Posted on

EGGER to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility

36155828165_f14f48593f_zLexington, N.C.—EGGER, a wood-based materials suppliers for the furniture, wood construction and flooring industries, will build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Davidson County, N.C. Over the next 15 years, EGGER will invest $700 million in the new state-of-the-art facility, which is projected to create 770 jobs. The first phase of the development—taking place over the next six years—will create 400 of these jobs with an initial $300 million investment.

The North Carolina facility will be an ultramodern particleboard manufacturing plant, enabling EGGER to better serve its customers in North America and improve access for architects, designers, wholesalers and furniture industry customers to EGGER’s wide range of wood-based products and designs. EGGER’s goal is to replicate its leading market position in Europe and become the leading brand for wood-based solutions in North America.

“This facility will play a critical role in growing EGGER’s presence in the North American market for wood-based materials and ensuring product availability and speed of delivery for our customers here,” said Walter Schiegl, EGGER Group CTO and member of the executive board. “Davidson County is the heart of the furniture industry, and we are looking forward to leveraging the skills and knowledge of the workforce here to create a workplace that the local community and state will be proud of.”

The facility will benefit the greater Piedmont Triad region by working with local wood suppliers, acquiring wood byproducts from regional sawmills and working with a wide range of suppliers for additional services. Construction on the multi-phased project is expected to start at the end of 2018, subject to various approvals and permits, and production is slated to begin in 2020.

Posted on

My take: The trials and tribulations of a furniture shopper

December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13         

By Steven Feldman
Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.46.11 PMEver wonder what goes through your customers’ heads when they walk into your store? I’m not talking about those who may have logged days and months on the Internet and have some knowledge about what they want. I’m talking about those who become dazed and confused within five minutes, a percentage I believe is greater than you think.

If you ever want a full understanding of what they are experiencing, try walking into a furniture store. I recently gained a newfound appreciation for your customers’ plights—because I became one of them. Sort of.

Let’s start from the beginning. I decided to finally grow up and take an apartment in Manhattan. That was the easy part. The hard part was furnishing it. Here’s what I knew: I needed bedroom furniture (because every once in while I am not traveling on business), a living room (because I need something on which to park my rear when watching the game) and something to eat on (in case I decide to cook someday). And of course the essentials: TVs and surround sound.

Now here’s a little secret: I’m in my 50s and have never bought furniture alone. I’m sure a percentage of your flooring customers find themselves in the same boat. The thought of this was daunting, if not overwhelming. What was a reasonable budget? Where do I shop? How many stores do I visit? Sound familiar?

I have to tell you, it’s a horrendous experience. Where to shop? I asked people (word of mouth) and had a few stores in mind that I may have driven or walked past over the years. I knew I wanted modern/contemporary, so that eliminated places like Ethan Allen. I had always been a fan of Restoration Hardware, but when they told me I’d have to wait 10 to 12 weeks for anything to arrive, I was out the door in 10 to 12 seconds.

Speaking of which, that’s probably the most frustrating part of the process. I’m not ordering a $20,000 custom piece from Italy. I found nobody stocks anything except a few large chains. Everything else is simply a showroom and you have to wait months for delivery. It’s like the days where your customers had to wait eight weeks for ceramic tile because it had to be ordered from Spain or Italy.

One store was not too fond of me. When they told me I needed to wait eight weeks, I told them I would just take the floor sample and they could give me a discount. They declined because they said they would then have no sample to demo for customers. I suggested they wait eight weeks for their new sample to arrive.

Another store told me the furniture was manufactured in Texas, but it wouldn’t ship until they could fill a truck. I asked if they ever heard of UPS or FedEx Ground. That wasn’t an option. Why not? Policy. I asked if the policy to which they were referring had anything to do with the $200 delivery charge slapped onto every order. That store wasn’t too fond of me either.

My favorite line quickly became, “What do you have in your warehouse that I can have next week?”

But probably the most frustrating part of the process is I couldn’t set a budget because I had no idea what anything was supposed to cost. Is a couch $1,000 or $5,000. How much for a sectional? What about a sleeper? Is that an additional $500 or $1,000? And is a better mattress worth $500 or $1,000? And when you tell me about all the add-ons, do I really need them or are you putting me on the elevator?

Throughout the process, I had not encountered one salesperson who I would recommend for your store. I’m hoping this industry is better. Actually, I know it is doing a better job.

So here is my city apartment that contains nothing but a dining room table and chairs, a couple of oversized TVs with surround sound and a great view. I’m spending my free time these days, what little I have of it, in furniture showrooms with that same dumb look on my face. And not making many friends.