14040 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 11:05am
By Nancy Meyer
CHICAGO–New furniture, lighting and home decor products aimed at driving retail sales will be presented at the International Home & Housewares Show here this week.
They range from new seating options and folding furniture to juvenile- and tween-oriented high-tech gear and vision-saving lighting. Some address the eco-conscious consumer’s desire for environmentally friendly goods, while others simply promise to be value-priced and easy to use.
Maker of a wide array of stuffed and beanbag chairs, Comfort Research is introducing several back-to-school items, including the Relax Lounger. The lounger is a square overstuffed pillow filled with urethane foam that, when folded up using plastic fasteners, creates a comfortable lounge chair. When it lays flat, it’s a mat. What makes it appealing for retailers, points out Chip George, company principal, is that the item ships in a box that measures one-quarter of the product’s original size.
Comfort Research has also added to its lineup for little kids, including a junior club chair and ottoman. But the green movement has also been addressed with the company’s Green Bean chairs, made from 100 percent organic cotton and filled with 100 percent natural fill, George said.
Firefly Alternative Energy Group
From a new exhibitor, Firefly Alternative Energy Group, the Lunet Lighting Cover promises to cut glare of a compact fluorescent light bulb placed in a recessed fixture or other down light.
Novelty products vendor LumiSource is expanding its very popular BoomChair concept to a new silhouette. The BoomPod, a new rounded cushion chair, is equipped with all the MP3 and gaming capabilities, as well as built-in speakers, of the BoomChair. A great back-to-school and seasonal gift seller, this item will target specialty channels, according to LumiSource.
LumiSource is also bringing to market light-emitting diode accent lamps to appeal to the younger crowd. These include a fuzzy, furry pink or lime green flexible light called Nessie. LumiSource will have several other gift and back-to-school products in its IHA lineup.
Mirrotek International is one of the oldest mirror manufacturers in the country, having made mirrors continuously for 120 years, and it will be exhibiting among kitchenware exhibitors, thanks to its extensive line of Iron Chef sauces and other gourmet products. But Mirrotek officials want the market to know its line of mirrors, particularly door mirrors, is still value-priced and ready to ship from its domestic plant in New Jersey, said Bill Porfido, sales manager. New this year from Mirrotek are write-on mirrors and ones that can display photos, among others.
The company has expanded its line of massage chairs to include the new Zero Gravity Massage Chair. Zero-gravity positioning distributes body weight evenly and places the seat at an optimum 30-degree angle to the floor while the footrest elevates the legs, the ideal position for a full-body massage.
The chair’s exclusive thumb-shaped jointed GK Rollers emulate the “grasping and kneading” of a live massage as they reach out up to 6 inches to comfortably squeeze the neck and tops of the shoulders. The massage continues down the back by stroking and tapping to the tailbone. The legs and feet are treated to an exclusive multipoint Shiatsu massage via air bags that deliver deep and penetrating relief, the company said.
The chair’s exclusive Stiffness Detection Sensor then allows the chair to customize the massage, focusing on detected areas of stiffness and tension. This chair has several programs from a quick massage course to full-body sensor automatic massage courses and several combinations. Sanyo’s chair fits various body sizes and has a built-in Physical Shape Sensor that automatically adjusts the massage rollers so that they are on target to appropriately grasp and knead the shoulders and neck. The black synthetic leather chair will be available in April at select retailers for $4,499.99.
Verilux is a specialist in full-spectrum lighting and has developed many more decorative lamps using its Optix Glare Control Filtration System.
Verilux’s line of decorative and functional reading lamps includes new floor and desk lamps to fit both modern and traditional decors. These lamps feature the Verilux Natural Spectrum daylight illumination and its flicker elimination technology that promises to eliminate eyestrain, as well as the Optix Glare Control feature. The energy-saving bulbs should last 10,000 hours and deliver more light while using one-fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs, Verilux said.