Klaussner teams with FTC for training course
Klaussner is taking the unusual step of offering an online training course for retail salespeople free to all of its customers. The Klaussner University Earn & Learn course features five training modules that include online study and testing as well as an ins-tore practice regimen. The program was developed and is administered by The Furniture Training Co. of North Logan, Utah, and features interactive learning technologies designed by FTC to teach salespeople how to sell Klaussner upholstery (including motion upholstery), case goods, and Enso memory foam mattresses. At this week’s High Point Market, Klaussner is dedicating the marketing area of its showroom to the program, demonstrating it on a 60-inch television, said Len Burke, Klaussner vice president of marketing. FTC President Mark Lacy will lead the presentations to dealers. Klaussner said sales associates who complete the program “will have greater product knowledge and selling skills for helping customers purchase the furniture they need and want. They will learn how to close more sales and sell more furniture by making effective use of the choice, selection and possibilities that Klaussner Home Furnishings products offer to consumers.” The training modules allow salespeople to work at their own pace and can be accessed online from any computer or mobile device. Each module uses a “blended learning” approach, the training company said, and includes an interactive multimedia presentation with audio, images and narration along with an online test that’s graded. The course also includes worksheet activities that let salespeople apply the new skills on the sales floor. The worksheets are then submitted to a store manager and reported in Furniture Training’s online tracking systems, so retailers can monitor progress, said Lacy. Sales associates who complete the training program will receive industry recognition and a certificate of achievement. “Training, we believe, is the essential requirement for moving this industry away from just selling furniture by price and instead helping consumers recognize us as a fashion industry,” Burke said. “Without professional well-trained salespeople, consumers will be left on their own to find the right furniture to make the rooms in their homes more functional, comfortable, and beautiful.” He declined to disclose the cost of the program but characterized it as significant. “What better way to get our message out to the influencers, the retail sales associates, than this tool? It gives us consistency with our training as well. When a new sales associate is hired, they can be trained on Klaussner product immediately,” Burke said. Lacy couldn’t say exactly how much this program would otherwise cost a retailer, noting that each of FTC’s programs varies significantly, but he said the company’s other programs have proven to lead to hefty sales increases. “When we survey our retailers and ask how much of an impact our training has had on their salespeople, they tell us they’re getting an average of somewhere between 10% to 25% increase in sales,” he said.
Like its other courses, FTC’s Klaussner program has a base in scientific research and the idea that true training, isn’t just information but “purposefully created experiences with information through presentation, practice and testing so that people will learn,” Lacy said. Klaussner said FTC has won training and educational awards and that more than 90% of the thousands of sales associates who have completed FTC courses have commended the training for its ease of use, quality of information, enjoyment, and for leading to an increase in personal sales. “This training program really shows Klaussner’s commitment to the importance of retail sales associates,” Lacy said. “By investing in a high quality training program, Klaussner is helping associates sell more Klaussner furniture as well as every other product carried within a retail furniture store.”
Klaussner’s Rush recognized as young leader
Klaussner Home Furnishings’ Brandunn Rush has been selected as one of The Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under Forty for 2014 in North Carolina’s Triad region (Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem).
Rush, Klaussner’s vice president of sales, has worked his way through the ranks at the company. In 2011, he was part of the management team that purchased the company from its previous owner and now leads a sales force of 80 sales representatives in the U.S. and Canada. “Our 40 Leaders Under Forty program shows the remarkable talent on the rise in the Triad,” said Mark Sutter, editor of The Business Journal.
“Their accomplishments and passion for serving our community is inspiring.”
Klaussner names McCray to lead new outdoor division
Case goods and upholstery specialist Klaussner Home Furnishings has hired industry veteran Gary McCray to lead its new outdoor division, the company announced today. McCray comes to the company from Heritage Home, where he was most recently senior vice president of Designer Brand Sales. He was named to that position late last year after KPS Capital Partners acquired certain Furniture Brands International assets in a bankruptcy court-approved sale.Before that, he had been president of outdoor specialist Lane Venture since 2008 and had joined Venture Furniture, a predecessor company, in 1979. McCray also serves as vice chairman of the International Casual Furniture Assn.
