In all, around 33 companies turned out for the spring Long Point, many making use of their permanent showrooms in the Long Eaton area. Paul Farley sought out a few of the highlights …
The May edition of Long Point might not boast the same attractiveness to buyers as its September counterpart, yet it remains an exciting focal point for new product – and, increasingly, for new initiatives and directions, from members of the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers and associated exhibitors alike.
In recent years, the bulk of Long Point’s stalwarts have recognised the need to reappraise their approach to manufacture, marketing and service, and last month’s event provided the perfect place to announce new developments.
In a bid to court interior designers, Parker and Farr introduced its Interior Design Privilege Card. MD Tony Crinion says: “We have tailored it specifically to meet the needs of interior designers and the bespoke projects they undertake. Benefits to those who work with us will include discounts on products, free and quick delivery time, price match guarantees and a free design service using AutoCAD product drawings.
“We already offer a bespoke hand-made furniture service, which covers everything from designing the product with the customer, right through to a full fit-out service and aftercare, and the card will add to the service we can offer interior designers.” Parker and Farr also displayed its new English Collection, developed in partnership with English Heritage, a sample of which was featured in Furniture News’ Zone section last month.
Parker Knoll is settling well into its spacious new showroom in Harrington Mill. As the company’s export activity waxes – its recent foray at the Milan furniture fair paid dividends, according to brand director Donna Bellingham – a savvy realignment of existing brands is helping ensure its UK business prospers.
Also fresh from foreign shores was Carlton Furniture. Having significantly grown its credibility through an appearance at IFFS Singapore in March, the cabinet furniture supplier unveiled new directions in bespoke painted oak cabinets and themed wall-hanging background voiles designed to strengthen in-store displays.
Following its launch at Interiors UK, Alexander & James – a rebrand of Ashley Manor’s AMX offering – was fully represented at Long Point. Those choosing to buy from the colourful collection of leathers and leather/fabric mixes will benefit from the company’s centralised development and manufacturing facility in Bangkok. “It is our intention to grow the Alexander & James brand with the addition of more models as soon as possible,” says sales director Steve Morgan.
Following its dramatic refurbishment last year, Wade Upholstery’s showroom proved consistently busy, while in Meadowmead House, the John Sankey and Henderson Russell upholstery brands both benefited from a wealth of new, design-led fabric combinations and shapes, displayed within highly creative showroom settings.
Down the road in Castle Donington, Art Forma’s sizeable showroom featured a mix of the company’s bespoke upholstery and its imported brand, AF International. Like many of Long Eaton’s showrooms, Art Forma’s is open all year round, answering consumer enquiries with referrals to stockists.
The permanent nature of the majority of Long Eaton’s showrooms means that the event, while being closely contained, is not the easiest to navigate – yet here, visitors will find display platforms and hospitality almost without equal on the UK exhibition circuit.
The autumn edition commences on 16th September.