Friday, August 31, 2012

Bassett Board Announces Special Dividend

Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc., announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special dividend of $1.25 per share of common stock outstanding payable on October 26, 2012 to holders of record on October 12, 2012.

For the past two quarters Bassett has paid a quarterly dividend to shareholders of $0.05 per share. And, as previously announced, the Company's third quarter dividend will be paid later this week at the $0.05 per share level. Previously this year, on January 3, 2012, shareholders received a special dividend of $0.50 per share. Today's announcement of the latest special dividend means that by the end of October, Bassett will have paid shareholders $1.995 per share since the sale of its interest in the International Home Furnishings Center in May 2011, totaling approximately $22,000,000. Furthermore, the Company has continued to repurchase its shares in the open market. Counting shares that have been acquired in its third quarter, Bassett has repurchased 887,195 shares since the beginning of 2011. Going forward, the Company is able to repurchase an additional $14,800,000 of stock under the currently authorized plan.

"We are pleased to be in the position to announce another significant special dividend to our shareholders in fiscal 2012," said Robert H. Spilman, Jr., President and CEO. "Although growing our top line sales and further improving our operating results remain the best means of enhancing shareholder value, we believe that our present level of liquidity warrants the additional distribution to shareholders that our Board of Directors has just approved. We also believe that after this distribution in October the Company has adequate financial means to execute future growth strategies in both its wholesale and retail segments."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Brown Jordan Appoints Casey C as VP

Brown Jordan has appointed Casey C. Ramage as its Vice President of Marketing. Ramage will oversee the areas of marketing, branding and licensing for Brown Jordan and Brown Jordan Services brands. Brown Jordan is the leading luxury outdoor furnishings manufacturer and distinguished legacy brand.

Casey joins Brown Jordan with over ten years of experience in marketing, brand development and licensing, most recently as Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development for Churchill Downs Incorporated where she successfully led the initiative to export the 137-year-old brand to a new, younger generation. As a seasoned marketing executive, she brings a wealth of experience from multiple industries. Before joining Churchill Downs, Ramage spent four years at the Pacific Design Center as the Director of Marketing where she produced the internationally recognized WestWeek market for design professionals which included more than 80 events held over the course of three days. Prior to that role, Ramage was the Director of Showrooms and Accessories for Brown Jordan International, leading sales and marketing efforts for Brown Jordan’s U.S. showrooms.

Ramage is a graduate of University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School Executive Education Program. She resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and Labrador retriever.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

HGTV(R) HOME Design Studio At Bassett Home Furnishings

The HGTV HOME Design Studio only at Bassett debuts this week in Bassett stores across the country featuring an HGTV HOME-branded line of custom upholstery and accent furniture.

"This strategic partnership with HGTV leverages Bassett's more than 100 year history of building quality home furnishings while tapping into the popularity and credibility of the HGTV brand among home enthusiasts," said Robert H. Spilman Jr., Bassett's president and chief executive officer. "The launch with HGTV HOME drives Bassett's commitment to combining stylish, well-priced custom furniture with top notch room makeover advice from our team of design consultants."

The HGTV HOME experience has been added throughout the store to create a fresh, creative design studio expression that highlights Bassett's unmatched custom manufacturing capabilities. The custom upholstered sofas, sectionals, beds, ottomans, and benches are available in more than 1000 fabrics, are delivered within 30 days, and are made in the USA.

"HGTV Home is about creating smart and stylish products based on our years of experience informing and inspiring consumers both on-air and online," said Ron Feinbaum, general manager of consumer products for HGTV. "Our viewers look for great furniture products that bring them the right style, design and quality for their homes.  With the HGTV HOME Design Studio only at Bassett, they can easily create custom-designed living spaces from the wide range of styles that are available."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Important Speakers at International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market

Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) announced a high-level line-up of speakers and events being planned for this year's International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market™, which will be held from September 20-23, 2012, at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. The four-day market event will feature HGTV's John Gidding; esteemed editors from national, consumer home and garden publications; and a selection of other complimentary educational and networking events for exhibitors and attendees.

