HFI Continues to Grow
October 17, 2005,
At The New York Market — Home Fashions International, the finished products division of American Decorative Fabric, is moving out from under the radar.
In its new showroom at 295 Fifth Ave., HFI has put 28 beds on display along presentations of its expanded product categories: soft window, table linens and decorative pillows. Next year, the company will begin producing coordinate sheets for its comforter/duvet ensemble business as well as ottomans and fabric-covered benches.
In addition, the finished goods producer is opening a 56,000-square-foot headquarters office in Shanghai next door to ADF's headquarters. The HFI offices will include 26,000 square feet of showroom space.
“We're in a transition where we have a lot of U.S. companies looking to source overseas,” said David Li, CEO of Home Furnishings International and ADF. “When it comes to bricks and mortar overseas, we are one of the biggest companies.”
The company owns 11 plants in China, ranging from dyeing, weaving and finishing to printing, embroidery, trims and cut-and-sew. ADF/HFI operates more than 400 wide jacquard looms targeting the bedding market as well as 17 electronic quilting machines that can produce 6,000 comforter sets a day. The company will add 13 more next year to boost capacity to 10,000 sets per day.
The foundation of the consortium's strategy is its ADF fabric business, which employs 30 designers in China and produces its own print paper. The growth of HFI's bedding business has quadrupled the size of ADF's fabric business, Li said.
“There has been consolidation, but the total demand for our type of product didn't shrink. When we go to the retailer directly, we can better understand their business,” he added.
ADF/HFI is focusing on design but also on removing inefficiencies in the supply chain. Although it operates a 270,000-square-foot distribution center in Gaffney, S.C., the company is also anticipating the day when warehousing and distribution will be handled out of China, according to Tom Healy, president, HFI.
Li said that he once believed the business could be successful because it was the second largest supplier of fabrics to the bedding market. He now believes that the most important manufacturers will be those who make themselves “big forces” globally out of a base in China.
“When I took over the company from my parents and said it would become $100 million company, they all laughed. A figure like that was a telephone number to them,” Li said. “Although we have a big goal, we want to expand step by step in a very solid way.”