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Palliser reports 28% sales uptick PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (23 July 2012) - Transforming itself into a custom upholstery house while aggressively seeking new retail accounts in areas such as the Western United States is producing results for Palliser Furniture, which is reporting first half 2012 sales of C$65 million, a 28% uptick over the same period last year.

"There were some small differences between them, but all of our markets were up," Palliser chief executive office Art DeFehr told Home Goods Online in an interview. The company sells its fabric and leather product assortment in Canada, the United States, Mexico and parts of Central America.

"We are very pleased with the results of the first half of this year," Cary Benson, the company's president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. "We continue to open new dealers and have serviced our retailers with good delivery. Our production group has responded to our sales growth success with an increase in capacity in a short time."

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Art DeFehr
DeFehr said Palliser's transformation from mass producer to a tag-order upholstery specialist has given the company the means to adapt to events which have the ability to impact business directly. "During the Olympics we will see business slow a little because people's attention will be elsewhere," he cites as an example. Earlier this year, his order book was clearly showing consumer reaction to events in Greece as well as other major world events.

The ability to gear-up or gear-down in quick reaction to events that impact business at retail is one mass producers such as other in Asia simply don't have have with an order cycle that's at least three months long. "World events are magnified in the import business," DeFehr points out.

Battling back from the recession means most North American retailers - large and small - need to be able to react to events quickly and are no longer willing to swallow orders that are now bigger than needed. This is why DeFehr's believes Palliser's ability to adapt to changes in demand is a factor in the company's recent growth.

"The exceptional strength in demand reflects a growing interest in a domestic supplier with plenty of options," DeFehr said.

Decided to participate in the Las Vegas Market for the first time earlier this year was another factor. "We were very aggressive when we went to Vegas. We picked up many new accounts in the West," he said.

"We are clearly gaining market share because the industry isn't up 28%," DeFehr added.

The other factor in 2012's growth to date has been the product itself, particularly in the recliner and home theatre categories. "We've been very aggressive on product," DeFehr says.

He also was quick give credit for the results to Palliser's leadership which includes Benson and James DeFehr, who is president of finance and operations.

Looking to the rest of 2012, DeFehr is confident Palliser will continue to see strong demand as retailers begin preparing for the fall selling season when the summer edition of the Las Vegas Market opens for its usual five-day run on July 30. Palliser recently signed a multi-year lease agreement for its showroom in space 770 of the World Market Center's Building ‘B'.

Although he didn't reveal details, DeFehr indicated Palliser will have a strong new product assortment to unveil this market before launching a big, new program next year.

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