Fall 2022 – Market Standouts

The High Point Furniture Market appeared to be back in full swing this fall. Manufacturers were showing new products and buyers were in attendance. Standouts or takeaways…

American Leather has improved its lead times TREMENDOUSLY! Most goods are shipping in under a month. Occasionally a component or a cover is out of stock and that slows down production – but more often than not their made-to-order upholstery is shipping quickly.

Bontempi Casa introduced some beautiful new chairs. Clean, simple, and many are in stock in the US. The Malik is one of several models available with a flexible ergonomic back.

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Malik Flex from Bontempi Casa

In addition to the chairs, many dining tables are in the quick ship program. Those pieces can typically be delivered in a few weeks. With the holidays rapidly approaching – we still have some options.

Bungalow 5 introduced a number of linen-wrapped pieces. They too continue to stock pieces in the US to allow for more reasonable lead times. It’s always best to check stock before ordering though if you are trying to meet a deadline.

LEE Industries is always a favorite. They introduced a few new frames and a number of fabrics. Classic stripes, solid performers, rich leathers, whimsical patterns, and the much sought neutral boucle.

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LEE Industries Fabric Introductions

More importantly, LEE has managed to decrease lead times significantly. They are down to an average of 12-16 weeks. And they continue to strive towards their old 6-8 week lead times.

Vanguard Furniture introduced some more modular upholstery and their customizable programs are some of the broadest. Make It Yours categories include bedroom, dining room, office, and more.

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Make It Yours Bedroom Options from Vanguard Furniture

Vanguard lead times have also improved. Each category is different – so again – best to check your particular category.

Wesley Hall looked great. Peter Jacob continues to modernize the line. You can still get your classic traditional designs. But you can also get more transitional and contemporary pieces. All bench-made by true craftsmen and women. Although their lead times are improving, they are still running at 8 months. If you can wait, you will not be disappointed with the product.

So to recap – lead times are improving – some faster than others. Product lines and categories are expanding. And the industry is once again moving forward.

Factory Spotlight:

Today we are spotlighting American Leather –  not the product “American leather”, but rather the factory “American Leather.” 

American Leather was founded in 1990.  The factory operates in a state of the art 350,000 square foot facility in Dallas, Texas where over 600 people are employed.  Carpenters, upholsterers and assembly line laborers are aided by technology to ensure efficiency in production.

The line has become quite extensive over the last three decades.  Products range from what some would call typical seating such as a stationary chair or sofa to a number of motion categories – each warranting discussion.

The stationary goods include accent chairs, sofas, sectionals, ottomans and bed frames.  Some have options when it comes to finish.  Some have size and configuration options.  All have cover options.

Nash Sofa pictured with Aaron Chair

The Comfort Recliner, stylish and fairly streamlined utilizes a proprietary Infinity System allowing the user to adjust position for maximum comfort.  Several style options are available- some transitional and others more contemporary.  The mechanism can be manual or power with or without a battery pack.

The Comfort Sleeper is arguably the most comfortable sleeper sofa on the market.  “No bars, no springs, no sagging.”  No kidding.  The high density foam mattress is remarkably comfortable.  An upgrade to either Gel or Tempur-Pedic is also available.  Bed sizes start at cot and go up to king, each mattress opening to a full 80”.  Again styles range from transitional to contemporary.  AND the Comfort Sleeper comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a ten year warranty on the mechanism.

The Perry Comfort Sleeper is available in a number of sizes and configurations.

The Comfort Air has been called a “living chair”.  It rocks.  It reclines.  And it swivels.  The chair moves with you allowing you to find optimal comfort.  Styles are definitely on the more contemporary side.  There are three size options and a couple of base options.  An ottoman is also available to coordinate with the chair styles.

The Comfort Theater seating also features the Infinity System enabling the user to adjust the back and footrest to optimize comfort.  Arms house stainless steel cup holders with adjustable LED lighting.  The collection is modular allowing the specifier to create the perfect seating arrangement for their space.

Currently available in two styles, Dean in front row and Monroe in back row.

The Re-Invented Recliner is not your Grandpa’s recliner.  Several styles are available ranging from transitional to contemporary all with a motorized option.

A number of styles to choose from as well as an endless number of cover options.

Style In Motion offers a number of styles in various configurations combining stationary and motion pieces in sofas and sectionals.

The Verona is available in a number of sizes and configurations.

In summary – American Leather has an extensive upholstery collection. In-line covers include a number of performance fabrics in addition to the more luxurious covers available. Needless to say, there are a number of leathers to choose from. AND all items are available in COM and COL.

