Upholstery producers aim to help stores sell
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, August 12, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Upholstery suppliers told 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 presented solutions-based offerings in all price points.
Lexington Home Brands introduced Tower Place 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."
The integration of collections at Lexington featured vignettes with polished stainless steel contemporary pieces accompanied by updated channel back sofas and modified wing chairs. The mix-and-match showroom presentation is becoming more common at market and allows manufacturers to provide supply solutions for retailers selling to consumers with eclectic style preferences.
Flexsteel also integrated various collections in its Las Vegas showroom. Senior Vice President Lee Fautsch said 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 consum ers 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-toback, and we will beat July's numbers as well."
Emerald Home Furnishings introduced a new outdoor category at market, but the company also continues 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 also introduced 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 Inds. showroom, dealer activity was strong even before the market officially opened, said Director of Merchandising Greg Morgan.
"Las Vegas is typically a very good market for us," Morgan said.
Klaussner Home Furnishings featured product introductions paired with Surya rugs. Klaussner's Len Burke said the pairings offer readymade 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, a custom seating program was a key focus in the showroom, 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 anticipate that this will be a strong 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.
"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 recently launched a new website, company representative Kim Slater noted at market, saying the new site will drive traffic 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."