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Sure Fit Slipping Into A Younger Market

Bryce is one of SurefitBryce is one of Surefit’s new patterns that takes inspiration from menswear
NEW YORK - Sure Fit thinks young people make a good fit with the company.
     At the recent New York Home Fashions Market, the manufacturer that dominates the slipcover industry unveiled looks targeting a new segment of consumers - college students and young adults. The company showed a fashion forward line of covers and floor cushions in denim and red ticking stripe, as well as new patterns that take their inspiration from menswear.
     The company is making a foray into the hospitality market with a sleeper sofa cover that will also be available at retail, and come September, will introduce covers for sectional couches, a product long in the making.
     The floor cushions in particular seem right for plopping down on a dorm room floor, but are college students really thinking about the appearance of their furniture?
     Matthew Vigano, vp of sales, thinks so. "College students and young adults are likely to have secondhand furniture that is in need of a refresh or replacement," he said. But they don't typically have a lot of disposable income, so "furniture covers offer a cost-effective solution." The casual style and comfortable fabric, a reactive dyed denim, and the appeal of utility items like floor cushions "are a way to reach this segment in a manner they can both relate to and afford."
     Both the denim and ticking stripe collections are 100 percent cotton. Floor pillows are $29.99 and come in both looks. Denim cover sizes are chair, loveseat, sofa, futon, dining room/parsons chair, floor cushion and range from $69.99 to $99.99. Dining/parson's chairs are also available in the red ticking stripe.
     Sure Fit also showed checkered and houndstooth patterns, which are inspired by mens' clothing. The result is a softened masculine look without being overtly modern.
     The Bryce Plaid line is 100% microsuede polyester and comes in black, chocolate, cocoa and oregano. Cover sizes are chair, loveseat, sofa, wingchair and dining room/Parsons chair. Retail ranges from $59.99 to $79.99.
     The Stretch Houndstooth collection is made of polyester and spandex. It comes in black, brown, camel, cream, flannel grey and storm blue. Cover sizes available are chair, loveseat, wingchair, recliner and ottoman. Retail prices range from $79.99 to $109.99
     Sure Fit takes into consideration the age of the couch that needs to be covered and the room which it coordinates when creating a look. As Vigano acknowledged, Sure Fit is three or four years behind fashion, a startling statement until you consider that the consumer is not covering a brand new couch surrounded by the latest fashion pieces, but looking to update an older couch surrounded by other pieces likely bought around the same period.
     Following the company's desire "to cover everything," Sure Fit is heading into the hospitality industry. Vigano explained that a hotel asked the company to do a cover for a sleeper sofa, which is typically one of the oldest pieces in a home, so they created a cover called Stretch Pearson that will also be available to the retail market. The product features covers for each cushion plus a zippered base piece. Retail prices will range from $99.99 to $129.99.
     Slipcovers for sectional are in the works, which will cheer consumers who have few options other than going custom for covering this type of furniture. The company had surveyed consumers in years past to test the reception and finally has prototypes that will be shown at market in September.
     Interestingly, one of the top sales-driving products for Sure Fit is not even used by humans, not really. The polyester pet furniture cover introduced at prior markets generates a lot of business, Vigano said. It was updated for this market in a larger size, comes in chocolate or taupe and retails for $49.99 to $89.99. "Recession or not, people are always going to spend on their pets," he said.
     The company plans on offering it with the hospitality line to pet-friendly hotels, because recession or not, pets like to stay in hotels too.

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