HIGH POINT — Apart from home office, dining was one of the major areas of interest among retailers and designers attending the most recent High Point Market.

Some resources expanded existing dining programs, while others were offering the category for the first time or getting back into it after an extended absence.

The timing of these introductions aims to expand market share at a time when more consumers are investing in home furnishings, adding or replacing furniture that has aged over time. The dining additions also aim to capitalize on more consumers dining and entertaining at home during the pandemic.

At market, Apsenhome offered five new sets including groups that are aligned with existing bedroom collections. Having largely abandoned the category in recent years, the goal was to return to a whole home offering that complements the company’s core categories including bedroom, home office and home entertainment.

‘Complete package’

Solid wood resource Napa Furniture Design expanded its lineup with three new larger scale dining sets that included tables, chairs and side pieces. The company has offered casual dining footprints as part of its collections in the past, but this expands the offering in more formal looks and footprints.

Table and six-chair sets are targeted to retail from $1,799 to $1,999 and feature 79-inch tables with thick solid tops as well as some self- storing leaf functionality.

The sets, including chairs, are being made at the company’s factory in Indonesia, using solid woods such as Sengon Tekik and other species that combine mango, mahogany and mindi in a single set.

Due to the positive reception at market the company will put all three sets into production, said Bobby Papazian, co-owner and executive vice president, sales. He added that they are expected to ship around March and be on retail floors before Memorial Day.

“We have had so much success with our bedroom and occasional, we wanted to do the complete package,” Papazian said, noting that the Indonesia factory recently expanded capacity and hired more people to produce the entire program, including the chairs. “The timing was perfect.”

Deeper in the segment

At market, Parker House delved into the dining segment with its new Grand Casual dining program, part of its Americana Modern collection.

The collection offers round, rectangular leg and rectangular trestle based tables with leaf extensions as well as a counter height kitchen island table with drawer and cubby storage.

There are also several seating options including chairs with wood and upholstered seats. In addition, there are side pieces such as a hospitality bar, a sideboard, a buffet and traditional buffet hutch and open farmhouse buffet hutch unit.

Holly Lightfoot, director of merchandising, said that the dining program did well at market. Based on the response, the company is looking to add more to the segment in April.

“It was definitely a hit,” she said, adding that the full line is going into production and that the line will be in stock around mid-May.

Other long-time resources in the category also expanded their assortment in new ways.  Solid wood casual dining resource John Thomas Furniture, for instance, launched a new dining program at premarket in September called Timberland Creations. It combines domestically made solid oak tops with imported bases. Five-piece sets that are available in four different finish combinations, retail from $1,599 to $1,999.

“It is truly a new type of offering for us, not just another new set,” said Bryan Sprinkles, national sales and marketing manager, noting that the program has had strong commitments during and after premarket and is now in its second cutting. “It has exceeded our expectations.”

The product, he said, has begun shipping and will be on retail floors soon.

Expanding programs

Hooker Furniture has long offered both formal and more casual dining sets as part of its collection business. It also has offered a standalone casual dining program and has offered some smaller scale dining tables and table bases in its Mélange collection.

This past market, it offered a new casual dining program called Dine Your Way that paired about a dozen new dining chairs — including several available in bar and counter heights — with about 10 new and existing tables.

The program showcase the versatility the company brings to the category, while also seeking to address consumers’ renewed interest in dining and entertain more at home.

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