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from Patio and Hearth Products Report


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Pride Family Preps Three New Collections

The Bellagio Collection includes cast legs and hammered curving arms.

The Bellagio Collection includes cast legs and hammered curving arms.

Award-winning designer and manufacturer of luxury outdoor furnishings, Pride Family Brands, leads off its 2015 with the Bellagio Collection, featuring classical design lines and luxury in details. Bellagio will be presented by Pride during the 2014 ICFA Preview Market next month in Chicago.

Within Pride Family Brands’ Merchandise Mart showroom (#1576), The Bellagio Collection will debut with a wide array of coordinating casual furnishings pieces, including deep seating and cushioned and sling dining. Across the Bellagio introductions, handcrafted classical design and luxury details are highlighted.

“Bellagio is another example of the ability of our team of designers and artisans to develop products that meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” said Steve Lowsky, president, Pride Family Brands. “Each collection is created to deliver success at retail with our thorough attention to every detail throughout the design and manufacturing process.”

Within the Bellagio Collection, intricate details incorporated by the Pride designers include cast legs and hammered curving arms. The simple, yet classical, cast seat back includes intersecting curving lines grouped into a central design element. The tailored cushions include Pride’s signature cast button tufting and decorative welting.

Each cushioned piece is available in quality solution-dyed acrylic fabrics crafted to withstand the elements. A four-stage finishing process and hand applied antiquing are featured with hundreds of options. “The process we go through to bring collections like the Bellagio to market includes exploring seemingly endless options,” said Rory Rehmert, vice president, sales, Pride Family Brands. “When the design elements and overall marketability of a collection come together, we are able to deliver products with true sales potential for our retailers. Each year, our retailers look to us to create this winning combination.”

Bellanova is the company's latest entry into the vintage design category.

Bellanova is the company’s latest entry into the vintage design category.

The Bellanova Collection
Pride Family Brand’s new Bellanova Collection is the award-winning casual furnishings manufacturer’s latest entry into the vintage design category.

Bellanova features intricate cast aluminum back and arm details delivering a combination of old world elegance and timeless style. The Pride Family Brands’ design team incorporated dining and deep seating within the Bellanova Collection for a full complement of outdoor living options.

From the symmetric curving center cast design on the seat backs and the curve-on- curve arm detail, the Bellanova’s multi-décor appeal cannot be denied. Tailored cushions within the collection pieces include Pride’s signature cast button tufting and decorative welting. A high back and contoured design is used in Bellanova’s sling dining seating. Hundreds of options are possible with Pride’s signature four-stage finishing process and hand applied antiquing.

“As we began to craft the Bellanova Collection, our overall design objective was to deliver quality construction, attention to luxury details and  a collection of that could be at home in any outdoor setting,” said Lowsky. “Our efforts were realized as these vintage-inspired pieces blend so well with our many table designs and fire features.”

Lotus features precise artistry and engineered cast and extruded aluminum elements.

Lotus features precise artistry and engineered cast and extruded aluminum elements.

The Lotus Collection
Pride Family Brands will deliver luxury outdoor living from a contemporary point of style when the Lotus Collection is introduced for 2015. Featuring precise artistry and engineered cast and extruded aluminum elements, the Lotus Collection debuts within Pride Family Brands’ contemporary category to embody a modern side of craftsmanship.

Uncomplicated beauty is found across the Lotus Collections’ deep seating and cushioned and sling dining pieces. Featured in the cross-design arm and leg construction is a simplified, yet precise, combination of cast and extruded aluminum elements. A clean linear design is highlighted on the chair backs and bases. Each unit is available in hundreds of options including tailored performance fabric cushions, 4-stage finishing, and hand applied antiquing.

“With the Lotus Collection, our designers have responded to growing requests for contemporary looks while continuing to address overall attention to detail,” said Lowsky. “As we bring a total of six new collections to market for 2015, we are able to provide a variety of styling options including traditional, transitional and contemporary.”

www.pridefamilybrands.com


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Sixty Years and Still Going Strong at Tropitone

Troptione_LogoIRVINE, CA – Tropitone Furniture Company Inc opened the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) Preview Show by celebrating its 60th Anniversary.

“This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Tropitone Furniture Company,” said Cap Hendrix, president and CEO of Tropitone. “I am honored to be a part of Tropitone for over 15 years. As a Director, I had the opportunity to work with Doug Baker, the third generation of family ownership. Under the leadership of Doug, CEO Mike Echolds and Chairman Charlie Farrell, the dedicated Tropitone team transformed a nice family business into an industry powerhouse.

