Tim Donk

Mattresses, fireplaces are bright spots for Legends in tough climate

HIGH POINT – Like many in the furniture industry, business is tough for Legends Home. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Business is slightly up or flat for the company in the second quarter, and certain categories are doing well.

Tim Donk

“We saw an uptick in orders over Memorial Day,” said Tim Donk, vice president of product, told Furniture Today. “Most of our buyers had better than usual weekends, but nothing really to write home about. It was far from the best Memorial Day, but at least better than what we’ve been seeing.”

Case goods business remains subdued, Donk says, while mattresses, upholstery and fireplaces are bright spots. The company recently launched Good Vibes Sleep, a value-driven program offering UPS-able mattresses and bases to retail stores or directly to a retail customer’s home.

“Mattresses are doing very well, and we’re moving into the mattress season,” he said. “We had our official launch of Good Vibes, and the buyers who sold them did well. In tough times, people will still buy sofas because everyone can see them in their home. And for mattresses, everyone still needs to sleep and to sleep well.

“Everything else though, such as bedroom and case goods, takes a hit. Unless you moved or did a full redo, a lot of times you’re not buying this furniture. Fireplaces are the exception for us. Most of the increased business we saw over Memorial Day was in fireplaces.”

At the recent High Point Market, Legends launched 21 new fireplaces, each a step up from its core offering and priced around 5% higher.

Legends’ new fireplaces have enhanced features, such as soft-close drawers and fully finished insides.

Upholstery, while still in demand, is seeing a hit due to rising container rates.

“In 2021 or 2022, Maersk’s profit percentages were up 300% or something insane,” Donk said. “And now, rates are going up, and it’s not exactly clear why. There’s nothing anyone can do about it.

“We’re waiting longer to get bookings and seeing these same increases that seem to be unwarranted. What’s sad about it is that we’re seeing so much success with our mixed container program and it’s putting it on the brakes. All our upholstery is mixed container or container direct, so it hurts.”

Donk said the company’s hopes will remain in mattresses and with new capabilities and expansions in fireplaces, including a gallery program and a sourcing expansion. Currently, fireplaces are made domestically at the company’s Arizona plant. An addition of imported options is coming.

“I’m excited about imported fireplaces because we can be so much more creative,” he said. “Because of our labor rate, our domestic stuff has to be simpler. “We’re going to focus as well on a gallery program for fireplace consoles. You’ll get pricing incentives if you floor it the way we want it and you’ll get tools.”

See also:

  • Fireplace consoles are all the buzz for Legends at Market
  • Legends’ new UPS-able upholstered beds ship in one piece

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