Wray Ward to Share Outdoor Living Category Insights and Opportunities at NAHFA’s Home Furnishings Networking Conference

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    May 26, 2014

Wray Ward to Share Outdoor Living Category Insights and Opportunities at NAHFA’s Home Furnishings Networking Conference

Agency News

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Wray Ward Vice President Kent Panther will present “Expanding Your Horizons: Head Outdoors” at the NAHFA’s Home Furnishings Networking Conference from June 1-3 in Phoenix.

Tailored to home furnishing retailers, Panther’s presentation will cover the vast potential in offering outdoor living products. More specifically, he will discuss the demographics, social factors, new home builds and remodeling indicators, and technology and product advancements that work in favor of retailers who want to leverage trends in the outdoor category.

“We frequently hear from our retailers that considering new categories can be a daunting undertaking,” said Cindi Williams, marketing team leader, North American Home Furnishings Association. “Room on the floor, sales training, finding the right vendors for their demographics – all of this can discourage retailers from making changes.

By bringing Kent to the event with his wealth of knowledge, contacts and research, we are providing real data on why heading outdoors can be a very positive and profit building direction.”

Outdoor furniture sales growth in the past 10 years has skyrocketed. Now about $4 billion in annual sales, the market’s 50 percent-plus growth is well ahead of every other furniture category, from sofas and chairs to bedroom, dining and entertainment furniture. And, furniture stores account for only about 7 percent of outdoor furniture sales at $275 million, leaving tremendous room for growth.

“The increased consumer interest in outdoor living is undeniable and indicates a bright future,” Panther said. “If you are a retailer that already knows how to elevate the beauty and style of an indoor space, you have an excellent opportunity to grow your business.”

Panther has presented at conferences hosted by the American Home Furnishings Alliance, the Home Improvement Research Institute, the Hardware Marketing Council, WithIt and others. Panther brings nearly 25 years of experience in strategic planning and marketing communications to his role at Wray Ward, an insights-driven creative marketing communications firm with expertise in the home and building category. During his career at Wray Ward, Panther has worked with brands such as Duke Energy, Hunter Douglas Window Designs, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Mohawk Flooring, Rheem Gas Furnaces, Springmaid Home Fashions, Sunbrella and VELUX Skylights. Panther has also worked with Michelin, Mr. Coffee, McDonald’s Restaurants and Coca-Cola.

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