As a manufacturer of commercial outdoor furniture, offering both vinyl strapped and sling lines we can slowly see a change in the purchasing habits of commercial properties. Sling furniture has been in the market place for many years and slowly the style has replaced vinyl strap furniture as the style of choice for commercial pools, beaches and water parks. It is understandable. The styles look sleek and more modern. The fabric selections seem almost endless in the colors and patterns offered. Aside from the imported Chinese furniture that is found at most bulk retailers, the frame quality is durable. At one point in order for a hotel to achieve a 5 star rating, an aspiring complex must have sling furniture around the pool.
Now we see the tides shifting back to vinyl strap furniture. The key to this shift is in refurbishment. Many customers are getting sticker shock when it comes time to replace their aged slings. Sometimes (depending on the initial quality of the furniture) to replace the sling is more expensive than the furniture was new. Also over the course of time the sling material may suffer from a tear, burn or manufacturers defect. Yet another moment of realization is when that sling fabric color or style is no longer available. Now, you have a property with a uniform look and cannot maintain that uniformity because 1 piece of furniture does not match. Do you throw away a perfectly good frame or put it in storage until a later date? What a shame to have to make that decision.
Vinyl furniture on the other hand does not suffer these same costly concerns. First of all, to refurbish a complete lounge is one quarter to one third the cost of a new piece of furniture. Although vinyl colors offered do change from time to time, the basic pallet of colors has been offered for over 35 years. So, maintaining uniformity is much easier. Also if you have an issue with a vinyl strap in-between complete restrappings, it is a much less expensive alternative to replace a single vinyl strap (amounting to a couple dollars each to replace). Not to mention, the vinyl seating area is more supple where as sling fabrics are pulled tight and hard. Vinyl conforms to the contours of the body aiding in full body support without pressure points.
In conclusion, many in the industry felt that vinyl furniture would fall by the wayside and sling furniture would take over the future of the commercial industry. We are happy to report owners, managers and purchasing agents are realizing the value vinyl furniture has in their industry. So, if it is your turn to purchase new commercial outdoor furniture, keep these points mentioned in mind. Vinyl strap furniture is still unbeatable.