Entertainment vendors busy at Market
Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, October 16, 2012
HIGH POINT - Life for the home entertainment vendor, at least from a style standpoint, can be a tough one.
What's hot in sizing and finish or paint seems to adjust every other year or so. Those changes continue as consumers buy new televisions or move to less - or more - spacious homes.
Taller entertainment walls are seeing an uptick this week at Riverside. Slimmer units are getting looks at BDI, while floating consoles are getting attention at West Port Home. Two-tone looks are hot at AP Inds., and white is right for Legends Furniture.
From a busy BDI showroom Monday, Dave Adams, marketing specialist, said the company is getting a good response to its Sonda group, which hits a lower price point, at $999, than what the company usually offers, starting at around $1,499 for media units.
The group features micro-etched, fingerprint-resistant glass, natural walnut shelving and powder-coated black frame.
BDI also is seeing movement here with an 18-inch-deep profile, which is four inches shallower than its home entertainments groups have been, but which is becoming a more common size as media components get thinner, Adams said.
And the company's Ola group, with a curved concave front, continues to sell, he said.
"They love the curved profile," Adams said. "People are looking for something outside of the: ‘Here's a box to put your TV onto.'"
Ken Loh, vice president of sales for AP Inds., said he's seeing a big increase in requests for two-tone effects, like white doors in a wood tone case. And retailers continue to demand more functionality, he said.
At West Port Home, retailers like the new manual lift, counterbalanced mechanisms to help the consumer pull up a flat-screen TV from the footboards of beds, according to Gene Head, vice president of merchandising and design.
A queen-size bed can hold up to a 32-inch screen. West Port has three of the beds with price points hitting $599, Head said, bringing the feature to a mass market. A motorized unit would be more expensive.
"Our stuff is so different that sometimes it takes a little while to catch on," Head said.
Legends Furniture reports success here with the color white, especially in its Loft group, according to Tim Donk, director of marketing. The white Loft groups in an entertainment wall range from $799 to $999.
"I'm surprised at how many people have bought it," Donk said. "We haven't had white in years. It's fresh and different."
Donk said the company is also doing well with media fireplace, of which the company now has 19 units.
Riverside is scoring with its canvas Bon Voyage and worn buckskin leather Latitudes consoles, said Mike Charlton, senior vice president of product development and merchandising. The groups take the look of trunks with straps and buckles, but are consoles that feature media and gaming storage.
"People just don't expect to see this here. It's just fun," Charlton said.
Also coming back - at least for now - are taller entertainment walls at 78 inches and up, he said.
"We've had a lot of requests for them with the economy improving and people spending a little more on something taller for 12- to 14-foot ceilings," he said, adding that the company's Placid Cove group in a rub-through white is getting attention for a $1,999 wall configuration.
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