18701 Mon, 05/17/2010 - 6:00am
After a 25 year absence from the category, Macy’s is testing the casual furniture waters with a launch of outdoor furniture collections in some of its Northeast stores.
With a wide variety of furniture designed to convert outdoor space into an extension of the home, the Macy’s Outdoor Furniture Collection is debuting in 20 Macy’s Department Stores and furniture galleries in New York, New jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware and Virginia.
“We are rolling into stores along the East Coast from Boston to Virginia,” said Jeff Kantor, Macy’s president, GMM of Macy’s Home Store. “We will cater to lifestyle from the urban dweller with small balconies to oceanfront homes in the Hamptons and country estates in Connecticut that have almost unlimited space.”
The offerings include dining sets, seating groups, bar sets and wood-burning fire pit chat sets. There is also a wide assortment of accompanying accessories such as chaise lounges, end tables, umbrellas, serving carts and baker’s racks.
“As people spend more time in the ‘outdoor room,’ they look for more than just dining sets,” Kantor said.
Style and designs include earth-tone frame colors with fabrics in chili red, terra cotta and cinnamon for a punch of color. Some of the items will be branded exclusively for Macy’s, while others are from brands such as Agio, Cast Classics, Castelle, Sun Garden and Treasure Garden.
Macy’s entry into the category follows last year’s bankruptcy and liquidation of Fortunoff, a major player in the New York outdoor furniture market. In February, the brand was revived when former Fortunoff management along with owners of Texas-based The Chair King opened seven Fortunoff Backyard Furniture Stores.
Kantor said Macy’s “had been looking at the category as a high-potential growth area, and the closing of Fortunoff provided a timely opportunity to make a move.”
He added that Macy’s will monitor its Northeast casual-furniture sales to consider expanding the category to additional stores.—Duke Ratliff