Schou adds Scandinavian flavor to American decor
Staff -- Casual Living, 10/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Schou USA debuted its contemporary outdoor furniture at the Casual Market in Chicago and also will show at the High Point Market in its approximately 3,000-sq.-ft. permanent showroom in Suite 315 at Market Square.
Schou, a newly formed subsidiary of 43-year-old Danish commercial trader Schou Company, researched the American home furnishings market for more than six months before deciding the time was right to unveil its product.
"I learned through countless trade shows, hours of investigation and after building a solid network throughout the industry, that outdoor furniture with a modern, contemporary feel is simply hard to find here," said Chris Curran, president of the U.S. division.
Although indoor furnishings account for two-thirds of Schou's worldwide sales, its leaders decided to start by introducing its casual furniture offerings.
"The outdoor furniture segment is one of the fastest-growing opportunities for American furniture retailers," said Jorgen Schou, owner. "Additionally, a significant percentage of American furniture consumers in recent years have begun to purchase items with a more upscale, simple yet elegant feel — which is exactly the look our Danish team aims to deliver."
That upscale feel doesn't necessarily translate into outrageous prices, Curran said. "The mission for the entire Schou organization rests on offering customers value for their money," he said. "If a product can't deliver that, we won't sell it."
Schou will serve as the exclusive U.S. distributor for Hartman, a leading European outdoor furniture manufacturer, Curran said. Its partnership with the Dutch-based manufacturer of mid- to high-end outdoor furniture "definitely complements what we currently offer in the Schou line," Curran said.
Hartman offers "very good quality and nice design with a lot of features," Schou Sales Manager Lars Gregersen said.
For more information, call 336-510-6177 or visit www.schouusa.com.
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