Upholstery exhibitors look to welcome West Coast shoppers who haven’t seen the goods in person for a long time

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This upholstered transitional sectional sofa with rolled armrests, down cushions, deep seats and solid wood legs is from the new Oasis collection by Porter Designs.

LAS VEGAS – Summer heat and busy furniture industry market calendar are expected to dampen retail footfall at the Las Vegas market this week, but that doesn’t stop some upholstery exhibitors from rolling out new products here.

Others say there are plenty of their products that West Coast shoppers haven’t seen in person since the start of last year – including the fresh introductions for 2021 at High Point – and all of them are looking forward to it. look forward to being able to talk business face to face in what remains an uncertain affair. environment impacted by supply chain issues and a resurgence of COVID-19 in its Delta variant.

What’s new?

Classic Home began to expand into upholstery five years ago, and the category remains the fastest growing. While some vendors are limiting introductions, Classic Home will build on its momentum with new products to the Las Vegas market. This aggressive stance dates back to the company’s strategy during the pandemic.

“A lot of manufacturers pulled back, not knowing what was going to happen,” said Jim Peltier, vice president of sales and business development for Classic Home. “We didn’t do any of that; we had 1,000 containers engaged when the pandemic hit and we haven’t canceled any. Looking back, that was a good thing. “

In Vegas, Classic Home will debut around 30 pieces, including accent chairs, sofas, and bands.

“We have gained traction in our accent chair business and we have forged a new relationship with a leather resource in Mexico,” said Peltier. “It’s about getting the product faster, and we can truck leather furniture from Mexico instead of waiting for a container. “

Another step towards faster turnaround times was the addition of a second shift for Classic Home’s reception operations.

“Now we’re trying to turn these goods into 24 to 48 hours,” Peltier said.

Both in terms of product launches in Las Vegas and presentation to markets in general, Diamond Sofa’s marketing coordinator Charles Song said the company has not taken its foot off the gas pedal despite the pandemic. and the resulting supply chain challenges.

“We do not hesitate in this time of uncertainty in the industry to develop new products,” he said. “We are committed to ensuring that every time a customer walks into our Las Vegas showroom, they discover something new.

This round table, Diamond Sofa has two new fixed groups: a modular offer and a sofa and chair group. Sticking to exhibiting in Las Vegas last September and April has paid off for Diamond.

While many exhibitors stayed at home, “the last two markets in Vegas have been some of our best,” Song said. “Buyers see the light on in a dark alley and they walk in. We have been fortunate to have a lot of new clients. We have never stopped bringing products, and while we face the same challenges and delays as everyone else, I think we have been better than most in terms of uptime and are in good shape in terms of stock. When customers hear you have it, they buy.

Song had predicted that the April show would see more normal attendance of exhibitors, but saw many empty showrooms. He’s not sure what to expect this time around, but if some upholstery vendors stop again, “it means more customers are directed to our showroom.”

“For us, it’s about staying the course,” Song said.

First look in a moment

While Parker House has no new introductions this week, Merchandising VP Roberta Woodard noted that many customers haven’t seen the product in a while and the good news is that it is in the process. stock. Woodard was pleasantly surprised with the traffic at the April Las Vegas show and is hopeful that it will come to pass.

“For us, this Las Vegas show is all about attracting customers who haven’t seen our new products,” she said, noting that the January 2020 market was the last time a large number of dealers were coming to a salon. “The good news is that we are in an incredible inventory position with $ 50 million worth of product in our warehouse.”

Parker House also continues to ship direct containers in addition to its warehouse service, battling COVID-19-related slowdowns at its original factories in Vietnam.

“It has slowed down, but they continue to produce and ship containers to our customers and to our warehouse,” said Woodard. “The goods are new to many buyers and they are in stock” so market orders can be dispatched within two weeks.

A crowded trade show schedule lately could be a problem in the market this week, especially with generally lower attendance at the Las Vegas summer edition.

“We don’t expect a large turnout in this market,” said Peter Zolferino, CEO of Omnia Leather. The markets are stacked this year, and now you have (High Point) Premarket getting so big.

While Omnia doesn’t plan to introduce any new styles on this tour, the company will be offering new leather. And as a West Coast producer, the company expects to see participation from regional customers.

“We’ll have a nice market with our designer business, but I don’t expect a lot of east coast retailers,” Zolferino said.

On the production side, Omnia notes an improvement.

“We have opened a new factory which has increased production capacity and the foam situation is improving,” Zolferino said. “We’re around 80% with foam, so we’re going in the right direction.

In addition to both domestic and international shipping challenges, the re-emergence of COVID-19 in Asia is having an impact.

“We are getting chairs from there, and the plant has had closures” due to the coronavirus, Zolferino said.

Klaussner Home Furnishings will showcase 10 import movement groups launched at High Point, but seen in Vegas this week for the first time. These sofas and sectionals combine fabric and leather. This edition of the Vegas market is largely about Klaussner’s face time.

“We want to meet people we haven’t seen in a while,” said Len Burke, Klaussner vice president of marketing. “Much of our activity on the West Coast hasn’t come to High Point in the past 12-18 months.”


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