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BWA members show at IMM

 15 January 2018     Michael J. Knell 

HANOVER, Ontario – Three members of the Bluewater Wood Alliance (BWA), including Durham Furniture, Provincial Plank by Horizon Coatings and West Bros. Furniture will take part in the International Interiors Show, which will run through this coming Sunday (21 January 2018) in Cologne, Germany.

All three are showing at one of Europe’s largest and most important furniture trade event for the first time as part of a project that’s at least partially funded through the BWA by Natural Resources Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

They will be located in Hall 5, space A-002g-B-001 of the IMM Cologne fairgrounds.

Durham at IMM
For the solid wood bedroom and occasional furniture specialist, IMM is their first trade event outside of North America and is part of an effort to grow sales and distribution in Europe, where it has recently hired a sales agent.

The Defined Distinction bedroom group from Durham Furniture will be seen for the first time at this year’s IMM Cologne. Durham will how some of its bestselling collections across a wide range of price points. This will include several of the occasional groups launched at the High Point Market this past October as well as selections from top-selling bedroom collections PerfectBalance, Prominence, Front Street, Defined Distinction, Cascata, and George Washington Architect, which is from its licensed Mount Vernon collection.

“We had a very positive year in 2017 and the addition of the IMM show to our market roster and our new sales agency partnership sets a strategic plan in place as we continue our momentum into 2018,” Luke Simpson, Durham Furniture president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “The home furnishings market in Europe is largely untapped from a North American manufacturer’s perspective, so we are very confident there is a large opportunity for our brand and unique product designs.

“As one of only three Canadian manufacturers exhibiting at the show, IMM is a great opportunity for us to spotlight our exceptional North American solid wood quality story with this new and diverse market. Not only are we planning to make new business contacts in the retail sector, but we are also targeting the wholesale, contract and direct-to-trade marketplace,” he continued. “We are quite excited about the endless growth opportunities this fair offers our business and future.”

West Bros. to feature Tovin
Fellow case goods specialist West Bros. Furniture will highlight the clean, sleek designs created for it by Blake Tovin at IMM Cologne.

Samantha Mund, the manufacturer’s marketing co-ordinator, said she’s thrilled by the opportunity to show the product in Europe for the first time.

Designed by Blake Tovin, the Hayden bedroom group will be showcased by West Bros. during their first effort at IMM Cologne, which is being held through to January 21. “There is definitely a market in Europe for our product. The quality and esthetic are perfect for Germany, Denmark and England,” she said, noting, “We currently ship to Canadian embassies in many parts of Europe and in the Middle East. It’s a natural progression to pursue this market.”

“We see a real need and desire in the marketplace for Canadian produced, high-quality contemporary and transitional products,” Paul West, the company’s founder and president added, “and we’re in a unique position to produce them because of the significant investments we’ve made in technology over the years.

“These investments, which blend the precision of CNC equipment with the talents of old-world craftspeople, coupled with Blake’s talents on the design side, allow us to execute clean-lined, solid wood products very well.”

According to West, the focus on state-of-the-art manufacturing has also enabled West Bros to introduce more expensive materials like walnut into its line-up while continuing to remain competitive. “Walnut is not the easiest wood to work with,” he says, “but it is absolutely gorgeous when it’s finished.

Paired with Tovin’s hip, clean-lined designs, he believes the result is beautifully executed solid wood furniture with a high-end look where consumers can immediately discern the obvious quality inherent in the product. “Unlike the products coming in from off-shore, where they generally don’t do contemporary because there’s no ornamentation to camouflage flaws, the caliber of our construction and finishing techniques ensure we have nothing to hide,” West says.

“European consumers today have always had a tremendous interest in great design,” says Samantha Mund. “They are more sophisticated and fashion-driven in the upper middle of the market where we play. They seek experience, excitement and furnishings that reflect their individuality. And they are clearly demonstrating to our industry that they are bored by lackluster, traditional furniture presentations.”

Created by Horizon Coatings in Elmira, Ontario, Provincial Plank is a solid wood wall covering system and will also be shown at the BWA’s display in Cologne.

Cocoon by Sealy
This HGO article was written by:
Michael J. Knell
Michael J. Knell

Michael is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online. A seasoned business journalist, he has researched and written about the furniture, mattress and major appliance industries in both Canada and the United States for the past three decades.

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