Upholstery intros offer solutions in Vegas
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, July 30, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Upholstery suppliers are telling their product stories in myriad ways at the Las Vegas Market, and they're giving their dealers the tools to do the same. From integrated showroom vignettes to multifunctional product designs, manufacturers are presenting solutions-based showrooms for summer.
Lexington Home Brands is showing Tower Place for the first time in Las Vegas, along with two new Tommy Bahama outdoor collections - Aviano and Blue Olive. President and CEO Phil Haney said that the summer Las Vegas Market is a natural fit for outdoor introductions, adding that Lexington is also addressing consumer demand for transitional products with Tower Place.
"We show at least one brand new collection in both High Point and Las Vegas," Haney said. "There is definitely a trend in cleaner, more transitional products, and Tower Place works for the customer who wants comfort and style."
Haney added that he thinks the remaining half of 2013 looks strong, buoyed by upticks in housing and the economy.
"Las Vegas is always stronger in the winter, but our appointment list is up 35% over last summer. Several macroeconomics are trending positive, and I think the second half of 2013 is going to be significantly better than the first."
The integration of collections at Lexington features vignettes including polished stainless steel contemporary pieces paired with updated channel back sofas and modified wing chairs. The mix-and-match showroom presentation is becoming more common in many showrooms at market, allowing manufacturers to provide supply solutions for retailers selling to eclectic-style consumers.
Flexsteel is also integrating different collections in the Las Vegas showroom. Senior Vice President Lee Fautsch said that the company's numbers stay strong because Flexsteel continues to focus on "what we know how to do" and to pay attention to what the consumers want from the retailers.
"We do not compete with our customers at retail, and this allows us to stay completely focused on bringing the best solutions to our retailers," Fautsch said. "We know that customers are selecting more by the piece and not matching or looking for one style, but a variety of styles, and we know that offering this to our retailers works. We've had two very strong fiscal years back-to-back, and we will beat July's numbers as well."
Emerald Home Furnishings is introducing a new outdoor category at market, but the company is also continuing to focus on providing retailers with product variety through a strong accent chair program that includes numerous frames and fabrics for a less than $200 retail price point. The company is also introducing the Domino collection in Las Vegas - a sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman collection shown in a vibrant red fabric that adds distinctive color excitement to a showroom floor.
In the United Furniture Industries showroom, dealer activity was strong before the market officially opened. Director of Merchandising Greg Morgan said the company is expecting a good market.
"Las Vegas is typically a very good market for us," Morgan said on Sunday. "Traffic today has been good, and tomorrow is going to be fantastic."
Klaussner Home Furnishings is featuring new product introductions paired with Surya rugs. Klaussner's Len Burke said that the pairings offer ready-made showroom designs to retailers.
"We're continuing to strengthen our relationship with Surya," Burke said. "This helps our dealers see how they can tie everything together."
At Best Home Furnishings, expectations are high for a busy market as well. In the showroom, the custom seating program is a key focus, providing dealers with an easy option for addressing the eclectic style movement.
"We were up 25% at the April High Point Market and also up in January in Las Vegas," said Eric Vollmer, advertising director. "We are anticipating that this will be a busy market as well because buyers are looking for options for freshening up their floors, and our custom seating program addresses that need."
Thomasville's Vice President of Sales Rick Stroud said that the company reaches retailers "west of the Rockies" in Las Vegas and increases the "face time" with the Top 250 retailers.
"Vegas affords us the opportunity to have interaction with customers every six months," Stroud said. "It's also a good opportunity to follow up and close deals that began in High Point."
Drexel Heritage is launching a new website on Friday. Company representative Kim Slater said the new site will drive traffic back to the retailers by allowing consumers to take a first look at customization options online.
"Consumers can get anything sitting in front of a computer, and they expect to be able to get information online," Slater said. "The new website includes design tools and room planners, all directed to the end consumer looking for custom options and good quality in their furniture."