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Friday, 19 April 2013 15:02

Kindel Furniture pursues new growth plan, returns to High Point

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Single Bureau from Kindel’s 18th Century Collection Single Bureau from Kindel’s 18th Century Collection Courtesy photo

GRAND RAPIDS — American-made, high-end furniture has a future, and Grand Rapids-based Kindel Furniture Co. has a plan to grow in that market. 

That’s why the company is realigning its strategic plan in a push to build a portfolio of brands it can take to domestic and international markets to help drive profitability. 

While other companies are betting on cheap, mass-produced furniture, Kindel’s executives say they see value in producing one-of-a-kind products built by American craftsmen. The company is on the hunt for other, like-minded brands to broaden its portfolio. 

To help with the search, Kindel tapped Grand Rapids-based DWH LLC, a financial and business advisory firm. DWH is advising Kindel on its acquisition strategy.

“We believe the market still exists for very high-end furniture,” said Remos Lenio, a managing director at DWH. “[Kindel] thinks that there is a tremendous opportunity to manufacture very high-end, luxury, residential furniture in the United States. There are a lot of companies out there that could be picked up, and [Kindel has] the desire to do that and build a portfolio of brands of very strong furniture companies.”

Lenio explained that the problem Kindel has found in recent years is that typically, high-end, luxury furniture has been sold in retail stores. But those stores have dwindled in number and companies like Kindel have had a tough time reaching customers, Lenio said. In the future, Kindel intends to broaden its distribution by marketing aggressively to consumers, interior designers and architects, as well as to distributors and retailers in international markets. 

A March report in trade magazine Furniture Today noted the industry lost 29 of its top 100 furniture retailers in the last decade. 

“The challenge is getting the product to market so that the customers who want it can purchase it,” Lenio said. 

Kindel also announced that it would return to High Point Market spring show for the first time in three years. The Market, which runs from April 20-25, is a major home furnishings trade show held in High Point, N.C.

“High Point is kind of the epicenter of the residential furniture space,” Lenio said. “That’s where everybody goes to see what’s coming out, what’s online, and what’s available. Kindel, for various reasons, has not been there for a few years. This year they’re relaunching down there. They’re saying, ‘Yup, we’re here. We’re here to make … good furniture in America. Come and see us.’”

According to report by The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area in North Carolina, High Point Market is expected to attract more than 70,000 attendees, as well as representatives of from more than 12,000 furniture companies. 

In recent years Kindel Furniture has experienced a number of changes. In 2010 the company merged with fellow Grand Rapids-based furniture manufacturer The Taylor Company. While Kindel representatives said that the merger resulted in some greater efficiencies being gained for both companies, “the financial expectations were not realized.” In October 2012, Kindel divested of The Taylor Company and sold it to Holland-based Worden Company

At the time of the sale, Kindel also named a new CEO, Thomas Yeo, and a new senior vice president of sales and marketing, Amy Wolbert. 

The Kindel Furniture Company has been in business since 1901 and has been manufacturing furniture in Grand Rapids since 1912.

Read 9568 times Last modified on Saturday, 20 April 2013 10:04

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