• Erin Berg

United expands ‘whole home’

united motionLift top tables to complement motion upholstery were well-received at this market for United and reinforced the demand for multi-functional furniture.
HIGH POINT — With the addition of its 10th furniture category to strengthen its position as a complete home resource, United Furniture wrapped up recent High Point Market reporting the strongest market in five years.

Jay Quimby, executive vice president of sales, said the introduction of United’s new category of fireplaces and entertainment pieces rounds out the “whole home” for the Simmons brand and resonated with retailers because it brings brand cohesiveness and value at all price points.

The company unveiled seven fireplace collections starting at $299 retail available by direct container or from the warehouse. The fireplaces have multiple settings for flame speed and heat, felt-lined drawers and soft-touch close cabinet doors. As the line evolves and moves into the higher price points, features such as sound bar and Bluetooth capability will be added.

At this market, 37 new occasional collections brought United’s occasional category to 104 collections that are domestically warehoused. Lift-top tables with storage and power in case goods continued to grow with approximately 40 sets of chair side tables featuring two 2.1 USB ports and two power outlets.

Since its introduction 24 months ago, the Beautyrest collection in the Simmons upholstery line has grown to 36 total collections and includes sofas at $499 to $599 retail and sectionals from $599 to $1,099 retail. Upholstery introductions in High Point included two motion groups: the Dorado manual sofa at $699 retail and the Madeline sectional at $1,699 retail.

“The big driver of our significant growth in recent years has been the double-down on the Simmons and Beautyrest brands and the pocketed coil seat cushions by Simmons,” said Quimby.

In casual dining, the A La Carte collection has been driving growth and was sold to several Top 100 retailers during High Point Market, according to Quimby. The collection offers three tables and three chairs in three colors with the availability of matching occasional tables and fireplaces.

“With open layouts in homes, casual dining in the line of sight and being able to coordinate with occasional is more important. Our dining offers the gray and white and rustic look that are seen at the higher end but not at the lower price points, so that is also resonating with customers,” said Quimby.

He emphasized that United has taken a “huge inventory position domestically” with 15 facilities across the country, offering retailers a “have it your way program” with the mixability of container and warehouse and delivery of 10 categories of furniture on one truck. Logistics a vital component to success for both dealers and suppliers, United has been investing more to meeting their customers’ needs in that area.

Quimby’s observations of the business climate so far this year: “There is concern among retailers as we move into the summer with consumer confidence being softer so dealers are looking for promotional items for the summer months. We had a short tax season that was 30 days late and saw that April had been soft across all regions and sizes of retailer.”

Erin BergErin Berg | Associate Editor

Erin Berg is an Associate Editor for Furniture/Today. After earning her B. A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California, Erin began her career in marketing where she served clients in a wide variety of industries from film and television entertainment to aviation. Erin lived in Italy and four different states before landing in North Carolina in 2009.

Erin can be reached at EBerg@furnituretoday.com or at 336-605-1040.

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