Occasional tables slightly outpaced overall home furnishings and bedding growth in 2016 in terms of sale.
According to Furniture Today’s research, overall industry migeof sales were up 2.7% this year to $1042 billion. Occasional tables rose 2.8% to $5.5 billion, representing 5% of total industry sales. While its share of market remained the same this year, occasional tables’ growth did not match performance in 2015, when the category grew 3.8%. Its no surprise that tables will follow trends in upholstery this coming year regarding not only price points but also style. Companies with a specialty in occasional naturally outpaced other vendors when it comes to growth in their table business. Hooker has enjoyed double digit growth in occasional tables in 2016,” said Pat Watson, vice president of merchandising at Hooker Furniture. China office desk manufacturer At Coast to Coast Imports occasional table business also out-paced overall industry growth, according to CEO Andy Stein. “It’s a growing category for us,” he said. “We don’t specialize in promotional price points, we’re in a medium price point where we offer a big value—a lot of look and style and substance. That’s our niche.” Drivers for next year Stein said the popularity of motion upholstery remains a big driver in the occasional table category and one that feeds into the importance of function when it comes to occasional.
“Especially if its a bigger piece, we’ll put hidden casters on it and make it ‘motion’ occasional,” he said of Coast to Coasts plans. “In general, we’ll be offering a lot of style and substance at the $299 to $399 range as opposed to $199 for a table; that’s what sells. The dealers aren’t focused on lower price points. Items used in the public areas in a home such as upholstery accidents and occasional tables always lead the way at the beginning of market expansion cycles, said Hooker Furniture’s Watson.
“Although it has been weak the market has been expanding this year so there should be natural expansion in the category,” he said. “Hooker has enjoyed better than average growth because of two things,” Watson said. “First, leading creativity from our merchant teams and manufacturing partners; and second, renewed focus on tying our occasional offerings with successful upholstered China office partition manufacturer goods from our Bradington Young Sam Moore and Hooker Upholstery divisions, as well as doing a better job of developing upholstery to go with occasional in our stand-alone collections.”