Robotics help AP Inds. expand value-priced bedroom line
Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, May 29, 2013
LAURIER-STATION, Quebec — Bedroom manufacturer AP Inds. plans to expand a line of value-priced North American-made bedroom furniture it says was well-received at the spring High Point Market.
AP said it was able to achieve lower pricing on the line because of a robotic production system it installed at its plant here in November 2011. The manufacturing system that fully machines raw components and moves them through assembly without human assistance.
That allowed the company to offer Canadian-made four-piece bedroom groups retailing for $1,999. In High Point, an expansion of the technology allowed the company to unveil groups at $1,499 in a line the company called Allure.
Allure consisted of 10 bedroom collections with seven finish options and multiple handle options. Pieces feature construction with Vermont birch solids and veneers, said Ken Loh, vice president of sales, in styles ranging from traditional to transitional and contemporary.
Reaching a value price point was a first for the company, he said.
"It provided assistance in creating the largest producing market the company has had in three years," said Loh.
He said retailers liked Allure's high quality domestic construction and stains. The company is developing three additional collections to add to the line.
AP also continues to receive good feedback on its Allure Baby & Teen items released this year.
The line, including cribs and case goods, is Greenguard certified and manufactured in Canada. Retail price points for cribs start at $499.
"The acceptance of this level of quality North American product, at a competitive price, fills a vacancy in the U.S. market that has been open until this point," said Elizabeth Loh, head of U.S. sales for the juvenile division.