Cinde W. Ingram & Nicole Crews -- Casual Living, 11/3/2011 5:23:06 AM
The fall High Point Market, Oct. 22-27, was marked not only by a stellar showing of outdoor product and showroom expansions but also by a newly launched fundraising campaign that highlighted a different charitable cause each day of the show. Six Causes that Matter included City of Hope, Susan G. Komen, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, the National Furniture Bank and Open Door Ministries. We salute International Market Centers and the High Point Market for mixing the pleasure of positive impact with business.
"The mood of retailers seems to be good. From what I'm seeing, the industry has stabilized. For example, as far as credit, they are not having issues. Orders are coming in. We're well set for the first quarter of next year and that should carry through to a good season as far as we can see."
Gary McCray, president, Lane Venture
"We're now doing premium uwharrie polymer in any of the 28 custom colors we offer. It looks like wood but you don't have to worry about fading, scrapes or stains."
Rebecca Ly, president, Uwharrie Chair Company
"It was getting better but now it seems to be plateaued waiting on the economy and the political mess to get straightened out. Dealers are still doing business, but they are a little more hesitant. Orders are coming in at a decent pace. If there weren't so much uncertainty, I think it would be better. For the next season, if we have nice weather we can overcome both the economy and the election."
Dudley Flanders, president/CEO, Lloyd/Flanders
POLaRT makes its outdoor debut with molded plastic period furniture in a bold spectrum of brights.
The Sparta from Skyline Design debuts for the first time in all its vaulted glory.
The Aurora from The Rug Market America brings a brazen interpretation of pink and green to a glam outdoor floor covering.
"Original design, cutting-edge materials with a strong recycling element - that's what people are starting to expect - outdoor furniture with the same integrity and innovations of indoor."
Bruce Hirschhaut, VP of sales, Seasonal Living
"High Point is for us about designers and architects and full-line furniture stores. Those indoor furniture stores seem to be expanding in the outdoor direction so that's exciting."
Brian Blakeney, director, sales and marketing, Kingsley-Bate
"Since we've landed three lines of furniture to complete our tabletops we are leveraging strong all the way around. Our tabletops are made in Florida and our bottoms are made in Mexico so we don't have any shipping issues."
Paul Knutson, Ancient Mosaic Studios
"The people here are serious buyers. They know how the line fits into their category. We just need to see more of them."
Randy Meek, president, Oxford Garden
The teak Spiral from Seasonal living is shown in chic gray and paired with two-tone ceramic tables that serve up a punchbowl of color.
The indoor/outdoor rocking bed from Shiner International features one of the company’s in-house line of Latex mattresses.
The Kaleidoscope Collection from Elaine Smith is a mosaic of color and pairs with Sunbrella’s top-selling solids in Vellum, Palm, Wheat, Spice and Cocoa.
"Master developers are scaling back on square footage but integrating outdoor as part of the house and making it turnkey - and that's what will entice new home buyers. That's good news for all of us."
Wes Stewart, Sunset West
"The reason I got into outdoor was because my wife was throwing me a birthday party and she went and bought new outdoor furniture. When I asked how much it cost and she told me - I said, "What?!" I knew I could do better, and now what we're hearing is that we nailed it. We hit it on the head."
Jim Sexton, president, Z-Line Designs
"The casual industry is still very cautious. We're in the midst of our early-buy commitment program. It's too early to tell about the season ahead."
Charles Hessler, executive VP, Barlow Tyrie
Pillows add color and an outdoor message without competing with the neutral fabrics of the WeatherMaster collection at the Lane Venture showroom.
Z-Line Designs’ outdoor furniture hits High Point for the first time with a power play of excellent design and fashion-forward styling.
Mix and match fabric stories meld for a sectional of distinction at Kannoa.
"Everybody's excited about our new lighting. Our pillow program also has been wonderful and our pillow tower is available at retail now. In our retail side at Leader's Casual, our strongest customer is our repeat customer. Dealers need to refresh their floors, move their showrooms around and make customers think you've completely changed it up."
Tami Newton, sales and marketing manager, Palm Spring Rattan & Garden Classics
"We're all optimistic and we all expect to see an increase for 2012. We have a lot of dealers who have some carryover product, but we also have gotten a lot of new customers. Every one of these sales reps are writing lighting orders - that's been huge."
Rick Baker, VP of sales Eastern region, Woodard
"Everybody's still cautious, but the ones who have pulled through are ready to buy and move forward. Pelican Reef is excited for 2012 and Pelican Reef is ready for 2012. The Panama Jack response has been phenomenal anywhere there is a coastline. We're ahead of the game, and we'll be introducing two more collections next year."
Allen Calzadilla, president, Pelican Reef