High Point, N.C. - Lazzaro Leather is launching a comprehensive handbag program at the October High Point Market designed to create additional in-store traffic and sales for conventional furniture retailers as well as add-on business for e-commerce specialists.

The program features more than 50 leather purses, portfolios, briefcases, wallets and backpacks, in colors ranging from distressed browns and tans to vibrant reds, pinks and blues. Styles include a variety of classic shapes and silhouettes, with pricing in the upper-medium range. The new line is being marketed under the AYL brand.

"We're offering a Coach-like luxury product at a mainstream price," said Lauri Cryan, president of Lazzaro Leather about the strategy. "We previewed this program with select retailers at the April market and, based on that response, we're rolling out a complete line of handbags in our showroom in October. We'll have something for everyone - from large, over-the-shoulder bags to petite clutches."

For a number of years, Lazzaro Leather has been producing leather portfolios as a "welcome aboard" gift for new sales representatives, according to Cryan. In addition, the company occasionally has made handbags as a market giveaway to retailers. "Our customers have always loved our bags, so about a year ago, we started looking into the creation of a complete program showcasing our beautiful leathers and design capabilities," she said.

Lazzaro Leather previewed the new program at the April High Point Market, drawing "a very enthusiastic response" from major retailers such as El Dorado Furniture in Miami Gardens, Fla., and Homemakers in Urbandale, Iowa. Also applauding the program was e-commerce major DirectBuy, which has been testing Lazzaro handbags on its site since the Fall of 2014.

Based on this initial response, Lazzaro Leather is formally launching an expanded AYL handbag line at the October High Point Market in its new 16,122-square-foot showroom in the IHFC's Commerce wing, Space 1003. Bags will be showcased during market in two ways: in a focused, gallery-like presentation, suitable for use on store floors; and mixed and mingled as accessories in the company's leather vignettes.

"These handbags will add another interesting, real-world dimension to our displays," said Cryan. "They make the settings look 'lived in,' and they also provide another way to highlight the unique craftsmanship and quality of our leathers."

This market, she added, Lazzaro's showroom is designed with a travel theme, "so retailers will journey throughout the world as they move from room to room to see our new products."

Cryan expects the company's new AYL handbag program will place well with a range of retailers, from home accent boutiques and small- to mid-sized independents to major Top 100 and e-commerce players. She also sees strong potential with gift stores.

"As with our furniture, we'll offer quick-ship service on all our best-selling handbag designs from our High Point warehouse to retailers - or direct to consumers," she says. "We think this program will be a natural fit for any store looking for a fresh new category to create excitement."

About Lazzaro Leather

Lazzaro Leather is the exclusive distributor for the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica of Guangdong Lazzaro Sunton Leather Goods, a 26-year-old leather tannery and quality furniture manufacturer located in Shunde, China. The frames of Lazzaro's upholstered furniture and other furnishings are constructed of kiln-dried birch hardwood indigenous to the Shunde area that is virtually knot free and bolted for stability. Lazzaro uses only 100 percent U.S. cowhide in its tannery - covers that are known for being larger and having fewer defects. Lazzaro offers solid-color leathers with a slight waxy hand for its more contemporary designs as well as vintage antiqued leather finishes for more traditional models. Since the company tans its own hides, it is able to monitor the quality in all facets of the tanning process to ensure consistency as well as quality finishes.

For media inquiries or interview requests:
Lauren Rivers

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