Superstyle hosting virtual market
VAUGHAN, Ontario – For the next two weeks, Canadian upholstery specialist Superstyle, along with its sister companies Trend-Line and Simmons Upholstery Canada, will host a virtual market to showcase its latest product introductions and promotions to retailers across the country.
“Our 360-degree, high definition video tours will allow the visiting retailing to browse our showrooms collection-by-collection and see our latest designers in up-to-the-minute textiles,” the company’s long-time vice president of sales Laine Reynolds told Home Goods Online.
“The launch of our Virtual Marketplace Experience is just one aspect of providing our retailers with the extra tools required to navigate their business during these unprecedented times,” he explained, adding it will allow the company’s sales team to connect with those retailers in a show-like environment but safely and conveniently.
Superstyle, which doesn’t exhibit at any of the large trade events in the United States such as High Point, usually shows in the Toronto Summer Furniture Show organised by the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance. This year’s event was cancelled as was the Toronto Gift Show, which is normally held at the same time.
The event is divided into key categories: Discover is about the launch of the company’s fall 2020 product introductions; Advantage highlights show specials; and, Explore is the 360-degree, virtual showroom tour. “While we will miss the personal visits we host during a market, this digital asset will keep retailers up to date on the changes we have made,” Reynolds said, adding the bonus for retailers is the tour can also be easily shared with members of their own team.
Superstyle’s sales team have all the sales collaterals needed to accommodate immediate virtual presentations. Reynolds added that to provide a more tactile experience, showroom visits or in-store showings can be scheduled. “Our showroom is available year-round, and we adhere to strict COVID protocols,” he said.
Reynolds told HGO Superstyle has seen a tremendous surge in business over the past few weeks as retail re-opened after the shutdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have experienced an tremendous surge in volume, driven by a combination of factors: pent-up demand, renewed consumer interest in home investment, fewer competitive options for the disposable income such as travel,” he remarked. “The fact is there is an increased appetite for home furnishings right now and we are getting a larger share of the consumer purse.”
He also acknowledges many of the operational challenges faced by furniture manufacturers have significantly in this new normal environment. Consumers are demanding quick delivery, which has the danger of shortening lead times. To meet this, Reynolds said Superstyle is ramping up its communication efforts across its entire supply chain.
“‘Tag’ orders are a core busines for us,” he explained, “and our express programs have become a vital component of our overall business.” In recent weeks, the company pre-built a number of its best selling styles for immediate shipping and he is urging retailers to take a similar approach because despite this, he is concerned the pandemic will negatively impact the supply chain in the longer term.
“Diligent stock management is crucial to success and our fulfillment rate has been exemplary,” he said, adding, “maintaining these fill rates will be challenging going into the fall.
“Despite the uncertainty, we are committed to developing new products on an ongoing basis,” Reynolds continued. “With trade shows paused or at risk it is essential we continue to introduce relevant product to the market more consistently. We expect the fall will continue to be strong provided there is not a serious resurgence of COVID. We remain quite confident.”
Superstyle’s virtual market will continue until September 28.