16082 Mon, 02/02/2009 - 6:37pm
The joining together of ICA Home Décor and Art In Motion, which became effective at the start of the year, creates the industry’s biggest producer of art with a broad range of products for specific channels of distribution.
“It has been the perfect partnership of design, manufacturing, global sourcing, sales and marketing,” said Kristoff Honeyman, chief executive officer and president of the newly merged company. “We are now the only vertically integrated company for art, design and decorative home accessories.”
Customers have already started seeing results of the new combination, starting with last month’s Atlanta market, where the two companies showed across the hall from each other. Retailers were able to shop both lines while meeting just one minimum from one sales force. As of Feb. 1, all products will be shipped from ICA’s California facility with combined ordering and computer systems already in place. In July, a single catalog with both lines will be published.
ICA will continue to focus its Michael Alan Design and Intercontinental Art divisions toward high-volume chain retailers, while the Art In Motion and ICA Gallery units will specialize in independent retailers in the gift, furniture and wall decor channels.
“Specializing in trend-right assortments by market segment is important to retailers and to us,” said Tara Fortunato, chief merchandising officer. “We are focused on ensuring that all markets receive best-selling items without creating competing assortments by channel. Channel management is extremely important to us.”
That product assortment is at the heart of the company. “As a fine art publisher, Art In Motion works with new artists every year, bringing their art to new audiences everywhere,” Fortunato said. “Our teams live and breathe creativity.”
The 450,000-square-foot production and warehouse facility in Compton, Calif., is a key to the new structure, allowing for a single shipping point, which will maintain quality levels. Sales offices will be in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Toronto, with showrooms in those first two locations, as well as in High Point, N.C., and Las Vegas. Representative showrooms continue in Dallas, Minneapolis and Seattle.
ICA, which was founded in 1976, and Art In Motion, started in 1985, will be able to offer an extensive stable of artists and products, beyond just art. “It is a natural progression to create decorative home accessories that compliment wall decor,” Fortunato said.
Honeyman, who joined ICA as CEO in 2006 following stints as head of companies in both the floor covering and textiles industries, admits 2009 is going to be a challenging year, but he said items like home decor stand a better chance of doing well, particularly from larger, stronger suppliers.
“Our company is focused on continually looking for ways to assist retailers by producing high-quality products at affordable retail price points.” Added Fortunato, “You may not be able to buy a whole new living room, but some wall decor and accessories can transform that space at a fraction of the price.”
Honeyman says the match is a great fit. “Our new partnership brings a new outlook for 2009 with expectations of increased earnings even on flat sales. As one company, we are creating a stronger future.” —Warren Shoulberg