He will lead a new outdoor division that will operate as a separate division of Klaussner. It will sell product to outdoor furniture specialists and other stores that sell or are looking to sell outdoor furniture. Klaussner said it will launch the outdoor line in September at the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago. “We’ve been exploring this new territory for several years,” Klaussner President and CEO Bill Wittenberg said in a statement. “With the growth among traditional furniture buyers it includes the core of today’s market. There’s never been a better time to add outdoor to our portfolio of products and no one is better equipped to do that than Gary.” McCray said he is excited to be part of the endeavor.“I believe the combination of their expertise and capabilities as a solutions provider and my experience in outdoor furniture will catapult Klaussner into a major factor in the casual furniture category,” McCray said.
Klaussner TV show to air during High Point Market
Upholstery and case goods manufacturer Klaussner Home Furnishings is producing a 30-minute network television news and information program that will air on local TV during the High Point Market. “Klaussner at Market” will air on Fox-8 (WGHP-TV) on Saturday, April 5, at 6:30 a.m. and on Sunday, April 6, at 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. The station is seen in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem and surrounding communities in North Carolina. Produced and directed by Charlie Horich, “Klaussner at Market” was taped on location at High Point Market and in the Fox-8 studios. The show will be anchored by television personality Cristina DeHart and will feature a variety of guests including Jerry Epperson, managing director of investment banking and research firm Mann, Armistead & Epperson; Ray Allegrezza, editor-in-chief of Furniture/Today; Jeff Harris, executive vice president of retailer Furnitureland South; Geoff Beaston, senior vice president of case goods for Klaussner; Bill Mangum, artist and furniture designer; and Manoj Nigam, CEO of MicroD. “Innovation is not just in the manufacturing of furniture,” said Bill Wittenburg, CEO of Klaussner Home Furnishings. “It’s also finding new ways to assist retailers across the country so that they can make their businesses better.” “We are extremely excited about our first foray into television,” said Len Burke, vice president of marketing. “Furniture retail owners, buyers and others attending the market are eager for information and we’re delighted to provide this resource.”
Klaussner Notes Growth on Carolina Preserves Line
Mangum/Klaussner Press on UNC TV
Klaussner Home Furnishings and Connecticut retailer Pilgrim Furniture City teamed up recently to donate more than $20,000 worth of furniture to a former U.S. military servicewoman in need.The two participated in an upcoming episode of "George to the Rescue," a 30-minute reality show that airs in NBC's top markets and has been promoted with segments on such programs as the "Today Show" and "New York Live."Host George Oliphant and his crew field requests from distressed homeowners — often pillars in their community — then rally designers, contractors, retailers and others to help solve the problem. In this case, the nonprofit Purple Heart Homes, which aids wounded war veterans, called on the show for help with Sandra Lee, a former staff sergeant, who served in Iraq. Lee, among other things, survived four roadside bombings, but suffered traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Upon returning to the United States, her new battle became climbing three flights of stairs to her Manchester, Conn., apartment with a knee injury, Klaussner said. The charity called on the show, and the show called on Klaussner and Pilgrim. Together, they pulled together a whole house full of home furnishings for Lee as Purple Heart Homes purchased a house in the community and worked with the television show to expand it by 600 square feet. The home is now valued at $200,000 and Lee's mortgage is only $60,000. The show's designer, Louise Davis of Interior Decisions in Raleigh, N.C., shopped Pilgrim's main Southington, Conn., store on camera, which will provide publicity for both the retailer and Klaussner in the October episode. Working under a very tight deadline, Klaussner delivered the living room, bedroom and dining room furniture to Pilgrim, which made the delivery to the home and helped with the setup earlier this month. Pilgrim Vice President Steve Bichunsky said the neighborhood and community held a block party Saturday, July 27, in honor of a grateful Lee and showed her the new, fully-furnished home for the first time. "Purple Heart Homes is a very special cause because it focuses on the people who protect our freedom," said Len Burke, Klaussner's vice president of marketing. "We were both happy to make this happen for this young lady, who served so bravely."
