Hi-Rock Home nearly doubles leather upholstery mix

The startup just completed a successful October market with plans to ship new and inline goods by early 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Leather upholstery resource Hi-Rock Home has nearly doubled its offerings in both stationary and motion upholstery since its High Point debut market in the fall of 2020.

By this past October market – its third market so far – the company had 30 motion groups in the line and 14 stationary or 44 total, compared to about two dozen initially. Shipping container direct from several source countries in Asia, Europe Mexico and Brazil, these goods are expected to hit retail as early as April 2022.

The growth of the upper-middle-priced line is the result of a company aggressively seeking to make inroads in the business since it formed in January 2020, just at the start of the global pandemic.

Ernie Rockhill, president, left, Mark Hedden and David Wallace, both vice presidents of Hi-Rock Home

Hi-Rock Home was formed by industry veteran Ernie Rockhill, who has more than two decades experience on the leather supply side of the industry. He manages the operations and sourcing side of the business.

Partners David Wallace and Mark Hedden oversee the sales side, including managing a team of 13 reps. Together they market and sell the line to retailers across the U.S.

“They know the customers, and I know the tanneries and factories,” Rockhill said, adding, “We are trying to create a company that treats people properly and that people want to do business with, and at the end of the day offers superior value.”

Rockhill said the company’s strategy during the pandemic also has been to develop a diverse sourcing network that spans the globe in countries that include Vietnam, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.

This is a view of some of the company’s leather upholstery mix as seen during the October High Point Market.

“The vision for the company was no matter what happens geopolitically, we are going to have an answer for you,” he said, noting that Hi-Rock Home can offer the best possible value as it doesn’t have much overhead. “We like to represent the best factories in whatever country we are doing business in, with higher end goods at an extreme value.”

The globally sourced lineup includes sofa, loveseat and chair groups in both stationary and motion, available in multiple leather options. There are also stationary and motion sectionals available in multiple leathers and configurations.  

All of the motion groups offer headrest functionality, while about 40% also offer lumbar support, Rockhill said, noting that six groups also have matching lift chairs.

At present, he estimated that roughly 70% of the business is currently on the motion side, with the rest in stationary.

One of the biggest challenges moving forward will to manage the supply side of the business. While the company is firmly entrenched in four main source countries, it is exploring others to further diversify its mix of product and manufacturing capabilities.

“We are an industry in turmoil,” Rockhill said, of the ongoing issues dealing with Covid and logistics, including still record-high freight rates. “We are trying to offer a safe harbor no matter what comes the industry’s way.”

“The beauty of being a small company like ourselves is that we are very nimble and can turn on a dime,” he added. “As the world changes, we are changing with it.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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