• Thomas Russell

Cresent brings domestic solid wood casual dining to High Point Market

HIGH POINT — Cresent Fine Furniture, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, is returning to its manufacturing roots with a new solid wood custom casual dining line being launched at this week’s market.

The company’s new BenchMark dining line will be assembled and finished in the company’s manufacturing facilities in Gallatin, Tenn., with parts imported from the company’s partner factories in Vietnam.

This is the first major domestic wood furniture offering the company has introduced since shifting to an all-import model around 2006.

Officials decided to focus on dining because it is one of the growth categories in the industry, as well as for the company.

“It is unquestionably our growth category,” said Taylor Condra, president. “The reason we are focusing on it is that our dining room business is growing, and we are struggling to make our bedroom business flat. As casual dining has exploded across the industry, we are going to tap into that.”

Cresent aims to fill the void in the marketplace between upper end domestic custom dining and better quality dining from overseas. The company said it plans to ship custom orders within 30 days from its factory in Tennessee.

Due to the custom nature of the program, officials did not provide specific pricing other than to say that BenchMark falls above its typical pricing of $2,499 for a table and six chairs and increasingly, a table, four chairs and a bench.

“We offer a lot for the money, and we always have,” Condra said. “It doesn’t make sense for us to do this and for it not to be a compelling value.”

Company officials are excited about the program, particularly as it makes use of facilities and human talent the company has kept in place over the years, including personnel that have been part of the company’s quality control team inspection product that is shipped from overseas to Tennessee.

Personnel at the factory will handle tasks ranging from assembly and finishing to packaging.

“I have kept my best guys, and they have real skills,” Condra said. “All of us are furniture people at our core. We like to make product, and being able to produce it here has given us a tremendous boost in morale. We are excited about it.”

“We are really leveraging our competitive advantage through our close relationships with factories in Asia and the institutional knowledge of our long-term employees here,” Condra added.

“We are very excited to bring BenchMark dining to the April High Point Market,” added John Cash, vice president of sales and marketing. “We can think of no better way to celebrate Cresent’s 70th anniversary than to showcase the history and expertise of our long–term employees, combined with our long commitment to sustainability and solid wood craftsmanship.”

Made with solid maple and beech, the line will include both round and rectangular tables.

The rounds will be 48 inches and 54 inches with three pedestal base options and available with an 18-inch leaf. There also will be three rectangular versions of 64, 74 and 100 inches with four leg options. The rounds will have 1-inch thick solid wood tops, and there will be 1-inch thick solid wood tops for regular rectangular tables, which will have fixed top and leaf options. There are also rectangular fixed-top farmhouse tables available in three sizes up to 100 inches and with 2-inch tops and three leg options.

The tables are paired with five different chairs and two benches that all have custom leg and seat options, as well as Crypton stain-resistant upholstery.

The sets will be available in 15 non-toxic water-based wood stain and paint coatings and will feature catalyzed top coats for added durability.

The line is on display at the company’s 220 Elm showroom, space 201.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, Furniture Today

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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