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Solids and neutrals lead fabric choices

With 53% of retailers naming off-the-floor fabrics as best-sellers over both special order and COM fabrics, the selection of designs and colors for the floor is critical to healthy sales and profitability. Reflecting the experience of more than 300 retail doors, Casual Living's exclusive fabric survey provides an important guide to what designs and colors are selling best on retail floors for both sling and cushion seating.

When it comes to design, solids are the best-seller on both cushions and slings for most retailers. On cushions, though, florals are a very close second. But more than twice as many retailers say solids sell better than geometrics, the closest rival for best-selling pattern on sling seating.

Somewhat surprisingly, while 36% of retailers say florals are their best-selling designs for cushioned seating, compared with only 8% saying striped designs are selling best, more retailers carry striped designs for their cushioned seating than floral designs.

As for color groups, neutral is the watch word, especially on sling seating. Slightly more than three-fourths of retailers say neutrals sell best on sling seats. More retailers put neutrals on top for their cushion seating, too, but on cushions, 36% of retailers said deep-saturated jewel tones are their best-sellers

Next year, retailers expect neutrals will be America's favorite. Two-thirds say neutrals will be their best-seller. Jewel tones, those deep, saturated colors, are expected to be best-sellers on both sling and cushion seating by about one-fourth of retailers polled.

Responding retailers saw shades of red, ranging from rust and terra cotta to brick, as strong colors for cushions in both 2006 and 2007. Brown, beige and neutral colors on cushions also repeated among retail answers. Brown, followed closely by beige, were popular color choices for slings sales. Black, neutral, tan, taupe, red, blue, bronze, gold, green and gray also repeated.

Best selling colors

Number of mentions on slings 2006 2007
Though neutrals still reign, darker, more saturated colors are expected to move to the forefront this year.
neutral 15 12
khaki 3 1
mocha 3 -
white 12 7
black 22 16
beige 35 28
sand 2 2
tan 12 10
taupe 14 12
brown 36 24
light brown 2 2
earth tones 8 7
gray 5 11
charcoal 3 1
pewter 2 -
bronze 11 9
gold 11 4
metallics 2 -
silver 2 -
oranges 2 1
yellow 3 4
red 10 11
rust 4 6
terra cotta 1 2
brick 1 3
salmon 2 -
blue 7 9
light blue 2 -
sky blue 2 1
green 9 10
lime green 4 4
sage 2 1
dark green 1 2
neutral 15 11
cream 2 -
bamboo 2 2
white 7 10
black 12 9
beige 22 26
teak 3 3
antique beige 2 1
straw 2 1
tan 13 7
taupe 5 5
brown 21 20
dark brown 2 -
chocolate brown 2 2
earth tones 3 3
charcoal 2 1
bronze 2 -
gold 11 8
orange 4 8
papaya 2 2
auburn 2 -
spice 2 -
red 24 24
rust 8 8
terra cotta 3 6
brick 2 3
henna 5 3
pink 3 1
burgundy 3 -
blue 11 13
teal 3 2
spa blue 2 3
green 9 9
lime green 7 7
sage 2 4
fern 2 1
apple green 2 1
hunter green 3 1


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