Australia's Moran Furniture to make American debut at High Point Market
Cindy Hodnett -- Furniture Today, September 6, 2012
HIGH POINT — Australian upholstery specialist Moran Furniture is making its debut at the fall High Point Market as a kickoff to a push into the North American and South American markets.
Moran will show in a 3,500-square-foot showroom in the International Home Furnishings Center, space W-648, said John Byrne, who heads up the company's U.S. operations.
"Moran is very well known in Australia, as well as New Zealand and Southeast Asia, and has been a household name for more than 50 years," Byrne said. "We've also done quite a bit of OEM work in Europe over the years, and some in the United States, and after a lengthy study of the market, we've decided the time is right to further expand in the Americas."
In High Point, Moran will showcase traditional and modern styles in the upper-medium price range. The line includes leather and fabric stationary upholstery, sofa-sleepers, recliners, barstools, upholstered beds and the Active Comfort Chair, a Euro-style recliner.
All items in the made-to-order line feature eight-way, hand-tied springs, spring cell seat cushions, body-correct lumbar support, kiln-dried, close-grain hardwood, and premium leathers and fabrics.
Moran Furniture was founded in 1961 by the late John Moran. Byrne said that hundreds of thousands of Australians own Moran furniture pieces.
"Our long-term plan is to become an iconic global brand and be as significant here as we are in Australia and Asia," he said.
Moran is targeting retail channels of distribution as well as the hospitality industry in the Americas. The company is setting up a network of independent sales representatives to promote the line and will offer direct-container services from facilities in Melbourne, Australia, and Shanghai. Smaller product quantities will be available through a cross-dock facility in North Carolina.
"Moran is known for listening to its partners, incorporating ideas derived from our active interchange with retailers, architects, designers and consumers," Byrne said.
As part of the company's planning effort for its U.S. push, it brought a group of American retailers to its factory in Shanghai for a series of meetings, Byrne said.