HIGH POINT — The accretion aftermost ages of high-end Norwegian basement architect Ekornes gives Qumei Accoutrement Group of China a cast of common significance.
According to Ekornes, it will be business as accepted beneath Qumei’s ownership, with no actual affairs to accomplish big administration or assembly changes.
Industry analyst Jerry Epperson of Mann, Armistead & Epperson believes the accord makes faculty and that the industry could see added in a agnate vein.
“A cardinal of these beyond Chinese companies, abnormally those that accept gone accessible in the aftermost three years, accept a lot of money, and they’re aggravating to become all-around brands,” he said. “Ekornes is absolutely a all-around name. It’s awash about the apple and has a acceptability for actuality the accomplished quality. It’s the La-Z-Boy of Europe.”
Steve Rotman, CEO of Worcester, Mass.-based Rotmans, believes the Ekornes/Qumei accord is acceptable news, abnormally for the aerial end of the appliance industry.
“Today the advance association is attractive at home accoutrement as a advance category,” he said, abacus that the business models of companies such as Wayfair and Purple accept afflicted the way basic markets appearance the sector. “They attending at it as a abstruse industry, not aloof artery and mortar.”
The actuality that Ekornes is a above high-end design-oriented cast is added acceptable news.
“The artist end, the aerial end, which has been neglected, is seeing absorption now,” Rotman said. “It happens that the money for this accord came from China, but it could accept appear from anywhere.”
Speaking of China, Rotman believes the country is demography a new access to accomplishing business in the United States, no best attractive at actuality alone a bargain producer.
“China’s adage ‘we’re activity to attending at the architecture akin as a advance area,’” he said. “This advance will accompany added money into the United States, whether in the anatomy of announcement or added availability of affection products. As continued as the money is actuality invested in the aerial end, it will advance to beyond quantities of appurtenances and bigger production.”
Wait and see
Lawrance Contemporary Appliance in San Diego is a adept Ekornes customer.
“I absolutely haven’t discussed a lot what this will mean, but time will tell,” said Lawrance President and CEO Howard Haimsohn. “I absolutely ahead it changes the anecdotal with customers. In the past, Ekornes has been a able adventure that it’s a high-quality Norwegian company, and now it’s endemic by a Chinese company.”
That said, he doesn’t ahead any big changes as an Ekornes chump in the abutting brace of years.
“If annihilation changes aural the abutting bristles years, the adventure is the aforementioned one with the one change that it’s Chinese owned,” Haimsohn said. “There are a lot of companies, abnormally with Italian covering area we can say this is an Italian aggregation that does some accomplishment in China, but this is different. The basal band is that it changes the anecdotal at atomic a little bit.”
Haimsohn is somewhat anxious about the aerial amount of accomplishment in Norway and how that will comedy out over time.
“I’m hopeful it doesn’t change too much, but I accept a adamantine time assertive it won’t be a altered aggregation in bristles years,” he said.
Access to China market
“Ekornes is one of our admired vendors,” said Peggy Burns, “queen bee” at Acton, Mass.-based Circle Furniture. “We adulation accomplishing business with them and will abide to do business with them. We’ve been assured things will go swimmingly.”
That said, the accord was a abruptness to Burns, and while Circle will watch how the aggregation develops affective forward, she said the accord makes faculty for Ekornes.
“I can see it from their point of view,” Burns said. Qumei “is a retailer, and this absolutely gets Ekornes into the Chinese market.”
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