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Masco consolidates Drexel, Lineage, Edward into full-line company.

THOMASVILLE, N.C. - Masco's Home Furnishings Group announced the formation of Drexel Heritage Furnishings Inc., an expanded full-line furniture company comprised of the Drexel Heritage, Lineage and Frederick Edward brands.

Even after Masco's recent announcement of its intention to divest itself of its home furnishings divisions, Masco president Ron Jones says the consolidation of Drexel, Lineage and Frederick Edward was intended to streamline distribution and design efforts, rather than "put the three together and package them to sell."

"The fact that Masco made the corporate decision not to continue with the home furnishings business," says Jones, "doesn't keep us from doing everything we can to position these companies and make them grow. We're simply trying to put a program together that makes sense operationally."

Jones says the consolidation was an extension of corporate strategies in place, such as the 500,000-square-foot center built last year in Morganton, N.C., to improve distribution.

Jones points out that Lineage, a locally advertised brand of case goods and upholstery in middle price points, and Frederick Edward, a specialty upholstery brand for the upper-middle market and designer groups, were essentially marketing and distributing companies with no manufacturing plants of their own. "All their product was being made in Drexel facilities," says Jones. "Each company was shipping product out of different distribution facilities, each had a different customer service department - everything was individual and stand-alone for each company," he says.

Jones says retailers will be the beneficiaries of the consolidation because product from all three companies will now be shipped from the one distribution center, freight costs will be less, and ordering and customer service will be simplified.

Jones also pointed to a multi-million dollar in-house upgrade of Masco's computer systems as a move that helps the consolidation further in helping retailers. The new system, some of which is currently in place, will be fully implemented next year.

By consolidating the three companies, Jones says, "we've pooled the best creative talent we have to enhance each." He says there will be an aggressive product introduction at the October market, even though Masco will maintain the three separate brands and three separate product lines. "If you get a bunch of creative people in one room," says Jones, "the energy and ideas start flowing. So now, we'll have three teams of creative people in one room borrowing on each other's energy and ideas. The result we feel is going to be more than you could ever have by simply adding up the three companies."

Executive changes are the following: the appointment of Dan Grow, current president of Drexel Heritage, to chief executive of the larger consolidated company; Tom Tilley, former president of Lineage, becomes senior vice president of product development for Masco Home Furnishings; Birger Rasmussen, former executive vice president of Frederick Edward, will assume leadership for all three brands' upholstery activities as vice president of upholstery for Drexel Heritage Furnishings Inc., and Andy Hines, formerly executives vice president of lineage, becomes vice president of marketing for the three companies.
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Author:Young Mi Kim; Carnett, Christina Wray
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 21, 1995
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