Sitbest Ltd., a division of Norwegian comfort seating specialist Elano AS, announced that it is making its U.S. debut at the Oct. 13-18 High Point Market.
The Euro-style recliner and sofa source has signed a five-year lease on a 3,000-square-foot showroom in the IHFC’s Hamilton Wing, Space 507.
“This marks a new direction for Sitbest and Elano, which is a well-known brand in Europe but has never done business in the U.S.,” said Robert Kelly, national vice president of sales for the Midwest, East and Canada. “Sitbest has done its homework and has come up with a unique new product line and a logistical set-up that are perfect for America retailers.”
Sitbest specializes in making “families” of stationary and motion sofas, love seats, swivel recliners, swivel rockers, lift chairs and home theater seating in three grades of leather as well as polyester and microfiber covers. Recliners will retail from $999 to $2,499. Power options are available for all the swivel recliners and lift chairs. Three size options are available in each category of recliners. All recliners come with built-in footstools.
The company plans to establish a network of galleries with retail partners throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada in which retailers will show a focused display of the Sitbest product. A small gallery would contain eight to ten Sitbest models, and a standard gallery would range from 12 to 18 SKUs, according to Kelly.
He added that Sitbest is targeting Top 100 retailers as well as strong midsized stores with its new line, particularly merchants “who understand the power of customization.”
“Our business model is to provide a combination of quick-ship limited choice, with a fast and full customized choice from Europe, from the ‘as you like it’ custom recliner and sofa line,” said Kelly. “We’re focusing on an exclusive distribution gallery presentations because we want consumers to be able to see the wide range of choices we offer.”
According to Mark Parris, national VP of sales for Sitbest in the South and West, today’s retailers are looking to expand and add programs with special-order capability “in order to reduce excess inventory and increase cash flow. Sitbest offers an array of options and covers as well as timely delivery without the hassle or need for container buying.”
Sitbest produces its line in Poland on a “just-in-time basis, so customers can order the exact style, size, recliner options, fabric and finish they desire,” said Kelly. “That ability to customize is very important element in today’s marketplace, and we back it up with consistent, quick-ship service.”
Sitbest will support its quick-ship program by providing delivery to gallery retailers within six to eight weeks from the Poland facility. In addition, the company will maintain inventory of best sellers at a Massood Logistics warehouse in Eden, N.C., delivering within two weeks or less.
“We are thrilled that Sitbest has made the commitment to be part of the world’s leading home furnishings market,” said Julie Messner, vice president of leasing for International Market Centers, about the new initiative. “Their decision to debut their new U.S. line in High Point demonstrates the important role the market plays in helping new companies establish a presence in North America — and the world.”
To build interest in its new line heading into market, Sitbest has deployed two vans with half-dozen or so products onboard to travel to retailers in major markets in the U.S. and Canada. The visits have generated “a fabulous reaction” so far, said Kelly, “and we’re expecting to have a very good High Point Market.”
Anders Brunstad and co-owner Fridtjof Fredriksen both will be in the company’s showroom during market to meet with retailers, Kelly said.
About International Market Centers:
International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC) is the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. IMC owns and operates 11.5 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas. IMC buildings in High Point include International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC), Showplace, Showplace West, 200/320/330 N. Hamilton, Market Square & Suites, Market Square Tower, Plaza Suites, Furniture Plaza, National Furniture Mart, Hamilton Market and 300 S. Main Street.
IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. For more information on IMC, visit imcenters.com
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