Article Review: Are Their Sofas Good Quality?

When I was shopping for a new leather sofa, Article was one company that I kept noticing on online threads about affordable, attractive leather furniture.  

Summary:

Article was launched in 2013, with a premise that they would offer 'unique, durable pieces using high-quality materials' with an ability to offer a 30% discount versus everyday furniture companies.  They are Vancouver based and were expected to reach $200 Million sales in 2018

Key  Points

  • Affordable Price Point
  • Stylish, Modern Furniture
  • Good quality leather 
  • Many reviews on website to help with purchasing decision

overall 

4/5

Quality

Value

Warranty

Reviews

Article - A Background

ARTICLE_Aamir_Baig_Headshot

Article got its start back in 2013, launched by four engineers, one including Aamir Baig (shown here), who was a co-founder and current CEO of the company.  The group of four, including Baag, Fraser Hall, and brothers Samuel & Andy Prochazka, decided that the inefficiencies in the furniture industry could be significantly improved upon. 

Without the overhead of a typical brick and mortar furniture store, Article believed that it could go direct to consumer offering high quality at a much lower price.

And by differentiating itself from the bigger online stores such as Wayfair it could tailor products to fit into what it's customers really wanted.  To date that has equated to mostly designs fitting into the mid-century modern and Scandinavian design categories. 

Today, the company is one of the biggest online direct to consumer furniture retailers and was recently named as one of Canada's fastest growing businesses. 

Is Article Legit?

Article is a well known online furniture retailer that has been in business since 2013.  The company is listed on Trust Pilot and has a score of 4.4 (out of 5 stars) based on 17 Reviews.  Article does have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, although there are some complaints from customers. 

Who Makes Furniture For Article?

Article works directly with overseas manufacturers to create their furniture based on their own designs. The company has an internal design team that either develops its own designs from scratch or takes third party design ideas from various partners.  They source materials are sourced from Canada, the U.S., Italy and South America with final assembly completed in Southeast Asia.

Note that a Forbes article from a few years back pointed out to something that was removed from Article's website.  It noted management comments about it's items being produced in some of the same factories as other higher end furniture:

In its early days, the company said on its website that its sofas were produced at the same factory that made furniture for brands like B&B Italia and Knoll, but it pulled the information down at the request of the factory’s owners.

Here's CEO Aamir Baig talking about the supply chain for Article:


ARTICLE_Aamir_Baig_Headshot

Aamir Baag

CEO of Article

"Our in-house team works directly with the best designers and manufacturers all over the world to build a product catalogue that includes a range of mid-century modern, Scandinavian and West Coast modern designs"  (Source)


What's The Quality Of Article Sofas?

Part of Article's appeal is that they keep the selection focused and limited, with roughly 35-40 different leather sofa and sectional options.  

Article only uses top grain leathers on its sofas. One of the most popular leather sofas at Article is the Sven, the one shown below is the Sven Charme Tan Leather Sofa

Article says that the Sven Charme is made of full grain aniline leather, meaning that the leather hasn't been sanded and shows many of the imperfections of the cattle hide. 

Now there are several complaints of scratching on the Sven Charme sofa, but that actually makes sense given the leather used on the sofa.  Full grain aniline, while durable is more prone to scratching, due to the fact that there is no protective coating.

article-sofa

On the Cigar sofa shown below, Article uses a full-grain, full-aniline leather which is finished with a paraffin wax. It is also referred to as a 'pull up leather' due to the fact that it "has been lovingly stretched and pulled, a technique that causes the color to migrate and become lighter in certain areas."

article-cigar-sofa


From our discussions with customers and after reading many reviews, we have found some element of quality control issues, but there is an overwhelming positive reception to Article's leather sofas and the quality of the product.

Some Reddit users did discover some sofas for sale on Alibaba that looked like exact replicas of Article's leather furniture, raising some concerns that Article might indeed just be drop-shipping furniture from China. 

Article's Duncan Blair (Director of Marketing) put these concerns to rest in several Twitter posts:

duncan

What's The Warranty Of Article Sofas?

Article's manufacturer’s warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship for one year from the products’ date of delivery.

Here's also more information on Article's Return Policy.

"..you have up to 30 days from the date of delivery to return your item(s)..make sure that your piece is in as-new condition...Returns made inside our standard service area will incur a $49 return shipping fee - for some smaller items a $19 return shipping fee will apply....Returns must be made in the original packaging. If you no longer have the original packaging, there is an additional $50 per item repackaging fee."

What Are Customer Reviews of Article?

Reviews on Article's leather sofas on their website are quite good.  Most products a 4.5 star minimum. Of course this is the retailers own website, so while I see no evidence that Article is blocking bad reviews, we have to accept that it could be unbiased.

This is a rather lengthy discussion of Article's furniture on Houzz, which provides probably a bit of truer opinion of Article.  The reviews are not exactly as glowing as what is shown on their website although there is a consistent theme of Article having good customer service support.

Will Article Ship Internationally?

Article does ship to customers in Canada and the contiguous U.S. 

They will also ship to Hawaii and Alaska for an additional shipping fee. 

Does Article Offer Discounts?

Article will occasionally offer holiday related (Black Friday, Labor Day, etc) sales, but doesn't typically offer regular discounts.  They currently offer free shipping on any orders over $999. 



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