Anne Klein to sell furniture at tricky time for the category

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Dive Brief:

  • Anne Klein, known best for apparel and footwear, last week announced its entry into the furniture category via a licensing agreement with Nova Design, according to a press release from brand owner WHP Global.

  • The collection, to debut this winter, will feature “Parisian Chic, Scandinavian, and mid-century styles,” inspired in part by the late designer’s homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons, per the release.

  • Private equity-backed brand management firm WHP Global bought Anne Klein from Premier Brands Group three years ago. Nova is an importer and distributor of home furnishings, including those sold by Ashley Furniture, according to its website.

Dive Insight:

Under brand management firm WHP Global, Anne Klein is getting into a category that appears to be on the wane, after a major lift from the pandemic.

Furniture and home goods sales were relatively flat in May on a year-over-year unadjusted basis. But, factoring in inflation, volumes in the category “are in severe negative territory,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said in a June 15 client note.

“As home did exceptionally well over the past couple of years, it is not surprising that consumers are now pulling back and prioritizing other categories,” he said. “However, we also believe that there is some pressure on big ticket items here as some households increasingly lack the finance to make big purchases, and others lack the will or confidence to commit to spending large sums of money.”

That is nevertheless an improvement over previous months, according to a research note last week from Wells Fargo analysts led by Zachary Fadem. Home furnishings sales fell 12.2% in March, 8.9% in April and 8.5% in May, they found.

Still, the Anne Klein brand, which offers bedding and bath products, has already enjoyed success in the home category, according to a statement from WHP Global Chief Commercial Officer Stanley Silverstein.

“We … look forward to partnering with Nova Design to offer customers a new way to incorporate the classic style of our iconic brand into their homes,” Silverstein said.

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Debbie A. Cunningham

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