HIGH POINT – Fulfilling its long-term strategy to be a whole-home resource, Universal Furniture is launching its first outdoor collection with the Coastal Living magazine brand.
Set to debut in October during High Point Market, the 90-piece collection will offer a variety of looks, from modern to traditional, in teak, cast concrete, all-weather wicker and aluminum.
“For several years, outdoor spaces have been increasing in popularity, and this year that has been accelerated by the pandemic as outdoor events are canceled and venues closed,” said Universal’s director of marketing Neil MacKenzie. “Homeowners are creating additional living spaces that substitute for outings no longer allowed. The backyard has become the new go-to spot for home entertaining.”
This outdoor introduction is the third in a series of collaborations that Universal Furniture has undertaken with the Coastal Living brand. The first release, an indoor collection called Escape, launched in the fall of 2018, and the follow up to that, Getaway, launched earlier this year.
“We knew from previous collaborations the amount of knowledge, skill and commitment Universal brings to the table,” said Kristen Payne, vice president of Meredith Corporation Licensing, the company over the Coastal Living brand. “Going into our third venture together, we were confident the company could execute an outdoor line that met the high expectations of both design and quality associated with the Coastal Living brand.”
Just seven years ago, Universal Furniture was strictly a case goods supplier. It began making married-to-frame upholstery in its China-based factory in 2015 and added motion to its offerings in 2017. Late in 2019, the company purchased an upholstery plant in Conover, N.C., and in the spring of 2020, Universal Furniture launched a special-order upholstery program with more than 200 frames and hundreds of fabric and leather options.
“The Universal Furniture business model has also evolved and expanded to serve more categories, styles and customers,” said MacKenzie. “Our designs encompass varying subtleties within traditional, transitional and modern styles.”