Aggressive slate of case goods intros on tap
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, October 13, 2012
HIGH POINT - Aggressive introductions this market are a sign that bedroom and formal dining room resources are positioning themselves to take advantage of rising housing sales, higher home prices and a return of consumer confidence.
Some are coming to market with large product launches, while others continue to expand their lineups with licensed collections or new and expanded categories such as youth bedroom.
Standard Furniture is bringing out 15 new bedrooms covering a variety of styles ranging from contemporary and modern in Modern Fusion and Park Avenue to the carved traditional looks in Monte Cristo. Each group has six to seven pieces, including media chests and some distinctive items such jewelry storage units, bed benches and bedside chests. More than half of these introductions are domestically produced, officials said.
These are in addition to five new youth bedrooms under its new Young Style youth concept that emphasizes storage and study as well as a host of new color and wood finish selections. Four of these are made in the U.S.
To showcase this new product, Standard has expanded its High Point showroom by about 10,000 square feet, said Todd Evans, president. He added that the company's domestic production capabilities give it an advantage, particularly over other resources with imported lines.
"Especially with large storage and bookcase headboards items, there will be less cost associated with cubes and freight, which translates into a better value with our American-made products," he said. "In addition, retailers displaying a large number of SKUs will be able to refill stock on a weekly basis from our warehouses, and will not have product downtime waiting on container orders."
Emerald Home is rolling out what it says is the largest product introduction in the history of the half-century-old company, with five new whole home lifestyle collections that include bedroom, dining room, occasional and home entertainment, two of which were introduced at this summer's Las Vegas Market. Each collection has 27 to 38 SKUs, said John Iasiello, vice president of wood products.
Four-piece bedrooms will retail from $1,499 to $1,999 and five-piece dining sets from $899 to $1,499.
"We wanted to focus on the middle of the market," Iasiello said. "That is where the business is being done."
He added that the collections also have a quality finish and construction story that buyers would expect to see at higher price points.
Hooker Furniture continues to offer a wide selection in bedroom and formal dining. Its products span a spectrum of styles and price points, offering dealers choices within the line that suit their individual markets. These range from Dreyden, a bedroom and dining room priced in the good-better portion of the line, with a dining table targeted to retail at $1,099, to the 60-piece whole home Estate, which is priced at the upper part of the line, featuring a rectangular double pedestal table that retails at about $3,000.
Other large collections at Hooker include the rustic Spanish-influenced Alicante, the grand scale traditional Adagio and Chic Coterie, a fashion forward lifestyle collection geared toward female consumers.
In licensed collections, Lexington Home Brands is bringing out Ivory Key, the latest addition to its popular Tommy Bahama Home collection. Key pieces include a canopy poster bed and companion bedside chests and mirrors in a white finish. The company is also showing its new outdoor Tommy Bahama line, which debuted at last month's casual furniture show in Chicago, in High Point for the first time.
Through its case goods partner Palmetto Home, Panama Jack is showing its transitional Key Biscayne collection, which is made with pecan veneers and mahogany solids in a cabernet finish.
American Drew is showing Boutique, its latest Jessica McClintock collection. Made with oak and pecan veneers, the 47-piece line has traditional European, antique, and Shabby Chic design influences based on pieces in McClintock's home.
With an upholstered panel sleigh bed targeted to retail at $3,000 and an oval dining table priced at $2,499, the collection is at the upper end of American Drew's line. For those prices, dealers will see a lot of shaping on case pieces, table bases and mirror frames as well as mixed media elements such as metal and stone. Select pieces also come in various accent finishes.
This is in addition to two other whole home collections at Drew, including the company's 34-piece casual contemporary Meridian, which has three beds - one of them a low profile wall bed priced at $1,199. It also is showing the 25-piece Montecito, a West Coast-influenced collection that includes panel beds priced from $1,499 to $1,599 and a leg dining table at $999.
