Wood sources prime pump
Market reaction a good sign for 2013 sales
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, January 30, 2013
AT THE MARKET - Case goods suppliers came to market this week with aggressive introductions aimed at boosting business in the bedroom and formal dining room categories in 2013.
Based on reaction from dealers thus far, business could pick up sooner than they expect thanks to their emphasis on finishes, function and even higher pricing that could raise average tickets for retailers.
A.R.T. Furniture is turning heads here with its whole home Classics collection, which features a multi-step finish on flat-cut prima vera veneers. Called Brindle, the color resembles the brownish coat of a greyhound.
In addition to the finish, dealers like how the collection
see Case goods, updates traditional forms with clean modern lines.
Featuring four-piece bedrooms at $2,999 and a table and six chairs retailing at $2,299, the collection falls in the middle of A.R.T.'s line. Meanwhile, its Valencia collection, launched here with three dining tables, is at the top, with a trestle table and six chairs targeted to retail at $4,999.
Despite the high price point, dealers are drawn to the Mediterranean influences as seen in the mix of radiata solids and white oak, pine and walnut veneers displayed in marquetry patterns on table tops, the company said. Table bases also feature scroll metal accents, another hit with buyers.
Both collections are in production and will hit retail in May. Bedroom will be added to Valencia in April.
Emerald Home Furnishings is scoring points on its new Interludes bedroom and occasional collection, which updates traditional forms with contemporary design elements including metal accents on headboards, mirrors and table stretchers. Dealers also like the mink finish, with a depth and clarity that highlights the walnut veneers and ebony inlays.
"This got a good reaction," said John Iasiello, vice president of wood products. "It hit the middle of the market price point and dealers see the value in it."
Based on the reaction, the company plans to add dining room to the collection in High Point.
Emerald also is doing well with its Brighton casual dining collection, which has a two-tone cashew brown and dove gray finish on table and chair sets, buffets and a curio china cabinet.
Lexington Home Brands reports strong dealer interest in its Florentino collection, which features Italian design influences seen in its hand-carved elements, serpentine shaping and subtle gold tipping. The group includes 23 wood pieces and 12 pieces of upholstery.
Dealers also like the collection's use of rustic cherry and Brazilian walnut burl veneers in a dark walnut tone finish called Portofino. Highlights include a $3,449 double pedestal dining table that seats 10 and a poster bed that retails at $4,199, which places the collection near the top of its line.
Leggett & Platt has an aggressive launch this market in the bedroom arena. In addition to 12 new metal beds priced from $399 to $599, it is launching four new domestically produced upholstered headboards that retail from $299 to $399 and four fully upholstered beds, including two imported bycast leather versions retailing at $599 and two domestic fabric versions retailing from $699 to $799.
The company launched the fully upholstered versions in response to the success of its headboards, and dealer reaction has been strong, said Ron Ainsworth, vice president of product development and procurement.
"It hit the mark with both sleep shops and traditional retailers as well," he said. "It just has a high perceived value. It's a piece of furniture. That's the way buyers are looking at it. You can put it with a case goods group and it will work."