At the upcoming High Point Market, Watermark Living will present an interactive panel discussion aimed at helping full-line furniture retailers and interior designers realize opportunities in the home furnishings industry’s fastest-growing category.
Moderated by former Casual Living publisher Norman Hamilton and featuring both full-line and specialty store retailers, the special educational event is set for Monday morning, Oct. 15 at 8 a.m. inside the Watermark Living showroom, located at 205 South Main Street.
“In line with the seminar’s title, our panel of retailers will focus on the tools, ideas, products and programs that dealers and designers can easily implement to set themselves apart in the marketplace, whether they are already in the business or have yet to get their feet wet,” Hamilton says. “We’ll explore product and merchandising trends, how to provide maximum choice in a minimal footprint, and most importantly, what consumers want today.”
At press time panelists scheduled to take part in the discussion include independent furniture retailer Ryan Elwell of Royal Furniture & Design, a family owned and -operated chain based in Key West, FL and Tim Newton, owner of Leader’s Casual Furniture, a 19-store chain that counts among its honors awards like “Best Casual Furniture Retailer in North America.”
In addition to being a leading retailer, Newton and his wife Ashley are the owners of Watermark Living, a uniquely positioned casual furnishings resource created by retailers for retailers that specializes in fashionable and customizable contract-grade products for indoors and out in a broad range of materials.
“As a retailer with 47 years of experience, we began designing product for our own stores to fill voids in the marketplace, but we never really thought about it as something we would eventually offer to others,” explains Ashley Newton, Executive Vice President of Watermark Living. “In the beginning, we would respond to requests from other retailers who would visit our stores in Florida and ask, ‘Where do you did get this from? I’d like something like that for my store.’”
The Newtons eventually launched the Watermark Living brand to share both their products and their extensive expertise in the category with others. Designed to be a one-stop shop, the extensively tested product line includes upholstered looks encompassing both traditional and deep seating options, as well as dining, lighting and decorative accessories. Watermark Living also produces its own cushions domestically with a line of trend-right fabrics. Products are stocked for fast delivery inside the company’s state-of-the-art, 120,000-square-foot distribution center located in Largo, FL, and in-stock items ship in as little as 48 hours.
“Via Watermark Living, the Newtons have made it their mission to make outdoor easy for retailers and designers,” Hamilton says. “During the panel discussion, Tim will share the insights and approaches that have helped Leader’s Casual grow into one of the most successful retail chains in Florida today.”
All seminar attendees are invited and encouraged to participate in a Q&A session following the panel discussion. Reservations are not necessary and light refreshments will be served.