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IMG opens HP showroom for Canadian retailers PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   

HIGH POINT, North Carolina (16 April 2012) - Motion upholstery producer IMG Norway has opened a new showroom in the International Home Furnishings Center's (IHFC) Design Wing to serve retailers from Canada, Central and South America as part of its push to gain footholds in those markets.

The new 3,000 square foot international showroom is located in space D546 of the IHFC.

The Victor, seen here, is part of IMG Norway's Relaxer program. This space efficient push-out recliner sits on a 360-degree swivel base and features a rocker-glider mechanism and adjustable headrest. Its core is made using IMG's cold-cured moulded foam, to provide comfort by contouring to every cure of the user's body.

IMG USA, the company's independently-owned agent and distributor in the United States, has a showroom of its own in Showplace (3605).

IMG was created in 2006 when third generation furniture maker Nils Gunnar Hjellegjerde, president and CEO, left the company founded by his family in 1941 to create his own furniture group.

The company designs and manufactures recliner and motion furniture in the Scandinavian tradition.

"Our products are created by our Norwegian team with attention to comfort, functionality, quality and Scandinavian design," Hjellegjerde says, adding that while all design and development work is done in Norway, all manufacturing is located in the company's own facilities in Thailand and Vietnam.

IMG currently employs 650 people in total and, according to Hjellegjerde sales were up 20% last year. He expects sales to be in the US$50 million range this year.

However, he believes IMG's major competitive advantage are its price points - which he thinks are, on average, 20% to 25% lower than those of his competitors for comparable product.

"IMG offers high performance recliner at affordable prices," Hjellegjerde said. "We strive to make the best and at the same time offer these at good value."

But he is also quick to stress that on a quality basis, IMG measures up handily on a comparable product basis.

"We a wide range of Scandianvian-type recliners as well as a motion program with a clean and compact design," Hjellegjerde said, adding his product line's uniqueness is found in the high performance cold moulded foam used to provide support to the user. "This makes it possible for us to create products that are more space efficient as well as highly supportive and ergonomically correct," he noted.

Designing the product in Norway and then building it in their own factories in South East Asia, gives IMG the best of both worlds, Hjellegjerde said - the best of Scandinavia thinking when to comes to design and better control over costs and quality in their vertical integrated facilities.

Prior to shipments, IMG carefully packages every SKU to ensure no damage is suffered during transit.

Nils Hjellegjerde
"We know how expensive and what an annoyance quality problems could be," Hjellegjerde said. "We are not perfect but I can promise we stand behind our products and work out any issues encountered by the retailer. We want to be a problem-free supplier offering product sells."

Hjellegjerde noted IMG USA has been showing in Showplace for the past four years.

Based in California and operated by Jim Dobry, IMG USA will continue to focus and serve the U.S. market.  Its showroom in Showplace is devoted to product produced for retailers in the U.S. and available via a quick ship program Dobry offers from his warehouse there. IMG USA also shows at the Las Vegas Market.

IMG Norway also shows at trade events in Scandinavia, Asia and Australia.

The company's operations in Canada are run by industry veteran Karl Woll from his base in Kelowna, British Columbia. Woll said the company plans to open its own Canadian distribution centre sometime in 2013 or 2014 at the latest.

Hjellegjerde said now is a good time for the company to debut its line for international retailers at High Point.

"We believe High Point is the best place to meet and work with existing and potential South, Central and North American customers," he said, adding, "We have great products and been able to grow nicely even considering the economic climate. We are optimistic and believe we have something that can help retailers grow sales and make money."

At this the upcoming market, IMG will present its latest Scandinavian-styled recliners as well as a new, contemporary range of motion furniture.

"We are putting more emphasis on power options - basically offering the consumer the ability to from stressed to relaxed at the touch of a button," Hjellegjerde said, adding IMG's new power recliners can glide, swivel and recline. "These recliners are just amazing and when introduced in Stockholm earlier this year the response was just overwhelming," he enthused.

Divani is another contemporary motion group being offer to international buyers by IMG Norway at this weekend's High Point Market. Like most other products in its line-up, this contemporary group features the company's cold-cured moulded foam padding.

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