“Since 2008, I also have had the good fortune of serving as CEO for Tropitone’s current ownership group lead by Pfingsten Partners,” added Hendrix. “We could not have had better financial support and strategic leadership under the extreme economic conditions of the great recession. With the guidance of our Board of Directors, that same incredible Tropitone team navigated the Company through the great recession and entered this growth cycle even stronger. Tropitone is positioned for another 60 years of success.”

Tropitone began in the wake of World War II. In the early 1950s, post war families in the USA were establishing households and becoming mobile. Veterans returning from the War were ready to settle down and start families. Buying a house was made a realistic possibility through VA loans designed to help veterans and support the peacetime economy through homebuilding. The automobile industry was converting factories to once again make affordable cars and trucks for a world of eager motorists.

Troptione_CollectionCities were once again vibrant and enjoyable. Suburban communities were being created with clusters of new homes and apartments that included lawns, gardens, patios and pools. Roads were built to connect the suburbs to the cities. Eventually, 46,000 miles of the US Interstate Highway System would connect an entire continent with convenient and economical travel by car and truck.

The success of the post-war economy was creating the need for faster travel by air. Vacation and leisure time was becoming an expected part of everyday life. Hotels, motels, clubs and vacation resorts were built to take advantage of the explosion in travel and leisure. All of these homes, apartments, hotels, motels, clubs and resorts needed outdoor furniture for the lawn, garden, patio and pool.

In 1954, Burt M. Baker, a retired engineer for Lockheed Aircraft and Grand Rapids Chair Co, moved to Sarasota, Fla, and bought the Sarasota Redwood Furniture Company. Drawing upon his experience, Baker switched from redwood to aluminum for the frames of his outdoor patio furniture. The Tropitone Furniture Company and the Tropitone® brand were born.

The Tropitone Furniture Company was originally established to serve the commercial market for outdoor patio furniture that included hotels, motels, clubs and resorts. Tropitone® brand outdoor patio furniture could soon be found around the lawns, gardens, patios and pools of commercial properties around the country.

People who had enjoyed the outdoors with Tropitone® brand outdoor patio furniture at these commercial properties began asking how they could buy such stylish and durable outdoor furniture for their own homes and apartments. Tropitone decided to fill that demand by offering commercial-performance outdoor patio furniture at retail for residential use.

The Tropitone® brand of outdoor patio furniture changed the performance standards of an entire industry by applying the rigorous product and service requirements of the highly-demanding commercial outdoor patio furniture market to the residential market.

In 1970, Tropitone established operations in Orange County, Calif, to serve the ever-growing demand for outdoor patio furniture in western North America. This western base grew into a full-service manufacturing facility and eventually became Tropitone’s headquarters.

This move gave Tropitone the bicoastal manufacturing advantage it continues to enjoy today. Full service manufacturing and distribution operations in Sarasota, Fla, and Irvine, Calif, provide Tropitone the ability to quickly respond to ever-changing marketplace conditions for outdoor patio furniture by being close to the North American customers.

Beginning in 1978 many outdoor patio furniture companies decided to shutter their North American facilities and outsource manufacturing to China factories. Tropitone steadfastly maintained its North American bi-coastal manufacturing facilities to best meet the long-standing high performance requirements of our distribution partners and customers.

In the wake of the China experience of the past 30 years, North American dealers and customers for outdoor patio furniture are demanding better products, better services and rapid response to changing trends. Tropitone believes manufacturers and marketers of outdoor patio furniture closer to market are better positioned to satisfy these high performance requirements. Tropitone’s bi-coastal presence is perfectly positioned to satisfy the high performance requirements.

Tropitone Furniture Company’s bicoastal presence provides the Tropitone® brand with the unique ability to specialize in two key service requirements for both commercial and residential customers: 1) short order-to-ship cycle time; and 2) customized outdoor patio furniture manufactured and shipped within that cycle time.

This capability allows both commercial and residential customers to get exactly what they want, when they want it.
The Tropitone Furniture Company created the Tropitone® MODA™ brand as a complement to the Tropitone® brand.

Tropitone® MODA™ provides distinctive fashion solutions for both commercial and residential extraordinary spaces. The refined designs and meticulous workmanship of Tropitone® MODA™ brand are ideal for those exceptional spaces that call for more leading edge style. Many of the Tropitone® MODA™ models are just as appropriate for indoors as outdoors. Tropitone® MODA™ is the gracious and elegant style companion to the fun-loving and approachable performance of Tropitone®.

