Outdoor Is In

Consumers fueling new opportunities in outdoor furnishings

“Outdoor spaces have come into their own as legitimate rooms in the American home,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, International Casual Furniture Association (ICFA) Executive Director. The ascendancy of the outdoor room is a direct reflection of consumer behavior. An ICFA survey revealed that 70% of respondents would rather spend time in their outdoor living space than indoors.

“Today’s outdoor rooms have it all – somewhere to dine, relax, and be entertained, with furnishings that function as those in any other room,” said Hirschhaut. Research shows that 68% of people with an outdoor room use the space several times a week in seasonal weather. “They told us comfortable, spacious, and stylish furniture would encourage them to spend even more time outdoors.” Responding to these desires, retailers and designers are increasing their focus on the outdoor room.

“The designer market represents the second largest buying group behind specialty stores,” said Dudley Flanders, president of Lloyd Flanders. “They purchase luxury collections for high-end residential, hospitality, and senior living clients. We encourage them to visit our showroom.” For an increasing number of High Point exhibitors that encouragement comes in the form of highly stylish outdoor furniture.

Lloyd Flanders

Lloyd Flanders

Lloyd Flanders

“Designers are extremely sophisticated buyers with discriminating clients,” said Castelle president Mark Stephens. “We partnered with Barclay Butera in 2016 to create his classic Signature Collection, which became our bestseller. In April we launched his glamorous Palm Springs Collection. Plus, with our factory in Costa Rica, we can collaborate with designers to customize pieces in a timely manner, which they greatly appreciate.”

As a Southern California native, celebrity designer Barclay Butera has designed outdoor spaces throughout his career. He is thrilled with his collaboration with Castelle and creates all his custom designs based on his understanding of the attributes that consumers desire. “Outdoor furniture should not only be gorgeous, but it is imperative to have incredible construction and durability. We need to offer designers the option to customize and create beautiful outdoor spaces for their clients with their own personal twist. I’m extremely grateful that my collections with Castelle offer just that,” said Butera.

Castelle by Barclay Butera

Castelle by Barclay Butera

Castelle by Barclay Butera

“We’ve just scratched the surface on meeting the demand,” said Stephens, “High Point gives us an exceptional opportunity to introduce offerings, create awareness, and validate them through feedback. Of the four lines we introduced in April, all have gone into production.”

Responding to the increasing popularity of the category, Klaussner Outdoor launched in 2014 with an approach that empowered traditional furniture retailers to expand their offerings. “We studied outdoor for several years before our debut. We saw an opportunity to round out our portfolio in a rapidly growing area and leveraged the brand awareness, production, and sourcing assets we already had in place,” said Klaussner Outdoor president Gary McCray. “We opened a dedicated space and storefront in High Point to reach a broad range of buyers, including our existing dealer base, major furniture and lifestyle retailers, designers, specialty dealers, and those new to the company.”

Klaussner Outdoor

“With more manufacturers showing, and continued growing interest by consumers, I see the influence of the category expanding,” said McCray. “This will make it easier to engage all the buyer groups represented at Market.” Does this mean Klaussner Outdoor is planning to introduce a celebrity designer line like the partnerships it has with Trisha Yearwood and William Mangum? “Stay tuned for news on this front,” said McCray.

To take a look at all of Market’s outdoor furniture options as you plan your next visit, go to our Exhibitors section. Click SELECT FILTERS, and under CATEGORIES, choose OUTDOOR/PATIO. You’ll find exhibitors offering products of every type and style, across the full range of price points. When you find a showroom you’d like to see, just click the star to add it to your MyMarket plan.