Casual dining furniture has presented itself as the depiction of modern life, escaping its traditional role of sitting down only to gather for a meal. This shift is a vision of real growth for retailers across the country, which is setting the bar for dining standards.
The main living area of the home has become a focal point in both function and style for today’s busy lifestyle. The once symbolic image of a traditional dining space has evolved into a more casual one with households eliminating a formal living dining room.
According to PBM Strategic Insights 2017 consumer study, the casual dining category brought U.S. retailers an estimated $8.9 billion in revenue that year. Industry research data estimates that the casual dining category will grow an additional 21.3% over the next five years. The consumer study also showed that every age and income group included in the study panel planned to make a casual dining purchase in the next 12 months. Of the group surveyed, this panel covered a wide demographic ranging from Millennials to household incomes of $150,000 and above.
LumiSource, an Illinois-based company established 20 years ago, has a strong foundation in categories like lighting, décor, and occasional furniture. Over the past decade, LumiSource has become a leading resource in casual dining and has seen a 35% growth in sales in the last 12 months alone. Growing from stand-alone products to customizable collections containing over 500 SKUs, LumiSource expects to see a similar increase in the coming year.
Frank Linas, LumiSource Sales Director, notes, “Over five years ago, we recognized the need to build an in-house design team to better serve our customers and consumers by developing products differentiating them from the competitive low-cost mentality. Our functional and stylish designs set our products apart from the competition because we design for today’s lifestyles, while providing value to consumers across the world. We offer different designs ranging from mid-century to urban industrial and materials that include stainless steel and walnut veneer and finishes in gold or antique…. affordably.”
TRENDS BOOSTING CASUAL DINING
The casual dining category thrives in multitudes of selection where other dining categories fall short, including keeping up with the ever-changing trends. The broad appeal of casual dining keeps it relevant with all age and income groups. This applies to all home sizes and geographic locations. Casual dining offers clear-cut advantages in versatility and functionality; it can live in both large square footage homes and smaller urban dwellings.
Robin Boyce, Owner of Design Center West in Marlboro, MA, attributes the growth of casual dining to “smaller living spaces, the increase in urban living, and less focus on formal dining.”
Kelly Heath, Marketing Director at LumiSource, says, “Homes have changed to open floor plans in both larger and smaller homes. LumiSource had this open floor plan in mind when we developed collections in each of our three lifestyles – Modern, Mid Century and Industrial. The designs have clean lines, options in materials, colors, and finishes, making them easily mixable and customizable to suit any style and space.”
With the growing need of an open-concept, the dining area has shifted from formal to a multi-use space. Today’s selection of casual dining products provides a wide range of styles and options that give consumers the ability to customize to their needs.
“The need for a casual space that meets a lot of requirements has become increasingly more important. More people are using the dining table for activities beyond eating,” says Heath. “Kids use it for homework, crafts, and playing games. More people are working from home, nowadays, and use it as a desk, even if they have a designated home office, because it’s more centrally located.”
STYLE, FUNCTION, AND AFFORDABILITY
“Stylish Décor at Affordable Prices” is LumiSource’s motto. Striving to make true on that statement, LumiSource constantly creates and builds onto their collections. They offer products in Modern, Mid-Century, and Industrial styles that range in materials, finishes, and upholstery options for every contemporary style. Affordability is the added bonus that has made them successful.
A signature characteristic of their product is the ability to cross between styles and transition into any décor. One of their more popular products, the Folia Dining Table, is just that. The Folia features bent wood legs and a tempered glass or walnut veneer tabletop - perfect options for any casual dining space. Offering even more versatility and function, the Oregon Collection supplies a wide range of seating and tables. Whether it’s an entryway bench, multi-use table, or casual seating, the Oregon Collection covers multiple uses in several finishes. LumiSource offers dining, counter and bar tables ranging from $199 to $499 retail, and seating from $99 to $249 retail.
With a majority of their business coming from online retailers, LumiSource designs all of its products with ease of assembly and shipping in mind. In addition, it has invested in an in-house photography studio to better serve the customers’ need for high quality and impactful digital imagery. “We have continually worked on enhancing our imagery for retailers by creating relatable lifestyles to help customers visualize and speed up the purchase decision.” says Heath. Company officials attribute their increased sales as a result of the high-quality images LumiSource provides.
LumiSource is concentrating on these two key factors of affordability and style, making them a large contender in the casual dining trend. With increases and adaptations to these trends, LumiSource shows no signs of slowing down and will continue to grow for years to come.