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Retailers rethink offerings in anticipation of an improved spring 2011

More traditional furniture stores exploring casual category

Indications of a positive outlook for the casual furnishings industry were in evidence during the recent International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago, according to Pride Family Brands, an exhibitor and manufacturer of luxury handcrafted aluminum casual furniture.

Pride_MadridCrescent_W.jpg"General response from both current customers and potential new customers was very positive," said Rory Rehmert, vice president of sales and marketing for the Florida-based manufacturer and chairman of the International Casual Furnishing Association. "Attitudes were upbeat with many retailers rethinking their assortments as they look to an improved spring season."

In addition to the response from casual specialty retailers, additional segments were exploring the potential of outdoor living products.

"We did show several full-line furniture retailers our assortment," Rehmert said. "All were there on fact-finding missions to determine if outdoor products were right for their businesses."

Pride Family Brands' experience was being repeated within the casual industry overall as traditional furniture retailers continue to explore this category as an opportunity for additional growth.

As far as products on display during the Casual Market, Pride's introduction of a crescent seating design within deep seating collections received overall positive reviews.

"A popular trend that we see is the big way in which retailers are embracing the crescent sofa/loveseat concept," Rehmert said. "The design creates greater opportunity for engagement during outdoor gatherings, a style we feel consumers will be drawn to."

Pride Family Brands' designers recognized the need for furnishings to fit flat against walls is not as critical in outdoor settings as it may be for indoor furnishings. Pride Family Brands added crescent seating to five collections for spring 2011.

As a result of the positive industry atmosphere and the popularity of its original product designs, Pride Family Brands is realizing advance sales unlike that seen in recent years. "Our orders are coming in well above the preseason orders of 2009," Rehmert said. "We are getting many orders from not just one area, but nationwide each day."

For more than 30 years, Pride Family Brands has been a family owned manufacturer of quality outdoor furniture. For more information, visit www.pridefamilybrands.com or call (954) 735-9800.

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