Furniture manufacturers see economy improvingHIGH POINT, NC –

Furnishing manufacturing executives speaking at the Opening Day Press Breakfast for the High Point Market were optimistic that business conditions may finally be ready to shift.

“I think everyone here would agree that the economy can’t improve fast enough,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of public relations and marketing for the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), which sponsored the press event in partnership with the High Point Market Authority. “But it’s happening every day, one small step at a time.”

A panel of three home furnishings manufacturers offered their strategies for not only weathering the conditions now, but for gaining a foothold on the future. All three panelists represented small companies committed to producing domestically. One executive discussed his company’s move into a new niche with its partnership with a well-known furniture design studio.

Woody Williams, chief executive of Precedent, a division of Sherrill Furniture, talked about the lifestyle collection of upholstery and occasional furniture his company is unveiling this market in collaboration with DwellStudio. With the exception of a few chairs, the licensed collection is being produced domestically. Many of the fabrics also are sourced domestically for consistent quality and quick delivery.

The upholstered furniture maker, which had long catered to higher-end furniture stores, felt that it “needed to reach a new generation of customers – customers who are shunning retail furniture stores.”

“We want to help our traditional retail stores reach this new generation of consumers,” Williams said.

Posted by Michaelle Bradford

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