ZUO NEWS

  1. Travel rebound is fantastic news for hospitality furniture sector

    Travel rebound is fantastic news for hospitality furniture sector

    Thanks to a strong rebound in travel – notably leisure travel – the hospitality sector is finally emerging from its Covid-induced slumber. Despite significantly higher fares, airplanes are crowded again, hotel occupancy rates are on the rise, and some markets are reporting that rental cars are in short supply.

    While that might not necessarily be good news for residential furniture vendors competing for those same discretionary dollars, it’s great news for suppliers of the often-overlooked segment of hospitality furniture.

    The lodging industry, which includes everything from hotels to Airbnb’s to condo rentals to beach houses, is gobbling up new furniture at a rapid pace, while other parts of the hospitality sector such as senior living facilities are starting to freshen up their furnishings as well.

    “It’s a more impo

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  2. Upholstery from the Dominican Republic? You’d better believe it

    Upholstery from the Dominican Republic? You’d better believe it

    Amid the myriad of supply chain challenges facing furniture importers these days, the enormous rise in container shipping costs – especially for goods shipped from Asia – takes center stage. And the seemingly endless delays in getting those containers from an Asian port to a U.S. warehouse runs a close second.

    But the folks at Zuo have developed a very creative end-run around this issue. In addition to ramping up production at its upholstery factory in Mexico, the company recently began making upholstery in the Dominican Republic.

    So you’ve never heard of anyone making upholstery in the Dominican Republic? We hadn’t either – until we got a peek at Zuo’s new product launches at last month’s High Point Market. The lineup included 25 sharp-looking SKUs from the new Dominican Republic factory.

    Yes, the new products must

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  3. Award-winning accent chair illustrates growing importance of casual styling

    Award-winning accent chair illustrates growing importance of casual styling

    A quirky Zuo accent chair suitable for indoor or outdoor use proved to be very popular with design-minded attendees at this month’s High Point Market.

    It was so popular, in fact, that it earned a Market Snapshot “People’s Choice” award from International Market Centers, the owner of several major market showroom buildings. The chair was one of only three furniture pieces to earn the award after online voting in the weeks leading up to the show.

    “I am especially proud of this award because it was voted on by members of our target audience – buyers who have an eye for great design at a great value,” said Luis Ruesga, CEO of Zuo. “It also illustrates the growing importance of casual styling in almost any indoor or outdoor living space.”

    The winning chair, named the Kelley, was one 49 finalists. Voting took place on IMC

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  4. Colorful mosaic patterns highlight new fabric line from designer Allison Eden

    Colorful mosaic patterns highlight new fabric line from designer Allison Eden

    Continuing its aversion to “me too” products, Zuo has partnered with designer Allison Eden – best known for her mosaics on tile and glass – on a line of stunning upholstery fabrics that will be introduced at next month’s High Point Market.

    The new fabrics, which combine her colorful mosaic designs with solid leather and fabric colors, create a unique look that will give retail sales floors a pop of color many times over.

    “I couldn’t be more excited about this new fabric line we’ve developed with Allison,” said Luis Ruesga, CEO of Zuo. “It gives our dealers a way to reach younger consumers with a look they won’t find anywhere else.”

    Ruesga said the new products also should allow the company to expand its customer base with both e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. And who knows? They may even be suitab

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  5. Zuo Will Feature Products from Mexico, Dominican Republic in New, Larger High Point Showroom

    Zuo Will Feature Products from Mexico, Dominican Republic in New, Larger High Point Showroom

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Zuo Modern, a leading resource for indoor and outdoor furniture and décor, is moving to a new, larger showroom in the International Home Furnishings Center for the spring High Point Market, April 2-6.

     

    The new showroom, space H-534, occupies 30,000 square feet and is about 30 percent larger than Zuo’s previous IHFC showroom.

     

    The showroom entrance will feature a 3,000-square-foot brightly colored candy store designed to resemble an old-school speakeasy. Cotton candy and other sweet treats will be available throughout the day, as will a wide selection of beverages.