Tropitone created the Tropitone® Valora™ brand for the utility market space to complement total performance market position of the core Tropitone® brand and the leading edge style market position of the Tropitone® MODA™ brand. Tropitone® Valora™ provides attractive products for those commercial and residential outdoor spaces with tight budgets. The products in the portfolio were specifically designed and built to meet basic utility requirements with appealing style.

Today, the Tropitone Furniture Company has broad and deep portfolios of products specifically designed for the commercial and residential outdoor spaces. All are designed with the same standard of performance excellence. And the purchase and ownership experience of those that design and use outdoor spaces is guided by the same standards of excellence. It is this seamless integration of form, function and service that defines Tropitone.

Tropitone is headquartered in Irvine, Calif, and is recognized throughout the casual furniture marketplace for its product design leadership and commitment to total performance products and services. The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) has named Tropitone Tubular Materials Manufacturer of the Year for four consecutive years. The ICFA also named the Company Manufacturer of the Year.

URComfort® is the first outdoor seating to be endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Commercial products are sold to multiple customer segments including hospitality & resorts, apartments and condominiums, multi-housing / HOA’s, clubs, restaurants and cruise ships. Residential products are marketed through high-service specialty stores, furniture stores and designers. Products are marketed under the Tropitone®, Basta Sole®, Tropitone® MODA™ and Tropitone® Valora™ trademarks. The Company operates primary manufacturing facilities in Irvine, CA and Sarasota, FL.

www.tropitone.com
www.tropitonemoda.com
www.tropitonevalora.com


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Surya Preps for Major Outdoor Push

Surya Outdoor_PhotoAlready known for its considerable presence in the world of indoor home accessories, Calhoun, Ga-based Surya has long been planning a move into the outdoor realm, largely in the accessory category.

With the help of industry veteran Jim Levine, vice president, Surya Outdoor, the company plans to unveil much of its outdoor category at the The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, scheduled for Sept 16-19, 2014, at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

“There is a growing awareness in the home furnishings industry that outdoor products are very salable,” enthuses Levine, who joined Surya in April 2014, the result of a long search for someone with considerable outdoor furnishings experience. “Surya is making a strong push into the outdoor industry. We already have a customer base that is buying rugs, so we’re giving this customer more products with pillows, poufs, lighting, ceramic planters, wall mirrors, and more.”

With the accessories business relatively “fragmented,” Levine believes specialty retailers can now come to Surya for many of their needs. “We ship everything in 48 hours,” he says. “And we’re building a million-square-foot facility in Georgia to house all this inventory…We are going after specialty retailers.”

After the ICFA Show in Chicago, the rollout will continue at the High Point Market, Oct 18-23, in High Point, NC.

www.surya.com


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The Real SoCal

Carol_Photoby Carol Daus

After reading Bill Sendelback’s distorted article, “Tough Times in SoCal,” in the July 2014 issue of Hearth & Home, the following points are obvious: 1) Bill does not live in Southern California and probably didn’t visit the area when he wrote the article; 2) Bill did not talk to enough successful specialty retailers in Southern California whose businesses are booming.

And why are savvy specialty retailers prospering in the current economic SoCal business climate? Because the economy is in a strong recovery mode, resulting in job growth, rising home prices, and even robust retail sales in some sectors. But Bill claims that business is down in “SoCal” due to what he calls a “poor economy, a severe decline in the value of homes, and anemic new home construction”–all of which couldn’t be further from the truth!

According to Moody’s Analytics, California currently leads all states in job gains. One could argue that a state (like California) that lost the most jobs during the recession  would experience the greatest gains as it climbs out of the hole, but if you study the type of growth that’s occurring, it also reveals that the housing sector is expanding here faster than other regions of the country. In Orange County, the unemployment rate stands at 5.0%. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.3% for California and 6.3% for the nation during the same period.

Obviously, this is great news for Southern California retailers and manufacturers. One in every eight new jobs created in California since the start of 2013 is in construction. In Orange County, construction accounted for nearly a third of all new jobs. The Associated General Contractors of America reported last month that Los Angeles and Orange counties ranked first and third among U.S. metro areas in April in creating new construction jobs. Construction workers are coming to Southern California in droves to find work. And homebuyers are snatching up new homes in Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, and other areas in south Orange County, not to mention other communities in SoCal.

