NEW YORK— Dorel Business, supplier of office, lobby and hospitality furniture, has relaunched Bridgeport, with a focus on function, quality and design in commercial products that will give parent Dorel Industries an even greater depth in business-oriented products that cross from the personal to the professional.
With Bridgeport, Dorel is addressing what might be considered a gap in the marketplace for customers who want products that can stand up to commercial use but also reflect up-to-date style at a value.
Bryan Hollingsworth, Bridgeport business development manager, said, “The target audience is schools, government, independent office dealers, the hospitality industry, the end user that doesn’t go to a retail store to buy products but uses catalogs like Grainger.”
The Dorel Industries division will carry a product line that includes office chairs and desks, but extends to various other seating, tables, reception furnishings under two sub-categories, Essentials and Commercial. Essentials products range from residential to commercial in quality, offered at a low to mid-pricepoints. Dorel developed the product line to serve family-operated businesses and similar smaller enterprises. The Commercial products are commercially rated and designed for high-traffic and commercial environments, offered in the mid to high pricepoint range.
Dorel Business will provide Bridgeport brand products to dealers and business distributors including but not limited to furniture dealers, office products dealers, school supply dealers, industrial distributors, architects, contract furniture dealers, government purchasing agents, universities and colleges, and office furniture wholesalers.
Dorel provides a legacy in business-oriented products as well as corporate resources that will support and advance the Bridgeport brand. As applied, Hollingsworth said, design standards for the brand render full-time equipment for people who need products that work for them day in and day out.
“The chairs are designed for people who sit eight hours a day,” he said by way of example. “It’s not that a retail product is necessarily bad, but it is not designed for that.”
Hollingsworth said Dorel developed Bridgeport as an extension of the resimercial furnishings idea that has been gaining steam in the market. The brand is meant not just to fill in gaps but extend from the residential side, where it takes a lot of inspiration, into the commercial side, where it draws its structural standards.
Whether the customer is a family business looking to establish a professional office environment, or a grade school seeking tables that suit schoolwork, crafting and games, Bridgeport can provide products that suit expectations. The evolution of the work, school, hospitality and lobby furnishings continues, and the momentum may experience acceleration due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Whatever the cause, Hollingsworth said, the conditions that influence the commercial furniture market have changed, and Dorel is looking to address that reality with Bridgeport, including as experienced in the office category.
“We have a different workforce with different expectations,” he said.
Indeed, one area of specific focus for Bridgeport is the big and tall segment of the office market. Not only are big and tall consumers looking for scaled up products, Hollingsworth pointed out, but many people in the mid-range of height and girth like them for the extra comfort they find in the larger construction. Bridgeport can deliver big and tall products with prevailing fashion than is often the case, marrying preference and style.
Hollingsworth noted that Bridgeport, although a limited product line, will also act as a part of the organization where ideas can travel from commercial to residential and back again, so that the company overall can bring its resources to bear at a time when workstyles are changing substantially and, at times, quickly in response to new challenges and opportunities.
— Mike Duff