Upholstery intros draw buyers
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, January 30, 2013
AT THE MARKET - Heavy traffic - the kind not seen in several years - is the common denominator for many upholstery showrooms at this week's market.
Bolstered by an improving housing market and pent-up consumer demand, upholstery suppliers are reporting that the appointments have been non-stop and the enthusiasm, high.
"We've seen most of our West Coast customers," said Jeff Katz, vice president of upholstery product development for Emerald Home Furnishings. "And a lot of our retailers are telling us that they've scheduled the most appointments they've ever had. There's definitely increased activity."
The uptick in traffic started in many showrooms on Sunday. Len Burke, vice president of marketing for Klaussner Home Furnishings, said a number of big retailers were in Las Vegas several days before the official market opening.
"There were already a lot
see Upholstery, of buyers in the building on Sunday," Burke said. "And we had a lot of our heavy hitters come through. We're seeing that people are spending more at the retail level because they've put off buying new furniture, and that has encouraged the buyers. There is a lot of pent-up demand, and people are not going out and purchasing the least expensive furniture."
Donna Amatulli Favia, the national sales manager for Wisconsin-based Marshfield Furniture, said that the prevailing mood of buyers was very upbeat.
"With the way the economy has changed, people are ready to release their old furniture and replace it," Favia said. "There is definitely a difference this market."
Diverse collections including Florentino and Tommy Bahama kept traffic heavy at Lexington Home Brands showrooms. And at Bassett Furniture, new styles are a draw, as is the enhanced quick-ship delivery made possible by the company's new warehouses in Seattle and Indianapolis.
"People recognize that Bassett has fashionable looks, and now with the warehouse locations, our buyers can really save on freight," said Renee Loper, vice president of marketing and development for the company.
Loper added that Bassett has been pleased with the buyer response to the company's Las Vegas showroom.
"This is the second winter market for Bassett in Las Vegas," Loper said. "And last year, we saw as many people here as we did in High Point."
On Monday, Norwalk Furniture had 220 buying groups come through the showroom, according to Reyna Moore, vice president of marketing and merchandising.
"Now is the right time for us to have signed this lease for the new space," Moore said. "We have our entire West Coast sales force out here. We wanted to develop the Norwalk brand out west, and we stuck to our strategy. It's definitely paid off."