Lead times, in stock, quick ships…

Most people in our industry understand that lead times have spun out of control over the last year or so. Most people. Some must not have access to news as they berate us for not being able to ship their orders in what they deem a timely fashion. Not only do we understand the frustration, we share in it. Unfortunately, it is what it is…

Gaines Comfort Sleeper from American Leather can be Ready to Ship in 7 business days!

On a more positive note, some new quick ship programs have emerged. From American Leather, you have a couple of options. We have the Priority Program formerly known as Early Bird. The factory commits to ship your product in twenty days, subject to material availability. If unavailable, your order will receive priority when back is stock. The fee for this priority service depends upon how many pieces you’re ordering. The other option is a Ready to Ship Program. Select styles are available in a handful of fabrics and leather. Goods are ready to ship in seven business days!

Another manufacturer offering a Quick Ship Program is Bontempi Casa. Goods are stocked here in the States and typically ship within a week or so. We get inventory updates regularly which helps to eliminate surprises.

LEE Industries picked some of the best sellers to include in their RapidLEE Program.

LEE Industries has re-introduced RapidLEE. The new version of this program includes several of their most popular sofas and chairs available in any in stock fabric or leather, other than Sunbrella. Lead time on these pieces is 10-12 weeks and there is a nominal fee associated with the program.

Vanguard Furniture offers a number of products in their Quick Ship Program – both case goods and upholstery. Goods are stocked finished and upholstered and should ship within two weeks!

BDI and Bungalow 5 typically try to keep a decent amount of stock, so there is always a good chance that they will be able to turn an order around pretty quickly.

That just about sums up our quick ship options. But please do not hesitate to ask if you need something quickly. If we can accommodate you, we will. If we cannot, we might be able to lead you in the right direction.

Fall 2020 Market Intros: LEE Industries

For the first time in 25+ years, Apropos did not attend the High Point Fall Market. Fortunately though – we represent some great factories who have provided photos of new product and fabric intros. Let’s start with LEE Industries.

In the event that you are unfamiliar with LEE, they are a terrific company out of Conover, NC. They’ve been around for over 50 years. The LEE upholstery line is tremendous and goes from traditional through transitional right into contemporary. Goods are well-made AND well-priced. The culture of the company is more that of a family than a corporation and they remain committed to their clients, the community and the environment.

What’s new from LEE Industries? A few standout frames were introduced.

The day bed has nice clean lines and the flared arms give it a little polish. The 8223 Sofa is somewhat reminiscent of the wildly popular 5772 Chair. If you’d like to take a peak at all of the LEE Industries Fall Market Intros, please have at it.

As far as fabrics are concerned, we’ve got some new exclusive prints and some luxe textures.

You really must come in to see and touch…

All in all, LEE did not disappoint. They haven’t re-invented the wheel but they’ve introduced a couple of new frames and they’ve tweaked some solid performers. Contact your sales associate to review what’s new either remotely or in person.

Stay Home. Stay Safe.

We don’t know how long we will be working remotely. And with all of the beautiful home office solutions available to us these days, why put up with makeshift space?

So we have been asked to stay at home – at least those of us deemed nonessential. Many of us thought the transition to working from home would be simple. After all, in this day and age there is not much that we don’t do on our computers. Easy enough, we boot up our desktops or crack open our laptops and BAM – home office.

Not so fast. The kids are also home? Ok, so everyone in the house needs a device. The battle for bandwidth begins. Fortunately, the last time I tried to lower my cable bill, my provider was able to convince me to increase my bandwidth by some obscene amount to justify being charged exorbitant fees. Phew…we are all video conferencing, attending classes, streaming videos & music, shopping and emailing simultaneously with barely any lag. Crisis averted. Mostly…

There’s stuff everywhere. Every flat surface is fair game. We have books, school supplies, files, and office supplies. It’s time to get serious about a home office. After all, we’re not sure what this COVID-19 pandemic has in store for us. We don’t know how long we will be working remotely. And with all of the beautiful home office solutions available to us these days, why put up with makeshift space? Reclaim your dining table for dining. Your server doesn’t need to serve as a catchall.

Whatever your style, there’s a desk or writing table for you. Storage can get a little trickier if you have space issues, but if you have the room, why not go for a file credenza? They are no longer the atrocities of yesteryear. Vanguard Furniture introduced some fabulous office pieces as part of their Make It Yours Program.

With different styles, faces, finishes and hardware to choose from, you’re bound to find a style that works for you.

Maybe you’d prefer to use a piece that has already been designed – tried and true. So many options are available in traditional or classical styles. Sure, start your search on the web, but be sure to check in with a sales associate who might be able to provide some other options.

Continue to work remotely, but do it in style. Stay safe.