Li & Fung acquires Whalen

Heath E. Combs, July 19, 2013

SAN DIEGO - A spokesperson for Hong Kong-based trading company Li & Fung confirmed last week that it has purchased U.S. home furnishings source Whalen Furniture.
     The spokesperson said that Li & Fung would elaborate more on the acquisition during its interim results announcement in mid-August.
     Industry sources have estimated that Whalen has $275 million or more in annual sales. Whalen officials declined comment for this story.
     Whalen's brands include several with a residential focus, among them Golden Oak, APA Furnishings and Level Up. Traditionally, the company's strengths have been in home entertainment, casual dining and home office.
     The Whalen Storage brand offers home and commercial organization and storage solutions, but the company also sells items like youth furniture.
     Its wholesale club business includes Bayside Home Furnishings, sold exclusively at Costco, and according to its website, Whalen Style, which sells to Walmart and Sam's Club.
     Li & Fung's sourcing business covers garments and apparel, toys, home furnishings, sporting goods, footwear, and health and beauty products, according to its website.
     In 2011, Li & Fung acquired True Innovations, an office and entertainment furniture trading company servicing mass retailers, and Exim Designs Co., a Thai-based furniture trading company that specializes in ready-to-assemble, flat-pack furniture. Li & Fung was also a bidder for the Berkline/Bench craft names that year.
     The Federal Register in May reported Whalen and Li & Fung together in an item on proposed mergers.

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