Buyers eye Atlanta bestsellers
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, July 27, 2012
ATLANTA — Case goods and upholstery resources at the July 11-18 Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market showcased some of their bestselling items to help boost summer sales and broaden distribution among designers and some new distribution channels, including gift and specialty stores.
Many of the pieces were seen at previous High Point and Las Vegas furniture markets. But designers and retailers who don't shop those shows saw them for the first time.
Four Hands and Halo showed case goods that included pieces made from reclaimed woods, or that had reclaimed wood looks made possible with wire-brushed finishes.
A case in point was Four Hands' Sergio console, which is made from wood reclaimed from old doors and buildings. Retailing at $2,200, it has a carved, architecturally inspired base with plenty of storage.
Among the highlights at Halo was a dining set that included an eight-foot-long trestle base table made with reclaimed elm that retails for about $2,800.
Case goods resource Trade Winds Furniture saw the market as a good opportunity to promote its new light gray finish in its River Wash collection. Like its white counterpart, the finish gives a new two-tone color option to the contrasting driftwood type finish seen on the solid mindi wood tops of case pieces.
"The focus is, where can we broaden River Wash?" said company President Michael Feder, saying the light gray gives a more contemporary look to the line. "We are just adding options in this finish because it is so strong."
Other case goods resources showcasing products with reclaimed looks or materials included Furniture Classics, Gabby, and Ambella Home.
The upholstery mix in Atlanta included a number of chairs and sofas in linen, in some cases with exaggerated nail head trim.
A case in point is Four Hands' Congo collection, which includes an $1,800 wing chair and an upholstered platform bed. Both have exaggerated nail head trim and shapely curves that give each of the pieces a shelter effect.
Halo said it received strong response from designers and retailers on new upholstered dining chairs, which feature a scroll back and button-tufted linen. Retailing from $330 to about $390, these were shown around the new eight-foot trestle base table.
In addition to other dining room groups, Halo's space featured a number of living room vignettes with sofas, occasional chairs and coordinating occasional tables.
Pasha Home Fashions introduced a line of mostly contemporary upholstery produced in High Point, with sofas retailing from $1,000 to $2,000. Company owner Sam Pasha said the 100 new SKUs bring his lineup to a 50% domestic mix, and also represent another layer of value.
"We are not selling it at an expensive price," he said, noting that his least expensive imported sofa would retail at no less than $1,500. "Some items are cheaper than imports."
The furniture exhibitors included at least one new accent and occasional resource and an existing high end case goods and upholstery resource that made its Atlanta debut.
Avenue B, formed earlier this year, made its debut here with 120 SKUs of mostly traditional accent furniture ranging from side tables and accent chairs to bar cabinets and lamps. Despite its first-time appearance, the company saw accounts and prospects from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast and wrote plenty of orders, said Greg Waylock, president of the company's U.S. sales territory.
"Instead of ordering just one or two tables, they are ordering four or six," he said. "While there is not a lot of traffic, people are spending and they are spending their money wisely."
French Heritage, a high-end producer of case goods and upholstery, showed in Atlanta for the first time in an 800-square-foot space that featured many of its top selling living room vignettes. Choosing a mix of items required some planning, considering that the company shows in a nearly 14,000-square-foot space in High Point.
The Atlanta space, which had an unfinished wood frame around its exterior meant to indicate a work in progress, won a Best of Show Visual Design Award in the temporary exhibit category. Henessy Wayser, the company's vice president, said she was pleased with the award and also with the market traffic and response to the line.
"Here I am meeting tons of people who love our line, but don't know who we are," she said, noting that many of the visitors were designers who haven't been to the High Point showroom.
More photos can viewed in the July 23rd print edition.