Other companies with large introductions include Thomasville, with three 34-to 36-piece whole home collections, and Folio 21, with 12 new bedrooms and a new dining room program with five new sets that correlate with existing bestselling bedrooms.
In addition to Standard, case goods resources including AICO, SLF and Young America also are looking to make a statement in youth this market.
AICO is entering the category with pieces modeled after its popular Hollywood Swank collection.
This includes three bed options and companion case pieces such as dressers and chests, which are scaled down for pre-teens and young adults or for use in second or guest bedrooms.
Young America is launching its first new youth bedrooms since 2010, with groups called Abigail and Boardwalk, each of which offers cribs and multiple bed options.
SLF has renamed its youth program RoomGear to help capture a growing segment of the youth furniture business. It offers multiple bed options including bunk beds, panel beds and platform beds offered in three popular styles in the marketplace.
This is in addition to five new bedrooms that retail from $1,199 to $1,999 for four-piece sets, a step up from the company's traditional starting price point of $999. The new sets feature full-extension metal side drawer guides as well as improved drawer interiors and better finishes, said SLF President Lee Boone.
"Finishes to case goods are what fabrics are to upholstery," he said. "With improvements to the finish, you can make your product a whole lot better. We think that is very meaningful and a big part of our strategy."
SLF also has three new dining groups, two of which are built off popular bedrooms from last market and one that goes with a new bedroom this market. These are formal in the sense that they offer tables at 78 to 108 inches with leaf extensions, Boone said, adding that some also have either china cabinets or sideboards. Table and four chair sets are targeted to retail from $899 to $1,699.
Other companies adding new youth bedroom groups to existing lineups include Magnussen Home, Najarian, Lea Inds., Hooker and Universal, which is adding youth bedroom as a new category in its Paula Deen licensed lineup.
Other resources are staying focused with smaller introductions in their core bedroom and dining room categories that address gaps in their line and target the needs of specific customers.
Domestic bedroom manufacturer Vaughan-Bassett is coming to market with a new casual contemporary group called Lifestyle, available in four finishes, and a more traditional bedroom called Remington, available in five finishes. Both offer four-piece bedrooms that range from $1,699 to $1,999 depending on whether buyers order it with a nightstand or chest.
"We are continuing to try to merchandise our line and add product in categories where we have holes in our merchandising lineup," said Doug Bassett, president. He added that while the groups offer the basic bedroom pieces, they become extensive collections given the number of finishes available.
Kincaid's European Villa is another example of a domestic bedroom collection whose extensive finish, hardware, marble top options expand the 18-piece group to a possible 456 combinations.
Klaussner is showing a 20-to 25-piece bedroom, dining room and occasional collection called Riverton. Made with elm veneers in a dark chocolate finish, it has contemporary lodge inspired design and features four-piece bedrooms targeted to retail at $1,999. Klaussner also has three short bedroom groups featuring four-piece sets retailing from $1,299 to $1,999.
"This market we have a pretty focused introduction," said Geoff Beaston, senior vice president of case goods. "The last couple of markets we have been building the line, and this market we have really tried to listen to retailers' assessment of the line and look at the voids."
Wynwood has four new bedrooms and one existing bedroom in a new light finish called powdered sandstone. It also has a new contemporary dining room called East Greyson, which offers a table and four chairs priced at $999. Four-piece bedrooms are priced to retail from $1,499 to $2,699.
"Overall, we focus on style and price point diversity, always with high perceived value in mind," said Tony Ricci, national sales manager, adding that the company places particular emphasis on its finishes, a feature that's particularly important to many dealers.
He added that the company is optimistic about market based partly on orders from last month's Premarket.
"If that is any indication, we expect a good market," he said, noting that the company typically doesn't get orders at Premarket. "We normally get commitments and to get orders is a pretty strong sign. Case goods had a challenging summer, and I think buyers are looking for some fresh product to kick start their case goods."