HIGH POINT – Universal Furniture has launched its first round of casual products at this week’s High Point Market, rolling out a collection of more than 100 SKUs that includes case goods and upholstery for living, dining and lounging outdoors.
Called Coastal Living Outdoor, the collection was created in collaboration with Coastal Living magazine, a brand the furniture manufacturer has released two other indoor collections with already.
“The addition of outdoor allows our brand to evolve into a true whole home provider for our customers,” said Universal Furniture Director of Marketing Neil MacKenzie. “Having the opportunity to enter this space alongside a brand like Coastal Living means we can connect with a targeted customer base by leveraging the reach of the Coastal Living brand and community.”
To meet the needs of all styles of homes, the large collection employs a range of materials — including all-weather wicker, teak, powder coated aluminum, cast concrete, and flat and round woven rope — to 10 style groups.
- Chesapeake – Traditional living, dining, lounge and occasional styles in natural teak with dining tables featuring concentric square tops.
- Montauk – All-weather wicker living, lounge and occasional designs
- South Beach – Modern designs for dining and living in aluminum and cast concrete
- Seneca – Aluminum dining, living and lounge seating
- San Clemente – Modern all-weather wicker and aluminum living and lounge pieces
- LaJolla – Traditional living and dining designs in weathered teak
- Geneva – Cast concrete occasional tables
- Delray- Rope and stone occasional tables
- Laconia – Woven living room pieces with teak legs
- Tybee – Transitional aluminum dining and living room designs
Across the collection, the all-weather wicker and aluminum used is made of recyclable material, and all teak is FSC certified and harvested from government plantation managed forests. Aluminum is recycled and used in the Universal factory during creation, too.
Outdoor upholstery across the styles debut with 20 new frames, part of the special-order upholstery program available out of the manufacturer’s Conover, N.C., plant, and pieces use covers from Sunbrella and Inside Out that are UV fade resistant and bleach cleanable. Protective, custom-fit covers in 25 colors are available to prevent damage from extreme weather.
Speaking to distribution of the collection, priced consistently with Universal’s upper-mid positioning for its established collections, MacKenzie said Universal’s initial focus is on its core furniture dealer and designer channels, though he acknowledged the new collection does allow the company to address select new channels as well.
“We’ve had good distribution within our traditional channels, and our dealers have been great partners on the rollout. It’s done all we’ve hoped,” he noted. “That said, there are definitely stores that we want to get in front of because they’re outdoor specialists and this will speak strongly to that audience.”
Universal has spent the past seven years expanding beyond its case goods roots to become a whole home resource: first venturing into upholstery and later adding motion. The company purchased an upholstery plant in Conover, N.C., in 2019, and in the spring of 2020, launched a special-order upholstery program.