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Showroom Showcase

Mallin Casual: Where Comfort Meets

For generations, Mallin Casual Furniture has been making high-quality products that consumers love. Its innovative designs, its focus on comfort, and its customer service have positioned Mallin as the people’s casual-furniture company.

The Montebello, Calif.-based manufacturer (owned by Minson Corp. since 1991) was founded 55 years ago. It has slowly transformed itself into an industry leader that serves high-end casual-furniture retailers across the United States and Canada. Its award-winning cast-aluminum, outdoor-wicker, and sling products have a relaxed, unpretentious vibe that appeals to the everyday consumer who has an eye for quality. With so many outdoor-furniture manufacturers vying for business, Mallin has chosen to set itself apart by building its reputation on comfort, more than anything else.

“Ten years ago, people didn’t expect much out of casual furniture; it was just something that you sat on once in a while in your backyard,” Merv Conn, vice president of marketing, recalls. “With the introduction of deep seating and advancements in fabrics and frame materials, people expect it to be comfortable, or they won’t buy it.”

Mallin’s experienced research-and-development teams spend a tremendous amount of time and money ensuring that the softness of its cushions and the ergonomics of its frames make Mallin furniture some of the most comfortable in the casual-furniture industry. Conn and Brenda Pereyda, assistant vice president of sales and marketing, are the company’s self-proclaimed comfort testers, personally sitting on every piece of furniture before it’s approved to go into production. “If we don’t like the way it sits, it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s that simple,” Conn explains.

There is no denying that comfort goes hand in hand with design, so Mallin doesn’t scrimp when it comes to the visual appeal of its furniture. Pereyda works with the company’s designers to select the cushion styles, frame colors, and fabrics that work together in harmony. She meets with fabric suppliers, which include Sunbrella®, to find the fabrics that best complement the diverse looks of Mallin’s furniture collections.

“I don’t pick just any fabric. It has to work well with a collection’s frame style and finish,” Pereyda explains. For the cast-aluminum collections, Pereyda goes for bright, vibrant stripes and solids; deep seating typically requires rich, sophisticated patterns that emulate an interior look; and wicker goes well with high-end decorator fabrics. “We want our collections to stand out visually on showroom floors,” she adds.
High-quality customer service is something that Mallin values as much as the quality of its products. “We react to our customers by shipping product on time, helping dealers sell it, and resolving any problems after the sale,” Pereyda says. She emphasizes the importance of offering a manufacturer’s warranty because outdoor furniture takes more wear and tear than many household items. The company stands behind all of its products, and it takes immediate action if a problem is brought to its attention. “We are proud of the care we give to our customers. I think you will hear, in the industry, that Mallin is one of the best in customer service,” Pereyda adds.

Mallin is always looking for ways to provide dealers with better programs and pricing. This year, it has taken a major step in that direction by bringing much of its offshore manufacturing back to the United States. Conn is very excited about the opportunities that this step brings. “We are now able to give our dealers a direct container program, as well as the domestic special-order program they’ve been asking for,” he notes.

Going forward, Mallin plans to continue to innovate, both in its products and in its business. As price wars continue to escalate, the company is committed to looking for ways to help its dealers stay profitable. “We didn’t get where we are today by ignoring the needs of the market,” Conn says. “Its always been about doing whatever it takes to serve our customers, and we plan to continue down that path.”

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