Small is big in home office
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, February 4, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Small desk footprints continued to take center stage at the Las Vegas Market last week as home office vendors aim to keep the category vibrant.
While they don't take up much room, the smaller desks offer functional attributes including pullout keyboard work surfaces and charging stations. They also offer stylish transitional and contemporary looks that make them a focal point among other home office pieces on the sales floor.
Sligh Furniture reported strong dealer interest in four new writing desks with 58- to 64-inch work surfaces that are targeted to retail from $1,929 to $3,229. One transitional model is in rosewood veneers with a curved stainless steel base, and another is inspired by a Cartier jewelry box in a Mandarin red finish and featuring brushed brass legs.
Office Star Products showed six writing desks in its new Inspired by Bassett collection. Dealers liked the clean-lined looks of the desks, which also incorporate traditional design elements.
Retailing from $299 to $799, the ready-to-assemble desks offer a good, better, best story within the Office Star line and also open some new channels of distribution for the Bassett name. The line also includes desk chairs retailing from $199 to $299 as well as a 62-inch executive style desk, file cabinets and bookcase units.
Whalen Furniture said it received strong dealer response to new office chairs that offer lumbar support and an adjustable headrest. Retailing at $199, they also have lift-up arms.
The company also saw strong dealer response to a new merchandising concept that showcases its $199 Zeta desk alongside a chair, an open bookcase unit and a file cabinet. Dealers liked the mixed media elements of the pieces - including wood, metal frames and smoked glass tops and shelves - and the contemporary styling.
They also liked the way it is displayed, which gives ideas on how to position the product in their stores, said David Wiese, Whalen's vice president of sales and marketing.
"The package is the story, and customers can mix it out of the warehouse," he said.
Larger footprints also performed well at resources such as Sunny Designs and Simply Amish.
Simply Amish showcased a modular wall concept that it has developed in response to the closing of case goods resource The Custom Shoppe in Wisconsin last year.
The line includes right and left return desks, shelf units, file drawers and hutch units available in a variety of wood species and finishes.
"We've done some modular before, but not to this level," said Kevin Kauffman, president, noting that customers asked the company to develop the category further.