Women the new focus at La-Z-Boy

MONROE, MI: Furniture retail and manufacturing company La-Z-Boy is shifting its strategy to reach women between 25 and 45 years old.

MONROE, MI: Furniture retail and manufacturing company La-Z-Boy is shifting its strategy to reach women between 25 and 45 years old.

The company focused on marketing its furniture to men for the past eight decades, said Penny Eudy, product manager of upholstery at La-Z-Boy.

“It still is the reputation, but it's turning, that we are just old, stodgy, grandpa recliners and nothing is stylish,” she explained. “In the past four or five years, we have been producing furnishings that are very stylish and trendy for that consumer under 45 years of age, but we needed that extra boost because, regardless of what we said or did, people just were not hearing us.”

The company's first step in attracting women shoppers was naming actress and model Brooke Shields a spokesperson. Shields is offering design tips and furniture reviews on the La-Z-Boy website.

In September, La-Z-Boy hired Alison Brod Public Relations as its AOR to revitalize the company and help it connect with women.

The firm is using a core team of four to six employees to blend fashion and beauty strategies into the home and lifestyle space to engage female consumers, said Nicole Lando, VP at Alison Brod and head of the La-Z-Boy account. The agency is integrating color and style trends into La-Z-Boy's 2012 collection.

“Nowadays, trends translate in the fashion, beauty, and home and lifestyle categories, so we wanted to bring La-Z Boy to life across all mediums,” Lando explained.

Alison Brod is also planning a December 6 media event in New York, in addition to promoting La-Z-Boy Galleries. Lando said members of the press from broadcast, newspaper, magazine, and online outlets will attend the event, as well as fashion, beauty, and mommy bloggers.

Jillian Harris, an interior designer from ABC's Extreme Home Makeover, will design furniture vignettes for the event, which will feature some of the company's new collections. Lando said many consumers think La-Z-Boy only offers a few fabric and color options, but the company actually has more than 900 swatches for furniture.

Alison Brod will also manage a satellite media tour of the La-Z-Boy Gallery where the event is scheduled to take place. Lando said the company, which handles its social media channels internally, will post photos of the collections on its Facebook page.

“They're really trying to engage their customer base through social media,” she said.

The agency will also consider signing up brand ambassadors around the US next year.

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