House prices in most regions of SoCal have grown dramatically over the past couple of years. My unimpressive tract home in Huntington Beach would fetch $100,000+ more this summer than last summer. Five of my neighbors sold houses during the past year for more than the asking price after receiving multiple bids. The average price of a new KB Home ordered in California in the three months that ended May 31, 2014 was $591,000, up 18% from a year earlier. And home buyers are lining up to buy these houses. SoCal is also drawing a large amount of Chinese investment as that country’s real estate bubble continues to deflate and investors seek safe havens for their money. Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the three largest markets for this new market niche.

And yes, Anaheim Patio & Fireside did close in Orange County, but what Bill failed to mention is that one of its shuttered stores was replaced by an exciting new business, Backyard Expressions in Huntington Beach, which has experienced strong sales since it opened its doors on Father’s Day 2014, under the ownership of Bill Montgomery (a 35+-year veteran of the casual furniture/grill/fireplace industry) and his daughter, Angela Rolish. Many other SoCal retailers are thriving as well, such as  Fireplace & Patio Trends in Orange, Roger’s Gardens in Newport Beach, Patioworld (4 locations in Southern California), and Today’s Patio in San Diego. The trendy Costa Mesa-based South Coast Collection (which houses locally owned home products businesses) has grown steadily and high-end manufacturer Brown Jordan opened its first direct-to-consumer showroom here a year ago. Furthermore, Wilshire Fireplace did not close its doors, as Bill states in his article. With a new ownership structure, Wilshire & Okell’s Fireplace Shops is a healthy 6-store enterprise with strong reviews on Yelp.

Even the dated and dowdy Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California (located near the Patio & Hearth Products Report offices) is in the middle of a $200 million renovation that includes a new Nordstrom as an anchor store.

It’s true that regulatory actions in California have impacted the sale of hearth products in Southern California, but the drought and unusually warm weather during the past few years are having a much greater impact on fireplace sales. The first six months of 2014 were the hottest January-through-June period on record in California, representing nearly five degrees warmer than the 20th century averages. I bought a RH Peterson log set three years ago and have probably used it only a handful of times, not because the flames don’t look beautiful, but because it overheats my family room and that’s in the middle of winter without any heat turned on in the house!

Still, many Southern Californians who aren’t buying fireplaces are spending oodles on well-appointed outdoor kitchens, beautiful fire tables, and plush furniture collections. As some of the retailers in Bill’s article point out, the key to being successful in Southern California is being flexible enough to completely understand what types of products customers want to buy. Selling a Sub-Zero refrigerator to an Eskimo is probably as silly as selling a wood-burning fireplace to a Southern Californian.

I have lived in Southern California for 26 years, after living 29 years in the Midwest. I raised a family here in Southern California while struggling through two recessions. In terms of the present, I am optimistic about where things are going with our local economy. I am also confident that SoCal specialty retailers who sell outdoor-living and hearth products should continue to do well, as long as they have the ability to adapt to a changing marketplace. But then again, that’s a recipe for success regardless of the geography.

Carol Daus is the editor of Patio and Hearth Products Report.

www.patioandhearthproductsreport.com


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Klaussner Home Furnishings to Launch Klaussner Outdoor at Chicago Casual Market

Klaussner® Home Furnishings will debut its new outdoor living category this September at the ICFA show.

Klaussner® Home Furnishings will debut its new outdoor living category this September at the ICFA show in Chicago.

Klaussner® Home Furnishings will debut its new outdoor living category this September at the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Show in Chicago. The division, aptly named Klaussner Outdoor, will feature a wide variety of products geared toward the upper half of the outdoor market with offerings in good, better and best categories.

Outdoor furniture veteran Gary McCray, president of Klaussner Outdoor, originally came to Klaussner in March to begin developing the outdoor category. Bringing more than 25 years of outdoor experience to the table, McCray was formerly with Heritage Home Group where he most recently served as senior vice president of Sales, Designer Brands. Prior to this appointment, McCray was president of Lane Venture for five years culminating a tenure that spanned 34 years with the company. McCray also serves as vice chairman of the International Casual Furniture Association.

“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to bring my experience to Klaussner. We previewed a sampling of the new product at the July pre-market in Chicago and the response we received from the specialty retailers and the traditional Klaussner customer was outstanding,” said McCray. “The infrastructure has been in place all along for this new venture.  Couple that with the support of the impressive team at Klaussner and we think we’re creating something special here.”

