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Comrie buys majority stake in Elements

Retail Editor 4 -- Furniture Today, February 5, 2014

Paul ComriePaul Comrie, left, has acquired a majority stake in importer Elements International and is its new CEO. He’s shown in the company’s Las Vegas showroom with Mike Wurster, who remains president.
Rockwall, Texas - Promotional to mid-priced case goods and upholstery resource Elements International's CEO and founder Jack Wurster has sold his majority interest in the business to Paul Comrie, a former executive with  Canadian retailer The Brick.
    Comrie also succeeds Jack Wurster as CEO.
  Comrie was at The Brick for 13 years, most recently as senior vice president of merchandising and marketing. He will share ownership with other minority owners in the company.
    Elements will keep other current management in place, including company President Mike Wurster, who has also increased his ownership stake in the company as a result of the deal.
     In a statement, Mike Wurster said, "This is great news for everyone involved. It is an exciting time as we come off of a great fourth quarter and continue to see amazing growth with our Vietnam mixed container program, which our customers tell us is filling an unmet need in the industry. With Paul's strong retail experience and contacts in the business coupled with our team, fantastic new product introductions planned for the upcoming markets, and our very successful warehouse and container programs, we are poised to help take our customers to the next level."
     Formed in 2009, Elements' main business is promotional to mid-priced bedroom furniture. It sells mainly via direct containers, but also has distribution centers in Rockwall, Texas, and Vietnam, from which retailers can purchase products in smaller quantities.
     Jack Wurster, who has more than 25 years in the furniture industry, congratulated Comrie on the deal and also thanked his "partners, teammates, vendors, and customers for all the support they have provided me along the way. Special thanks to my wife Eva for all the sacrifices she has made. I look forward to watching Elements take it to the next level under Paul's leadership."
     Comrie told Furniture/Today that The Brick has been a big customer of Elements over the years.
     "They just provided terrific values," he said. "I think it's a recipe for success."
     Comrie added that Elements "has a terrific sales and management team and our product development process, quality control, customer service and logistics capabilities have driven Elements' growth and set us apart from the competition."

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