• Thomas Russell

Sansegal line now Rare Collections

Furniture that has been marketed under the Sansegal Home Designs name will now be called Rare Collections, a change in the relationship between both companies.

Rare Collections, which has been the exclusive U.S. distributor for Sansegal Home Designs products, now has exclusive rights to sell the company's case goods line.

Sansegal parent Sansegal-China will focus on production and product development. That includes handling work for its various original design manufacturing clients such as Rare Collections.

Rare Collections, headed by former Sansegal sales director Steve Hendrick, will focus on marketing, sales and customer service efforts in the United States. It also will continue to handle distribution for container-direct business from China and from its U.S. warehouse in Dallas.

In High Point, the company continues to show in The Atrium at 430 S. Main St. This market, the second floor showroom will have the name of both companies, but at the spring show it will only bear the Rare Collections name.

This week, the company is introducing three collections, to give it a total of 10.

While it carries the Rare Collections name, Hendrick said the line most likely will continue to be sold as private-label product to retailers.

"Today, the retail store is the brand," he said. "We are recognizing that reality. It doesn't make sense to add more cost to build your brand name when the retailers don't want that."

SansegalChina officials also are comfortable with the change, which they say will allow them to do what they do best: oversee production and industrial design, areas the company has been involved in for 17 years.

"Focus requires both a focal point, preferably within our area of competence and expertise, and it also requires a clearing away of distractions," said SansegalChina President Kevin Smith. "Narrowing in on the keys, clearing away the distractions and then executing day-in and day-out is what is essential.

"This change for Sansegal-China will enable us to clear away important areas where others have better position and clarify our focus on the ultimate customer by executing excellent product design and consistent quality manufacturing."

Working with three plants in China, SansegalChina will continue to produce furniture and other goods from wood, stainless steel, other metals and plastics.

Smith admitted that the past four years have taught Sansegal about its limits in selling high-end case goods in the United States.

"It's my sincere belief and now goal that Rare Collections, because of its presence and focus in the U.S., will be better at this U.S. sales effort with our support than we could be on our own," he said. "It really comes down to specialization, focus and intensity of energy."

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, Furniture Today

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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