Lexington Home jumps on Sligh Furniture: Acquisition should increase ad spending

Steve’s breakdown: Though furniture manufactures historically do not advertise directly to consumers, they do spend a lot in the trade and doing co-op and licensing deals. And with this acquisition, Lexington becomes a leader in the home office and home entertainment categories. The marketing spending will come!

THOMASVILLE: NC: Lexington Home Brands announced Monday it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Sligh Furniture Co.

The transaction, set to close in October, will give LHB an industry-leading presence in the home office and home entertainment categories while adding a well-respected brand to its portfolio, which includes Lexington, Tommy Bahama Home and Henry Link Trading Co., according to a press release from the company.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Sligh Furniture, founded in 1880, is known for its innovation in the home office and home entertainment categories. Sligh designers have earned seven Pinnacle Awards for outstanding design from the American Society of Furniture Designers.

“Lexington has a strong position in the upper-middle price points,” said Phil Haney, president and CEO of Lexington Home Brands, in the release. “We have earned consistent and significant market share gains in the face of a tough economy by delivering great product. While our lifestyle collections currently include a broad assortment of home office and home entertainment products, the addition of Sligh to our brand portfolio will position us to become a core vendor in these categories for our dealers. Further, the addition of Rob Sligh to our executive team will prove a tremendous asset.”

Rob Sligh, the fourth generation president of Sligh Furniture Co., will continue in that role under the new ownership structure. He will take on additional executive management responsibilities at LHB as senior vice president of business development and will be based out of the Lexington corporate office in Thomasville.

“With a family legacy that spans 131 years, and strong dealer relationships that have been the foundation of our success, it was important to me to identify the right partner as we begin an exciting new growth phase for our company,” Sligh said. “The team at Lexington shares my core values, understanding the importance of product innovation, brand management, aggressive marketing and dealer relationships. They bring rock-solid financial resources, best-in-class operational support and the leverage of scale. In order to compete in a global environment and provide superior value for our retailers and consumers, it was in our best interest to partner with a proven industry leader. I couldn’t be more pleased with this transaction and look forward to joining the executive team at Lexington.”

To leverage LHB’s infrastructure and resources, the Sligh product line will be stocked and shipped out of the Lexington distribution complex. Product development, marketing, customer service and credit functions will be managed from the corporate office in Thomasville.

Haney and most of the executive team were in a sales meeting out of town Monday, said a company spokesman, who noted there are no immediate plans to add jobs in the warehouse facilities in Lexington or LHB corporate campus.

At the upcoming High Point Market, LHB will build out a dedicated showroom area for the Sligh presentation on the second floor of its 100,000-square-foot showroom campus on National Highway in Thomasville.

“The strategic synergy of this acquisition became apparent to both Rob and me from our very first conversation,” Haney said in the release. “The benefits that will accrue to our dealers — in the form of product development, service and value — will be significant. This is one of those rare occasions in business where the alignment is ideal for both parties, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity before us.”

Lexington Home Brands, a privately held company, is an affiliate of Boca Raton-based Sun Capital Partners.

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