Klaussner will introduce seven collections at the Chicago Show.

Klaussner will introduce seven collections in Chicago.

Also joining Klaussner’s Outdoor team as its sales and merchandise manager is Teresa Buelin, former vice president of Sales and Marketing for Lane Venture. Teresa brings extensive outdoor experience and relationships with key retailers to the Klaussner Outdoor team. She will be focusing on the development of the new division’s sales force of 60 representatives servicing accounts across the globe.

“We are very pleased with how quickly we’ve been able to bring this category to the marketplace,” said Klaussner president Bill Wittenberg. “The feedback from our retail partners has been impressive. It’s great to hear how excited they are that we are adding this category to our existing portfolio of products.”

Klaussner will introduce seven collections at the Chicago Show and the new line will also show at October Market in Klaussner’s dedicated space in the Klaussner on Hamilton Building.

Headquartered in Asheboro, N.C., Klaussner Home Furnishings has grown to become one of the largest furniture companies in America with showrooms in High Point, Las Vegas and Chicago. Its comprehensive selection and divisions include: Domestic Upholstery, Imported Upholstery, Domestic Motion, Case Goods, Enso Sleep Systems, Comfort Design and Klaussner Outdoor.

www.klaussner.com


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Focus on the Forest at Jensen Leisure Furniture

Sustainably cut, large-diameter trees (with more heart wood) lead to gorgeous and durable products.

Sustainably cut, large-diameter trees (with more heart wood) lead to gorgeous and durable products.

The word “furniture” features prominently in the Jensen Leisure Furniture name, but Robert Simeone, product development manager, insists “We are a wood company” at heart.

Simeone credits the remarkable uniformity and durability of the company’s wood furniture to sustainably cut trees that are usually between 125 and 150 years old. “We have close to two million acres in Bolivia, an area the size of Yellowstone National Park that is Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] certified,” he says. “Our company starts with our forest and timber supply, and it sets us apart from other companies.”

Going on two decades as an FSC entity, Jensen is completely integrated from the forest to wholesale distribution in the United States and the United Kingdom. “For companies that procure wood on a large volume basis, quality is always the number one challenge,” explains Simeone. “The trees that we cut, both the Ipe and the Roble have a large diameter, and that means heart wood increases.

The Opal Swivel Dining Group.

The Opal Swivel Dining Group.

“The key to longevity in weather is 100% heart wood, and the only way to get that is large diameter old trees,” adds Simeone.

By using only FSC certified wood, Jensen Leisure Furniture is working to maintain the long-term well-being of the forests and the people who depend on them.

The Ipé is certified to meet criteria of the FSC, a non-profit organization that sets international standards for responsible forestry. By sourcing materials in this manner, Jensen Leisure Furniture is helping to conserve tropical forests and enhance the standard of living in its surrounding communities.

www.jensenleisurefurniture.com


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Decade of Success Rolls on for Sunset West

The Cardiff Collection features a thick, durable resin wicker weave.

The Cardiff Collection features a thick, durable resin wicker weave.

With headquarters firmly entrenched in the Golden State, Sunset West has carved out a decade of success thanks to a wide spectrum of styling and design. The latest offerings are the Cardiff (upper left) and Leucadia (lower right) collections.

The Cardiff Collection features a thick, durable resin wicker weave with a boxed “T” cushion seat and back cushion. The correct seating geometry and generous proportions of the group ensure hours of comfort and enjoyable entertaining in the outdoor great room.

LeucadiaThe collection consists of a sectional, sofa, loveseat, both fixed and swivel rocking club chairs, occasional tables and an ottoman. There are also two sizes of dining available, as well as barstools and counter stools. The collection comes complete with lounges.

Founded in the beautiful climate of Vista, Calif, Sunset West designers know about enjoying the outdoors. From the inception of the company in 2004, the company has brought together, quality, comfort, design and value into the outdoor living space.

With three generations of furniture experience, Sunset West offers a spectrum of styling and design, from the contemporary La Jolla and Malibu collections to the rustic Del Mar. The collections are produced using a variety of materials from cast and extruded aluminum, to multiple shapes, textures and colors of resin wicker.

Sunset West uses Sunbrella fabrics in the manufacturing of its cushions. Sunset West sells through its authorized dealer base to help ensure excellent service.

www.sunsetwestusa.com