Lloyd/Flanders celebrates 100 years
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, October 14, 2005
Lloyd/Flanders kicked off its celebration of 100 years of manufacturing casual furniture in Menominee, Mich., by introducing its Centennial collection. Dealers who visited its showroom last month were greeted by a historic display of hand-woven wicker furniture, a baby buggy and a Centennial Limited Edition Rocker, of which only 2,500 will be made.
The Centennial line's wrapped aluminum frame emulates the hand-woven wicker of founder Marshal B. Lloyd's turn-of-the-century products, used indoors or outdoors.
The limited-edition chair, top, echoes the early designs displayed at market from private collections.
The Flanders family bought assets of Lloyd Manufacturing Co. in December 1982 from then-owner, the Heywood-Wakefield Company, which operated it as a division after 1926.
"The chairs are selling extremely well; we were pleasantly surprised," Lloyd/Flanders President Dudley Flanders said. "We haven't sold them out yet but they're on a real strong target to do so. People were really interested in the concept."
Dale Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing, said he expects the rockers to sell out by the end of the year. "What's really nice about it is when you do a limited edition piece married to a collection, it really drives the collection as well," he said.
Marketing consultant Teresa Campbell described dealers' response to the Centennial collection and the limited edition rocker as incredible. "I would say all of our major accounts are placing something of it," she said. "It's mostly being placed in full collections, not just that limited edition chair but bringing in the dining as well as seating. Some people (ordered) in two colors, like we showed it — the traditional white and the new antique black was extremely well received as a finish."
Campbell also reported strong interest in Lloyd/Flanders' Wimbledon Collection, especially because it plays a big role in Lloyd/Flanders' national advertising campaign. The new Grand Traverse and Hampton collections also performed well. "I would say all four of them were a pretty big hit for us this year," she said.
Dale Campbell said response was way beyond company expectations. "Since the vinyl is new for us, we're very pleased at how people are gravitating toward our program," he said. He noted editors who visited the showroom focused heavily on Wimbledon.
"This was the busiest showroom we've ever had during a Casual Show in terms of body count and lunches served," Flanders said. "I think it completely debunks the myth that premarket is going to kill September because I'm hearing good things from everybody. The temporaries said they had good traffic; we know we had good traffic. I thought it was very strong and upbeat, even those retailers who had been in climates that weren't as conducive as we would like this season."
Lloyd/Flanders recently announced its marketing shift to focus on its unique ability to produce open weave in the United States. Dale Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing, said the company is concentrating on what it does best, loom wicker and woven outdoor vinyl. "It's not coming out of China," he said. "It's made right here."
The product remains based on the Lloyd Loom model. In 1917, Lloyd patented a process for making furniture woven from a twisted fiber made of kraft paper. The Lloyd Loom process allowed mass production of many designs, ranging from large settees to small baskets. Lloyd Loom products have been used at The White House, Buckingham Palace, the U.S. Open and other notable places around the world.
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