HGTV personality and designer John Gidding will present the Casual Market keynote presentation, entitled "Turn Up the Curb Appeal for Great Outdoor Spaces." Gidding will share information about his design background and creating outdoor living spaces for his clients and HGTV fans. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn tips about outdoor room and backyard design, and the importance of curb appeal.  

The panel consists of five major consumer magazine editors, including Kit Selzer, senior home editor at Better Homes & Gardens; Jodi Bech, publisher at Garden Design; Amy Elbert, senior architecture editor at Traditional Home; Amy Mitchell, managing editor at Coastal Living; and Eugenia Santiesteban Soto, style director at Veranda. The session, "Inspired Exteriors: Consumer Media Panel," will take place on Friday, September 21.

 Two award events will be held. The ICFA Awards Reception will highlight the presentation of the Design Excellence Category Award winners and announcement of the Lillian B. Winchester "Best of Show" Award. The ICFA Sales Representative of the Year Award will also be presented along with the coveted Manufacturer of the Year Award. Hosted by the ICFA, this year's awards reception will take place on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Ballroom. This event is for ICFA members and invited guests.

A major highlight of Casual Market, the Apollo Awards Banquet will celebrate influential contributions made by industry leaders. "Top retailers in single- and multi-store categories will be honored, and the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees will be recognized by the ICFA," says Kelly.

Hosted by the ICFA and MMPI, the Apollo Awards Banquet will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at the Field Museum in Stanley Field Hall.

AWFS 2013 Fresh Wood Student Competition 2013 Dates Revealed

The Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) is now accepting entries for the 2013 Fresh Wood Student Woodworking Competition to be held from July 24-27 in Las Vegas. The competition, which will be showcased at the Fair is open to full or part-time students in an accredited high school or post-secondary woodworking or related program that are transitioning into a career in woodworking or design. Post-secondary schools include colleges and universities as well as trade, art and union apprenticeship schools.
At the 2013 AWFS®Fair, the display of Fresh Wood finalists will be located in the Gallery, an area in the supply hall that includes the AWFS bookstore, the theater and a lounge. This gives attendees and exhibitors an opportunity to network with the students and teachers in the competition and expose the students to the different companies and products within the industry.

Final judging will take place on Tuesday, July 23 at the AWFS®Fair. Winners will then be announced at the Fresh Wood awards ceremony, which will take place on Friday, July 26 in the AWFS theater and is open to all attendees and exhibitors. First place, second place and honorable mention awards may be given out in each category and at each school level. A “Best of Show” award will also be selected from all first place winners. A People’s Choice award, for which all AWFS®Fair attendees and exhibitors have the opportunity to vote, will also be given. All finalists will be featured in the sixth volume of the publication Fresh Wood, which will be available for purchase in late 2013.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ethan Allen Registers Five Facilities in EFEC Program

The American Home Furnishings Alliance announced that Ethan Allen has completed EFEC registration at all of its domestic manufacturing facilities, including five manufacturing plants and one sawmill. EFEC – or Enhancing Furniture's Environmental Culture – is a voluntary environmental management program created for the residential furniture industry by the American Home Furnishings Alliance.
"We are proud of our commitment to environmental stewardship," says Ethan Allen Chairman President and CEO, Farooq Kathwari. "In all of our facilities, we work hard every day to not only make the best use of our resources but also to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their communities."

The manufacturing facilities include a wood furniture plant in Old Fort, N.C.; Ethan Allen's upholstery manufacturing complex in Maiden, N.C.; a wood furniture plant and sawmill in Beecher Falls, Vt., that dates back to the 1800s; a wood furniture plant in Orleans, Vt.; and a home accents (custom lighting and wall decor) plant and distribution facility in Passaic, N.J.

Eventually, Ethan Allen plans to extend the EFEC environmental management system into all of its company-owned retail locations, which currently number about 150. This would be the first application of the EFEC program in a retail setting.

Summer Las Vegas Market A Super Success

The Summer 2012 Las Vegas Market delivered an energized show and attracted thousands of upbeat home furnishings buyers—many of whom were there for the first time—from around the United States and abroad. Las Vegas’ Summer Market, July 30-August 3, was highlighted by buying power among retailers who were ready to do business, as well as incredible momentum among new exhibitors including a vibrant temporaries section, the debut of a high-end home décor showcase in Building B, and the signing of 43 new showroom leases since the start of the year totaling approximately 265,000 square feet of space—adding to the diversified merchandise mix that buyers can find at Las Vegas Market.

