This round dining table is part of Hekman Furniture’s Bedford collection, which is being shown in a new Sandblasted Gray finish.
LAS VEGAS — For the first major market to take place since January this year, case goods resources are trying to remain as relevant as possible to retailers taking time to be here this week.
In some cases, that means aggressive product introductions, such as the 280 new pieces at Zuo Modern. Or take the 70 new Indian-produced pieces being shown by Diamond Sofa, a major initiative given this is the company’s first product development venture in that country.
But more often than not, many are showing inline goods that retailers can get their hands on quickly. This is critical as dealers begin to run low on inventory due to higher than anticipated demand from consumers.
While it is showing some new bedroom furniture, New Classic Furniture, is focusing primarily on what’s in stock and available immediately. This includes a number bestselling bedrooms retailing around $999 for four pieces and five-piece dining sets retailing from $449 to $499.
“We will show some new product and some product we showed last market,” said Bill Dominguez, vice president research and development.
He noted that bedroom on order has arrived and is now available from its warehouse facilities. “They have sold very well, and that is why we have shipped them to some of our container direct customers already.”
Solid wood case goods resource Intercon also is focusing mostly on inline goods. It will have about a dozen slots in its showroom featuring its bestselling bedrooms and about three dozen for dining. In addition, there will be Inline nursery and youth bedroom available from its Westwood Design brand.
“For us, it is based on the needs of our dealers and the focus is on in-stock product,” said Tony Ricci, vice president, sales, noting that the product mix will include items shown previously from the last October High Point and January Las Vegas markets. Goods not already in its three domestic warehouses will be arriving at those warehouses next month.
“We are not focusing on new goods right now,” Ricci added. “There doesn’t seem to be an appetite for that. Everybody is trying to manage the business in front of them right now, and they need predictable lead times.”
Some are using the Las Vegas Market to showcase inline collections in new materials and finishes. For example, Hekman is showing its Bedford collection in a new sandblasted gray finish, which offers the chance for dealers to see it anew compared with the original waxy caramel tone mango finish.
The collection offers about 40 pieces, but due to space limitations in the Las Vegas showroom, Hekman will show about 22 pieces, including bedroom, dining and occasional. In addition, it is showing about 18 new accent furniture pieces that include desks, one of Hekman’s key product categories.
AICO is showing its popular Malibu Crest collection from its Michael Amini + Jane Seymour Living line, this time in a new finish and veneer. The collection is now available in crotch mahogany veneers and a dark mahogany-tone finish. The original was in eucalyptus and birch veneers in a blond tone finish.
AICO also will be showing brand new groups in its Michael Amini line as well as its Michael Amini Kathy Ireland Home Designs line.
“All three brands will be represented with new product in Las Vegas and in High Point,” said Chuck Reilly, executive vice president, of the company’s commitment to offering dealers new product at each market.
Among the largest introductions are those being shown by sources including Zuo and Diamond Sofa.
Zuo’s launch of 280 items is the culmination of a product development effort that began well before the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to accent, occasional and dining tables, the mix includes bar carts, ottomans and seating ranging from bar stools and office chairs to outdoor and accent chairs.
“When you are developing product, you are working more than a year in advance. This is a big time for us; we decided not to stop.” said Luis Ruesga, CEO. “With the Las Vegas summer market, we decided to double down. We believe the world will not stop even with everything that is happening.”
Coast to Coast is introducing about 150 new pieces, said Jana Link, sales, marketing and direct import manager.
“You can expect to see styles ranging from traditional, transitional, modern farmhouse and industrial as well as more contemporary styling,” Link said, adding, “We cover the spectrum when it comes to accents as well as dining and occasional sets.”
Other categories featuring new and inline product include home office, home entertainment, bars and barstools along with other seating such as chairs and benches.
The 70-piece Namaste (pronounced Namastay) collection being shown at Diamond Sofa is the company’s first product launch out of India. Every piece will be in the showroom, noted Charles Song, marketing director, and can be ordered right out of the warehouse at market.
“We have staggered arrivals,” Song said of the product hitting its domestic warehouse starting in late July and continuing throughout the summer. “It is a very steady stream of product.”
Song said the company originally planned the product to launch in High Point this spring. The summer market seemed like the next best opportunity given when factories in India were able to ship the product.
“It is very good timing,” Song noted of the summer market. “It all worked out where we are doing the first public showing of the items; it will be available at the same time.”
Staffed to sell
Given anticipated light attendance, most companies have adjusted their own market staffing levels accordingly with only a few key executives and mostly West Coast and regional sales reps on hand.
“We expect there will be mostly West Coast reps attending, but if we have key accounts coming, those reps may attend as well,” said Ricci of Intercon.
In addition to some key executives, New Classic is expecting a small staff to attend. Typically it has about 55 reps at the summer market, but this time there will only be about a half dozen, representing mostly the West Coast.
In addition to a largely West Coast sales team, AICO said it will send its marketing team and video team to market. Their efforts will help AICO tell its story virtually soon after the event.
“What we need is good content on each of these collections we are coming out with so we can show it on the road,” Reilly said.
He noted that while some management/sales execs will be at the show, attendance “will just be pared back.”
Hekman’s sales management team will be at the market, showing and fielding inquiries and orders for new and inline product to all who take time to visit.
“We do understand that there will be some key players that are not going to be there, but there are going to be a lot of dealers that we do deal with that will be there,” said Neil McKenzie, director of product development at Hekman. “That does create opportunity. They (customers) will go somewhere, and especially with how tight the supply chain has been, people will be looking for alternatives.”