A.R.T. Furniture, through its parent company Markor Furniture International, a premier overseas retailer and manufacturer, is entering 2019 with the implementation of several key strategic year-long initiatives, including the move into a new corporate office.
“The last years have been ones of rapid and gratifying development for A.R.T.,” says Jeff Cook, CEO of A.R.T. Furniture. “These new initiatives are the results of a multi-year plan to take A.R.T. to the next level of growth.”
A.R.T. is moving its corporate office this week and will unveil its new showroom in April at the Markor Art Center (MAC), a building that is sure to become the focal point in the High Point, NC Hamilton Wrenn Design District. Based on a concept from Markor founder Richard Feng, “MAC’s architecture reflects Markor’s unique story and design DNA and provides a fitting showcase for the next era of A.R.T. Furniture,” said Mark Feng, President of Markor International Business Division (MIBD). “Equally important, MAC is a tangible expression of Richard Feng’s love for and loyalty to High Point and the furniture industry.”
The new showroom will be the setting for six new collections, the broadest and most comprehensive launch of product in A.R.T.’s history. The April debut will feature four new whole home collections, new upholstery directions and two new outdoor living collections, all with broad appeal across multiple price points. “We’re excited to bring updated product, architecture and design to such an iconic new landmark in the city,” said Doug Rozenboom, Sr. VP Product Merchandising and Marketing.
The new product launches are accompanied by an internal restructuring at A.R.T. that includes eliminating the position of president indefinitely. “Our team and the Markor team worked together to come up with a leadership strategy that makes sense for A.R.T.’s growth,” said Cook, who will continue leading the executive team as CEO.
Among other things, the restructured team will oversee an accelerated marketing approach. “Our key areas of focus are developing best-in-class content for both customers and consumers, coordinating all social platforms and growing our retail gallery program,” says Rozenboom. “We want to listen to what our customers need from us and over-deliver.”
Other initiatives include:
- A.R.T. Furniture’s first-ever licensed collection with a high-visibility designer whose name will be revealed in the next few weeks. “We’re excited about this new partnership and new chapter for A.R.T.,” says Cook. “This collection will bring A.R.T. to the forefront of what new generations of consumers are asking for in style and quality.”
- Artiste, a customized bedroom collection launched in March 2018 with a targeted roll out to A.R.T.’s retail base, is broadening to include a program tailored for the needs of the design community. Artiste, with a lead time that has been reduced by over 60 percent since its launch, is available in 80 retail locations. “The Artiste launch reinvented the casegoods buying process,” says Cook. “We have clearly captured something important in today’s landscape and we are excited to see what the next phase holds.”
- Outdoor furniture is also part of a continued growth strategy. First introduced in 2017 as an extension of A.R.T.’s whole-home approach, outdoor collections were also introduced at the National Casual Market to a new base of specialty casual retailers to grow the A.R.T. Furniture brand through new retail distribution.
“It’s going to be a fun, exciting and action-packed year for A.R.T.,” says Cook. “Our team is diverse, dynamic, and with the full support of Markor we plan to have our best year ever.”