Coaster broadens offerings in several categories

Furniture Today | Industry News
By Thomas Russell

AT THE MARKET — Coaster Co. has another aggressive product launch this market as part of an ongoing effort to broaden its assortment into new and existing categories of an already diverse line.

There are more than 100 new SKUs, nearly three quarters of which Coaster is showing for the first time anywhere. The rest were introduced at the summer Las Vegas Market, representing what officials at the time said was the company’s most aggressive launch.

This also represents the third consecutive market, including the summer Las Vegas and the April High Point, where 90% of the items in the company’s showroom are new introductions, said Chris De La Guardia, vice president of sales.

The introductions that can be seen at the company’s 111 E. Commerce Ave. showroom this market cover bedroom, dining room, motion and stationary upholstery and even some youth, which the company has restaged to showcase a variety of smaller accent pieces alongside bedroom groupings.

New items in the motion category include several new leather motion sofas targeted to retail at $999 and above. The company is also showing a number of new recliners that retail from $299 to $699.

De La Guardia said the company has offered motion in the past, but that it is making a more concentrated effort in the category that will extend beyond this market.

Because Coaster’s assortment is so broad, we are isolating categories that have the best return on investment,” he said. “The timing is right based on consumer demand for motion.

He said the company also is changing the way it shows stationary upholstery by incorporating more new and existing accent chairs into the mix versus the typical sofa, love seat and chair combination. This, he said, reflects the consumer’s desire to change the mix in their rooms with not only different pieces, but also coordinating pillows and fabrics.

We have had a very growing demand in accent chairs, and we are seeing a lot more sofas and accent chairs being sold in growing ratios.” he said. Typical accent chairs in the line retail from $179 to $299.

The motion and stationary upholstery groupings are part of Coaster’s imported upholstery program.  The company also is showing about six domestic upholstery frames first launched in Las Vegas. These will primarily be shown in sofa-love seat combinations and feature two different cover applications for each frame.

The wood mix includes 10 new first time bedrooms as well as a dozen new groups shown in Las Vegas. These are targeted to retail from $1,499 to $2,299 for five pieces.

In the dining category, the company has 30 new sets including 10 promotional metal dinettes that retail from $299 to $499 for a table and four chairs; 10 new casual sets that incorporate chrome and color schemes ranging from $599 to $799, also for a table and four; five new junior formal sets from $999 to $1,499 and five new larger scale formal sets retailing at $1,999 and up.

Coaster also has redesigned its youth area on the second floor of the five-floor showroom with new and existing bedrooms that tie in with smaller accent pieces such as desks, storage cubes, storage ottomans and bookshelves.

We have always had youth represented in our showroom, but we have never brought it together and displayed the proper presentation that retailers would appreciate for their retail floors,” De La Guardia said. “We will show a lot more dollars per square foot that can essentially be realized in youth.

We have a lot of major introductions in major categories,” he added. “We want to make sure we provide not only the best values with commodity items, but we also want to be giving direction to our retailers in style definitions and price points for their growth.

New introductions will ship in the first quarter, while goods shown in Las Vegas are already starting to ship, with the balance expected to ship later this month and into November.