By Kevin Meyer
It took a few minutes to dissect this positive tidbit of news yesterday: Simmons opening a new furniture upholstery facility in the U.S. – and not just in the U.S. but in California no less. Probably about the most business-unfriendly location around, and I should know since I operate a couple businesses here.
Long-time readers will recall when Bill took Simmons to task – or actually the revolving door of flippers sucking cash out of a once proud company. Really a sad story.
But it's not the same company. You see the Simmons that Bill referred to has licensed upholstery manufacturing to this Simmons – really "United/Simmons Upholstery" which is really United Furniture Industries. It has its own convoluted history of bankruptcies and mergers, which is usually the case with companies that can't give a straight answer to "what's your name?" But at least it seems to have some manufacturing sense – even if it includes California.
Full-line upholstery source United/Simmons Upholstery, headquartered here, has secured a 505,192-square-foot manufacturing and warehousing facility in Victorville, Calif., and says it will use the site to better serve its rapidly growing base of West Coast customers.
The strategic move will also enable United/Simmons to create new jobs. According to the company, plans call for it to immediately hire 100 additional employees for this site and grow that number to approximately 400 employees within the next 36 to 48 months.
Yep, trying to get closer to its customers. Good call. Even if those customers are in a state with ridiculous business regulations, fees, and taxes.
"UFI has a history of making every effort possible to procure goods and services in the local communities where we have a manufacturing presence," Cottam added.
Buying local to further support the local economies. Another good call.
While acknowledging the ongoing challenges presented by the economy, George said that by investing in new items throughout its category lineup, United continues to equip its dealers for success. "According to our dealers, consumer reaction to our products continues to be very strong and we believe that the best way to support our dealers' ongoing success is by continuing to bring fresh looks and compelling values to the market," he said.
A focus on value from the perspective of the customer. Good again.
Perhaps there is hope for U.S. manufacturing – even with consumer furniture.