• Thomas Russell

Geoff Beaston joins Klaussner to lead case goods efforts

Company seeks growth in category
 Image of Geoff BeastonGeoff Beaston

ASHEBORO, N.C. — Klaussner Home Furnishings says it's ready to make a significant leap forward in case goods, starting with the hiring of industry veteran Geoff Beaston to the new position of senior vice president of case goods.

Beaston, a former executive at Lexington and Fine Furniture Design, will oversee case goods product development, merchandising, marketing and sales. He reports to Klaussner President and CEO Bill Wittenberg.

Beaston was executive vice president of business development for Columbus, Ohio-based Top 100 retailer American Signature from 2007 until September 2010. A non-compete clause has kept him from joining another company until now.

He is perhaps best known in the industry for his role at Lexington, where as director of marketing and later executive vice president and chief operating officer, he helped shepherd signature licensed lines including The World of Bob Timberlake, Nautica, Waverly, Arnold Palmer, Smithsonian and Southern Living.

At Klaussner, Beaston will work with Scott Smith, vice president of case goods. Smith reports to Beaston.

"I look at Geoff as a case goods expert who has spent his entire career in this category, and who clearly has as much knowledge of the case goods industry as anyone you would mention in the industry," said Wittenberg. "Geoff is beyond uniquely qualified for this. He was at the top of our list."

Klaussner has been in the case goods category since the late 1990s and has a line of bedroom, casual dining, home entertainment and occasional that represents about 15% to 20% of the company's business, Wittenberg said.

Klaussner ranks fourth on Furniture/Today's list of the Top 25 furniture sources for the U.S. market, with estimated 2010 U.S. sales of $490 million.

 This dresser is from one of seven new bedroom groups Klaussner Home Furnishings plans to roll out at this month’s High Point MarketThis dresser is from one of seven new bedroom groups Klaussner Home Furnishings plans to roll out at this month’s High Point Market

At this month's High Point Market, the company is making a statement in case goods by moving the line from the second floor to the first floor of its showroom at 101 N. Hamilton St., in about 35,000 square feet of space.

Moving forward, Beaston said he seeks to grow the category in a profitable manner, with a renewed focus on fashion-forward designs and finishes. The company also will continue to work with qualified overseas sources that can manufacture to specifications that are unique to Klaussner Home, he said.

Klaussner's core price points are $999 to $1,999 for a bed, dresser, mirror and nightstand and start at $2,599 for similar four-piece bedrooms in solid wood. Dining rooms will be developed in conjunction with the bedroom groups to form small collections, Beaston said.

In addition to enhancing design and finish elements, the company says it plans to bring a sense of innovation to the category.

"We are not abandoning the good parts of the Klaussner case goods line," Wittenberg said. "We are bringing much more clarity and definition to the product line."

He said the company will continue its strategy of offering goods container direct and through its warehouse in Asheboro.

Beaston said he is excited about the opportunity at Klaussner.

"We are positioned to be a key player as a full-service case goods provider," he said. "To me there is no doubt that the commitment is there and that the opportunity is significant."

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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