice president of product development, noting that similarly priced groups SLF launched in High Point did very well. "They will perceive them as better product than we have done in the past."
Walters said other value-added features in these groups include dressers with marble tops, jewelry trays and full extension drawer guides.
Sister company Pulaski Furniture continues to expand its popular Tangerine line with its new 350 collection. Like previous Tangerine introductions, this clean-lined group is geared toward younger consumers.
Made with ash veneers in a dark lager finish, the 350 group, which retails at $2,499 for a four-piece set, also has valued-added features and benefits. Among these are built-in charging stations and nightlights in the nightstand, cedar-lined bottom drawers and full-extension ball bearing drawer guides.
The group has a platform bed with an upholstered linen headboard. Other signature pieces include a dresser with a drop down media drawer, a storage bed bench and a multi-functional work center with pull out work surface and laptop, printer and file storage.
"This one has a more industrial look and is built around a core of function," said Ed Tashjian, chief marketing officer.
Pulaski also is offering a more traditional bedroom called Landsberry. Retailing at $3,199 for four pieces, it has V-matched cherry veneers on tops of case pieces and bed panels. Other design elements and features include beaded posts, bun feet, cedar-lined bottom drawers in the dresser, and felt-lined top drawers in the dresser, chest and nightstand.
Magnussen is showing four bedrooms priced from $1,499 to $1,999 for a fourpiece set and also is launching its Connections program, which offers five new lifestyle groups at entry level price points from $999 to $1,099 for four pieces. Made mostly with cherry veneers and hardwood solids, these sets also offer side metal drawer guides and felt-lined drawers.
Broyhill President Mark Stephens said his company is adding more casual transitional and contemporary case goods to its line. It also is expanding its Essentials program, which allows customers to mix casual dining and bedroom sets imported from Vietnam.
"With the current economic conditions, we will continue to focus on value without compromising quality to build our case goods assortment in our good and better price points," he said. "We are expanding our Essentials bedroom program, which offers four-piece bedrooms at a $1,999 price point out of the warehouse. As opportunities arise, we will continue to improve our Asian container mixability without compromising Broyhill's best-in-class warehouse service."
While many of the introductions are short bedroom groups, there are some notable exceptions, including AICO's new Beverly Boulevard, a European contemporary collection with more than 30 pieces that is the latest addition to Michael Amini & Jane Seymour: A Design Collaboration.
Case pieces in the dining and bedroom categories have a textured vinyl wrapping offered in cream, graphite and pearl gray hues. Other pieces have high luster painted finishes, and pearlescent leather and chrome accents.
Lexington Home Brands is launching a 30-piece collection called Mirage, which has modern design influences. Made with walnut veneers in a sable finish, it also has mappa burl accents on drawer fronts and polished stainless steel accents.
"Consumer preferences today are clearly trending to a modern design perspective," said Phil Haney, Lexington president and CEO. "Their view of contemporary home furnishings lends emphasis to strong, clean lines, finishes that embrace the character and quality of the wood, and the use of metal accents whose sparkle punctuates the look. Mirage elevates the style and elegance of modern design with an energy that will inspire today's consumers."
Lexington also is showing its 180-piece Henry Link collection in Las Vegas for the first time, devoting roughly 4,000 square feet of its 22,000 square foot showroom to the line.
"For our purposes they will be equally important introductions," said Robert Stamper, Lexington's senior vice president of marketing. "With Henry Link, we will be acting like it is a new introduction, because for those on the West Coast, it is new.... We are looking forward to a great market for both these introductions."
Youth furniture resources also are stepping up the value equation.
For example, Magnussen's Next Generation youth and second bedroom program offers four-piece sets priced from $1,199 to $1,299 that include features such as touch lighting and/or built in charging stations in desks and nightstand, as well as underbed storage capabilities.
South Shore Furniture offers a variety of youth bedrooms with features such as underbed and wall mount storage units. A loft bed unit has open and closed storage spaces and a companion work desk. Many of South Shore's youth bedrooms also are available in multiple finish options.