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Montreal's CDI International to make High Point Market debut

HIGH POINT — CDI International, a Montreal-based source of case goods, upholstery and accent furniture, will show at the High Point Market for the first time this month as part of a planned expansion into the U.S. market.

The company will exhibit in a 2,276-square-foot showroom in Showplace, space 1502, at the Oct. 13-18 show.

"We see a good opportunity for our line to grow in the U.S.," said David Ouaknine, president and head buyer. "The U.S. market is slowly starting to rebound, and we want to begin establishing a presence now, so that we'll be ready when business comes back."

CDI International says it is designing the framework of its Showplace showroom as a huge version of a trunk that buyers will enter to view the line.

"The showroom will be like a piece of very stylish furniture that visitors walk into," said Ouaknine. "It will provide a compelling introduction to our company and our philosophy, which is to explore the cutting edge of design and trends."

With roots that trace back to 1985, when Henry and Daniel Ouaknine - David's late uncle and father - began importing antiques, CDI specializes in designs sourced from India and China. The India facility, which provides the company's wood products, is a partnership. The Chinese plants produce upholstery for CDI under license.

CDI's line includes armoires, benches, beds, tables, chairs, media centers, lighting and mirrors, in styles that range from classic Scandinavian and rustic to industrial and modern. The company's customers include independent furniture stores, interior designers, hotels and other contract clients.

CDI warehouses best sellers at its headquarters in Montreal and plans to add a California distribution center to service customers in the West.

The company offers four types of pricing: Designer, regular wholesale, volume wholesale and container wholesale. Volume wholesale pricing provides a discount of 10% to 15% to customers who aren't in a position to buy a full container but still purchase more than $60,000 worth of products annually from CDI.

"We strive to provide our customers with not only a well-designed and high-quality product at a fair price, but also first-rate customer service from our sales force and in-office team," said Ouaknine.

He said CDI also works with its production partners to reduce its environmental footprint and maintain high standards for safety and quality. Many of the company's products feature reclaimed wood.

At market, CDI will introduce a new accent trunk collection and fabric and leather upholstery in mid-century styling. Many of the company's designs are patented, according to Ouaknine.

CDI's new showroom will include a bar, where it will host informal gatherings toward the end of each day.

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