Beco Industries bringing more presence to U.S. market

Carole Sloan, March 22, 2004

Beco Industries is expanding its reach into the U.S. market with new product, intensive marketing and the addition of a U.S.-based executive dedicated to developing product and working with American retailers.

The 60-year-old, family-owned company, a third generation cut-and-sew business that began as a headwear company and morphed into a full-line bedding resource, has important American accounts, said Richard Pinchuk, president. "But we are upscaling our product and marketing. Our strength and weakness is that most people don't know who we are," he related.

As its American presence, Beco has hired Ira Segal as executive vice president, U.S. business development. Segal, formerly the head of the bedding division of Richloom Home Fashions, will be responsible for developing and designing specialty products for the U.S. market as well as for Canada, Pinchuk said.

The company, which claims the title of the largest home textiles producer in Canada, with U.S. sales of more than $80 million, is moving more into hand pieced, embroideries, a wider mix of fabric, ribboning effects and taffetas among its new designs.

"In home textiles, we were primarily a bed-in-a-bag producer, but now our focus is on growth via product expansion," Pinchuk said.

Other company products include sleeping bags which inspired the comforter expansion, sporting goods, fleece and flannel sheets, throws and headwear.

One of Beco's strengths, Pinchuk explained "is that when we open an account, we typically have been able to expand our business through business solutions and new products."

Initially, the company sourced primarily from Pakistan and China, but the sourcing reach now has expanded, Segal said.

For the New York Home Textiles Market, new directions include satin-backed comforters, new techniques in novelty quilting, puckered jacquards, pieced jacquards, tapestries quilted with velvet, velvets with appliques and faux furs, leathers and suedes, Segal added.

Sheets, now 250-count cottons, are moving up to 300- and 310-count cottons with embroidery. The company also is a major player in satin sheets.

In addition, Beco's other products like sleeping bags, cozy coats or throws offer significant add-on potential, Segal said.

Price points, he noted, range from $59.99 all sizes to $199.99 queen, with most falling in the $99 to $129 brackets.

In addition to its Canadian facility, the company has warehouses in Champlain, N.Y. and Charlotte, N.C.

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