Plan to arrive one day early to the Casual Market
The International Casual Furnishings Association will host its third annual Industry Roundtable from noon to 6pm on Tuesday, September 15, the day prior to the opening of the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago.
The event will include discussions of topics including:
- Targeting the Younger Customer
- Cutting Costs and Increasing the Bottom Line
- Best Practices in Marketing
- Transitioning Online Sales from Your Website
- Managing Store Growth/Opening Multiple Locations
- Handling Transportation and Logistics.
Of special interest to dealers, Mike Becher, senior Projects director of Industry Insights, will share understanding of the results of the 2015 ICFA Retail Benchmarking Survey. Retailers are invited to bring their company’s report for individualized analysis of store operations.
Each attendee will participate in three one-hour sessions. The Industry Roundtable will be held at the Merchandise Mart. Box lunches will be available at noon, and the program will begin at 1pm.
Following the afternoon program, Klaussner Outdoor will host a reception from 6 to 7pm in their showroom, Suite 16-100.
Registration for the event is $25 for ICFA members and $50 for non-members. Registration is available online. Participants will be eligible to win a variety of door prizes, including merchandise and gift certificates.
In addition to Klaussner Outdoor, lead sponsors include Glen Raven/Sunbrella and Treasure Garden.
The International Casual Furnishings Association, based in High Point, North Carolina, represents manufacturers, retailers, sales representatives and designers of outdoor furnishings plus suppliers to the industry.
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From St. Louis Business Journal
Weber-Stephen products is moving into a 9,000 sq. ft. space in the Galleria in St. Louis, Missouri. TheWeber Grill Restaurant will open this fall in the space, which has been vacant for more than a year. It will have room to seat about 200 diners, with an outdoor area that can seat another 130. It will be the fifth Weber Grill Restaurant in the U.S., and the second outside the Chicago area, according to a release from the company.
Other Weber restaurants are in Chicago, Lombard and Schaumburg, Illinois, as well as in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The restaurant will focus on standard grilling fare – burgers, steaks, barbecue and grilled seafood cooked over Weber grills.
Along with the restaurant, Weber will include an interactive grilling facility and cooking school devoted to outdoor cooking called the “Grill Academy.” It will include classes, interactive dining and private events.
In all, Weber plans to hire about 100 employees to staff the restaurant and cooking school; it will hold a job fair this summer to recruit new staff.
Based in the Chicago area, the Weber Grill Restaurants was founded in 1989. Company president R. Bryan Gerrish noted that St. Louis is a strong market for Weber products.
“We considered a number of Midwestern cities and St. Louis became our top choice based on the culinary traditions, casual dining lifestyle, affinity for patio dining and love for great barbecue and grilling,” he said. “We love the central location of the St. Louis Galleria as well as the strong mall traffic, ease of parking and variety of shopping, dining and entertainment that it offers.”
Summer Classics, one of the leading manufacturers of high quality casual and outdoor furniture in the United States, celebrated its Grand Opening Party for the factory showroom in its new headquarters at 3140 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Alabama 35124 on April 14. Employees, local vendors and civic leaders were entertained by a string quartet, hors d-oeuvres and spirits in the newly completed showroom featuring both Summer Classics luxury outdoor furniture and Gabby transitional furniture and lighting.
Summer Classics not only manufactures outdoor furniture, it started Gabby in 2010 to service the design and retail trade in indoor furnishings and lighting. Summer Classics Contract opened in 2005 to supply hotel, restaurant, country club and assisted living needs. Parker James was started in 2003 to supply “private label” furnishings to Frontgate, Restoration Hardware, Smith and Hawkins, and other national brands.
“Our new showroom and headquarters will become a showpiece destination for designers, dealers and consumers. Our aim is to become Birmingham’s primary resource for luxury home furnishings and unique, eclectic accents,” said Bew White, III, CEO of Summer Classics.
The 10,000 sq. ft. showroom is open to both the public and the trade. It is in the front of the 500,000 sq. ft. building in the former Moore Handley facility, which has been completely remodeled with state-of-the-art technology, and luxury finishes and materials that exude the 35-year-old designer brand. The grand entrance is faced with a new deck and an expanse of beveled glass and mahogany windows.
EVP of Operations, Neal Morgan says, “It is the first time in 15 years that we have had all operations under one roof. Our new headquarters is in the final stages of completion and features reclaimed materials for a luxurious experience for our visitors and employees. Our new, state-of-the-art cushion manufacturing facility relocated here as of this week.”
Summer Classics is a premier innovator, manufacturer and retailer of fine outdoor furniture in the U.S. For over a quarter century, the family-owned company has aimed to delight its customers by passionately designing patio furniture from the belief that timeless designs can and will be embraced for years. Life's best moments…Furnished.
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