Supersizing Sleepers
Updating Futon Sleepers
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August Lotz intros "convertible sofa sleepers"

August Lotz is pleased to announce that their new high-end futon frame and arm styles are now entering the first phases of production. "Completion of this product line is scheduled for early May - coinciding with our showing at the Futon Expo in New Orleans, LA" said Mark Schlichter, company President. The units will have "invisible" hardware and will no longer be called "futons". Instead, they will be marketed as "Convertible Sofa Sleepers" in order to separate them from the rest of the "futon" line. The company feels that diversity within their futon frame line will prove to be a strong suit when it comes to gaining placement on showroom floors.

August Lotz has also recently unveiled their new bedroom collection. "The factory's production line for these casegoods is up and running to fill orders already placed for the groups," said co-owner Mark Barton. Each group consists of a seven drawer dresser, tri-fold mirror, and five drawer chest designed to complement the already existing platform beds and night stands. Orders may be placed for individual pieces or complete suites.

August Lotz' newly formed alliance with a leader in the cover industry - Cotton Belle - thus offering customers one of the most "complete" futon packages on the market today. Cotton Belle is one of the most versatile cover manufacturers - supplying customers with a broad array of colors, textures, and styles encompassing all price ranges. The companies are unified not only by a commitment to quality products, but also by a commitment to innovation rather than duplication.

LofaBed sleeper Goes Supersize
Just when we were getting used to the idea of a 50 inch futon with permanently attached, buttoned-on covers, the makers of the davenport-futon combination called the LofaBed, have come out with a bigger model that accommodates a standard sized futon with removable futon covers!

"That's the beauty of working with small, Canadian factories," said Mitch Wapen of Lofa Sales. "They listen to their customers, and what our futon customers are saying is that people want a full, 54 inch futon with the option of choosing a futon cover to match the base." The LofaBed was originally targeted to go head-to-head against other sofa beds in a department or furniture store environment. "But," says Wapen, "futon retailers didn't like the smaller mattress and upholstered look that is perfectly acceptable to furniture dealers. So, we bumped the size by four inches and offered the davenport base as a separate item, and WOW, did sales take off!"

Wapen feels furniture dealers are likely to stock the LofaBed in only one fabric combination and then custom order everything else, whereas a futon dealer views the Super LofaBed as a new upholstered frame category to go alongside his metal, pine, and hardwood models. "This is fine by me," claims Wapen. "Whether I sell a complete set or the davenport base alone, I'm happy for the business. And, of course, shipping costs are a lot less when you're buying only half the product."

Collegiate Introduces Expandable Bookshelf System
Collegiate Furnishings, from its new manufacturing facility in State College, PA, has introduced a line of Southern Yellow Pine knockdown shelving that can be expanded ad infinitum. Individual shelf units can be purchased with either three, four, or five shelves, up to five feet tall, with suggested retail prices from $49 to $79.

What makes this product unique is that two free standing units can be joined together with a pair of TV/VCR shelves to create an entertainment center. The ability to add many sections at different heights also results in a multiple tiered effect that is visually appealing and also functional.

Collegiate Furnishings has also added a new line of tables to match the bookshelves, which together with their Mountain Series frames will allow retailers to offer complete vignettes at superb price points. All of their products will be on display at the Futon Expo in New Orleans.

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