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La-Z-Boy partners with Brown Jordan International

La-Z-Boy has partnered with Brown Jordan to launch its first line of casual furniture. Through the licensing agreement, Brown Jordan International will design, manufacture and market the products under the La-Z-Boy brand. The collection debuted online and in Sam's Clubs throughout the United States and Mexico in January.

As part of the initial launch, BJI introduced the first fully functional recliner intended for outdoor use. Also included in the launch are chaise lounges, ottomans, end tables and sofas in three deep seating collections — Whitley, Graham and Alexander — all crafted of all-weather resin over an aluminum frame accented with decorative cast aluminum ends.

Richloom is providing Solarium performance fabrics for the line. The company has worked with La-Z-Boy previously on its upholstered furniture, said Luis Hernandez, director of sales and marketing for Solarium.

"A partnership of this magnitude with La-Z-Boy was extremely compelling to Brown Jordan International," said Chris Carmicle, BJI's president, national accounts and direct imports division. "Research confirms La-Z-Boy is by far one of the most recognized consumer brands in the furniture industry and is consistently ranked as one of the 10 best home brands overall. The recent shift towards outdoor comfort in the furniture market made this partnership very timely."

In April 2005, La-Z-Boy announced it may extend the brand into other arenas. A license agreement with NorthPole Limited for outdoor leisure products followed, and ended in 2006.

"For 80 years, La-Z-Boy has been focused on providing a wide selection of comfortable and quality furniture for the home's interior," said Jennifer Sievertsen, vice president of brand marketing for La-Z-Boy. "We are proud to partner with BJI on this venture . We are very excited about the designs debuting ... as well as the future of this category for our company."

Whether the La-Z-Boy brand of outdoor furniture will be made available to specialty retailers in the future is unknown. "La-Z-Boy and BJI are exploring additional distribution options," said Emily Shirden, media relations for La-Z-Boy.

"Our contract for La-Z-Boy allows for distribution into the specialty/furniture store areas, but we currently have not started planning this," Carmicle said.

BJI introduced the first fully functional recliner last month through its partnership with La-Z-Boy.

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