Upholstery and case goods resource Klaussner Home Furnishings plans to launch a licensed collection this year with North Carolina artist William Mangum. Carolina Preserves is planned for the October High Point Market and will include both case goods and upholstery. There will be five sofa frames with other coordinating upholstery pieces and about 35 wood pieces. The collection takes its name from a book Mangum published in 2000 that contains 130 original paintings of North Carolina scenes. These are shown alongside essays on their home state by 48 Tar Heels ranging from Michael Jordan and Richard Petty to Elizabeth Dole and Ruth and Billy Graham. Inspired partly by the success of another North Carolina artist’s furniture line, the World of Bob Timberlake, Mangum said he has wanted to do a licensed furniture collection for years. Yet while he has had licensing agreements to provide artwork for some golf resorts, opportunities in the furniture industry haven’t materialized until now. The idea took shape when Geoff Beaston, a Klaussner case goods executive and member of the team that developed the original Timberlake line for Lexington in 1990, saw an article about Mangum in the High Point Enterprise newspaper in January. Beaston, who has been friends with Mangum for 12 years, contacted him with the idea of going a licensed collection with Klaussner. They met that same morning and began a discussion that led to ultimately led to an agreement. “Before we left (that meeting) in an hour, we had a gentleman’s agreement,” said Mangum, who has done more than 3,000 paintings in his 35-plus year career. “As an outsider, I have watched Geoff, and have dreamed of working with this guy, who is so talented.” Beaston said he admires Mangum’s work, which ranges from scenes of the Carolina coast and mountains to scenes showcasing the state’s many university and college campuses. “When you look at his work, it reminds you of life,” Beaston said. “It speaks to memories.” “I think Bill is perfect for telling a story,” he added, noting that he has been looking for a licensing partner like Mangum for the past two years he has been at Klaussner. “I have been looking for someone for someone to align ourselves with who can tell a story in an authentic way, something that made sense.” Carolina Preserves will tell a story about North Carolina in two distinct lifestyle collections, one with a coastal lair and one with a mountain lodge theme. “The nice thing about Carolina Preserves is that it allows a broad design and style,” said Bill Wittenberg, Klaussner’s president and CEO. “William Mangum captures the beauty of North Carolina like no other. Bill has done over 3,000 paintings and it allows us the inspiration from the coast to the mountains.” The line will be sourced in Vietnam. Mangum has already traveled there with the Klaussner team to develop and review samples. Details such as wood veneers finish and piece descriptions and pricing will come later. Officials did say that it will fit within the middle to upper-middle pricing structure of the Klaussner line. Mangum also has developed a palette of 15 colors trends that will help guide the fabric selection. The collection coincides with the 50th anniversary of the company, Wittenberg noted. the April High Point Market the company unveiled a painting Mangum created of one of its North Carolina upholstery workers in Klaussner’s Asheboro, N.C. plant. The company commissioned the painting to celebrate the anniversary. “I am extremely excited to see this collaboration and story come together at a time when our company is enjoying strong growth,” Wittenberg said, adding that Mangum met with some retailers during several days at the April market and received a positive reception. Wittenberg said he believes that offering a story like Carolina Preserves to tell on retail floors will help improve margins for those retailers that carry the line. Based on his conversations with retailers, Mangum said he thinks the collection will fill a void on their floors. “They are yearning for something to convey to the consumer,” he said. “I believe Klaussner is poised to deliver something that the market has been thirsting for a long time.” .
Klaussner Still a Force
After 50 Years
A full house gathered at the Klaussner Home Furnishings showroom Friday for the unveiling of a commissioned portrait commemorating the company’s 50th anniversary. Painted by North Carolina artist William Mangum, the portrait features Casey Spinks, a 29-year upholsterer for the full line supplier, working on a chair in the factory. “We owe our longevity, in large part, to our dedicated employees,” said Bill Wittenberg, president of Klaussner. “We wanted to show our appreciation for their hard work and William Mangum was the natural choice to create this tribute to them.” High Point Mayor Benita Sims joined High Point Market officials and representatives from the Bienenstock Furniture Library for the unveiling. The portrait will be on permanent display in the library.
Klaussner Unveils Portait
Commemorating 50 Years
Klaussner Celebrates its 50th
“50 Years in the making – When we opened our doors a half-century ago, we couldn’t have known that we’d still be here 50 years later. But by staying focused on the needs of our customer, constantly growing our portfolio of products, and pioneering the quick delivery of custom order furniture, we’ve built Klaussner Home Furnishings into one of America’s leading furniture brands. Klaussner Home Furnishings: We built it for you. And we built it to last.”
