Housewares Design Awards

2005 Best in Category: Furniture

Gusdorf Canada

CORe Concepts

In his desire to look beyond core categories for new sales opportunities, Shawn Leib, president of Gusdorf, wanted a product that would stand apart from his company’s selection of desks and entertainment centers and make a bold statement to retailers that the company was entering a new product segment.

The result was CORe Concepts, a line of kitchen furniture/storage that offers a look that drastically differs from items offered in Gusdorf’s assortment of home office and home entertainment furniture.

In recent years, leading suppliers of ready-to-assemble furniture have sought out new sales opportunities by bringing to market product lines specific to certain segments of storage and organization such as garage and kitchen.

While other storage collections put forth by RTA suppliers have stayed true to the industry’s particleboard roots, Leib said he wanted to offer a collection that went beyond repackaged RTA furniture.

“We knew we needed to bring to market something that looked very different and very cool and maintained the contemporary style that is our focus,” said Leib. “The product also needed to offer a great deal of functionality and be constructed from good quality materials.”

The CORe Concepts mobile shelving units are constructed from a combination of PVC and aluminum, which makes the product durable and gives it a distinct contemporary look. The unit is designed with numerous options to store and display various kitchenware items, including countertop electrics, dinnerware and cutlery.

Leib noted that consumers needing a large-scale kitchen storage or general storage solution are able to use multiple CORe shelving units to create an entire wall system.

“While we intended the item as a kitchen storage unit, I think the design of CORe Concepts and its functionality allows consumers to view it as a storage unit for other areas of the home,” he said.

Gusdorf is now considering its options in marketing the CORe Concepts as a solution for garage storage needs, as well. Leib noted that CORe’s PVC and aluminum construction would allow be resistant to the variety of environmental conditions found in the garage.

Leib noted the design also could inspire retailers to merchandise the item outside of furniture or storage departments and adjacent to products such as major appliances.

But developing a product that is outside of Gusdorf’s typical box in terms of design has not been without its challenges. While Leib noted that CORe has caught the eyes of many retailers, some have also expressed concerns regarding pricing of the unit.

“It was not our intention to bring to market a product that was price-sensitive,” Leib added. “We wanted to appeal to retailers that offer a higher-end product that combines a cutting-edge design with great functionality.”

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