While the majority of companies in the home furnishings industry continue to chase the oft-elusive Millennial customer, Fairfield Chair — a major manufacturer of fine upholstered seating for the home, office and hospitality industries — and its team, led by Dixon Mitchell, is focused on the other end of the generational spectrum — aging boomers. Demographically speaking, they may be onto something.
One of Fairfield Chair’s new collections, Rustic Modern (think urban Nashville vibe) is clean and organic and layered with texture, as is shown in the Felix lounge chair here. Its design was based on feedback from the company’s diverse group of customers, including independent retailers, small boutiques, designers and several of the top 100 retailers. All spoke about how their customers’ lives were changing and how this affected their furniture buying habits. “Whether or not they’re downsizing, people are simplifying their lives, seeking to make things easier and more convenient,” April Welch, Director of Merchandising, says. “The need for versatility is universal."
Fairfield Chair has implemented a new strategy to meet the changing needs of buyers and designers by taking their show on the road. Literally. Coming to a neighborhood near you, the Fairfield Mobile Showroom is a retrofitted tractor trailer filled with furniture combined with all the comforts of a high-end recreational vehicle. Designed to introduce the Fairfield brand, the Mobile Showroom enables buyers and designers to get up close and personal with product and experience the company’s quality first-hand. It also makes an ideal venue for intimate educational seminars.
It’s not that Fairfield Chair was new to targeting older consumers. Approaching its 100th anniversary, the family-owned company has long had a significant presence in the commercial/hospitality market via its senior living division. Yet, relates Welch, “though we made a fabulous product, it was extremely traditional and probably a little dated. With Dixon’s insight, we’re in the midst of a metamorphosis stylistically, with a more modern nuance. It’s a much hipper look today.” Shown above are the Kyle lounge chair and Grandview end table.