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Beaulieu Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Beaulieu-AmericaDalton—Beaulieu Group LLC announced that it has filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division.

According to Beaulieu, the company’s existing lenders have agreed to continue to support the company by providing debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that will be combined with its cash from operations to ensure and support continued business operations.

“Beaulieu family members and our board of managers believe pursuing a restructuring through Chapter 11 is the best path forward at this time,” said Michael Pollard, president of Beaulieu Group. “We have evaluated alternatives to address Beaulieu’s capital structure, and believe that restructuring through the Chapter 11 process will best position all of Beaulieu Group LLC’s businesses for future success.”

Pollard continued, “this is a necessary process as we continue to execute our long-term strategic plans for the business. Our business model has changed with the industry and our client base since our current capital structure was put into place. This restructuring will allow us to invest in the business going forward and emerge a stronger organization. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers and employees throughout this process. I am confident that we have the talented and committed team capable of executing the reorganization plan. We appreciate the support of our vendors and customers as we move through this process.”

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Brenten Bailey named divisional vice president of Beaulieu America

Brenten-Bailey-HeadshotDalton, Ga.—Beaulieu Group has appointed Brenten Bailey as divisional vice president of Beaulieu America for the Western territory. Bailey joins Beaulieu after over 15 years in the industry as he worked his way up from territory manager to regional vice president with Shaw.

“Brenten brings an immense amount of experience, market intelligence, leadership and enthusiasm to our team,” said Dallas Chapman, executive vice president of sales. “We are thrilled to have someone of his capabilities on board and know he will be a valued resource for our customers and associates.”

Bailey looks forward to using his experience and  knowledge of hard surface products in this new position. “Hopefully many years of hard learned lessons can help our team become more efficient at bringing new innovative products to market.”


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Beaulieu America continues to execute long-term strategic plan

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 2.26.54 PMDalton, Ga.—Beaulieu Group, a leading family owned business within the flooring industry, continues its long-term strategic plan to streamline its product portfolio and manufacturing network to emphasize growth and profitability. Today the company announced the sale of its Bridgeport Fibers Plant in Bridgeport, Ala., to Mohawk Industries, based in Calhoun, Ga.

In January Beaulieu announced that it would be closing the Bridgeport plant by March 31, 2017 as the beginning of its long-term strategic initiatives. “The decision to cease operations at Bridgeport Fibers was difficult,” said Annette Cyr, executive vice president human resources, Beaulieu Group. “Our team worked closely with many local employers to assist employees impacted in finding new opportunities. This is consistent with our tradition of supporting members of the Beaulieu family.”

Michael Pollard, president of Beaulieu America, added, “We believe this has been the most favorable outcome for our company and those associates who have worked for us over the past many years. With this successful transition, we will continue to streamline and elevate our product portfolio, emphasizing growth and profitability.”

Beaulieu will continue to operate its Memofil fiber plant in Dalton, Ga.

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Beaulieu announces Vercruyssen's departure

Karel Vercruyssen
Karel Vercruyssen

Dalton—Beaulieu has announced the decision of CEO Karel Vercruyssen to leave the company. Vercruyssen also acted as CEO of Beaulieu America’s sister company, Beaulieu Canada, since 2007.

Michael Pollard, president of Beaulieu America, confirmed that although Vercruyssen was a strong asset, the leadership remains confident in the long-term success and future of Beaulieu America. “We will continue our efforts to increase efficiency and optimize operations, to ensure that we are best positioned for this company to thrive for years to come, and continue to offer excellent service and products to our partners,” Pollard said.

“We wish Mr. Vercruyssen great success on all of his future endeavors,” said Carl Bouckaert, owner of Beaulieu America. “His years of service to our family and his dedication to the continued success of Beaulieu was highly valued.”

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Latest Beaulieu restructuring focuses on personnel, strategy

13062446_1184141704931465_9155659538196564321_nDalton—Beaulieu America has announced a new restructuring as part of its plan to prepare for “the next phase of growth” for the business.

Four new senior management positions have been created over the past few weeks. Michael Pollard, the son-in-law of founder Carl Bouckaert, was recently named president. He will lead the development and execution of the company’s revised long-term strategy.

Next, Stan Bouckaert has moved from his position as director of hard surfaces to senior vice president of special projects. In this role, he will provide counsel on Beaulieu’s new business strategy to identify and capitalize on new opportunities for growth. Mike Hoffman has been named COO, responsible for all manufacturing and distribution operations. Finally, Steve Hillis, president of Beaulieu Commercial, will also assume responsibility for the residential side of the business. In his expanded capacity as president of flooring, Hillis will be tasked with leading all sales activities, resources and reporting for both commercial and residential functions. “This is a very important and exciting time for our company as we revisit the way we operate to ensure we are best positioned for current and future success,” Hillis explained.

Karel Vercruyssen and Del Land will continue with their respective functions as CEO and CFO of Beaulieu America. “The board of directors and I have put a lot of time, thought and energy into these leadership changes to ensure we have the right people in place who are committed to the long-term success of Beaulieu America,” Vercruyssen said.

In a related move, Kevin Biedermann, who had served as executive vice president at Beaulieu America since July 2015, has left the company to pursue other interests.

This latest restructuring comes on the heels of the company’s recently announced plans to trim about 6% to 8% of its workforce—or about 320 people—over the next few months (FCNews, May 9/16). According to Beaulieu, the actions are being taken to improve efficiencies across the company’s various product lines while enabling the organization to leverage emerging opportunities in the flooring industry.

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Beaulieu America names Williams director of training and leadership development

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 2.52.14 PMDalton—Kirk Williams has joined Beaulieu America as director of training and leadership development, effective immediately. In his new role, Williams will oversee the development and implementation of training programs, helping both new hires and existing employees to be successful in the performance of their job duties.

