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Cinde W. Ingram

Hanamint launches Casa Casual company

Casa Casual, a division of Hanamint, debuted at the National Hardware Show to offer direct ship cast and extruded aluminum options to specialty retailers and national accounts.

Hanamint Vice President Russ Sorenson said the company's intent was two-fold. "First, we wanted to give the specialty stores a starting price point they seem to be looking for," he said. "Second, this gives us a way to address national accounts. We're proud to have Bill Kennedy come on board as the president of Casa Casual."

Kennedy, who most recently was Brown Jordan International vice president of purchasing, noted Hanamint's proven "ability to ship very good quality on time." He said the Greensboro, N.C.-based company is adding a 116,000-sq.-ft. product development center to its massive facility in Jiaxing, China, where new materials will be tested in-depth and new products developed for both Hanamint and Casa Casual. "Hanamint has always had the ability to respond quickly to requests for samples, but this new center will bring even greater strength," Kennedy said.

Expected to open in October, the center will serve as a mini-factory so development of new products does not interrupt the flow of ongoing production, Sorenson said. Casa Casual's debut showed 13 styles, meant to demonstrate the capability to work with national accounts and large retailers. A 600-sq.-ft. booth on the 8th floor of Chicago's Merchandise Mart will showcase Casa Casual furniture at the July 13–15 premarket. Hanamint's lines will be shown in its permanent showroom on the 17th floor.

"We're aiming at providing distinctive designs," Sorenson said. "And our price points are meant to be very competitive with the segment."

Hanamint's existing sales reps will carry the Casa Casual line for specialty retail, while dedicated reps for national accounts customers will be added.

Drawing of Hanamint's product development center in Jiaxing, China

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