Universal Furniture creates new role to add industry veteran to team

HIGH POINT — With a business nod to its growing upholstery category, Universal Furniture has created a new role and added an industry veteran to its team roster.

According to Universal officials, Rick Lovegrove, previously president of upholstery at Four Hands, has been named as the vice president of upholstery. Universal Furniture officials added that Lovegrove offers experience in both domestic and imported furniture and will help drive continued growth in the category for the company.

“The upholstery business at Universal has been a focal point in our growth strategy, aimed at expanding design appeal and growing sales,” said Sean O’Connor, president of Universal Furniture. “The rapid expansion of this division necessitated the creation of this role, and Rick’s extensive industry experience positions him perfectly to lead and further accelerate our momentum.”

Universal Furniture started its upholstery program in 2015. After acquiring Southern Upholstery in 2019, Universal began to develop domestic upholstery options starting in 2020, putting the company in a strong position for ongoing market leadership. Today, recent upholstery expansions include introducing new frame options, seat depths, retailer programs, COM and a selection of more than 500 new fabric choices.

In his new role, Lovegrove will collaborate closely with O’Connor and Shannon Lookabill, vice president of product development, to drive strategic initiatives and innovation within Universal Furniture’s designs. Together, the trio plans to capitalize on emerging trends, enhance product offerings and reinforce Universal Furniture’s position as a whole home leader in the furniture marketplace.

“I am truly excited to join the Universal team,” said Lovegrove. “The growth of the brand over the last couple of years has been exciting to witness, and I can’t wait to build and scale the next generation of the upholstery business.”

“Rick’s proven track record in scaling businesses within the furniture sector aligns with our vision for Universal Furniture’s future,” O’Connor said. “His leadership will be instrumental as we continue to innovate and meet the evolving demands of our customers.”

Universal Furniture, founded in 1968 and based in High Point, N.C., is the recipient of 14 Pinnacle awards for design excellence from the International Society of Furniture Designers, and is a brand of Samson Holdings, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated furniture manufacturers. The company’s case goods, upholstery, accent and outdoor designs are developed under the brand names Universal Furniture, Miranda Kerr Home and Coastal Living.

See also:

  • 2023 People to Watch: Rick Lovegrove 
  • Upholstery exhibitors bring consumer solutions, convenience and flexibility to market 

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