New A.R.T. president talks Market success, reveals strategy going forward

HIGH POINT – Mid-priced case goods and upholstery supplier A.R.T. Furniture and its sister brands Jonathan Charles and Caracole all headed to High POint Market this week with new leadership. Furniture Today caught up with Roger Turnbow, A.R.T.’s new president, late Sunday to see how the week had been.

“It has gone better than I expected,” Turnbow said. “Some buyers are shopping, but others are just kicking the tires. People will commit if a product truly resonates. Some buyers want something that’s new, while others just came to reinvest in proven winners.”

Turnbow classified buyers into two categories: those that know exactly what they want and those that have to be amazed in order to buy.

“The people kicking the tires really have to be wowed in order to commit to something right here and now,” he said. “The people that know exactly what they need have been ready to commit. It’s certainly a long way off from how it was in the pandemic era.”

A.R.T. released three distinct case good and upholstery collections at market, which is in-line with what the company has done in previous markets. The three lines cover all A.R.T.’s offered categories, which include bedroom, dining and living room, and upholstery.

Ashlar, one of the new lines, features a neutral palette with coastal looks and sanded metal accents. An upholstered bed features wide vertical channeling and optional end-panels. A “floating” nightstand includes three-way tough lights.

The new Ashlar bedroom from A.R.T.

Reforma on the other hand is rustic and bolder, with an aged weather finish and cerusing.

Each collection is meant to be separate from the others, Turnbow said. It’s a strategy that worked this time but will be altered in the future. “When many buyers are shopping so specific, having the three distinct looks works,” he said. “But I want us to be more unified in the future.

“Buyers and retailers have to be able to identify who we are,” he continued. “I want them to know what A.R.T. is. Brands need recognizability. We’re a mid-priced brand; we’re not luxury. I want them to have more of a clear idea of what they’re getting from us. That means a clear and strong value proposition and livable furniture.”

See A.R.T. Furniture at its showroom at 122 N. Hamilton through April 17.

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