- people on the move
Trendway bundles offerings with Snap!
Furniture maker will tout new packaged solutions at NeoCon 2019.
Trendway wants its customers to have it all — in a “snap.”
That’s why the Holland-based maker of furniture for the office, education, hospitality and government sectors is launching a set of packaged solutions called “Snap!” this year at the commercial design industry’s premier trade show.
The 51st annual NeoCon will be held June 10-12 at Merchandise Mart, aka The Mart, a 4-million-square-foot art deco building on the river in downtown Chicago that houses permanent showrooms and 500 exhibitors from around the contract furnishings world on 10 of the building’s 25 floors.
Trendway has had a presence at the show since its infancy. Last year, the company remade its permanent showroom with a new café and social hub featuring views of Chicago’s new Riverwalk, as well as installing an Architectural Product Design Center showcasing Trendway’s full line of movable walls, including Clear Wall, Volo and TrendWall.
The company also celebrated its 50th birthday there, in conjunction with NeoCon’s 50th anniversary.
This year, Trendway President Mark Kinsler said his organization wanted to make its display not just about rolling out new products — though it will do that — but about making dealers’ and customers’ lives easier in keeping with the company’s mission.
“In the industry, we’re known as the speed and ease (furniture supplier),” he said. “That’s how we sell ourselves to our distribution partners.”
On its NeoCon 2019 page, Trendway is using the slogan “Welcome to Trendway, Welcome to Easy” in describing the Snap! solutions to be displayed at the show.
“(Packaged solutions) would include things like lounge and hospitality, training/conference, café,” Kinsler said. “We traditionally talk about those as individual pieces. … This year, we’ve prepackaged these solutions with a selection of products that would completely outfit a conference room, a collaborative area or an open plan area.
“With one product number, the dealer will be able to order all of the different variable pieces that are in it. There might be 15 or 30 SKUs (stock keeping units) in that package, and they’ll be able to order all of them with one product number. So those will be prepackaged, and we’ll have nine color palettes that will also supplement each of those packages.”
Kinsler said Snap! will encompass about 330 pieces from all of Trendway’s existing product lines. About 10% to 15% of the items on display will be new.
Customers will be able to choose from an a la carte menu to complement the packages since not everything can be one-size-fits-all, Kinsler said.
Everything in Snap! will be available to order at NeoCon — and afterward — and can ship to buyers within two weeks.
Kinsler added Snap! is part of the company’s longstanding effort to make everything faster for customers who are not experienced with outfitting work environments.
“We get a fair number of customers who get involved in renovating an office for the very first time and are both frustrated and confused about how to even start,” he said. “This idea is to be able to sit people down and use the different technology tools.”
One such tool is the Trendway AR app rolled out last year. The Snap! collection is another brick on that path.
Kinsler said the new products Trendway created for Snap! largely are designed to fill in gaps in its catalog and make Trendway a one-stop-shop for “all the different environments, from full-height walls to a benching system and collaborative areas to conference and hospitality.”
An example of a new item that will be rolled out in the packages is parley, a foam-core upholstered soft seating option that could come in the form of benches, ottomans, whatever would be used in a collaboration area that’s also light and flexible enough to be moved around for various uses.
Kinsler said he expects the company’s existing top sellers — movable walls — will be well-received in the Snap! collections, since many customers come to Trendway looking for visual and acoustic privacy solutions.
“Movable walls are growing at a much higher rate because of the way people are designing offices differently, and that need for additional privacy has really helped,” he said.
“That product category for us is growing at 25% a year, and I think the industry is in the low single digits from an overall growth standpoint,” he said.
Regardless of whether a customer’s space is 50,000 square feet or 500,000 square feet, Kinsler said Trendway can help using packaged solutions.
“We’re trying to make life as simple as possible for that midmarket customer when they come into a dealership,” he said.