Kluft selling beds in China
David Perry -- Furniture Today, October 13, 2011
SHANGHAI, China - China calls, and the Wizard of Ahh's answers.
Bedding veteran Earl Kluft, known as the Wizard of Ahh's for his luxurious sleep sets, has made his entry into this vast market with the recent opening of two stores here and one in Beijing stocked with his beds. Kluft's Chinese partner, Eternal Sleep Limited, opened the stores.
Kluft's beds target the growing number of affluent Chinese consumers. They will retail at the Eternal Sleep Limited stores from $3,500 to $50,000.
For the time being, the Kluft beds selling in China are produced at Kluft's factory in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., but plans call for Kluft's Aireloom brand to open at least two factories in China within a year.
"The Chinese demand for American-made luxury products is on the rise," said Kluft, president and CEO of E.S. Kluft & Co. "This entry into China is very exciting for us, and we are confident that we found the right partner. Eternal Sleep Limited understands the Aireloom and Kluft brands and knows how to promote the luxury concept to the Chinese consumer, making them our perfect partner."
Eternal Sleep is known as a leading Chinese supplier of mattresses to five-star hotels. The new stores mark the company's entry into the retail arena. The first three stores will exclusively sell Kluft's Aireloom by Kluft and E.S Kluft brands.
The three-store chain marks the beginning of Kluft's aspirations in China, officials said. Over the next few years Kluft and Eternal Sleep Limited plan to expand into every major first-tier and second-tier city in China, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shenyang and Chongqing.
Kluft's confidence in a high-growth opportunity there is backed by research that forecasts China's consumption of luxury goods will grow by 18% annually to about $27.5 billion by 2015, from about $12.2 billion in 2010, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Kluft has licensed the company's brands in other countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore, but the partnership in China is the first of its kind for Kluft.