Culp launching two businesses to sell fabric in Europe
By Larry Thomas -- Home Textiles Today, 3/3/2011 11:52:21 AM
High Point, N.C. - Fabric supplier Culp Inc. is launching two businesses in Europe that will market and sell its upholstery fabrics throughout the continent.
Culp Europe, based in Poznan, Poland, will focus on western and central Europe. The other business, a joint venture called Culp U.K., will focus on the United Kingdom market, where flame retardant requirements for upholstery fabrics are more stringent than in other European countries.
"We expect these two operations will work together to serve the European marketplace," said Frank Saxon, CEO. "Many furniture manufacturers in Poland also sell furniture to the U.K., and a number of U.K. retailers and manufacturers supplement their furniture production with sourcing from Poland and other European countries."
Most of the fabric for the two operations will be produced in Culp's factory in China, but some will come from its U.S. plant and other outside suppliers, Saxon said.
The operation in Poland will include a small fabric cut-and-sew facility, he said.
The U.K. operation is a joint venture with Flameproofings Ltd., a producer of FR coatings. In addition to using its coatings for Culp fabrics sold in the U.K. market, Flameproofings will add its small fabric distribution business to Culp U.K, said Saxon.
"We believe this joint venture offers a unique opportunity to bring together Culp's innovative design and global supply network with an established supplier of FR coatings with existing customer relationships and extensive market knowledge," he said.
The Poland-based operation will begin selling fabric before the end of Culp's fiscal year on April 30, while the U.K. venture should commence in May or June, the company said.
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