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Syratech's Lufkin to head Carvel Hall.

CRISFIELD, Md. -- Syratech Corp. has named Christopher Lufkin to lead the company's new Carvel Hall division, with the aim of expanding retail sales in the tabletop market and allowing Syratech the opportunity to expand into the housewares arena.

Lufkin, a Syratech employee since 1992, most recently served as account administrator for the International Silver Co. division before taking his new position of vice president at Carvel Hall.

Syratech bought Carvel Hall in October after several months of negotiations. The financially troubled cutlery vendor had closed its doors last May. For several years, Carvel Hall has supplied stainless steel forged knife blades for Syratech's silver divisions. Before Carvel Hall's closing last spring, Towle Silversmiths--a division of Syratech--was the cutlery vendor's biggest customer.

Gaining the Carvel Hall brand name gives Syratech an opportunity to enter the housewares arena with department stores and housewares specialty stores, Lufkin said.

He is now leading two sales forces in selling the cutlery products--one will continue servicing the tabletop and gift market selling cutlery sets under the Towle name, and the second will now market a line under the Carvel Hall name to the housewares market.

The dual approach allows the vendor "to hit two different markets with two industry-leading names--Towle and Carvel Hall." Lufkin explained.

"We're going to try to reach more retailers by focusing on the quality of the product, rather than just focusing on price," Lufkin continued. The division is positioning the Carvel Hall line to be in between the price range of Chicago Cutlery and J.A.Henckels, he added. The vendor is pricing its four-piece steak knife set with metal handles and its two-piece carving set to retail for $40 to $50, Lufkin said.

All Carvel Hall knives have hollow-ground and double-honed edges and are handcrafted in the United States. The subsidiary may do some educational training sessions for employees of its larger customers about the technical aspects of the blades' construction and on use and maintenance of the knives, he added.

Carvel Hall is offering custom-packaging and private label programs for department stores and other large retailers, Lufkin said. The division is able to put stores' logo on its products' handles, blade and/or box.

Lufkin said the subsidiary plans to introduce new cutlery items to the Carvel Hall and Towle lines at the housewares show next month.
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Title Annotation:Christopher Lufkin
Author:Hill, Dawn
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Dec 18, 1995
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