High Point Market
Shows its color
Cinde Ingram -- Casual Living, November 22, 2012
Market attendees walking between Showplace and the International Home Furnishings Center’s Commerce wing entrance.
Although many manufacturers speculated that attendance was down, they were not singing the blues about the attention or the kind of attendees their outdoor furnishings and accessories were attracting.
"We're seeing more and more indoor furniture stores adding outdoor lines, and it really started in Chicago," said Doug Peppler, senior VP, Agio. "On the first day of the High Point Market, we had a 20-store retailer come in and commit. We're also seeing more indoor manufacturers, like Lexington, expand to outdoor, which just brings more exposure to the category and legitimizes what we are doing. The future looks bright for outdoor furniture."
Lexington Home Brands President and CEO Phil Haney described the response to its launch of Tommy Bahama Outdoor furnishings as "absolutely phenomenal. If you're a retailer and you want to be in the outdoor category, it makes perfect sense."
Expanding its Tommy Bahama offerings to the outdoors is a natural progression for Bacon's Furniture & Design in Port Charlotte, Fla. "We're trying to sell the sizzle," President Bill Bacon said.
"Our traffic has been really strong," said Comer Wear, marketing director, Century Furniture. "The majority of our international dealers are here, including a lot who didn't come last year. Century Leisure continues to be the fastest growing division for us. We see outdoor just continuing to expand."
"Everyone who's seen what we offer is not only looking to the future but mindful of our past," said Steve Elton, chief brand officer, Brown Jordan. "We are carrying forward the legacy of our founder Robert Brown, using the finest materials in a purity of form while remembering that innovation is part of our company's DNA."
Telescope Casual President Henry Vanderminden IV said his company has had a good year. "We really start working on 2013 in July 2012. We had 70% of it booked prior to going to the Casual Market, where we had tremendous attendance and one of the best Chicago shows I can remember. It was the busiest, most upbeat show. High Point Market this time was far different than any other year for traffic patterns."
Tim Newton, managing director of Leader's Casual Furniture, described the year as average for the retailer's casual furniture sales. "In the first quarter, we had record months. The second and third brought slowdowns, but with the fourth it started right back up. When you take the average, it's great."
"This year has been exceptional," said Allen Calzadilla, president, Pelican Reef. "All of our royalties have been paid and we are forecasting aggressively for next year. I've had to revise our forecast multiple times this year. We've grown so much it's incredible."
Bridge Street Interiors in Bradenton Beach, Fla., expanded as Pelican Reef increased its outdoor presence, said Matt and Deborah Myers, designers and operators. They described their business this year as awesome. "We broke records. It's been unbelievable," Matt Myers said.
"It wasn't a gangbuster year, but it has been a decent year," said Dudley Flanders, president of Lloyd Flanders. "I think people are ready to get back to normal business. They're tired of talking about the economy and election. We're getting support for not waiting to make a path to a new direction with the loft program and 13 collections we introduced for the next season. We're not running away from our background; we're filling a niche. Our dealers are responding to this interesting look from a brand they have grown to depend on."
Furniture Classics was showing the three outdoor collections in its Two Palms Casual line. "Really it's just plus business for our customers," said Cathleen Markham, marketing manager. "With our large selection, we're a phenomenal resource for designers."
|Sales were up four months of eight for Palm Springs Rattan & Garden
Classics, Sales Manager Tami Newton said. “We’re in a growth
mode,” she said. “We’re looking for more reps to expand.”|
|Krasimir Alaykov, buyer from
TBX Design, New York, was one
of many market attendees who
tested Skyline Design’s new
Mercy hanging chair, shown in a
silver walnut frame fi nish with
Kubu Mushroom weave.|
|Bold colors and playful patterns drew attention to Trans-Ocean Import
Company’s debut of Frontporch rugs.|
|“We’ve tripled our selections of outdoor rugs,” said Asha Chaudhary,
president and CEO, Jaipur Rugs. “It’s a big focus for us. Our customers
like patterns that are fun, whimsical and eclectic. We’ve added bold
colors and textures. The grays and blues are coming on strong.”|
|Summer Classics benefi ted by having a small booth in Interhall, which
attracted buyers who could be directed to the company’s larger showroom
in IHFC’s Wrenn wing. “It paid off in several important orders,”
Harold Hudson, senior VP of national accounts, said of the satellite
|A well-known decorative pillow source, Elaine Smith’s booth gained
attention through not only colors and new fabrics, but mannequins
that made buyers look twice. “We’ve had a great year and we feel
very fortunate,” Smith said. “This is our 15th year in business and
our 10th year in outdoors. I came in on the right side of the casual
industry’s growth. I think our dealers love the fact that we are here
to stay and all our pillows are made in the U.S. As they are having success,
they’ve continued to grow with it. I feel like we’re adding value
to a home and I think we’re getting better as an industry to market
|Allen Robertson, VP of sales, Capel Rugs, said the Made in the America
movement continues to draw attention and that sales of its outdoor
rugs are still strong. “We just brought out a couple of new products
for outdoors. Capel is still very committed to the category.”|
Brightly colored planters and side tables set the scene as Seasonal Living’s Gary Pettitt explained safety features of the Zanzibar Flame coffee table, made of lightweight concrete with Robax fi re-rated glass and operated by a new super biofuel.
|“Business is good, but it could be phenomenally better,” said Gary
Parrott, VP of sales and marketing, Legacy Fine Casual Furnishings.
“We’re working with Caravita and Laurie Bell fabrics. The designers
love her fabrics. It’s been a great partnership.”|
|Showing for the fi rst time, MFANO unveiled decorative pillows and
dog beds, constructed of Sunbrella fabrics and trims, in a range of
bold colors designed by textile designer Randy Trull, right, and interior
decorator John Miller, left, “The color is getting a big response,”
Trull said. With a fi ve-year guarantee, Miller added the pillows are
“not only stylish, but smart.”|
|“Indoor/outdoor is the fastest-growing category for us,” said Aaron
Gray, marketing director, Sphinx by Oriental Weavers, which was
on-trend with its steel grays and yellow in chevron and Ikat patterns.|
Tiny Girl, Big Dream