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Caroline Henchcliffe | Rowico
How do you follow up a show where your order intake grew year-on-year by 63 percent? This is the challenge facing Rowico UK, the autonomously run British arm of the Swedish based Rowico Group a global business producing dining, living and bedroom furniture, which has enjoyed a standout start to 2019.
New products hit the spot for the Wiltshire based company at the January Furniture Show 2019, with Managing Director Caroline Henchcliffe saying not only did new products make their mark, the period since has seen “repeat after repeat.”
Besides substantially increasing its dining chair collection to more than 40 different chairs, up from just over half a dozen less than three years ago, Rowico introduced its Bowood Day and Windermere dining collections at the NEC show in Birmingham. The first has a “driftwood, summer’s day feel with a soft, gentle limed wood look” to it and the latter is in more of an sophisticated industrial style.
“They were bang on the money and incredibly well-received,” Caroline says of the new ranges — “the kind of launches where I thought why did we not do that before? They had been on my sketch book for months!”
With the Manchester Furniture Show fast approaching, Rowico — which she describes as a “quirky, design led business with a genuine family-oriented business ethos” — doesn’t plan on dining out on past successes alone.
“Furniture is similar to the fashion industry,” says Caroline. “New products are the lifeblood of the business. If you've got a successful product you need to find the next successful one. Our aim is to lead by design!”
Rowico will take its successful January show dining launches to the furniture industry’s lead summer trade exhibition in July, but plans to build on them further, adding bedroom furniture to both the Bowood Day and Windemere product groupings. For each, that will include a bed, wardrobe, bedside tables and a chest of drawers.
It will also show new product in the shape of its Oxford collection; a living and dining range featuring reclaimed wood styling combining — in the case of the tables — gentle white bases with soft, pale translucent grey tops, along with beautifully styled accompanying sideboards.
But there is crossover and synergy, with Rowico UK having in the past taken and amended group product to suit the British market and vice-versa, with Caroline citing both its UK designed Purbeck and Warwick ranges as having been amended, often upsized because of the greater propensity for open-plan living in Scandinavia, and taken into the Swedish furniture market. In the same way as Picasso and Tate have been absorbed into the UK product portfolio.
Rowico’s customer base of predominantly independent British retail customers can also expect to see a far bigger array of product come 2020, with Caroline saying the company has taken the big step of deciding to double its January Furniture Show stand space next year, and bring the entire group product offer to Birmingham.
“We have almost trebled in size in the UK over the past three years and we want to further enhance that growth at the next January show. New designs and further co-operation with our parent company offer us huge new opportunities to further expand whilst maintaining the uniquely Rowico ethos” says Caroline.