Universal Furniture announced that it is celebrating the one year anniversary of its Conover upholstery plant. On October 1, 2019, the company bought the former Southern Furniture plant to become its U.S. manufacturer of custom upholstery.
“The factory has a history of building bench-made upholstery since 1923,” said Universal Furniture Senior Vice President of Sales Sean O’Connor. “We are proud to be the new owners and we couldn’t be more pleased with the work that is coming out of Conover.”
Supported by the craftsmanship and hard work of the people in Conover, Universal Furniture has quadrupled its upholstery account base since July, and is preparing to onboard an additional 300 upholstery accounts by the year end. More than 200 new upholstery styles were introduced in June, and this fall the company will add 20 outdoor upholstery SKUs to its lineup, all made in Conover. This addition is part of the Coastal Living outdoor collection launch of over 100 SKUs that will be shown in a newly renovated 8,500-square-foot portion of the company’s High Point showroom.
With the growth in business, Universal Furniture is hiring additional experienced workers for Lectra cutting machines, cushion and flatwork sewers. Interested applicants can find the job openings on www.UniversalFurniture.com/jobopenings.
Marketing efforts have also stepped up to support the growing business. “We partnered with Cylindo to create an online draping tool where consumers can try on different fabrics, finishes and trims,” said Universal Furniture Director of Marketing Neil MacKenzie. The draping option and the company’s first special order and ready-to-ship upholstery catalog will be available at retail later this month.
In addition to business improvement and marketing support, a lot of things have been happening at the Conover plant. Many changes have been made to improve the facility, update the manufacturing process and enhance the workforce.
One of the first improvements for workers was to implement a benefits program. A healthcare insurance package was created that offers coverage for medical, dental and vision and includes a flexible spending account option. For retirement needs, a 401k savings program was developed.
In the plant, the production lines were rearranged to improve efficiency and new machines were installed in the cutting and sewing areas.
About Universal: Universal Furniture creates quality furnishings for the whole home with a focus on function and lifestyle. The company’s casegood, upholstery, accent and accessory designs are developed under the brand names Universal Furniture, Miranda Kerr Home, Coastal Living and Nina Magon, and sold through retailers and interior designers throughout North America and around the world. Founded in 1968, Universal Furniture is a brand of Samson Holdings, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated furniture manufacturers. For more information, visit www.universalfurniture.com.