Norwegian seating source Sitbest launching in U.S. at High Point Market
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, September 14, 2012
HIGH POINT — Sitbest Ltd., a division of Norwegian seating specialist Elano AS, is making its U.S. debut at the Oct. 13-18 High Point Market.
The Euro-style recliner and sofa source has signed a five-year lease on a 3,000-square-foot showroom in the International Home Furnishings Center, space H-507.
"This marks a new direction for Sitbest and Elano, which is a well-known brand in Europe but has never done business in the U.S.," Robert Kelly, national vice president of sales for the Midwest, East and Canada, said in a press release. "Sitbest has done its homework and has come up with a unique new product line and a logistical set-up that are perfect for American retailers."
Sitbest, which manufactures its line in Poland, specializes in making "families" of stationary and motion sofas, loveseats, swivel recliners, swivel rockers, lift chairs and home theater seating in three grades of leather as well as polyester and microfiber covers. Recliners will retail from $999 to $2,499.
Power options are available for all the swivel recliners and lift chairs. Three size options are available in each category of recliners. All recliners come with built-in footstools.
The company plans to establish a network of galleries with retail partners in the United States, Mexico and Canada. A small gallery would contain eight to 10 Sitbest models and a standard gallery would have 12 to 18 SKUs, according to Kelly.
He added that Sitbest is targeting Top 100 retailers as well as strong midsized stores, particularly merchants "who understand the power of customization."
"Our business model is to provide a combination of quick-ship limited choice, with a fast and full customized choice from Europe, from the ‘as you like it' custom recliner and sofa line," said Kelly. "We're focusing on an exclusive distribution gallery presentations because we want consumers to be able to see the wide range of choices we offer."
According to Mark Parris, national vice president of sales for Sitbest in the South and West, today's retailers are looking to expand and add programs with special-order capability "in order to reduce excess inventory and increase cash flow. Sitbest offers an array of options and covers as well as timely delivery without the hassle or need for container buying."
Sitbest produces its line in Poland on a "just-in-time basis, so customers can order the exact style, size, recliner options, fabric and finish they desire," said Kelly. "That ability to customize is very important element in today's marketplace, and we back it up with consistent, quick-ship service."
Sitbest will support its quick-ship program by providing delivery to gallery retailers within six to eight weeks from Poland. In addition, it will stock best sellers at a Massood Logistics warehouse in Eden, N.C., delivering in two weeks or less.
To build interest in its new line heading into market, Sitbest has deployed two vans with half-dozen or so products onboard to travel to retailers in major markets in the U.S. and Canada. The visits have generated "a fabulous reaction" so far, said Kelly, "and we're expecting to have a very good High Point Market."
Co-owners Anders Brunstad and Fridtjof Fredriksen will be in the High Point showroom during market to meet with retailers, Kelly said.