A firm commitment to producing a high quality upholstery and leather product line – with the added benefit of being crafted in the United States – has made Klaussner Home Furnishings a valuable resource to both dealers and consumers intent on doing business with domestic manufacturers. As the company is proud to say, it all starts with the talented workforce employed at its Asheboro, N.C. headquarters.
“Unquestionable, our people make the difference,” says Len Burke, vice-president of marketing. The company’s new tag line, “From Our Hands to Yours,” not only summarizes its “people – first” business principles, but also reflects its people to keep vital manufacturing jobs here.
As one of the largest employers in the Asheboro region, Klaussner has been an important part of the community for more than 35 years. Today Klaussner is one of the largest furniture companies in the country, offering more than 400 styles, 500 fabric choices and over 75 leathers. One of its greatest points of distinction is its ability to guarantee delivery of special order in 21 days or less.
“By manufacturing here, we are able to better service our customers, and cover a wide range of price points,” Burke says. “Our customers, in turn, can carry less inventory while offering a wider selection of products to the consumer.”
“We’re happy to see domestic manufacturing come back.” Burke contends. For its part, Klaussner advertises its valuable “Crafted in the U.S.A.” position in all of its promotional and point-of-purchase materials. “We are especially proud that we are a vertically integrated company,” Burke adds. “We make our own frames and pour and fabricate our own foam.”
With a renewed emphasis on supporting American-made products being seen in the furniture industry, Klaussner is ready for an increase in demand of its highly regarded product line. “We have the capacity to meet the demands of our retail partners,” says Burke. “And as the demand for our domestic made products increases, it will allow us to employ more skilled craftsmen to meet that demand. It’s a winning combination.”
ASHEBORO, N.C. – Klaussner Home Furnishings has revamped its website at www.klaussner.com with a more user-friendly platform that focuses on the company’s special order capabilities.
The updated site, created by MicroD, gives consumers and retail sales associates the ability to showcase a digital rendering of their special order merchandise, watch informational videos and obtain product specifications.
“We are pleased to unveil our newly revamped website to our consumers and dealers,” said Len Burke, vice president of marketing. “With the new additions we have made, we feel like we are giving consumers and retail sales associates all the information they need to buy and sell our products with confidence.”
Burke said the product catalog was created using MicroD’s ePiphany platform. It provide a full representation of Klaussner’s upholstery, case goods and bedding, and he said the majority of the upholstery frames utilize the platform’s draping visualization technology.
“The new website really puts Klaussner and their dealers base on the cutting edge of marketing technology,” said Leah Suddreth, director of sales at MicroD. “Furniture consumers are savvy shoppers, and this will ensure that Klaussner products are at the top of their shopping list.”
Burke said the product catalog also will be available for retailers to include on their store website, enabling the retailer to showcase the Klaussner line while maintaining their store branding.
Klaussner adds to leather line, includes quick ship.
HIGH POINT – Klaussner Furniture Industries has remerchandised its leather upholstery program, strengthening its lineup at middle price points and offering quick delivery of more than two dozen new styles.
The new program, which will be unveiled at this week’s High Point Market, concentrates on retail price points of $1,199 to $1,599 for stationary sofas with all-leather covers.
Len Burke, director of marketing, said that all of the new products will be made at Klaussner’s factory in Asheboro, N.C., and said the company is stocking the needed raw materials to ensure the merchandise can be shipped in 21 days.
“We’re excited about this,” Burke said. “We think it gives us a competitive advantage, and can make us a bigger player on our retailers’ floors.”
At market, the company is unveiling 26 new frames that will be available with six leather articles in 28 colors.
In addition to the domestic production, Burke said key selling points will be the coil seat cushions in the new products and the wide range of traditional, transitional and contemporary styles and colors available for quick delivery.
He said the company already is gearing up for the new program by hiring additional workers in its factory who will be cutting and sewing the leather covers.
“We are increasing our cutting capacity as we speak,” said Burke. “The domestic leather business has suffered because of what’s going on in China, but we think this is a way to get some of that production back here.”
Klaussner® Home Furnishings has revamped and redesigned their website to enhance the online experience for both consumers and retail sales associates. The newly updated site was created by Klaussner’s technology partner, MicroD Incorporated.
The new site features a more user-friendly platform with a new feature and benefits section to highlight each product category offered and focuses on Klaussner’s core competency of special order furniture. Consumers and retail sales associates will now have the ability to showcase a drapable, digital rendering of their special order merchandise, watch informative videos and get all the product specific information at their fingertips.
