It’s always the right occasion to focus on occasional furniture

Although sales are brisk in just about every furniture category these days, occasional furniture is a category that is overlooked far too often by retailers and designers.

We’re not referring to the red-hot home office category here – although many furniture statistics gurus include it as part of their occasional furniture numbers. We’re talking about those cocktail tables, end tables, side tables and accent chairs that are sometimes described as the jewelry of a redecorating project.

We’ve never fully understood why these items are overlooked, but we believe it’s especially important to pay attention to occasional as long as the industry’s supply chain woes continue. It’s not only a terrific way to boost the average sales ticket, but the category also presents an opportunity to sell an in-stock item to a consumer who may have to wait weeks or months for delivery of case goods and upholstery pieces.

According to data compiled by Home Furnishings Business magazine, occasional furniture – including home office and entertainment pieces – is a nearly $19 billion category that represents about 18.2% of overall furniture sales. Tables make up more that $4 billion of that total, while occasional chairs, benches and stools account for roughly another $1 billion.

So it’s no surprise that four of Zuo’s top selling products are occasional pieces. Luis Ruesga, CEO of Zuo, says the best-seller list includes the Tina accent chair, Lily side table (in gold), Scallop side table, and the Neruda marble side table.

He says those pieces are especially popular in the hospitality segment, which is expected to be an important growth driver for the company in the years ahead.

These best-sellers, and hundreds of other occasional pieces, are among the more than 1,500 items that will be on display in Zuo’s new 10,000 square-foot showroom, space A-216 at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. Not only will the new exhibit space be open during the Las Vegas Market, April 10-15, it will serve the interior design community year-round. During non-market periods, the space will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.