Posts Tagged ‘furniture outlet nc’

Unifi expands Repreve line with eco-friendly yarns

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Uses 100% recycled materials for upholstery application

Furniture Today Staff — Furniture Today,

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Yarn producer Unifi has expanded its Repreve line with a launch of polyester staple fiber made from 100% recycled materials for use in spun yarns.

The material will be used in products such as open-end, ring and jet-spun yarns. Upholstery is one of the primary end uses.

  Post-industrial waste from Unifi manufacturing. Repreve staple product is made from a blend of post-consumer bottle waste and post-industrial fiber waste.

The product offers a recycled staple fiber source that can be used as a drop-in replacement for fabrics and products currently made with virgin polyester staple fibers or other less eco-friendly fiber.

“In 2008, estimated global polyester staple fiber consumption was approximately 20 billion pounds,” said Roger Berrier, executive vice president. “Based on this global consumption opportunity, Unifi accelerated the introduction of this new environmentally friendly fiber as part of the company’s mission to provide the industry with sustainable textile solutions.”

How to make 2010 a real ’10’

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Ray Allegrezza, Editor in Chief — Furniture Today

Happy New Year! If you’re like me, you are probably delighted that 2009 is behind us. As we head into 2010, I believe that we’ve found the bottom and are on our way to a slow, steady recovery.

Statistically, there appears to be evidence to support my observation. On the day before Christmas, the Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods were up almost 3% in November.

That was followed by a report from the Labor Department indicating that the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped during the week ending Dec. 19 to the lowest level since September of 2008. Based on that positive news, economists, including Goldman Sachs and Macroeconomic Advisers, each called for U.S. fourth-quarter 2009 growth of 4% or better.

Even so, we all know that much is riding on the consumer and as best as I can tell, she’s still skittish. But I can tell you that based on the results of a survey we recently conducted with HGTV, while the recession has caused her to rethink how and where she shops, she still wants a lovely home.

So, with that in mind, here are 10 tips to tune up your business in 2010.

Reach out to the consumer. She must believe that you have the solution to her decorating task. Whether it is an e-newsletter, postcards, or an invitation to an in-store event, make her feel that you can help her.

Invest in your employees. Turn your order-takers into selling consultants.

Exceed your customer’s needs. If you implement tips 1 and 2, this will be easy.

Invest in customer incentives. She’s got other places to shop. Make it worth her while to shop you.

Present a readily understandable value proposition. She wants beautiful furniture, but she’s also looking for value.

Be product experts, not product pushers.

Update your Web site. She’s shopping online, so you need to be where she is with a site she can’t resist.

Take a page from Burger King. Let her have it her way. In other words, accommodate her.

Know what your best customers like, then shop for them. Call her and tell her you ordered some accessory pieces that she’ll love.

Invest as much time evaluating your competition as you do your customer.

Here’s hoping you make 2010 a real “10”!

Bedroom, dining room producers offering plenty of styles

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Case goods buyers shopping this market will find plenty of styles to offer in both bedroom and formal dining. While this includes the core categories of traditional and contemporary, country, coastal cottage and other lifestyle looks also play an important role, particularly among those vendors seeking to attract younger customers.

But in many cases, vendors are responding to the glut of product already on the market. That means buyers will find fewer and shorter collections with lower piece counts. This approach is meant to serve those dealers not looking to overcrowd their floors with excessive inventory. It’s also aimed at better managing the production and flow of goods during the economic slowdown.

At the same time, vendors also are offering pieces with plenty of technologically friendly and space-saving functions, such as storage beds and media chests.

“With the economic downturn, this company is not going to try to introduce as much product,” said Lee Boone, president of case goods importer Legacy Classic. “We are going to try to pick the best ideas and collections we have and focus on getting the best items placed. We are trying to be as lean and as focused as we can.”

This market, Legacy is showing three main collections, down from the four that it showed at premarket. These each have between 20 and 25 SKUs of bedroom and dining room, which Boone said may reflect a decision to have one less chair or two beds in a collection instead of three.

