High above High Point Market, how Nice Link capitalizes on its showroom view

HIGH POINT— Located on the 10th floor of Market Square Towers at High Point Market, Nice Link’s 14,000-square-foot showroom has unique 360-degree views of High Point. Sunlight floods in through the floor-to-ceiling windows providing a rarity in High Point: the ability to see upholstered furniture in natural light.

Given its setting, how does Nice Link attract customers who might be unfamiliar with a leather upholstery manufacturer being located in a building that, traditionally, houses textile producers? The difference with Nice Link is that it is both textile supplier/producer and an upholstery manufacturer, so for the company, the location makes sense.

Opened in 2015, the showroom is comprised of a 12,000-square-foot furniture showroom, 1,500-square-foot fabric showroom and a common area.

Jay Carlson
Jay Carlson

When Nice Link first opened the space, President Jay Carlson said, “although a lot of retailers knew of us — a lot didn’t know where Market Square Towers were — but everyone knows the ‘green awning building,’ and we had to send out maps.” Retailers were able to find the space, and “like fine wine,” which takes time to develop, the space received increasingly positive feedback from customers, according to Carlson.

The fact that the company isn’t located in a more heavily trafficked space works for Nice Link, according to Carlson. “Everyone who comes here gets it. We’ve debated moving and asked retailers. They like the fact that we’re not trying to sell or show to everyone wandering by. There is an air of exclusivity with our showroom. You’re not going to find random people walking around in this space.”

“We have a unique offering. Really, we’re not the biggest out there, and we don’t want to be,” said Carlson.

According to Carlson, Nice Link has been careful with its distribution and sales channels. “We have to design every part of our segment which is a blend of OEM and retail direct. We do OEM supplying for brands on various national retail floors.”

Because Nice Link’s divisions span both textiles and furniture production, he noted that as a leather niche manufacturer, Nice Link is not competing with its fabric customers. “What we do on our fabric side is to help them on value and unique styles. We want to protect the people we’re selling in different parts of our business. “

According to Carlson, in the midst of all the various shipping and supply chain tensions and tariffs, Nice Link considered a move to Vietnam but chose to stay in China where the company had already established operations where it could do its best work.

“Were a mid to high-level manufacturer in leather. Retailers often see us as ‘you’re my item guy,’ the one-hit wonder. What I find is that I can get five one-hit wonders on their floor, and then it’s a program. We don’t have to fill a factory with 1,000 containers a month; we’re okay with 500 to 600 a month. We offer more perceived value for our customers,” noted Carlson.

The Nice Link showroom underscores the company’s emphasis on exclusive product with its stellar views and unique location.

View to the future

With all of the industry upheaval over the past several years, Carlson said, “I think maybe we’ve been in a recession for a while. There’s been a tsunami of inventory. We’re now seeing new orders coming in, and it’s back to normalcy.”

For the upcoming High Point Market, Carlson said with freight rates and lead times coming down, retailers are in a better position to place orders. “I feel like this will be finally a market where people can make the changes, they ‘ve been talking about for a couple of years.”

Because so many retailers have had frames on the floor for the past three to four years and are looking for a major refresh, Carlson sees the market as being all about product and color right now. With prices higher than before, customers need to get more perceived value for their furniture investment.

Nice Link is focusing its design efforts to add more color, functionality and different looks as Millennials are more interested in transitional to modern styles vs. Baby Boomers, according to Carlson.

The company’s focus on staying lean with materials, lead times and being as quick to market as it can provides Nice Link with an ability to pivot if it has to “put on the brakes,” said Carlson, who remains optimistic and enjoys the view from the top of the Tower.

Nice Link is located in Market Square Tower, spaces 1002, 1006 and 1008.

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