Furniture importer Primex changes name, broadens sourcing
Paul family sells company to investors
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, August 12, 2010
The company also has changed hands and is no longer under the ownership of the Paul family, which had operated Primex since 1972.
As part of a transition that began in June, the Paul family sold their 100% ownership stake in the company to a group of investors. Primex Worldwide did not disclose the names of the new owners, but did say the company is incorporated in Wyoming.
Primex was founded by Ernest Paul in 1972. He most recently served as chairman and his son Stewart has been president for the past 25 years.
Both left the company as part of the transition, as did Gil Paul, executive vice president, and Steve Paul, chief financial officer.
The company did not reveal who is taking those positions but did say that the core management team is a group of directors based in Brazil. It also has retained marketing managers Vasso Unks and Stephen Konigsberg.
The renaming of the company to Primex Worldwide occurs as the company changes its sourcing. The company previously sourced product Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia and maintained offices in each of those countries as well as in New York.
It will continue to source product in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Mexico and will maintain offices there and New York. It also will expand its sourcing to Vietnam, India, China and Europe, but will not immediately open offices in those locations.
The change in sourcing will help Primex expand its capabilities in furniture and in pet products such as wood gates, crates and food storage bins.
Furniture represents about 75% of revenues. Pet products are the second largest category, followed by tabletop and home textiles, gifts and accessories. It looks to grow in those smaller categories and expects the new source countries to aid in related product development initiatives, Unks said.
She added that the company previously devoted one person to a single product category. Now, four employees will be trained to handle each area, allowing them to work with customers in every category the company offers.
"We are very excited about the opportunities we will bring to our customers," she said.
The company also expects to expand its retail base. While continuing to handle exclusive product for some core accounts, it also will service other retail accounts by offering them smaller quantities in mixed containers.
As a sourcing agency, Primex sells bedroom, dining room, occasional, home office, home entertainment and youth furniture at medium to medium-high price points. The new sourcing strategy is expected to help the company to broaden its price points to meet the demands of the marketplace.
"We will try to move to price-competitive product and we are hoping that the Asian sources will offer that for us," Unks said. "At this point, we are still in the infancy stages of those relationships."
At the High Point Market, the company will continue to show in the International Home Furnishings Center, M-1412. The fall market opens Oct. 16.