This also helps the factory become more efficient by running more of fewer pieces, which in turn, helps keep prices down. This market, Legacy’s wood panel beds, for example, start at about $599 to $699, while five-piece dining rooms retail at $899.

Cresent Fine Furnishings’ Berry Hill is a traditional, seven-piece bedroom with Louis Philippe and West Indies design influences. Made with plantation-grown mahogany solids in a hand-rubbed, black tea finish, the group features two $1,499 retail beds. These include a Planter’s Bed with rope-carved headposts and a low footboard and a low-profile sleigh bed with low turned feet and rope-carved plinth molding.

Berry Hill also has a media dresser and mirror, a plasma console, dressing chest and a nightstand.

Cresent kept the collection short to focus on select items.

“We keep the introductions very focused,” said Richard Tomkins, vice president of sales and marketing. “What we hear from retailers is that they are not buying 25-piece bedroom collections. They can’t floor all the collections — it doesn’t make sense.”

Tomkins added that the limited SKU count also helps Cresent better manage inventory for retailers and ship those goods on time.

Lane Home Furnishings is launching two main collections this market, both of which aim at strong growth areas — Arts & Crafts and casual contemporary. While not abandoning licensed collections such as its popular National Geographic and Country Living lines, it wanted to focus this time on the Lane brand, said Ray Allori, vice president of merchandising for the wood division.

“Our approach is that comfortable bedroom solution from Lane that approaches mainstream styling,” he said. “We felt we needed to attack the mainstream.”

With about two dozen SKUs of bedroom and dining (not including additional home entertainment and occasional pieces) the collections have about 10% fewer pieces than usual, Allori said.

Within the two collections, Lane also has focused on pieces and features dealers and consumers want, including cedar-lined drawers, beds with optional storage, media chests and charging stations on nightstands.

“We maintained the scale and the features and benefits,” Allori said.

Meanwhile, dining strays more toward casual, “family friendly” vs. formal footprints. The dining includes chinas that are scaled to look more like servers and smaller-scale tables that fit more in smaller dining settings either in the kitchen or off the formal dining room.

This market, Fine Furniture Design & Marketing is filling in the “good” part of its good, better, best lineup with two 12- to 14-piece bedroom-only groups. With beds retailing at $1,199, these focus on two distinct styles, that include an updated Louis Philippe and an Arts & Crafts-inspired bedroom.

“We have product in all three price tiers, but we are expanding the ‘good’ category in bedroom-only to take advantage of the second and third bedroom in homes today,” said Jim Adams, vice president of product design and marketing.

An additional collection, Ravello, falls in the “better” price category with beds retailing at $1,499 to $1,699. The 36-piece, relaxed European traditional-influenced collection also has dining room, occasional and upholstery.

The balance of product in all three collections is aimed at a variety of consumer tastes and budgets.

“We are positioned well for people who are trading down and trading up,” Adams said.

Pulaski has sharpened its price points by going to a cleaner-lined approach. It is introducing new transitional and contemporary-styled four-piece bedrooms in the $1,499 to $2,499 range — lower than its typically price points of $1,999 to $2,999 seen a couple of years ago.

The sets are largely geared to younger consumers who have money to spend, but who may be living in smaller starter homes or condos.

 “And the young consumer that has a lot of dollars to spend, they prefer that mold of scaled-down product.”

However, not everyone is going with shorter or smaller-scale product collections this market. Hooker Furniture is launching a new 70-piece European traditional, grand-scale collection called Beladora.

And Stanley Furniture is launching an 80-piece coastal cottage-inspired lifestyle collection called Coastal Living. The Coastal Living SKU count rises dramatically through the availability of 14 finish options.

Vaughan Furniture is introducing 500 new SKUs this market, spread out over 11 bedroom collections, seven of which also have dining room, occasional and home entertainment. Covering a broad range of styles, the dining includes some formal sets, as well as more casual sets that feature gathering-height tables and smaller buffets or sideboards.