Wood furniture makers go big at High Point Market

Thirty One Twenty One bedroom collections are priced higher than Magnussen’s typical offering.

HIGH POINT — It might not have been a complete return to normal for wood furniture makers and importers this spring at High Point Market, but it certainly seemed close. Traffic was high, and the mood was bright. The pandemic seemed to finally be in the rearview.

Both domestic case good manufacturers and importers from overseas showed off big introductions. They updated existing successful lines with new additions, features and finishes.

Much like the Las Vegas Market earlier this year, questions of supply and inventory were a chief focus. Retailers want to be able to reliably get product on their shelves. Suppliers are working on it, often by altering sourcing strategies. They’re also fighting each other for spots on retailers’ floors.

Debuting its new rebrand, Legacy Classic|Modern split its showroom between classic and modern furniture, introducing four new whole home lines and three new freestanding dining collections. On the modern side was Biscayne, a 30-piece full home collection featuring all categories except upholstery. On Classic was Cortona, a 24-piece full-home collection designed by Rachael Ray.

Despite freight costs, Robinson said he’s happy with importing from China and Vietnam. The company’s strategy going forward is to reinforce its position as a mid-price point “fashion” case goods brand while offering a wide range of styles.

“Consumers can’t tell you why they like something,” said Robinson. “They just do. So give them options. Give them reasons to pick your furniture.”

Legacy also introduced the company’s new Home Furniture Outfitters division, a whole-home, e-commerce initiative priced roughly 30% to 50% below Legacy’s typical offering.

“E-commerce is our fastest growing business,” said Robinson. “So we knew we needed something that was tailored with e-commerce at the forefront.” By July, the division should be 60% in stock.

Canadian manufacturer Durham Furniture didn’t bring any product introductions this market, but CEO Luke Simpson was happy to be fully back at High Point. The company added three rooms to its showroom in time for the spring event, boosting its total space by 12,000 square feet.

“As a domestic company, we could become a better value as lower price points rise,” said Simpson. “We’re seeing an increase in business. That could be part of the reason why.”

Simpson said retail demand has slowed, but he’s not sure if it will continue to shrink.

“Who knows what the future holds?” he said. “In nine months, we will know if this was cyclical or not.”

Magnussen Home had its big debut of Thirty One Twenty One, a new higher-end brand headed by industry veteran Adam Tilley.

“We’re solely a brick-and-mortar supplier,” said Tilley. “No e-commerce and no designers. I think it has really resonated.”

Nine new bedroom collections were introduced, which included multiple beds, nightstands, mirrors, chests, dressers and accent items. Prices are 20% to 30% higher than Magnussen’s typical product. Tilley estimates a four-piece bedroom set would retail around $4,000 to $5,000. Design-wise, the brand is focused on maximum face and on making sure hardware was unique and transitional.

“Big retailers might want to try the brand,” he said. “We think we can get higher-end retailers at starting price points.”

Full line resource Abbyson launched 16 new dining and bedroom collections at market, marking its largest case goods introduction in the company’s history. The items are characterized by fresh finishes, colors, and styles typically seen in the higher end.

They’re for the “aspirational” buyer, said Chief Sales Officer Rodd Rafieha, but still accessible price-wise.

He added that it was a great market and a return to normal. “We don’t know one person that’s not here,” he said.

Mexico and import strategy

Mid-priced case goods firm American Woodcrafters introduced three new bedroom and dining collections, as well as a new bed for an existing line.

The most prominently displayed collection was Dunescape, a bedroom line crafted from mahogany.

“It’s been very well-received,” said Rusty Morris, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re targeting a younger and more hip customer base with it.

“We tripled our traffic from last Market,” he added. “It’s been terrific. We’re really encouraged.”

But perhaps the biggest news from the company was its expansion and new collection from Mexico. The full-home Artisan’s Grove collection is crafted from pine and focuses on finish.

“Finish is key for us, and we really wanted that high-end feel,” said CEO Chuck Foster. “It was a challenge to find a factory in Mexico capable of doing that.”

But it seems to have been a success. “Our finishes from Mexico are so nice that I’m like a kid in a candy store,” he added.

Artisan’s Grove will hit the market four to five months from now and ship quickly, said Foster. A four-piece dining set from the collection should retail for around $1,999.

American Woodcrafters’ other new launches — Dunescape and Rodanthe — are sourced from Indonesia and then ship from the company’s High Point warehouse.

One of Bellini Modern’s chief goals for this market was to bring more product from Italy. With nine new dining tables and five occasional tables from the country, the company felt it had it hit the target.

“Until now, all of our occasional furniture has been made in China,” said Hossein Azimi, president, “but that changed with our introduction of five new occasional groups. While we cannot get out of China entirely yet, our mission over the next two years is to phase out production in Asia altogether.”

Azimi estimates the company now has about 97% of its production out of Italy.

Dining options are contemporary and feature interchangeable tops, which should help retailers more efficiently use their floor space.

“We want retailers to be able maximize the square footage of their store floors,” said Azimi. “They can show multiple configurations from one product placement.”

Azimi said the showroom had high traffic throughout the week.

Legends Furniture showed off three new bedroom collections: two sourced from Vietnam and one from Mexico.

“Mexico will serve as an extension of our domestic presence thanks to our Arizona plant,” said Vice President of Sales Tim Donk. “We have good relationships there, and we understand the culture.”

He said the company has a blended sourcing strategy, bringing in its bedroom from Vietnam and Mexico and making most of its entertainment furniture in Arizona.