The engine behind the catalog, created using the MicroD Inc. ePiphany platform, provides a full representation of the Klaussner product line including upholstery, case goods, and Enso mattresses. The majority of Klaussner upholstery frames within the catalog utilize the unique draping visualization technology.
According to Len Burke, Klaussner Vice President of Marketing, “We are pleased to unveil our newly revamped website to our consumers and dealers. With the new additions we have made we feel like we are giving the consumers and retail associates all the information they need to buy and sell our products with confidence.” The catalog will be managed and updated by Klaussner to ensure that all items featured are current, in-line merchandise, allowing dealers to focus on their retail store operations.
Leah Suddreth, Director of Sales at MicroD, states that “this new website really puts Klaussner and their dealer base on the cutting edge of marketing technology. Furniture consumers are savvy shoppers and this will ensure that Klaussner products are at the top of their shopping list.”
The innovative product catalog will also be available for retailers to include on their individual store websites. With this new offering, Klaussner dealers will have a unique opportunity to showcase the Klaussner line while maintaining their individual store branding. Klaussner dealers interested in utilizing this catalog should call their Sales Representative or MicroD Incorporated at 1-800-964-3876.
Klaussner has opened a new Klaussner Solutions Studio at Patrick Furniture in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Patrick Furniture, a third-generation family owned store has been in business for 66 years. The full line medium to high end furniture and bedding store services Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Northwest Arkansas.
The Klaussner Solutions Studio is 2,665 square feet.
Klaussner has opened a new Klaussner Solutions Studio in two locations of Maison Ethier in Montreal, Canada.
Maison Ethier, a family owned furniture, appliance and electronics store has been in business since 1984. Both stores are owned by three brothers and feature a full assortment of products from Klaussner.
The Klaussner Solutions Studios are 3,474 square feet in St. Basile and 2,288 square feet in St. Jean.
Klaussner has opened Klaussner Solutions Studios in two locations of Van Vreede’s in Wisconsin.
Founded in 1951, Van Vreede’s began as an electronics and appliance specialist and added furniture in 1989. Today, Van Vreede’s operates in three locations.
Klaussner Solutions Studios were added to two locations, 2,345 square feet in Green Bay and 2,215 square feet in the Appleton location.
Klaussner Home Furnishings was recently approved as a Foreign Trade Zone Manufacturer by the U.S. Commerce Department allowing Klaussner to be competitive with overseas competition with cut-and-sew fabrics.
This will allow Klaussner to buy certain imported fabrics duty-free and enable Klaussner to cut-and-sew fabrics in Randolph County versus having to use an overseas work force to produce these covers.
“One of the primary purposes of an FTZ is to offer relief from inverted tariffs,” said Chuck Miller, Sr. Vice President of Supply Chain Management. “FTZ status will encourage the hiring and retention of North Carolina based cut-and-sew workers.”
Previously, Klaussner could import cut-and-sew covers duty-free from overseas while certain imported fabrics on rolls carried substantial import duties. This gave overseas cut-and-sew operations a significant cost advantage over U.S. cut-and-sew operations. Now Klaussner will be able to produce their own cut-and-sew fabrics domestically in their plants in Randolph County which means jobs will be created for the manufacturer. “The FTZ levels the playing field with our overseas competitors and enables us to use our domestic work force to produce these covers going forward,” said Miller.
Strike up the band. Klaussner Home Furnishings is planning to make some noise this Market to celebrate furniture made in America.
City officials will close one lane of traffic on the opening day of Market to make way for the Asheboro High School Marching Band. Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 22, the band will parade from the corner of Broad and Hamilton streets and head south, making its way through the Market transportation terminal and ending at the Klaussner on Hamilton Showroom.
The band’s performance is a prelude to Klaussner Home’s Market party for furniture dealers, scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Klaussner on Hamilton.
Many of Klaussner Home’s 1,900 employees are graduates of Asheboro High School and many band members have family members who are part of Team Klaussner, according to Klaussner Vice President of Marketing Len Burke.
“This Market is a celebration of furniture made in America and the people and families who are part of Team Klaussner,” Burke said. ”Klaussner wants to encourage dealers to buy upholstery where it is made – right here in America by Team Klaussner.”