“His appointment generates an opportunity to positively impact many of our associates by bringing in a proven leader who not only teaches fundamental principles, but actually developed many of the courses and techniques he uses,” said Lynn Chambers, vice president, employee development, Beaulieu America.

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Biedermann joins Beaulieu America as executive vice president for residential sales

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 9.35.32 AMDalton—Kevin Biedermann has joined Beaulieu America as executive vice president of residential sales, effective immediately. In his new role, Biedermann will be responsible for driving the development of all Beaulieu America sales strategies and will work closely with the marketing group to develop, establish and direct all channel and distribution strategies and programs.

Biedermann joins the company with over 13 years of flooring experience, most recently as senior vice president of residential flooring at Armstrong. Prior to joining Armstrong, he was vice president of operations for AAR Aircraft Services and previously held a variety of key management positions for General Electric (GE).

“In his previous position at Armstrong World Industries, Kevin had overall responsibility for the largest non-carpet residential business in the United States,” said Karel Vercruyssen, CEO and president of Beaulieu America. “He brings an extraordinary wealth of experience to Beaulieu, with expertise in driving sales force profitability on a national level.”

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Beaulieu America expands financial capability

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.43.55 AMDalton—Beaulieu America is in the process of expanding its financial capability. The company continues to see strength and positive momentum in the marketplace and is looking to accelerate its high-growth segments and take advantage of capital in the financial markets to enhance its position in the marketplace. This move will also help meet the tremendous demand for its products as well as expand into a number of new markets and customer segments.

The company has retained NextGen Capital as its financial advisor.

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Beaulieu announces 'Dealer Family Reunion' 2015 regional event schedule

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 4.57.14 PMDalton—Beaulieu America is taking its new products and promotions show to dealers across the country in the form of regional events it calls “Dealer Family Reunions.”

“Beaulieu America is a family company,” said Mike Amburgey, chief marketing officer, residential. “We consider everyone we do business with an extended part of our company’s family—especially our dealers. Many of them are also family businesses, and they have told us they can’t always leave for extended periods of time and travel long distances to shows, so we want to bring our shows to them.”

The Beaulieu America initial list of “Family Reunion” dates and locations are as follows:

Jan. 6-7, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta

Jan. 8-9, Great Wolfe Lodge, Dallas

Jan. 20-23, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Jan. 27-28, Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City

Feb. 10-11, Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Feb. 26-27, Gold Strike Casio & Resort, Tunica, Miss.

March 10-11, Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago, Ill.

March 24-25, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Columbus, Ohio

Beaulieu America will also participate in several additional local shows, such as in Seattle and Minneapolis, to maximize its exposure during the winter markets season.

Beaulieu America also sees these regional events as an opportunity to connect with its own “family” of designers and sales associates in a much easier fashion because the events will be closer to the dealers’ stores. “We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to meet with our family of dealers at these events,” said Karel Vercruyssen, president and CEO of Beaulieu America. “We look forward to building relationships and gaining a deeper understanding of the needs of more of our dealers as we re-connect with them and their teams one-on-one, like a family.”

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Beaulieu launches initiatives, products based on 'dealer family' feedback

image003-14Dalton—Consistent with its “Family Owned, Family Focused” theme, Beaulieu America product introductions for January are heavily influenced by input from its dealer family.

“Last summer, Beaulieu sent 22 corporate executives to each of its sales regions for over 100d face-to-face ‘family meetings,'” said Karel Vercruyssen, president and CEO. “We also gathered feedback from over 400 additional dealers through a digital survey. The goal was to determine how we could better serve our family of dealers.”  What they learned influenced their 2015 introductions in three key ways.

  1. More focused and productive introductions. “Dealers told us they get ‘covered up’ with too many new products every January,” said Randy Sanford, head of product development.  In response, Beaulieu will introduce 19 carefully selected products across a variety of fibers, price points and style categories.  “Each is designed to meet dealers’ requests for products that are well styled, priced right and provide real consumer value.”  Three new introductions will feature the proprietary Beaulieu Soft Sense fiber, each with 3M Scotchgard soil protector and exclusive Magic Fresh odor reduction technology.
  2. Balanced construction. Instead of “softer, softer, softer,” dealers told Beaulieu they want “soft enough” with the right balance of styling and durability. So, seven of the new introductions feature the new Beaulieu Tryelle fiber system designed to deliver just that. Fresh off successful Tryelle launches of Vivid and Hypnotic, this fiber is a proven winner. Dealers also emphasized color is still important, so each will have a finely tuned 40 color line ranging from muted neutrals to earth tones to contemporary shades reflecting the top decorating trends.
  3. Changing selling dynamics. The final message dealers communicated is their showrooms are overflowing—they simply do not have the space, or the desire, for more bulky display furniture designed “by the mills for the mills.”  They also said they are doing many more presentations off-site, so selling collateral must be mobile. Beaulieu is responding in three ways by updating the existing Magic Fresh display which is already widely placed, transforming it with exciting new graphics, and adding six new update cards. The company is  also transforming deck boards to include more inviting visuals, along with consumer-friendly product features and benefits. This will allow presentations in homes, offices or other off-site locations to be just as effective as in the showroom itself. Finally, Beaulieu is Introducing a compact deck board swing-arm display with all the new products for easy shopping and access while maximizing precious floor space and minimizing dealer investment.

“Beaulieu understands both the challenges and rewards of running a family business,” Vercruyssen concluded. “We look forward to helping our dealers make their family owned businesses more successful with these new products and initiatives.  That’s what ‘keeping the family in flooring’ is all about!”