Sam Moore continues its rich history in upholstery manufacturing

The brand that dates back to 1940 has expanded its market reach beyond chairs to a full line of upholstery

BEDFORD, Va. — With an extensive line of sofas, sectionals, ottomans, dining chairs, manual recliners and some power motion seating, Sam Moore has grown far beyond its roots as a producer of accent chairs that came to define the line for many years.

It is this growth of the line in recent years that has not only helped to sustain the company’s 330,000-square-foot plant here in Bedford —  it has also helped support some 236 jobs at the facility that include highly skilled positions ranging from fabric cutters and seamstresses to frame builders and upholsterers that all lend a hand in shaping the raw materials into finished products that are sold around the world.

The outside of the Sam Moore plant in Bedford, Virginia

Named Large Business of the Year by the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce last year, Sam Moore is also part of a business segment that has contributed to the success and profitability of parent company Hooker Furnishings.

While the parent company does not break out specific numbers for its various brands, the upholstery segment that includes Sam Moore reported double-digit sales growth for the seventh consecutive quarter in its third quarter ended Oct. 30, 2022, as sales rose to $43.4 million, or 48.2% compared to the same period in 2021. During the same quarter, profits in the segment also rose to $3.8 million, or 8.8% of sales compared to $1.6 million or 5.4% of sales the same period in 2021.

Because of the success and expansion of the Sam Moore line in particular, Hooker Furnishings recently rebranded the product assortment as HF Custom, a name that the company said better represents its broad mix and custom capabilities.

“Rebranding Sam Moore to HF Custom allows us to better leverage the brand equity of Hooker Furnishings and create a more seamless shopping experience for consumers and retailers,” Jeremy Hoff, Hooker Furnishings chief executive officer, shared with Home News Now. “This customer-facing change helps us elevate the perceived value of the upholstery line with the upper-middle-price tier and better align it with the high-fashion perception of Hooker Furnishings’ product portfolio. It also presents Hooker Furnishings as a single source for home furnishings under a united Hooker brand, cementing us as a whole home source for high-style, high-quality furnishings.”

He added that with its deep roots in the furniture industry, the Sam Moore name “will remain in use internally and at our Bedford, Virginia, factory. Looking forward, while paying homage to our past, HF Custom is the next generation of Sam Moore.”

“As the Sam Moore business continues to evolve, our new HF Custom brand helps to change the narrative with our customers on the front end of the sales process,” added Anne Smith, chief administrative officer and president of domestic upholstery for Hooker Furnishings, in a statement issued with the announcement in late March. “This rebranding will help eliminate some of the stereotypes in the industry that have pigeon-holed the Sam Moore brand as simply a chair resource.”

As officials note, remaining at the forefront is the Bedford, Virginia, plant. It remains a key part of the company’s domestic manufacturing footprint, which also includes leather upholstery specialist Bradington-Young and sister upholstery resource Shenandoah Furniture.

A worker finishes the frame of a bench at the Sam Moore plant.

In addition to stationary sofas, sectionals and motion recliners and swivel seating, the Sam Moore plant also produces modular seating that allows customers to create their own footprints for their floors and/or interior design clients. This, combined with a selection of some 650 fabrics and 25 wood finishes, provides a custom story that taps into the plant’s many capabilities.

It has also helped fuel its business with the design trade, which was up 30% year to date as of late December 2022, officials noted.

Last year, the company also reconfigured the plant flow by adding a couple of sofa production lines as part of an effort to better service its growing sofa and sectional business, which includes new modular upholstery with wood trim. The wood trim offering represents a fourth iteration of a modular line that has included frames with deep-seated cushions and a follow-up smaller-scale look.

“We have some great new modular models coming out this market because the ones that have been introduced the last two markets have really produced some good numbers,” said Sandi Mowry, vice president of key account sales and merchandising, noting that the wood accents will allow the line to utilize the capabilities of the Bedford plant’s finishing room.

Frame production is seen in process at the Bedford plant.

Like other domestic manufacturers, Sam Moore experienced some upheaval in the supply chain that brought lead times to as high as 30 weeks at the height of the pandemic.

“We were 24 to 30 weeks in some cases just because certain components were a little bit harder to get there for a while,” Mowry said, noting that mechanisms were one of the big issues, particularly during periods of high demand. “Business is a little different now so it is amazing how we can get them quicker. But between that and getting kits and cushions — those allotments there for a little while were difficult.”

A worker sands the frame of a chair at the Sam Moore plant in Bedford.

But by last fall, the lead times decreased closer to normal at about eight weeks, compared to 16 weeks around late summer, early fall.

Now with the additional production lines and reconfiguring of the plant floor — along with recruitment efforts that have brought employment from 200 in late 2021 to 236 a year later — the company is in a strong position to meet customer demand among retailers and designers alike. 

The recruitment efforts are partly due to word of mouth in the community about the company being a good place to work — not to mention honors such as Large Business of the Year adding to its credibility.

Mowry also attributes the company’s success getting quality workers to the help of recruiters at Hooker Furnishings.

“At Hooker we have two people recruiting, and it’s been a game changer for us here,” Mowry said, noting that the professionals are always on the lookout for new talent where needed. “It helps us to get better people. We are hiring quality people and not just a body to fill a position. … There are a lot of things that helped us get fully staffed and to help get those lead times under control.”

As a domestic producer that has come through the challenges of the pandemic, she believes the company today remains as competitive as ever as an upper-midpriced resource for custom upholstery.

Thus, gone are the days of the company being pigeon-holed into one category. The expansion into a full line of seating with a new brand story under HF Custom, officials note, aims to promote the brand’s persona and recognition among consumers in the market for that new sofa, sectional, ottoman and yes, accent chair.

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 and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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