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Cinde W. Ingram

Showplace to host more casual exhibitors

A half-dozen or more casual furniture manufacturers will exhibit on the second floor of Showplace during the March 26–April 1 High Point Market. Other casual furniture and accessories will appear in other parts of the sleek, modernistic building near the central bus terminal outside the International Home Furnishings Market Center.

Lloyd/Flanders and Palm Springs Rattan will return to Showplace's second floor. Telescope Casual and Richey Industries, which have shown in Plaza Suites since it opened in October 2001, will join them on the second floor. Ratana also is moving to Showplace from its Suites at Market Square location. Orlando, Fla.-based Domila, the casual furniture division of Ameximport, will make its first appearance at Showtime.

The physical structure of Showplace with its high ceilings and natural light allows room for manufacturers to display market umbrellas, pavilions and other outdoor products. Some manufacturers said they think it will make it easier for their customers to find them.

"Showplace has become such a marquee building in the center hub of High Point; it's a nice new modern building and the management team seems really good there," said Henry Vanderminden IV, president, Telescope Casual, which has exhibited in High Point for more than 30 years. "We've found High Point to be a great secondary market for us to the Casual Show in Chicago. It's not an industry specific show, but we get some nice international leads out of there as well as full-line furniture store clientele and some designers."

Telescope participates in plenty of markets, including this month's Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo in Reno, Nev., and last month's Golf Industry Show in Anaheim, Calif.

Great American Woodies by Richey Industries had decided to stop exhibiting in High Point because buyer traffic in its Plaza Suites booth had declined. President Richey Smith changed his mind after talking with dealers during the company's second showing at the Atlanta market in January. "The building is very attractive; it's near where the buses all drop off and so it's easy for them to get to us," Smith said. The value of showing in High Point is full-line furniture stores and designers who shop there.

"We feel that Showplace is doing a good job of bringing together casual furniture people on their second floor west wing," said Fred Panosso, Domila sales director. "We wanted to be there with some of the other names that are there, and on personal preference of having the natural sunlight. We're doing casual furniture and just being able to see the outside is an idea that's appealing to us."

Domila also has exhibited its Latin American-made synthetic woven, cast aluminum, Brazilian teak (cumaru) furniture and accessory products at the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago. It plans to participate in the July 9–12 casual furniture premarket for the first time this year.

Furniture Classics took a 2,200-sq.-ft. permanent showroom near its own showroom on Showplace's third floor for its Two Palms Casual line, which debuted in January at the Atlanta market.

"We had an absolutely fantastic show in Atlanta and it exceeded our expectations about what we were going to be able to do with this," said Michael Ricks, vice president, Furniture Classics.

Expanding on its three-year foray into the rattan and water hyacinth category, Furniture Classics began working on the casual concept last summer. Two Palms Casual includes furniture for indoor/covered porch areas along with fully outdoor resin wicker and cast aluminum. The Norfolk, Va.-based manufacturer also participated in the Las Vegas Market and plans to take its Two Palms Casual line to Chicago in July and September.

Other casual resources inside Showplace include Tropical Creations, Artistic Waves, Coast Lamps and Pictures Plus.

Domila's Ostra lounge chair and Lua coffee table are made of hand-woven synthetic fober in an antique finish.

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