Futon Expo in New Orleans - aftermath
Industry Updates
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Part 2



"The only blues we heard was on Bourbon Street, and we left New Orleans on a very high note," reports Bob Glade, Marketing Director for Big Tree.
"Everyone loved what we were doing, and our space was busy from start to finish," said Glade.
The real buyers were there and they proved it with their orders.
"We were especially pleased with all the new business," added Bob Pecoraro, National Sales Manager for Big Tree.
"Our new 'Cabernet Finish', on our new oak futon arms, was a solid hit," he said.
Big Tree would like to thank everyone who came by their showroom, and a special thanks to the Futon Association, and Tambra Jones, for putting on a great show in a great city.
Viva Las Vegas!.


Everyone knows that the sleeping and seating surfaces provided by futon mechanisms are supposed to be hard wooden or metal slats offering little or no flex or resilience ... right? Wrong! Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company, a Hickory, NC based supplier to the nation's furniture and bedding industries, has perfected and introduced the Comfort LoungerTM, a futon mechanism which features sinuous wire springs suspended in a tubular metal futon frame.
Z.A. (Buddy) Ray, product manager for the new mechanism, indicates that the comfort, both in the reclining and the seating position, is far superior to many units presently on the market. "The sinuous wire acts much like a box spring providing down-deep, buoyant support," Ray stated. "When you combine the Comfort Lounger with a quality futon mattress like our foam coil unit," he pointed out, "you have a seating surface that allows you to sit in, not up on top of it. In addition, the new mechanism helps the futon mattress retain its loft and increases its life expectancy."
Equally important is the ease with which the Comfort Lounger operates. The unit opens and closes with little more than fingertip pressure. Hickory Springs uses heavy gauge metal to create a hinge linkage that is smooth and durable. All pivot points feature self-lubricating delrin bushings which ensure smoother, easier movement, and because the Comfort Lounger is made in the United States, Hickory Springs can provide quick service and fast delivery. "Almost without exception," Ray said, "we can meet our customers' needs within a very short time."
"As the futon industry has continued to grow and becomes more sophisticated, we have become increasingly aware of opportunities to introduce furniture component technology to futon dealers and manufacturers across the nation. We are confident that they, much like the furniture industry, are interested in crafting products that are comfortable, adaptable, stylish, and easy to operate. Our intent is to help them meet these goals with quality products and improved technology," Ray stated.


Gold Bond's Cotton Coil® and Comfort Coil® innerspring futon mattresses experienced a record-setting first half of the year and are now poised to outperform sales projections by 400%, Gold Bond's President Robert J. Naboicheck reports.
He said the company is shipping about 1,000 units to all 50 states as well as overseas each week. "As we come into the '98 season, we are geared up to meet this extraordinary demand for these futon mattresses. I can tell you, we are seeing something quite phenomenal here," he said.
Gold Bond's innerspring futons are designed to compete with couches and sofa convertibles throughout the world, Mr. Naboicheck said, adding that the company believes its quality futon products are beginning to make a difference in the marketplace.
"Our futon's great price strength and versatility coupled with a premium futon mattress's support make for an unbeatable product," he asserts.
The CottonCoil is the industry's first and finest fully flexible innerspring futon. It was designed to feel more like a plush couch or sofa than a traditional futon mattress. It's Holland Maid® free-end coil unit is surrounded by two 2" layers of 1.8 density HR foam and 55 pounds of Joy® cotton batting.
The ComfortCoil is a new high volume-priced innovation from Gold Bond that features a "super center" that folds easily while providing firm and healthy support. Designed to retail from $179 to $199, it features six layers of cotton and four layers of the futon industry's best and densest super-soft foam. For additional information.



Anyone who knows Mitch Wapen knows he works very hard to deliver what his customers say they want. "I've been trying to introduce a line of domestically manufactured solid oak futon frames for several years...with no success," said Wapen. He spoke of prices being too high for the quality required to penetrate the market, as well as issues like lack of furniture manufacturing experience and tooling. None of this stopped Wapen from still looking and he eventually hit the nail on the head-aye. "Paragon Furniture Manufacturing is an established maker of commercial hardwood chairs, doors and flooring, and will now be making solid oak futon frames for my company," Wapen said.
Wapen added that Paragon has a reputation of being a factory that produces an excellent, problem free product, on time. "They have some beautiful lustrous finishes and are very competitive in their pricing," he said.
Wapen said that right now he will be having Paragon produce a solid oak line that will mirror his pine line from Atelier de Bois J.A. Viens. "They will be almost exact copies of the pine styles with only subtle differences because of the differences in the woods themselves," he said.


Home furnishing veteran Jay I. Weber has been named Vice President and General Manager of Budoff Classic Furniture, manufacturer of the Monticello Oak futon collection and a leading outdoor casual oak furniture supplier.
Budoff Classic Furniture presently manufactures seven patented futon groups and in the past year has established itself as an innovator in solid oak futon furniture. Budoff began manufacturing solid oak Adirondack chairs for the hotel trade sixty years ago.
Mr. Weber was the seasonal buyer and merchandiser for four Home Depot Expo Design Centers and was general store manager for the Harrows Stores, Inc., New Jersey Division.
He also spent time as the national sales manager for Sure Heat Manufacturing of Georgia, a manufacturer of fireplace logs, and was responsible for all retail account business west of the Mississippi, training and managing sales personnel, and sourcing new products for national distribution. He holds a political science degree from The American University of Washington, D.C.

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