Bedroom resources address changes needed to comply with tip-over rules

Many say they are working not to pass along added costs associated with compliance, but that could be a tall order for some inline groups

HIGH POINT — Dealers still wanting to purchase top-selling bedrooms developed before the Sept. 2 effective date of a new mandatory stability standard for clothing storage units can still buy those goods, including sets that are in inventory made before the standard took effect.

However, once that inventory sells down, any inline sets they purchase will likely have weight added to chests and dressers or other pieces —including nightstands that are 27 inches or higher — in order to pass testing requirements of the new standard which meets the requirements of the STURDY (Stop Tip-Overs of Risky Dressers on Youth) Act signed into law this past December.

The standard, which affects clothing storage units made starting Sept. 2, aims to reduce tip-over incidents that have been known to injure and kill children. While a voluntary standard was in place previously, parent groups and government officials had long sought a stricter standard that helps protect children and even adults who have experienced tip-over incidents involving clothing storage units.

To comply with the standard on those products, companies have told Home News Now they have made some changes, including shortening the extensions of drawers from 12 to 10 inches, or adding some depth to the actual unit, for example. Combined with weight added to the back of the case, such measures help further reduce the unit’s propensity to tip based on the application of a 60-pound weight meant to simulate the weight of a child climbing on the unit.  

Some bedroom resources estimate that changes could add a $10 to $15 increase in costs — perhaps more or less — for each unit over 27 inches high, although some say they have worked out arrangements with their source factories to share those costs and not pass them on to dealers.

Some also have said they may change SKU numbers to avoid confusion between old and new inventory, although some also are looking to avoid this as there have been no major changes in design to the pieces in question.

“With the ones that we added weight to, we changed the SKU numbers for inventory management,” said Harrison Kelly, vice president of product development at Riverside Furniture, adding, “We wanted to make sure we worked through inventories the best we could and the easiest way to do that was SKU management.”

He said the company also worked with its source factories to avoid passing along any increase in costs to its dealer base.

Others said they are not assigning new SKU numbers to case pieces unless the company had to make a significant change in the appearance of the case to meet the new standard.

Vaughan-Bassett, for example, said it is not changing SKU numbers on existing groups as the changes it has made to these are relatively minor — namely adding an inch or so of depth to the case and anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds of weight.  

Company President Doug Bassett also said that the company has no price increases in store for the inline product made starting Sept. 2.  Any costs of compliance associated with brand-new product introduced starting this past April is also built into the product as it was manufactured to comply with the requirements of STURDY.

Page Wilson, president of Pulaski Furniture and SLF, said that the company primarily added weight and shortened the extension of drawer glides for 90% of its inline groups. Another 10% of the inline mix, he estimated, had some design changes to meet the standard.

“We tried to keep the weight to a minimum,” he said, noting that a 10-20 pound difference in weight did not significantly alter most groups. He said the company also has worked with its factories to avoid raising prices on compliant product and thus avoid passing those costs along to its customers.

Chris Pelcher, president of Legacy Classic | Modern, told Home News Now that the company has added more weight to cases that fall under the standard. However, he noted that it hasn’t affected the aesthetics of the groups affected. He also said the company is keeping prices stable on those groups affected as “everyone’s contributing to the costs.”

Sister company Universal Furniture, also a division of Samson Holding, said it has added a small amount of weight to case pieces that fall within the standard. However, because of the minimal changes, it is not re-SKUing items and also is holding the line on prices, officials told Home News Now at last month’s premarket.

But absorbing all of those costs could be a challenge, particularly as compliant groups not only have additional weight but must be shipped in higher-cost packaging that can handle the extra bulk of certain case pieces. This also goes for new product where the cost of added weight and altered drawer glides is already built into the cost of the product.

Steve York, president of case goods importer FD Home, said that he is absorbing the added costs of compliance anywhere he can.

“Not only is there a cost increase for the added weight, but depending on how much the product weighs, you may have to change your inner pack or your carton,” he said of packaging that has to be changed to handle bulkier dressers and chests.

He added that he is trying to remain as competitive as possible just as the company has done since it was first launched prior to the pandemic.

“I don’t want dealers thinking that I am trying to make a profit on something we had to change,” he added. “I am trying to keep buying real estate and am trying to keep my prices down as I have the last five years.”

Like others, he noted that the cost increase does not impact product made before Sept. 2 that complies with the previous voluntary standard. York said he expects to sell off those limited amounts of inventory in the near future. Everything new that was developed from the April market, he said, including five new bedrooms, is compliant to the new standard.

But older inline groups that are made after Sept. 2 must also be compliant and York believes some of those will remain in production, particularly if they are doing well for certain retailers.

“I think most of them will still be competitive,” he said. “If you have something taking up a retail slot and it is performing well I feel the dealers will still carry faith in proven track records.”

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.

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