Advertising and other marketing materials for the October Market feature a group photo of 800-plus employees sporting Team Klaussner T-shirts. The photo was taken at Klaussner’s headquarters and manufacturing facility on Lewallen Road in Asheboro.
Klaussner Home Furnishings unveiled their new Solutions Studio format last April at The High Point Market and sense then have had tremendous success with the new format.
Klaussner has opened several Solutions Studios in stores across the country and are currently working on more. The Studios range in size from 2,500 – 5,500 square feet and offer dealers a simple way to sell Klaussner products.
“We are very excited with the overwhelming response since our launch last April” stated, Len Burke,” VP of Marketing for Klaussner. “Every store has been very pleased with the finished product and the response from the retail sales associates has been outstanding. We have simplified the selling process with our Solutions Center which was developed in coordination with our partner, MicroD.”
J & J Furniture in Alabama has opened Studios in 3 locations, DT McCall & Sons in Tennessee added Studios in 3 locations, Van Vreedes in Wisconsin has 2 locations featuring Studios, Kaplan’s Furniture & Mattress Gallery in Ohio has opened Studios in both of their locations, Carolina Furniture Concepts in North Carolina features Studios in their 2 locations, Compass Furniture in Louisiana has opened a Studio and Save-On Furniture added a Studio in their location in Wisconsin.
The product assortments vary from floor to floor but all feature custom order upholstery across multiple product lines and price points. The core of each Studio is Klaussner’s domestically made upholstery that is crafted in North Carolina and delivered in 21 days.
“For us it has simplified things, with Klaussner we have been able to consolidate many of our lines we have carried in the past because of their vast assortment of products” said Cris McCall, DT McCall & Sons Co-Owner and Buyer. “They have bridged the gap for those looking for a stationary and motion line with custom order capabilities.”
For each Studio, Klaussner offers designer assistance as well as point-of-purchase materials, tagging solutions, distinctive elements to highlight the area and a computerized Solutions Center that simplifies the selling process for the retail sales associate.
“We’re very excite about our Studios, it has brought in more traffic to our stores,” said Bob Jones, President & CEO of J & J Furniture. “The products are made in the USA and offer our customers options and coupled with the Solutions Center computer system it makes it simple for our retail sales associates to sell more products.”
Klaussner will again dedicate a 5,000 square foot area in their showroom on North Hamilton Street to displaying a Solutions Studio so dealers can see first hand how it would look in a retail store.
Cargill BiOH® has teamed with U.S. based upholstery resource Klaussner Home Furnishings (KHF) for the first co-branding program focusing on consumers at retail.
Cargill and KHF will kick off a joint marketing initiative this fall, with the furniture manufacturer’s entire domestic line of Klaussner brand upholstery products featuring foam cushions made with BiOH® polyols derived from soybeans.
The program includes point-of-sale elements that will be announced at the Fall High Point Market. Dealers will gain the option of using new product information tags that explain the positive environmental impact of making foam with renewable, bio-based ingredients that replace a portion of the petroleum ingredients used in seat cushions.
KFI has a long and well-established record of environmental stewardship with a host of internal initiatives, including:
Purchasing wood materials from suppliers who are part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which has strict standards for replacing harvested trees while protecting wildlife, plants and soil and water quality.
Using recycled steel in its eco-friendly seating system.
Choosing fiber-fill for cushions and pillows that is derived from recycled materials.
Communicating with dealers through the paperless ServiceNet portal solution.
Selecting corrugated boxes that are manufactured from recycled materials.
Recycling of excess packaging, fabric, leather, foam materials—which keeps those materials out of landfills and enables the re-use of products like foams, which can become carpet padding.
Prior to reaching the formal agreement, “KHF has been a long-standing user of Cargill BiOH Polyols in its foam process,” said Bill Wittenberg, KHF president and CEO. “It’s long been evident to us that when shoppers at retail are offered the option of a product that is more environmentally friendly, those shoppers will select the more eco-friendly product,” Wittenberg said. “Klaussner takes the environment seriously, and we look for any meaningful way to operate our business more efficiently while leaving less of a footprint on the environment,” said Bryan Myers, KHF marketing and brand manager.
Cargill’s Polyurethanes business unit is the maker of BiOH® polyols, an ingredient for flexible foam used in a host of consumer products including bedding, mattresses, furniture, carpet cushion, and automotive seats, and is made from renewable soybean oil.
