Handy Living steps up innovation with new recliners and easy-to-assemble sofa-sleeper

HIGH POINT — Since the sale of Handy Living to Alto Systems subsidiary HL Home Furnishings this past August, the company has already taken the original premise of Handy Living — as the first high-volume supplier of upholstery exclusively designed and developed to ship small parcel — to new levels with a slate of new products and new technology.

This week at market, retailers will get a glimpse of what the company calls “platforms” or series of recliners that ship in a single box. 

Tom Erdman shows off colorful new swatches available on HL Home’s new line of upholstery.

The platform includes lift recliners that can retail for $399, large recliners for $299, lift chairs starting at $399 and zero-gravity chairs also carrying a $399 retail. The new products will be available in the first quarter of 2024.

The company is also putting the final touches on an innovative, easy-to-assemble sofa bed that will retail for $499. “A brick-and-mortar retailer will pay $175 and only $20 for shipping for a total of $199,” said Tom Erdman, general manager of Handy Living, adding, “So a retailer selling it for $499 is making a very healthy margin.”

Erdman stressed that these products are perfectly positioned to fill the current void for sofa-sleepers at this price. “Ours offer a full 8-inch mattress and another 5 inches on the deck, making it very comfortable,” he added.

The company is also offering a 137-inch-long sectional on one side that ships in a single box. “That way, retailers will never be faced with a missing left or right side,” said Christian Garcia, president of HL Living.

Garcia also shared some background that led to Alto Systems’ acquisition of Handy Living. “My father started what became a global logistics company back in 1983 as part of a family business. It really grew in the mid-2000s at which time we started doing business with Handy Living,” Garcia said.

“All the time we were growing the logistics business, my father always wanted to own a business that sold its own products. Having done business for some 17 years with Handy Living we knew that they had all the tools to make this a great opportunity for us.”

“Also, we knew from our longstanding relationship how solid Handy Living was with major retailers including Wayfair, Costco, Overstock and so many more,” Garcia said.

Cristian Garcia demonstrates the innovative design of the rocker that allows it to pack more efficiently.

Garcia’s father also noticed a trend in his logistics business for companies to begin to minimize the value of longstanding relationships. “My dad saw a trend for metrics and analytics to overshadow relationships. Having worked with Handy Living and the furniture sector for almost two decades, he realized that relationships were still vital to that business and that also appealed to him,” Garcia said.

All of those drivers, plus the company’s proven track record for innovation, both in terms of product as well as logistics and packaging, made Handy Living the right buy for Alto Systems.

According to Erdman, “HL Home is positioned to bring the market the looks, products and values that it needs,” he said. “Since the acquisition, we’ve worked very hard to determine where the market is and more importantly, where it is headed.”

As a supplier who has always had his pulse on online sales, Erdman mentioned that key online retailers shared that their average tickets have been off by 6% to 7%. “What that means to us, especially since we are committed to selling a quality product, is that we have to find ways to save money on the logistics end of things,” he said, adding, “and we have done that with innovative product design, construction and packaging.”

“Also, during Covid, very few companies wanted to take changes with color and design. We are bringing the excitement back to our furniture with the help of great fabrics, great color and innovation,” Erdman said.

To see HL Home’s new lineup, visit the showroom on the third floor of the Radio Building.

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