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P/Kaufmann merges three divisions under Braemore

P/Kaufmann Inc. has folded three of its four decorative fabric divisions into one unit that will operate under the Braemore nameplate.

P/Kaufmann will continue as a separate decorative fabric supplier, according to Ron Kaufmann, president of P/Kaufmann Inc.

The merged divisions are Bloomcraft and Western, which, "while healthy, we saw that we don't need four converting business to serve our market," Kaufmann explained. "We've consolidated and simplified the business. Before we had one large brand and three relatively small brands. Now we will have two that will be strong."

"We will invest more in manufactured products under the Bloomcraft Home label," Kaufmann said. "We have a huge opportunity to expand our business in this area."

The company currently sells manufactured home fashions products to a limited retail distribution base but is planning to expand both in window coverings and top of the bed, each sourced off-shore. The window coverings are all wovens, and the top of bed is mostly wovens.

Bob Appelbaum is president of Braemore, and Neil Paladino has been named executive vp for sales for the division and joins the P/Kaufmann executive committee. Appelbaum previously was the corporate head of the three divisions.

Long-time Kaufmann executive Lee Kabat has been named president of Bloomcraft Home, and Michael Kaplan will be executive vp.

Emily Mann has been named vp, woven design, and Frank Dodero will be the director of print design for Braemore. Victoria Armentrout, formerly design director of Western, has been named vp, woven design for P/Kaufmann fabrics.

The recently acquired license for the Thomas Kinkade decorative fabric collection will now be marketed under the Braemore name, Kaufmann said.

The company will expand its new product offerings for both the Braemore and P/Kaufmann divisions, he added.

The consolidation follows a 15 year period of acquisitions and independence of the various divisions, Kaufmann related. Under today's market conditions, he said, "it is essential that we run our converting divisions with a keen eye towards efficiency." He cited the elimination of sales teams and design departments from the merged divisions as areas that immediately produce efficiencies.

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