“At the start of the year, Las Vegas opened the doors to its strongest market in three years and set the tone for a positive 2012. While total traffic at August show was lighter, as at other summer markets, individual store attendance was up from prior summer shows. Furthermore, the retailers who came were serious about buying,” said Robert Maricich, chief executive officer of IMC. “It’s very encouraging to see the number of individual buying units continue to grow especially given the summer slow down at retail. The trajectory at Las Vegas Market continues to trend upward.”

Las Vegas Market officials reported a modest increase in retail store attendance over last year, and an 8 percent increase over two years ago.  Furthermore, leading furniture manufacturers reported growth in year-on-year sales volume despite current macro economic trends.

Las Vegas Market also experienced a significant influx of new sleep product buyers at this summer’s Market. Buyers showed up in droves, as the number of first-time mattress buyers at Las Vegas Market increased by 124 percent, reinforcing its standing as the nation’s premier bedding market.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Art Van Furniture Creates Tallest Stack of Mattresses

On Friday August 3, 2012, Art Van Furniture broke a very challenging Guinness World Record; the tallest stack of mattresses! The current record for the World’s Tallest Stack of Mattresses was 13 ½ feet.  Using hi-lo equipment, Art Van Furniture topped the world record by strategically  placing king size King Koil mattresses 14 ½ feet high!

“A big part of setting a world record is having fun, and we did just that!” says David Van Elslander, Vice President of Art Van PureSleep.  “This is just another event that solidifies Art Van’s commitment to fun, style and unpredictability.” 

“We’re very excited because this accomplishment will officially put Art Van in the record books,” continued Van Elslander.  “We will always be known for great value in our merchandise and strong dedication to our community, but we’re also devoted to creating some unexpected and sometime unpredictable good times.”

Scores of Art Van associates witnessed this memorable moment.  Each year, about a quarter of the records in the Book of Guinness World of Records are broken. The current mattress stacking record of 13 ½ feet  was set at the Texas State Fair in September 2011. Art Van Furniture is Michigan’s number one mattress retailer, putting more than half of the state’s residents to bed every night.  

ICFA Opens Voting for 2012 Sales Rep of the Year

The International Casual Furnishings Association has opened the online voting for the 2012 Sales Representative of the Year, an award designed to recognize and honor the outdoor furniture industry's best sales representatives.

Votes must be cast no later than Monday, August 20.

Voting for the ICFA Sales Representative of the Year Award is limited to the Association's manufacturer, retailer, designer and supplier membership. Each dues-paying member in those categories is eligible to cast one vote. The ballot can be found here.

The winning candidate will be announced on Friday, September 21, at the ICFA Awards Reception at the Ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The 2012 Manufacturer Leadership Awards and the Lillian B. Winchester "Best of Show" Design Excellence Award also will be announced at the Awards Reception.

Source: AHFA

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Gift+Home at Las Vegas Market Awarded Three Exhibitors

Three gift and home décor exhibitors were recognized this week for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Merchandising at Gift+Home at the 2012 Summer Las Vegas Market. Primitives by Kathy, eyebobs eyewear and The Naked Bee all took home awards commending their aesthetic sensibility. Each winner received celebratory flowers and champagne, plus a credit toward space at the next Market.

Celebrity designer Monica Pedersen of HGTV and home products and trends editor Julie Smith Vincenti evaluated spaces on innovation, creativity, technique and aesthetic. Because space was limited by booth size, each exhibitor was challenged to craft an inviting display using limited resources and space.

Pedersen and Smith Vincenti said this year’s winners were very attentive to vertical space, branding identity and smart signage. The winners managed to beautifully display their products while also sending clear messages about personality and price. Each winner managed to craft a narrative through the product arrangement, similar to what you’d find in a retail environment. Thanks to the thoughtful designs, each winner saw strong traffic throughout Market.

