HFI grabs Westgate, Payne

Carole Sloan, March 22, 2004

Home Furnishings International Inc. has acquired the assets of Westgate Fabrics and Payne Fabrics of Grand Prairie, Texas.

Home Furnishings International is the parent company of American Decorative Fabrics (ADF), ADF Canada, Home Fashions International and Home Fashions International Europe. David Li is CEO of Home Furnishings International and ADF.

Jay Cassen, president of Westgate and Payne, will remain in that position. He reports to Jack Cobb, president of ADF. The company will be known as Westgate Interiors LLC.

"We saw the purchase of Westgate and Payne as an opportunity to enhance our distribution," explained Gary Stein, chief operating officer of ADF. Stein noted that the companies "were in a sales decline, and we are looking to increase the sales, promote Westgate as a brand and maintain the price integrity of Westgate and Payne. We will bring the rejuvenation of an established brand with our financial resources and greater management depth."

Westgate has more than 30 showrooms across the country where its fabrics are displayed, as well as a sales representative force, all of which will stay in place, Stein said.

The company will continue to purchase through domestic and global resources, he added. ADF management will be involved on an on-going basis in all aspects of the operation, Stein emphasized.

One of the changes planned for Westgate, he said, will be the production of its sample books in China. Home Furnishings International has its own facility and equipment for the production of sample books, and production will begin by year's end, Stein said.

Initially, the sample books will be for fabrics purchased in China, but will be expanded to fabrics purchased globally. "The savings are significantly lower than producing them domestically," he noted.

By year-end, other jobber customers also will be able to have their sample books made in the same facility, Stein said.

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