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Shuford Mills, HomCraft end relationship

HomCraft to represent Sunbrella brand, Shuford forms Outdura sales team

Shuford Mills and HomCraft ended their relationship, effective Jan. 31. HomCraft announced it will serve as the primary sales agent for Glen Raven's Sunbrella residential fabrics brand in the United States and Canada, while Shuford Mills has moved forward to create its own field sales organization for its Outdura brand of performance fabrics.

Three of HomCraft's representatives have accepted positions with Shuford Mills. Clayton Brown will serve as Outdura's exclusive agent in the West region; Gene Schwartz will manage the Southwest region and Steve Blumenfield will oversee the Northeast region. Natalie Scott, vice president of customer development, will provide overall strategic direction for the casual furniture segment. In addition, Johnny Jones has joined the Outdura team and will manage the Southeast and Central regions.

"We have assembled a cohesive, effective customer focused team," Scott said. "The extensive knowledge base and background of this team provides our customers with an incredible support network. The team aligns well with our value system at Shuford Mills and will cement Outdura's overall brand proposition with our customers."

HomCraft, which operates a showroom in High Point, consists of nine independent sales agents who represent a number of furniture fabric lines.

"We were approached by Glen Raven and had to make a decision," said Ralph Allen, a partner with HomCraft. "We're all shifting gears and (Shuford Mills) is not going to miss a beat."

"The styling range of our residential Sunbrella lines has grown tremendously during recent years, which makes the timing ideal to expand our sales representation through HomCraft," said Greg Rosendale, residential furniture fabrics manager for Glen Raven. "These seasoned sales agents understand and appreciate the Sunbrella story and will be key to our growth strategy."

In related news, Shuford Mills also is investing in new state-of-the-art equipment for its Hudson, N.C., facility, where the company produces the Outdura brand of specialty performance fabric.

David Rivers, director of operations, Shuford Mills/Outdura, said, "The new Suzuki sample warper will speed the weaving process dramatically and allow Shuford Mills/Outdura to process sample runs more efficiently."

For Outdura customers, the new technology will result in shorter cycle time, faster fulfillment and increased design flexibility.

The Suzuki sample warper from Spartanburg, S.C.-based heavy equipment supplier Symtech Inc., is scheduled to go online this month.

C.P. Davis, president of Shuford Mills/Outdura, said the equipment and technology investment is part of the company's aggressive growth and realignment plan that focuses on increasing the visibility of Outdura in the casual and marine segments.

"This new equipment, along with other investments being made at Shuford Mills/Outdura, shows our dedication to taking an already great product like Outdura fabric to the next level," Davis said.

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