Posts Tagged ‘denver hardwood flooring’

Options popular in upholstered furniture

Monday, January 4th, 2010

At least a half-dozen upholstery suppliers are rolling out DIY (design it yourself) upholstery programs this week that allow consumers to insert their own personalities and style into sofas and chairs. And Bassett is offering a second generation of customization, having introduced its first DIY collection several years ago.

  The B212 Multiples sofa from Broyhill can be given a completely different look with the substitution of backs, arms, legs, cushions and other options.

If the choice of hundreds of fabrics wasn’t enough, manufacturers are now allowing consumers to select everything from arm, leg and back styles to cushion construction, length (from
Texas long to apartment short) and details like fringes and welting.

Dixon Bartlett, a principal with Carolyn Hipple in HB2 Resources, a consulting firm working for Norwalk Custom Furniture, indicated the reason for the DIY proliferation is to give consumers many reasons not to say no.

“The consumer loves (to) make it her own,” he said.

Besides 850 fabrics, Norwalk’s Variations collection provides six basic frames and every configuration one can think of – including even a wood base and various shapes of legs.

“Why the concepts works for dealers is that it provides them with the most productive square footage,” Bartlett said. Dealers can place one frame on the floor and sell a variety of configurations, he said.

Broyhill’s DIY collection, called Multiples, includes a variety of leg, arm, and back choices along with various lengths and 275 pillow fabrics.

“Consumers want to personalize their living rooms across many income levels,” said Paul Peters, vice president of upholstery. “Multiples allows them to create the perfect piece to fit their space at affordable price points, and gives them the confidence that they’ve made the right choice with their investment.

“Since it is a custom story, it also allows for a retail footprint with a minimal inventory commitment,” he added.

Peters said Broyhill is launching the line to offer consumers choice, and also confidence.

“Offering a focused custom story from a trusted brand removes anxiety in the consumer’s decision process. It also benefits our dealers by offering further applications of the special fabric choices they already offer,” he said.

While DIY groups require less inventory, keeping up with a ton of SKUs required to support the program has kept some vendors from similar introductions. That hasn’t frightened Rowe, which is introducing a Suit Yourself customization program this market in its Clayton Marcus division.
Options include 11 wood finishes and 750 fabrics, or use of the customer’s own material.

Saverio Mancina, Rowe’s director of communications, said a computerized manufacturing system that once provided the company with a nightmare of inventory foul-ups is now running smoothly.

“It’s working brilliantly to our advantage,” said Mancina. “We feel Suit Yourself reduces the obstacle to buying.”


Ashley Furniture restructures sales divisions

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Ashley Furniture Inds. has restructured its sales divisions and sales management with a goal of boosting efficiencies and eliminating redundancies, according to company CEO Todd Wanek.

The new divisional structure, which takes effect Jan. 1, will be segmented into three product categories: stationary upholstery, motion upholstery and case goods.

As part of the move, Ashley will engage its independent marketing specialists to be dedicated to each division in order to ensure that the sales organization continues to offer a superior level of product knowledge, product training and assistance to retail customers in areas including advertising and marketing.

Each division will handle products under the Ashley, Millennium and Signature Design by Ashley brands.

The Case Goods Division will represent products including bedroom, dining room and top-of-bed goods.

The Motion Upholstery Division “will key in on the family’s casual living area, and will also include both fabric and leather motion, lift-top and caster occasional tables, home office and walls and entertainment centers,” Wanek said.

The Stationary Upholstery Division will include fabric and leather stationary upholstery, lamps, rugs, throws, decorative pillows, tabletop accessories and occasional tables.

Wanek said that until earlier this month, the company had depended on three divisional sales vice presidents with each responsible for a product brand – Ashley, Millennium or Signature Design by Ashley. Often, these divisions would work with the same accounts in representing their respective brands.

However, as of Dec. 1, the vice presidents have been regionally focused. The vice presidents continue to report to Kerry Lebensburger, Ashley’s president of sales.

“Simply put, prior to this refocus, each of the divisions would often call on the same accounts,” explained Ashley Chairman Ron Wanek.

“There were also some instances where the products overlapped each other,” he said. “As part of our ongoing commitment to be as efficient as possible, we made these changes in order to serve our dealers at the highest level.”


Quest for Quality

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Three-fourths of home furnishings shoppers are looking for quality product. That’s one of the key findings from the more than 8,500 U.S. consumers responding to Furniture/Today and HGTV’s exclusive survey, The 2010 Consumer.Here’s what several home furnishings shoppers have to say about quality.

“I’m looking for better quality products that will last longer for the price rather than cheaply-made items.” 41-year-old from Ohio

“We’re buying quality things to last and changing the smaller items to give an updated look.” 61-year-old from Utah

“I’m looking for items that are very well made.” 30-year-old from Washington

“I try to be a little more rational on pieces that what will last longer while remaining stylish and functional.” 24-year-old from Maryland

“We’re buying furniture that will last a long time – product that’s not too trendy to become outdated quickly.” 33-year-old from Georgia

“The economy has made me even more apt to buy quality rather than quantity.” 56-year-old from Colorado

“Our furniture needs to last because we consider it an investment.” 40-year-old from Texas

“I look for more value and quality – a piece that will last over the years yet look great.” 43-year-old from Illinois

“I save the money before purchasing and I only buy good quality that will last.” 50-year-old from Texas

“I am saving to buy one piece of furniture at a time. Now it’s about value and quality.” 38-year-old from Alabama

“Now I think about quality and whether the furniture I purchase will stand the test of time.” 44-year-old from Missouri

Results of The 2010 Consumer will first be presented during Furniture/Today’s Leadership Conference and look for results in Furniture/Today’s December 7, 2009, print issue.