Renewable, soy-based polyols replace a portion of the petroleum polyols from which polyurethane foam is traditionally made. The percentage of soy content depends on the type of foam and how it is manufactured. Lowering the percentage of petroleum components can be positive for the environment by reducing the potential for petroleum hydrocarbons and reducing dependence on crude oil. For every 1 million pounds of Cargill BiOH® polyols used in furniture and mattresses, for example, more than 92,000 gallons of petroleum are saved.
Klaussner Home Furnishings has hired Bruce Sinning to take over merchandising responsibilities for the the companies motion and import upholstery line.
Sinning, a 15 year veteran in merchandising will become VP of Merchandising, Motion and Import Upholstery. Prior to Sinning’s merchandising roll at Berkline, he garnered 15 years of retail experience at Glick’s.
“I am pleased to announce the addition of Bruce Sinning to our merchandising team and Klaussner family,” said Jay Foscue, SVP Merchandising, Sales & Marketing. “Bruce brings a wide range of experience to our merchandising team from both a retail and manufacturing perspective.”
Bill Wittenberg, CEO and President, Dave Bryant, CFO, and a team of managers of Klaussner Home Furnishings announced today the consummation of a management buyout (MBO) of Klaussner Home Furnishings (“Klaussner”) from the company’s owner Hans J. Klaussner.
Mr. Klaussner and his father, German entrepreneurs, purchased Asheboro, North Carolina’s Stuart Furniture in 1979. The company was later renamed Klaussner and has grown to be one of America’s largest furniture makers. Through strategic acquisitions, domestic and overseas partnerships, and state-of-the-art inventory control and manufacturing/shipping operations, Klaussner has created a vertically integrated furniture powerhouse capable of producing custom-order furniture in just 21 days or less.
Speaking from the company’s new showroom in High Point, NC, Klaussner CEO and President Bill Wittenberg said, “I am very excited for our associates and our retail partners. I’m also excited about the opportunity this creates for our highly experienced Klaussner management team. The company will be owned and operated by the management team, the same team that is successfully running the company today. On behalf of myself, Dave Bryant and the entire management buyout team, I just want to say we are committed to being the home furnishing industry’s leading solutions provider”.
With the buyout announcement coming during one of the industry’s biggest annual events, the Spring 2011 Furniture Market in High Point, Wittenberg sees an opportunity to spread the good news in person: “We’re hoping that when our industry colleagues and partners stop by for a tour of our new 90,000-square-foot showroom, Klaussner on Hamilton, they’ll take one look and realize we’re a company on the move.”
Klaussner Home Furnishings will show all of their product lines under one roof for the first time in a new building at High Point Market. The new Klaussner on Hamiltion building is 90,000 square feet of showroom space located at 101 North Hamilton Street.
Klaussner will display all of their domestically manufactured stationary and motion upholstery along with imported stationary and motion items, case goods, occasional tables, and Enso Sleep Systems memory foam mattresses.
“We are very excited to have a building that allows us to display all the capabilities of the company all under one roof,” said Bill Wittenberg, President and CEO. “We undertook a massive project with the overhaul of this building and our retail partners will find it to be easy to shop and very relaxing.”
The showroom will open on Thursday, March 31 at noon to customers and a Grand Opening party for the new building will take place on Saturday, April 2, from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, with an official ribbon cutting ceremony taking place at 6:30 PM. Many valued and loyal customers, state and local officials and members of the press will be on hand for the festivities and ribbon cutting.
“Saturday night will be a special time for Klaussner with the unveiling of our new showroom and having the pleasure to share it with so many of our loyal customers and friends will be truly special,” said Wittenberg. “The economic impact of our business here in this state and in Asheboro in particular is something that we are very proud of and plan to continue to grow and foster over the long haul.”
The Klaussner on Hamilton building will also feature a buyers lounge where buyers can collaborate and strategize during the week of market, free wifi throughout the entire showroom, and will feature the all new Klaussner Kafe where dealers can join us for breakfast, lunch and evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Comfort Design, a Klaussner company, will also show product in the Klaussner on Hamiltion building and will have there own entrance off of the corner of Kivett and Hamilton. The medium-high end upholstery and motion line will introduce several new introductions this April High Point Market.
