Wood sources hope to build momentum
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, January 30, 2012
LAS VEGAS - With indications that the economy is starting to improve, case goods suppliers here this week are offering a mix of styles and price points aimed at building on that momentum.
Company officials hope that new and inline product will resonate well enough to continue a pickup in sales they've seen over the past several weeks.
Along with updated traditional and soft contemporary looks, new bedroom and dining room groups offer tropical design inspirations. While the products' regional appeal is evident, suppliers also believe they will generate interest over a wide geographic landscape.
Panama Jack is one such line, showing here for the first time with new tropicalinspired bedroom, dining room and occasional collections first seen last fall in High Point. It also will show pieces from a new rustic collection called Bungalow in pine solids and veneers in a sand-colored pine finish.
A.R.T. Furniture is showing a 28-piece tropical-inspired collection in pine solids, cherry veneers and walnut inlays. In the better part of the company's pricing structure, four-piece bedrooms will retail at $2,999 and five-piece dining sets at $1,499.
Also at A.R.T. is an updated American traditional collection called American Memories, which was shown last year in elm veneers and now, in response to dealer requests, also is available in cherry veneers. The company also has a casual lifestyle group, Sutton Bay.
Bill Sibbick, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said this is one of the more aggressive launches in Las Vegas for A.R.T., which usually offers just one or two new collections.
"We have had two nice years of growth where we expanded distribution and opened new retailers," he said. "We want to continue that growth. You can't just do it introducing one in Las Vegas and one in High Point, so we stepped up the program.... In Las Vegas, everyone wants to see new product and they are very sensitive to that. If you don't (have it), you don't get looked at."
Case goods and upholstery resource AICO is showing two new 30-plus-piece collections, one of which is the latest addition to its Michael Amini and Jane Seymour: A Design Collaboration. Called Overture, it is a contemporary lifestyle collection featuring upholstered case goods wrapped in exotic vinyl. Falling in the top part of the company's price range, it has a bed with rounded shapes, clear acrylic feet and an upholstered panel in the headboard accented with halo-shaped lighting.
Tuxedo is a contemporary lifestyle collection falling within AICO's middle to upper price points. Also featuring upholstered case goods, it includes a nearly 80-inchhigh panel bed with upholstered and mirror accents.
Both collections also feature formal dining tables that can comfortably seat 10, as well as curio china display cabinets.
The collections, particularly Tuxedo, share some design elements with Hollywood Swank, another Amini and Seymour collection with a contemporary lifestyle approach.
"Elements of Hollywood Swank have shown that we can expand this category," said Chuck Reilly, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We are advertising it in consumer publications and it is getting good response. There is a demand not only for upholstered case goods, but also upholstered case goods that have a wow factor."
Lexington Home Brands is launching a 40-piece whole home collection called Quail Hollow that incorporates neotraditional style elements with other classic forms.
Made with quartered mahogany veneers in a medium chestnut finish called Wellington, it features pieces with raised panel molding, vertical tambour and turned, tapered legs. Key bedroom pieces are a platform bed and a high poster canopy bed that's also available in a low post version.
Company President and CEO Phil Haney said the collection is debuting at a time when consumers' attention is "drawn back to the comfort of familiar lines."
"Consumers are looking for a safe harbor, and their home represents that place of refuge," he said. "Quail Hollow is a fresh take on the familiar, allowing consumers to make a style statement that stays within their comfort zone. We think the timing for his collection is perfect."
A number of case goods resources showing here this week are continuing their focus on short bedroom groups or dining room additions to successful bedrooms.
Among these are Magnussen Home, which is launching a number of master and youth bedrooms, and Pulaski, which is showing two new sixpiece bedrooms. The offerings include a new finish in Pulaski's popular Birkhaven bedroom collection.
Pulaski is also adding a new formal dining set in the style of its Del Corto bedroom.
"Adding a dining room to a well performing bedroom made sense," said Page Wilson, president. "And introducing it at Las Vegas makes it easier to flow in time for dining season."
Bedroom and dining room resource A-America is showing two new mid-priced solid wood bedrooms. These include Westlake, a transitional Shaker-inspired solid mahogany group in a mid-tone brown finish, and a Missioninspired group in solid American ash.
A four-piece set in Mission retails at $2,499, while a four piece group that includes a storage bed in Westlake retails at $2,299.
"They are mid-priced solid wood bedrooms for our company, and they fall in line with what we do in terms of price and function," said Dean Banks, senior vice president of sales, marketing and merchandising. Among the value-oriented features are full extension, self-closing drawer glides and cedar lined bottom drawers on case pieces, he said.
Case goods importer Riverside Furniture is adding home office and bedroom pieces to Craftsman Home, a popular inline group made with quarter sawn oak veneers and featuring stone inlay on a new panel bed and on the surface of an existing dining table.
For the first time in Las Vegas, the company also is showing some dining room pieces from its Evening Tide and Newburgh collections already seen in High Point.
Riverside has moved to World Market Center B-1080 this market, a space formerly occupied by Vaughan-Bassett, which has left Las Vegas. While smaller than Riverside's former space on the 11th floor of the same building, company officials believe the location right off the escalator offers greater visibility.
They said they're optimistic about the prospects for this market.
"We are pleased with the way the year has started out in terms of order writing, and we think that will translate into activity at the Las Vegas Market," said Mike Charlton, senior vice president of product development and merchandising.