ELK Group Acquires GuildMaster Days Before High Point Market

Nesquehoning, Pa.-based ELK Group International has purchased Springfield, Mo.-based accent furniture and accessory manufacturer GuildMaster. The strategic acquisition further enriches ELK’s product assortment in the accent furniture category.

Nominated for at least one dozen ARTS Awards over the years, GuildMaster is known for its handcrafted home furnishings featuring hand carving, custom finishes, and the utilization of solid wood construction. ELK will leverage the addition of GuildMaster’s manufacturing facility in Indonesia to further develop exclusive designs across a range of product categories.

The acquisition follows the manufacturer’s roughest time period in its 33 year history. In 2013, GuildMaster was indicted on nine counts of selling lamps with counterfeit/unauthorized UL labels back in 2012 and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time, Steve Crowder, GuildMaster’s now former President CEO, stated the mislabeling occurred at the Chinese factory without the U.S. company’s knowledge. After the matter was quickly resolved legally, GuildMaster was able to successfully reorganize and emerge from Chapter 11 as a private company in September 2013, backed by its management and a small group of investors.

In June 2014, Steve Crowder stepped down from his posts and industry veteran Randy Eller of Eller Enterprises was appointed as an interim consultant. This week’s news of GuildMaster’s the acquisition by ELK is a positive step in the rebuilding/restructuring process as ELK already owns some of the most well-known brands in the home furnishings’ industry such as Lazy Susan, Sterling, Dimond, and Bailey Street.

“We find our customers enjoy having various style-oriented brands, each offering their own unique personality,” states Bradford Smith, ELK Group’s CEO. “We reduce the complexity associated with managing multiple vendor accounts by offering all our great brands under one umbrella providing customers significant cost saving opportunities.”

Vik Karode, COO for GuildMaster, agrees. “ELK will provide us with the resources to continue the expansion of our fully integrated manufacturing capabilities. This move will immediately strengthen our supply chain and result in significant benefits for customers.” Inventory and operations for GuildMaster will be relocated to ELK Group’s facilities, which includes 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space.

During this week’s High Point Market, GuildMaster will continue to be shown in its long-standing showroom on the first floor of the C & D Building. ELK Group will showcase its Dimond-Lazy Susan (Dimond Home) brand within Interhall (IH508) along with ELK Group’s main showroom located on the fourth floor of the Commerce Wing of IHFC (C402).

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