KFI Promotes made in America in new marketing campaign

April 1, 2010

ASHEBORO — Klaussner Home Furnishings is launching a new marketing push with a cast of hundreds.

Fortunately, they had a ready and willing supply of “actors” right inside their plant walls.

On Tuesday, it was all hands on deck, as workers at the Klaussner Home Furnishings facility on Lewallen Road came out into the parking lot to make their smiling faces a part of Klaussner’s Made in America marketing campaign.

All 1,900 company workers could not be on site but the 800 or so who were there made a good showing.

“We plan to use this picture in various medias to encourage our dealers to buy their upholstery where it is made — Right here in the USA by Team Klaussner,” Bill Wittenberg, company president, said.

Wittenberg was appointed JB Davis’ successor as CEO in 2010. In April, the company’s senior management team purchased the Asheboro-based company from owner Hans J. Klaussner.

Wittenberg said in an interview after the photo shoot he is seeing a change in the marketplace. Buyers are starting to sour on imports. One reason is cost.

“The first cost is never the final cost when it comes to imports,” Wittenberg said.

He said that attractive price buyers see on individual pieces of furniture from foreign suppliers quickly begins to go up when the cost of transportation is added.

Buyers have also seen problems with slow turnaround between orders and delivery, Wittenberg said. Foreigner suppliers frequently have trouble responding to last minute changes, too.

So, Klaussner Home Furnishings is positioning itself to be the furniture supplier of choice, a position the manufacturing giant is accustomed to.

Wittenberg said that Klaussner will have a wide range of product on display at the October Furniture Market in High Point, including motion furniture, casegoods, upholstered furniture and Enso memory foam mattresses. He called this the company’s “blended model” of doing business — providing buyers a one-stop provider for their furniture needs.

For those who say American manufacturers cannot compete with cheaper overseas imports, Wittenberg begs to disagree.

“I think people are beginning to see the true cost in furniture,” he said. “We think, when you can buy in America, get your furniture in three weeks in the fabric of your choosing, buyers will agree — it’s worth a little more.”

Source: Courier Tribune - J.D. Walker