     

    “It will be a great way to welcome our customers to our new space,” said Zuo CEO Luis Ruesga. “The candy store and speakeasy flow seamlessly into our product displays, where we will be featuring merchandis

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  6. Surge in homebuying by Millennials should keep housing market – and home furnishings sales – brisk for years to come

    Surge in homebuying by Millennials should keep housing market – and home furnishings sales – brisk for years to come

    A recent Wall Street Journal article blew holes in the “conventional wisdom” that Millennials prefer to rent and are shunning home ownership.

    Using data from a variety of sources, notably CoreLogic, a California-based company that specializes in housing data, the article demonstrated the exact opposite to be true – even in today’s overheated housing market.

    CoreLogic’s research showed that Millennials accounted for 67 percent of the mortgage applications from first-time homebuyers in the first eight months of 2021, and 37 percent of the applications from repeat purchasers. And this came after a year in which applications from Millennials accounted for more than half of all mortgage applications for the first time.

    Various economists and analysts quoted in the story don’t see that trend reversing itself anytime soon, given

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  7. The consumer’s continuing focus on the home should keep home furnishings sales brisk in 2022

    The consumer’s continuing focus on the home should keep home furnishings sales brisk in 2022

    As the home furnishings business continues to show strength in the midst of a global pandemic that refuses to die, the proverbial $64,000 question needs to be asked. How much longer will the good times continue?

    Based on our very unscientific survey of key industry executives and a perusal of recent financial reports from the industry’s public companies, the answer sounds very promising. Most believe consumer demand for furniture will remain strong through at least the first half of 2022 – and some think it will last even longer.

    And more importantly, no one is predicting that demand will suddenly nosedive – despite the possibility that the newly discovered omicron variant will keep the pandemic top-of-mind for an indefinite period.

    Several executives told us the pandemic has led to a fundamental change in consumer behav

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  8. Despite the pandemic, restaurant seating still in demand; outdoor dining gives beleaguered industry some hope

    Despite the pandemic, restaurant seating still in demand; outdoor dining gives beleaguered industry some hope

    Despite the easing of pandemic-related restrictions in many areas of the country, it’s no secret that the restaurant industry is still struggling. While the industry has rebounded nicely from the near apocalypse in the spring of 2020, many segments of the business are still yearning for more customers and employees.

    The National Restaurant Association, in fact, says restaurant sales and total industry employment remain below pre-pandemic levels.

    Data from the trade association shows that sales at eating and drinking establishments were virtually flat in August and September, after showing decent increases the previous five months. Restaurant employment, on the other hand, was below September 2019 levels in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

    But in spite of all that sour news, the savviest restaurant operators a

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  9. No longer a luxury, performance fabrics becoming mainstream due to durability, ease of stain removal

    No longer a luxury, performance fabrics becoming mainstream due to durability, ease of stain removal

    Not all that long ago, performance fabrics were seen as luxury upgrades in the upholstery fabric world – reserved for upper-end furniture primarily in commercial settings.

     

    But once manufacturers realized their stain-resistant and fade-resistant qualities resonated with consumers in all walks of life, performance fabrics charged into the residential upholstery market and began gobbling up market share. Pandemic-induced supply chain issues have slowed the growth spurt a bit during the past 18 months, but there’s little doubt that performance fabrics will keep getting larger slices of the upholstery fabric market in the foreseeable future.

     

    During a panel discussion at the recent High Point Market, fabric guru Caroline Hipple, who is president of custom upholstery producer Norwalk Furniture, predicted that performance fabrics will have 90%

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  10. Positives outweigh negatives as furniture industry heads to High Point

    Positives outweigh negatives as furniture industry heads to High Point

    Despite a stubborn rise in Covid-19 cases, the positive signs certainly outweigh the negative ones as we head into the critical October High Point Market – one of the few furniture industry trade shows taking its normal spot on the calendar the past two years.

    For one thing, there’s a surprising amount of new product on tap. Given the massive supply chain woes that have made it difficult for some manufacturers to keep in-line goods in stock, we thought October product launches would be few and far between. But that doesn’t appear to be the case – especially for exhibitors with bedroom, dining room and occasional furniture.

    There’s no question that many have cut back on the number of new products, but exhibitors believe new products remain a key showroom attraction, so they’re n

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