In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the call for home furnishings in 2020 ran so high that keeping up with demand became a challenge for mass-market retailers and vendors, but a consequence was mass trial of products already designed to be functional, stylish and affordable.
With necessity a driver, consumers this year have been willing to try new things including online purchasing of furniture, lighting and decorative accessories, something that bodes well for the future. Indeed, the mass market furniture category has made, by some estimations, an advance that might otherwise have required several years.
At the same time, retailers and vendors have been able to test their capabilities and learn how well placed their organizations are to capitalize on opportunities that the evolving marketplace will provide.
Moving & Shaking
- In January, Novacap, a Canadian private equity firm, acquired Bush Industries through its portfolio company Bestar, a ready-to-assemble furniture manufacturer with plants in Lac-Mégantic and Sherbrooke, Quebec, appointing Michael Evans, Bush president and CEO, to the same role at the combined company.
- Maynard Sauder, who had been president and CEO of Sauder Woodworking, passed away in August at 88.
- Bob’s Discount Furniture named former California Closets CEO Bill Barton president and CEO, succeeding Ted English who will remain executive chairman.
- Lamps Plus added COO to CFO Clark Linstone’s title.
- Walker Edison appointed Joana McKenna president in which role she joins executive leadership headed by company founders Brad Bonham, CEO, and Matt Davis, COO.
- Dorel Industries reached an agreement in principle to go private in a purchase led by Cerberus Capital Management affiliates and Martin Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz, Alan Schwartz and Jeff Segel.
- Bed Bath & Beyond enlisted the help of its Decorist division in creating a curated product presentation for our times, dubbed “College from Home” that provided lap desks, organization tools, accessories, furnishings and other home learning essentials.
- Value City Furniture struck a deal with interior designer and author Farah Merhi, who will serve as its first-ever Designer Looks Style Expert.
- West Elm and Steelcase extended a contract interiors partnership to add a selection of retail products available to consumers on WestElm.com.
- Target partnered with Studio McGee on a collection for its Threshold brand that encompass more than 120 furnishings pieces for the front door, entryway and living room after adding furniture under its Hearth & Hand with Magnolia label.
- Wayfair launched the Foundstone furniture collection, its first to combine furnishings and housewares.
- Interior designer Grace Mitchell and At Home struck a deal resulting in the Grace Mitchell Collection rolling out to its stores.
- Kirkland’s relaunched its K-Club loyalty program with a special emphasis on top customers and prompting consumers to view the retailer as an easy-to-shop omnichannel operation.
- CB2 partnered with interior designer Kara Mann on new furnishings collections.
- Z-Line Designs filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.
- Prepac Manufacturing, based in British Columbia, Canada, announced it would open a new Guilford County, NC, manufacturing plant in early 2021.
- Dorel Home partnered with Scout Productions on a fashion-forward multi-room furniture collection inspired by the ‘Queer Eye’ Netflix television series after launching a Novogratz furniture collection exclusively available at Target.
- Twin Star Home acquired outdoor furniture designer and manufacturer TK Classics.
- OSP Home Furnishings shifted its furniture market emphasis to focus on the company’s High Point, NC. showroom.
- Homestar relocated its U.S. corporate office and distribution center from Statesville, NC, to Dallas.
- Linon Powell, under the Powell brand, introduced a range of rattan pieces including Raphael cabinets in two-drawer, three-drawer and sliding door configurations, and, under the Linon label, debuted small-scale home office items developed as value offering for tight quarters.
- Greentouch debuted three new laminate electric fireplace mantels with Bluetooth and sound bars, each styled in three finish options.
- Sauder Woodworking debuted collections addressing current design trends including, for example, the New Hyde collection featuring mid-century looks and small space scaling.
- Bush Industries added three brand new product segments to its catalog, upholstery, dining and fireplace furniture.
- Under the Folio designation, LumiSource unveiled corner and writing desks that offered clean modern lines and a glam combination of gold and white tones.
- Cheyenne launched a kids furniture initiative that featured a whimsical desk, table, storage pieces and lighting.
- South Shore Furniture put itself squarely in the home office furniture business with the Workplace product line.
- Seville Classics added an Airlift electric height adjustable desk with a unique wood face, solid tempered glass top and rear-illuminated touch panel.
- OSP Home introduced a line of what it characterized as resimercial furniture that’s comfortable yet tough enough to stand heavy use.
- Adesso developed more lighting to address lifestyle needs such as the Paxton desk lamp in a sophisticated but casual design that lets it blend in with household decor.
- Among the broad style range it offers, Pacific Coast Lighting kept up with its lodge and related outdoorsy looks including the sapling-esque 69-inch-tall Muir Woods floor lamp.