“I want something different, they all look the same.”



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Preaching to the choir, or the dreaded Deja Vu all over again

In this current issue we are once again focused on the futon frame, one of three components that constitute a complete futon sofa sleeper. Those of us who have grown up in this category think nothing of this component thing. In fact we look at it as a distinct advantage over the traditional sofa sleeper.

What other furniture product allows you to mix and match on the fly like futon furniture does? What other furniture product offers the flexibility and versatility of the futon sofa sleeper? The futon specialty store with its knowledgeable staff of futon professionals uses the component advantage to demonstrate what we may sometimes take for granted. The fact remains that these advantages must be spelled out and demonstrated to a consumer who has probably been spoon fed by Martha Stewart or some other “expert” source on the pros and cons of interior decorating, color matching, design trends and the like, and who looks around the store at ten to twenty fundamentally “mission” style arms and says, “You got anything else other than all these look alike couches?“ “Yeah,” says the sales person, “We got futons with arms that sweep up and we got arms that sweep down. We got legs that point in and legs that point out. We got thin arms. We got thick futon arms. We got no arms at all. Which one would you like?” The customer looks around again and says, “I want something different, they all look the same.”

It is at this precise moment that the shrewd and crafty salesperson should laud the awesome advantages of the “component factor”. “Listen ma’am, this is a futon sofa sleeper. It is made up of three component parts. Each part is designed and constructed for a very distinct and specialized purpose. This futon frame here is designed with a single function in mind from solid wood.”

The sage salesperson now has the opportunity to explain in vivid detail how that upholstered sofa sleeper that they saw at Furniture Universe also has a wooden frame, but that the wood in that futon frame is full of knots and cracks, and that it is screwed together with big ugly screws which she can’t see because they have been covered over with stuffing of unknown origin (probably containing some animal fat and a dead bug or two) and fabric which has been glued and stapled tight to hide those big ugly screws and shoddy pad. The crafty sales person should also point out that Furniture Universe may have even sawn one of those upholstered futon frames in half with a chain saw to try and show how this ugly secret is actually an advantage when it isn’t. The futon furniture specialist should say, “We don’t have to saw our furniture in half to show you what’s inside because it’s on the outside already. See ma’am our wood is clear and finished so we like to show it to you. Let me show you our finest futon sofa sleeper. It is finely manufactured here in the states of kiln dried oak. Look at the joinery and fine craftsmanship. The futon mattress is made of cotton and latex foam, and the futon cover is a woven jacquard we picked out at last month’s Showtime fabric show in High Point. It’s hot, and it’s only $999.00 for everything, and you can take it home now or we can deliver it today by 5 o’clock… and assemble it for you too!” She reflects on the twelve week wait for her sofa from Furniture Universe, looks at the comfort and value of the gleaming futon sofa sleeper she can take home today and plunks down her credit card. We win. She wins. Furniture Universe loses. That’s unless the owner of Furniture Universe just read this too. Better get while the gettin’ is good.

How Do They Do It?

When Tom Conard sat down and built his “Buttie Award” winning futon he pulled out all the stops. “We set out to build a futon mattress of unparalleled comfort using the latest space age materials including visco elastic foam and it really paid off. We’ve always felt we made the best futon mattress available. It’s exciting to be recognized by the futon industry for it. We feel honored to have been voted the best by our customers and our competitors,” Conard said.



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