One of the biggest names in furniture is getting into the casual market.
The “Outdoor by Ashley” line includes dining sets, seating, fire pit chat sets and umbrellas in a variety of styles. It will be available in August to dealers nationwide as well as at Ashley’s 630 retail locations.
The Arcadia, Wisc.-based manufacturer tapped Andy Sokol to head-up the new division, as vice president of merchandising. Sokol was previously vice president of sales for Agio, USA.
He was instrumental in helping Agio set up a distribution program last year that allowed dealers to buy smaller volumes of merchandise. (They previously could only purchase Agio products by the container, a risky proposition for some.)
Ashley is appealing to dealers with a similar distribution strategy. The company expects to introduce outdoor products to retailers who’ve been limited to interior furnishings. “Sourced from a select group of proven vendors who have partnered with Sokol in the past, Ashley is focused on bringing on-trend styles and value while limiting risk for retailers who have been interested in carrying outdoor furniture for some time,” a press release states.
An Ashley spokesman said the company saw the outdoor category’s explosive growth in recent years and decided now was the time to make a play.
Outdoor by Ashley makes its debut at the Las Vegas Market, a home furnishings trade show that kicks off July 31 and rus through August 4.