La-Z-Boy to Open Hundreds of Chinese Stores
La-Z-Boy announced plans today to open several hundred branded retail stores in mainland China through a partnership with Kuka Home, one of China’s biggest upholstery manufacturers and retailers.
The stores – the first of which will open later this year – will carry a broad assortment of La-Z-Boy recliners and motion furniture as well as case goods and decorative accessories, according to La-Z-Boy officials.
The company said the products will be produced primarily at Kuka Home factories in China, but some will come from La-Z-Boy facilities in Thailand and the U.S.
“A major objective for us is to grow the La-Z-Boy brand globally, and China represents a significant opportunity for international expansion,” said Kurt Darrow, chairman, president and CEO of La-Z-Boy. “Our model has always been based on strong relationships with local companies, and with Kuka Home’s highly regarded reputation in the marketplace, we’re very pleased they are our partners in China.”
Kuka has more than 1,600 stores in China. Its factories also produce leather upholstery and casual dining furniture that is sold to retail stores in the U.S. and several other countries.
Jason Gu, chairman and CEO of Kuka Home, said, “La-Z-Boy is the most prominent and longstanding provider of motion furniture worldwide. The aim of the cooperation between Kuka Home and La-Z-Boy is to introduce high-quality motion furniture to Chinese consumers and help them live life comfortably.”
“We believe that our cooperation will be a great model of how to create win-win partnerships between American and Chinese furniture companies,” he added.
La-Z-Boy officials declined to disclose the exact number of retail stores that will be opened in China this year, but said Kuka Home expects to open “several hundred” over the next few years.
“Our shared goal is to make La-Z-Boy the leading motion furniture brand in China,” said Doug Collier, La-Z-Boy’s chief marketing officer and president of its international division. “We are excited to combine our heritage, expertise and experience in motion furniture manufacturing and marketing with Kuka Home’s local market knowledge and their tremendous furniture retailing and manufacturing expertise and strength in China.”