Annie Schickel, designer for Primitives by Kathy, said that the award was meaningful to her and to the business. “We were thrilled to have received this merchandising award and appreciate everyone in Las Vegas for recognizing us,” said Shickel. “Sometimes it’s about building an awesome display with what you have available, so to be recognized for what we do is amazing. We work hard to make our space inviting so that customers connect with it and want to come in. We have had a great show and have seen so many new customers.”

Jason Engelman, certified optician and designer for eyebobs eyewear, created an innovative backdrop with light boxes and mirrors to make the product pop. Engelman said he’s pleased that the displays have been successful. “I think it’s fantastic to be recognized for something we’ve been working so hard on,” he said. “The traffic at this market has been better than it has for a long time. Every show has grown and that’s why we’ll keep coming back. The venue is fantastic.”

Rob Bates, director of sales and marketing with The Naked Bee, a natural bath and body product line, said that this recognition amplified an already successful Market. “We were surprised, thrilled and quite humbled and honored to receive the merchandising award. We try to create a fun and exciting atmosphere to invite the customer in. It was exciting when the crew walked up with cameras flashing, champagne and flowers to present the award. We are impressed with the energy level and hospitality at the Market. We will certainly be back.”

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Marc-Michaels Interior Design Inc. Awarded for John Cannon Homes Inc.'s New Model

Marc-Michaels Interior Design Inc. is designing a new model home for John Cannon Homes Inc. The Baylin model is located in the new Haddington community of Club East Village located in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The two-story Tuscan inspired home is approximately 3,325 square feet and elegantly designed in a California casual style that will appeal to the luxury empty-nester buyer.
The great room and dining area of The Baylin will have a sophisticated mood created by a soothing color palette of soft greys that will be contrasted with amber tones. Modern energy is created throughout the home with clean silhouettes, rich natural textures and polished metal accents mixed with dark walnut wood tones. The exterior of the home features a summer kitchen and a dramatic entertainment area highlighted by a fire pit in the pool area.

Source: PRWEB

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Dates Declared For Winter and Summer Las Vegas Markets

In 2013, the Winter Las Vegas Market will take place January 28-Feb 1, 2013 and the Summer Las Vegas Market will be held July 29-August 2, 2013. In 2014, the Winter show will be held January 27-31, 2014 and the Summer Market will occur July 28-August 1, 2014.

Selected Market dates are based upon extensive feedback from both exhibitors and buyers, analysis of other industry events, as well as careful consideration as to the best way to deliver the most efficient and effective event. Market dates have been carefully planned to optimize opportunities for industry suppliers and buyers, avoiding significant overlap with established home furnishings and gift shows.

Furthermore, these selected market weeks for 2013 and 2014 extend World Market Center’s strategic partnership with SURFACES, the floor coverings industry’s leading event. The co-location of both Las Vegas furnishings events give hundreds and hundreds of  buyers who attend both shows the ability to shop the widest range of suppliers as well as convenient access to services such as shared registration badges and direct shuttle service to both venues.

Rowe Furniture Debuts Fall Collections In Las Vegas

Rowe Furniture, will introduce three collections at the Las Vegas World Market, July 30- August 3. New collections feature innovative designs from Rowe, Robin Bruce, and Clayton Marcus. In addition to the new sofa groups, Rowe will also debut several product enhancements and fabrics.

The introductions for the Las Vegas World Market include:

The Wrigley Sofa Group by Rowe – This small-scale sofa is distinguished by its high back and flared track arms. The sofa group also offers a 62” loveseat, chair, and an ottoman. 

The Hartley Sofa Group by Robin Bruce – This slipcover sofa offers optimum comfort and versatility.  Standard in down seating with slipcovers available in any of our designer fabrics this is the perfect “live-in” sofa for any home.  In addition to the sofa the Hartley sofa group also includes a loveseat, chair and ottoman.

The Gerrard Sectional by Clayton Marcus – This posh sectional expands upon our best selling Gerrard sofa group.  It is distinguished by a single row of buttons delicately placed along the base, lovely low roll arms and exquisite turned legs.

Rowe is exhibiting at the 2012 Las Vegas World Market located in World Market Center, Building C, Space C-1312.