New product, new incentives, in-stock options key, says New Classic’s Scott Hill

FONTANA, Calif. – As door swings continue to be down for many retailers across the country, manufacturers and suppliers are doing all they can to keep business going. That often means new product, new buying incentives and being in-stock as much as possible.

That’s no different for New Classic.

Hill, Scott 3-2022
Scott Hill

“Business is challenging according to nearly all dealers I visit and speak with,” President of Sales Scott Hill told Furniture Today. “Our team is making a concerted effort to be in front of retailers on a daily basis offering best sellers, new introductions and specials.

“The struggle for a lot of dealers is the continued slowdown in traffic,” he continued. “Advertising and events are helping, but it appears the consumer is waiting for events to shop, and you must be promoting value or financing and in most cases both. The dealers I visited last week up North and the accounts I spoke to on the phone had a good Memorial Day weekend and most are continuing the event. It goes to the point of promoting events.”

When looking at product, Hill says bedding and motion are performing well, while case goods are seeing a slowdown. “Cases have slowed down some, but we are fortunate to have values in all categories and coming off a fantastic market have a lot of momentum to discuss while visiting accounts.”

Business for New Classic is better than last year, he said, but new freight and production problems are arising.

“Business compared with last year for New Classic is up double digits in written business after a solid written year last year,” he said. “Getting shipments recently is more of a challenge with an increase in cost of overseas freight and a slowdown in production at factories overseas.

“So, we have made a concerted effort to do our best to have our best sellers in stock and on water, albeit having to pay more in some cases to get the goods we need. Container customers without contracts are seeing dramatic price increases in freight causing a pushback or delays when we can’t help them with freight.”

What’s the outlook?

“I think most of us are in the same boat in expectations for the rest of the year,” Hill said. “We are locked in and pushing just like everyone else to take market share. Discounts are being offered out there, but if it isn’t a need, the dealers aren’t as eager to take on more inventory in these times.

“I think we will go through a typical slowdown this summer and wait and see what happens with the election. We are preaching positivity to our reps and not succumbing to the doom and gloom that can take over in challenging conditions like these. Recently it seems like we are facing these hurdles more frequently, but just like in the past we will all get through this.”

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