Outdoor Furniture Trends
Besides the economy, what are the leading influences in the outdoor furniture segment?
First, the awakening of the traditional furniture retailer to the possibilities of adding outdoor to his or her store is a huge development. This will only grow in the future. Next, homeowners are doing a lot more research online and the product has to strike a balance between fair cost and high quality. But overall, with the economy still on the mind of most consumers, we're naturally finding that trends are still very much driven by value.
Agio has put a lot of effort into meeting that demand by adding collections that fall into the under $2,000 price range. We continue to see popular sling and Alumicast® collections making their way to showroom floors. Deep-seating groups are also on the rise, in part due to new collections in all-weather wicker that customers really seem to love.
What's deciding today's leading styles?
Taking the economy and price points into account, Alumicast® and sling collections continue to be customer favorites. Traditional designs still take the lead, with deep seating growing with every season. Leading the deep seating selections are traditional/transitional sofas, seating, ottomans and side tables, but we're also noticing that pit groups, semi-curved sectionals, and other unusual configurations are getting some play.
Trends driving today's designs?
Indoor trends are driving outdoor design today more than ever, which is one reason why you'll see more indoor retailers adding outdoor to their mix. You'll also see that people who really like entertaining outdoors are starting to look for larger dining groups – ones that seat eight to ten or more. Our new collections include groups that will fit the bill for these customers.
Who are Agio's consumers today?
I'd say that the bulk of our buyers are 35 to 55 year-old couples or singles who own their own homes, have emerging incomes or are at the height of their income earning years.
Agio's roster balance between traditional and contemporary designs.
Traditional and transitional designs make up 95% of our business, which is why we still continue to build in those areas. Contemporary groups are still a small niche, but it continues to show up in the statistics, so we hope to grow that market too.
Stars for Agio in 2011. Outlook for future stars in 2012?
Some of Agio's biggest sellers continue to be Alumicast® dining and deep seating collections like Heritage and Ashmost. Martinique, one of the all-weather wicker groups we introduced three years ago, continues to be a big hit with homeowners. Outdoor fire is always a crowd-pleaser, which is why fire pit chat groups like our Haywood collection are also popular with our customers.
Accessorizing, styling trends.
Agio prides itself on bringing together value and quality in the outdoor space.
Accessories. Lighted table accents are emerging as a trend, so we continue to develop new options in that area.
RTA. With the rising costs of freight and shipping, we're finding that ready-to-assemble designs will become more prominent and give us another way to pass on cost-savings to our customers.
Details. Agio also continues to add new, multi-step finishes to its aluminum frames, so that customers can have the look of genuine natural wood, rattan and other looks, but found on a product that will last them years and years.
Color. Browns have long been dominant in the outdoor marketplace. We're still seeing shades of brown but for 2012 and as the economy gets better, we're definitely seeing an injection of color.
- Look for a lot of whites and driftwood colors, generally more lighter, refreshing colors.
- Green is up-trending; but bright shades of green, happy shades of green. Fun colors. Oranges and reds. Colors are really making a difference in consumers' lives. Making them happier, making them feel good about themselves. It's about a way to display their personal style.