Outdoor living on the go
Laurie Rudd -- Casual Living, March 17, 2011
PORTABLE GRILLING products and outdoor furnishings have come a long way to serve the desires of consumers on the go. This growing niche encompasses quality, innovation and construction built to move not only around the backyard or to a vacation destination, but off the sales floor as well.
With state of the art functionality, grills designed for mobility are growing in number and in options across the industry.
"This year, we are adding two new designs within the RoadTrip concept and one charcoal table top grill that is
Char-Broil’s Grill2Go ICE provides an outdoor kitchen on the go with cooking and cooling in one unit.
Coleman concentrates on producing portable grills in a variety of models to meet multiple price levels. The LXE grill from its RoadTrip series was first produced by Coleman 10 years ago and continues today as a top seller featuring large cooking surfaces, easy clean and lightweight portability. The introductory Fold N' Go Charcoal Grill features an unusual chimney design to allow for faster pre-heating.
Char-Broil offers many traditional grill models as well as portable grilling products.
"Char-Broil will always have a focus on developing innovative products for cooking on the go," said Brad Gillespie, senior product development manager, Char-Broil. "We're the champion of outdoor cooking, whether it happens on a patio or at the beach."
Char-Broil's popular Grill2Go ICE model incorporates both a grill and coolers in one portable unit.
"The key to the portability for the Grill-2Go ICE is the heavy-duty welded pull cart," Gillespie said. "The grill itself can be lifted and locked in place for grilling and lowered for transport."
The portable units, which are marketed within many of the same venues as traditional grills, enable the Columbus, Ga.-based manufacturer to expand its distribution reach to include camping and sporting goods retailers.
Folding furniture dates back to the early 1700s when British officers expected to maintain their standards of living
Colorful folding beach chairs from Telescope Casual can create attractive sales displays at retail.
"Our company began as a folding wood furniture company, known at the time as Telescope Cot Bed and Novelty Company," said Bill Vanderminden, executive vice president of Telescope Casual. "We began with cots and furnishings that folded to move." Telescope's early furniture also held a glimpse into the casual future. "In fact, within the telescoping cot (that was introduced over a century ago) are the workings used in today's popular style of bag-folding chairs," Vanderminden said. Portability plays a major part in Telescope's history and continues to star in many of its products. One product that was built for moving (and moving pictures) is Telescope's Director's Chair. "It grew in popularity when the movie industry began, and there was a need for a portable seat," Vanderminden said.
From the original chair and its ultimate removable backs and seats, it has grown as a retail favorite. For Telescope's patio furniture dealers, "the Director's Chair is a lifestyle product that creates add-on sales, colorful display opportunities and a cash-and-carry option," Vanderminden said. "Portable chairs can become silent sale-makers, not taking up much space. They and other portable furnishings could be the best-kept secret in casual sales."
Several styles of portable wooden seating can be found from Manassas, Va.-based Kingsley- Bate, a popular
The European styling and folding design of chairs from FurnitureDesignHouse make them popular for contract applications.
At FurnitureDesignHouse, a mix of steel and wood seating reflects the company's European styling and creates a unique draw for portability-minded consumers.
"We incorporate design elements to ensure that our products are not just good-looking, but functional and long-lasting, such as the colored carriage bolts that secure the slats to our frames," said Ron Torriani, managing director of Loom Britannia, Ltd. "Other small but significant engineering elements ensure the long-term integrity of the product."
Cushioned dining that can fold up and go is a part of the Key West collection from Pride Family Brands.
Metal made to recline
In the 1950s, Telescope Casual began using aluminum to make other styles of folding furniture. The function of varying degrees of recline that is a current industry standard was an innovation challenge Telescope designers accepted. The resulting beach chairs and multipurpose folding chairs, marketed as the Teleweave, are the latest generations. The recent introduction of a Teleweave chair at a 20-inch
Classic styling is found in Capri folding chairs from Kingsley-Bate.
Folding outdoor products continue as a growing segment for Pride Family Brands' Summer Winds line and cover a broad spectrum including anti-gravity recliners, folding sling and cushioned dining chairs, balcony chairs, loveseats and chaises. Additionally, the Hollywood, Fla.-based manufacturer offers a range of folding tables that incorporates sizes from cocktail to dining and gathering heights.
Kelysus’ folding hammock stores in a convenient carrying case.
Breezesta offers durable Adirondack furnishings that can fold up to travel.
"The Breezesta Folding Adirondack chair offers low maintenance with attention to details," said Glenn Weber, sales manager, Breezesta. Color-matched, powder-coated hardware and the use of mortise and tenon construction enables the New Holland, Pa.- based manufacturer to offer a lifetime warranty on its products.
"Customers like the folding feature for storage purposes," Weber said. "But, that is ironic as the durability would allow it to be left outside without a need to store."
By flooring samples for consumers to see and experience, dealers are most successful with sales of any casual furnishings, portable or not.
Swinging, colorful carry-outs
The packaging and the product are attractive at retail with Magnolia Casual’s swing totes.
Holding 10 sets of a swing and pillow in a carrying bag or a hammock and pillow in a bag, Magnolia Casual's products are mobile from the moment of the sale. "The presentation and display are very popular with our customers," McIlwain said. "It is a nice presentation for consumers looking at the swing or hammock as a gift."
A patented portable design, marketed as setting up in seconds without the use of tools, is found in the portable hammock and stand from Kelysus. "It folds into a compact bag with a shoulder strap for hands-free portability," said Monica Jones,
The Buggle Up from Fatboy USA is built for the outdoors and for portability.
The Buggle Up is a relatively new product for outdoor enjoyment on the go. "These fun and functional lounge bags are made entirely from a special coated nylon and come equipped with a convenient carrying strap that not only makes it the ideal outdoor accessory, but easy to move," said Paula Masters, president and managing director, Fatboy USA. The Fatboy Buggle Up is just one of the line's transportable seating products that come in a wide variety of colors.
Pride Family Brands showcases the details of their five new collections