Have you heard the news? We have a new home in High Point! Check out our new 90,000 sq. ft. showroom at 101 North Hamilton St. in High Point, NC.
No trip to the Furniture Market would be complete without a visit to Klaussner! Shop two floors of the HOTTEST styles!
So many possibilities, all under one roof!
Klaussner's Len Burke gives Furniture Today's Ray Allegrezza a sneak preview of the total remodel taking place at the company's new 90,000 square-foot freestanding building being readied for the April High Point market.
Klaussner will have a new permanent home in downtown High Point beginning with the upcoming Spring High Point Market, April 2-7. Klaussner will occupy the former Hamilton Market building located at 101 N. Hamilton Street at the corner of Hamilton and Broad Streets.
The new building is just a short walk from the market transportation terminal or a quick bus ride on the Market's free downtown shuttle service.
"Our Asheboro facility has served us well for many years," says Bill Wittenberg, president and CEO of Klaussner, "but the shopping behaviors of buyers have changed and with this new facility we will make it easier and more convenient than ever to shop our entire product assortment all under one roof."
Renovations to the building are well underway and Klaussner will open the doors on its newly renovated 90,000-square-foot Klaussner on Hamilton showroom for the April Market. Buyers will be welcomed by two floors of showroom space showcasing Klaussner's entire product line and a new Klaussner Kafe serving breakfast, lunch, and evening cocktails and hors d'oeuvres throughout Market. Klaussner showed its entire product line in a showroom at Market on Green last Market, and the success of this experience proved to Klaussner the value of bringing its showroom to downtown High Point.
Brian Casey, President and CEO of the High Point Market Authority commented on the positive impact this will have for the High Point Market in general by saying, "The new location of Klaussner's showroom provides an excellent link and greater continuity to the North End of Market. We could not be more pleased with their decision to make this move."
Upholstery veteran Dal Eckard has joined Klaussner Home Furnishings as a consultant, according to company President and CEO Bill Wittenberg.
Eckard, who retired from upholstery maker Berkline/ BenchCraft in February 2008 as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of motion and stationary upholstery, had headed that company's sales and marketing efforts since 1995.
Wittenberg, who had been president and CEO of Berkline/ BenchCraft before assuming the same responsibilities at Klaussner earlier this year, said Eckard will help Klaussner execute a major launch of product at next month's High Point Market.
"When it comes to understanding motion and stationary upholstery, I can't think of a stronger person than Dal Eckard," Wittenberg said. He said the company plans to introduce between 25 and 30 new motion groups as well as 15 to 20 new stationary collections at the High Point Market, which opens Oct. 16. "With a major launch such as this, having Eckard's input and experience will be an invaluable asset," Wittenberg said.
He also said Klaussner will also introduce six new case goods collections and will show seven other new case goods collections that debuted at the Las Vegas Market in August.
With the debut of a new showroom at Market on Green, Klaussner is breaking with a 30-year tradition of only showing its goods in Asheboro, N.C. Klaussner Chairman J.B. Davis gives Furniture Today's Ray Allegrezza a first look.
Klaussner Home Furnishings announced today that longtime president and chief executive officer, JB Davis, is retiring and that Bill Wittenberg has been appointed as his successor.
JB will remain with the Company and assist Bill during a three month transition period. Subsequent to his retirement, JB will continue to serve the Company as Chairman of its Board of Advisors.
"We have undergone a significant transition at Klaussner over the past two years and I believe that we have positioned the Company to grow and prosper once again. As Chairman of the Board of Advisors, the Company will benefit from my focus on strategic issues affecting the Company while allowing Bill to take over the day-to-day management of operations. Bill brings a tremendous background of success in the industry and will help us complete the repositioning of the business," said JB Davis.
Most recently, Bill Wittenberg served as President and CEO of Berkline Benchcraft LLC where he was responsible for leading the turnaround of the Company during the most challenging period for the industry in recent memory. His leadership was critical in stabilizing the Company and guiding it through its sale to Sun Capital Partners.
In commenting on his hiring, Bill Wittenberg stated: "I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Klaussner and am honored to be chosen to replace JB Davis; Klaussner has long been one of the premier furniture manufacturers in the United States and JB has long been one of the industry's leading executives. His vision and leadership will continue to be an important strategic resource for me and the Company as we navigate the challenging landscape that is the furniture industry today."
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