• Thomas Russell

Czech-based Global Home eyes U.S. market

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Global Home, a Czech Republic- based case goods importer that sells primarily to Europe, Australia and New Zealand, is looking to expand to the U.S. market.
     The company has named John Routh, who has 25 years of experience sourcing wood product from Asia, as director of sales for North America.
     Routh has lived in Vietnam for six years and has spent the past 18 months at case goods producer Starwood Furniture, which has a factory near Ho Chi Minh City. There, he was vice president of sales and marketing and vice president of quality assurance.
     Before that, he sourced wood product independently out of Vietnam, including youth furniture for some small distributors in California. For 18 years previously, he handled U.S. sales for a factory in China that produced items ranging from jewelry boxes to wall units.
     Global Home has been in business since 2006, working with as many as 15 factories in Vietnam to supply bedroom and dining room furniture to its customers.
     The company is looking to start selling in North America this year with a lower middle to middle-priced line of dining room, occasional and some bedroom furniture. Routh said he has met with prospective customers in the U.S. and is ready to begin hiring reps.
     He said Global Home will offer mostly veneered groups, with oak, ash, cherry and walnut veneers and acacia and rubberwood solids.
     The company plans to start shipping to the U.S. market by the fourth quarter. Product will be available on mixed containers from its 215,000-square-foot bonded warehouse in Vietnam and also will be available factory- direct.
     Routh reports to Global Home CEO Otto de Jager. De Jager said the company currently ships about $50 million worth of product a year.
     "John will be a big help to take Global Home into the U.S. market," he said. "He is based in Vietnam with our international design team and strong QC staff."
     In Vietnam, the company operates a 22-person office and employs another 25 quality control professionals. For more information, Routh can be reached at john@globalhomegroup.com

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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