Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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KCMA Expects Cabinet Trade to be Impacted by Proposed Chinese Tariffs RESTON, VA — The U.S. cabinet industry would be "directly impacted" as a result of proposed new tariffs to be imposed on a wide range of wood-related imports from China, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Asso- ciation recently stated. The Reston, VA-based KCMA issued its comment in response to the release by U.S. trade officials of a lengthy list of Chinese goods that would be subject to a potential new tariff resulting from the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. The products include kitchen cabinets, modular vanities, cabinet compo- nents, MDF, fiberboard, veneered panels and laminated wood, all of which would potentially be subject to a proposed 10% duty imposed in retaliation to tariffs that China recently imposed on U.S. goods. It was not immediately clear when the new tariffs would go into effect, or what specific impact the duties would have on the U.S. cabinet trade. The KCMA said, however, that its attorneys suspect that the Chinese imports targeted for the tariff represent "a significant volume/value of imports" and would "directly impact the cabinet industry." KCMA CEO Betsy Natz is expected to make a rec- ommendation to the association's Board of Directors regarding the estimated impact of the proposed tariffs on U.S. manufacturers and the cabinet trade. KCMA officials will then report to its membership the direction that the Board agrees to undertake, the association said. Those details were not available as of press time. The U.S. has charged that China, for many years, has pursued abusive trading practices that have resulted in the transfer and theft of intellectual property and technology to the detriment of the U.S. – in effect, forc- ing U.S. innovators to hand over their technology and expertise as the price of doing business in China. China has denied the practice. The U.S. recently began imposing tariffs of 25% on approximately $34 billion worth of Chinese products that allegedly benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices. China then retaliated by imposing tariffs on $34 billion in U.S. exports to China, and threatening tariffs on another $16 billion. The Trump Administration then ordered the imposition of tariffs of 10% on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. U.S. trade officials have established several key dates for public comment regarding the potential new tariffs. Among them: July 27 – Deadline to submit written request to tes- tify at an Aug. 20 public hearing. Aug. 17 – Deadline to submit written comments ad- dressing product listing. Aug. 20 – Public hearing to address product listing. Aug. 30 – Deadline for submitting post-hearing writ- ten rebuttal comments. Custom Unit Rutt Sold by Wellborn ASHLAND, AL — Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., the Ashland, AL-based manufacturer of semi-custom cabinetry, has sold its custom-cabinet subsidiary, Rutt Hand- crafted Cabinetry, to Birch Holdings of PA, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Birch Investment Partners, LLC, the companies announced. Terms of the June transaction were not disclosed. Birch Investment Partners LLC operates as Timberland Cabinetry, a Spring Hill, TN-based manufacturer that serves home builders, remodelers and other customers in Tennessee, as well as dealers throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. The company is a partnership of Rod Henderson and David Garlock, two of the founders of Timberland and Taylor Conway Capital, a Naples, FL-based family office investment operation. Founded by Phares Rutt in 1951, the New Holland, PA-based Rutt has been a leader in the custom cabinet niche for more than 60 years. According to Birch, Rutt will continue to be operated as an independent business, with David Roos remaining in his current position as general manager. All current Rutt employees will also be retained, new ownership said. "The sale of Rutt will give our people more time and energy to focus on our core semi-custom products," said Paul Wellborn, owner of Wellborn Cabinet, which also owns Salt Lake City, UT-based Cabinetry by Karman, as well as its own semi-custom operation in Ashland. The divestiture, Wellborn added, "will (also) provide a great opportunity for Rutt to continue to grow in the custom cabinetry market." "Birch has a plan to grow Rutt's business and build on the outstanding tradition represented by the Rutt name," Wellborn said. "Rutt has and will continue to provide a wonderful product to their customers for years to come." "We're proud to join with Rutt to serve the North American market for fine custom cabinetry," said Tim Taylor, chairman and CEO of Birch Investment Partners, LLC. "We're grateful to Wellborn for their outstanding stewardship of Rutt and plan to focus on further growing the business to the benefit of Rutt's community, employees, dealers, customers and shareholders," Taylor added. Sarasota, FL-based Brooke Chase Associates, Inc. Merger & Acquisition Referral Services acted as an intermediary in the transaction, according to the company. Liebherr Named as Seminar Sponsor EVANSTON, IL — Liebherr, the Miami-based manufacturer of luxury refrigeration and related appliances, has joined the roster of manufacturers sponsoring the 2018 series of all-day seminars being presented by Kitchen & Bath Design News in key U.S. markets. Liebherr recently joined corporate sponsors Plain & Fancy, Rev-A-Shelf, Show- place Cabinetry and Wellborn Cabinets in support of KBDN's six-city seminar series, scheduled to resume in Seattle next month, after a two-month summer hiatus. The Seattle program will take place Sept. 20 at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Seattle Airport. 2018 seminars have previously been presented in the Philadelphia, Detroit and San Francisco metro areas. Additional dates and locations for the seminar series include Oct. 18 in Miami and Nov. 18 in New York. KBDN's seminar series theme is "Inspiring Clients: The Very Latest Design, Product and Marketing Trends." Aimed at kitchen and bath design profession- als seeking to sharpen their design and product trend knowledge, the day-long seminars offer win- ning combinations of concepts, colors, textures, lighting and more to meet the needs of today's most discerning clients. In addition, attendees will also be exposed to deeper explorations of emerging marketing technologies – from making the most of websites to exploring new ways to create video to fully utilizing social media/online design platforms. The design and product trends segments are presented by Richard Anuszkiewicz, an award-winning designer. KBDN's technology col- umnist Eric Schimelpfenig then focuses on how to make the most of the latest digital marketing tools, including video, social media and website content. Attendees have the opportunity to earn CEU credits from both the NKBA and NARI. Additional information regarding attendance and sponsorship opportunities can be obtained by visiting www.KBDNseminars.com, or by contacting KBDN Publisher Paul DeGrandis at Paul@SOLAbrands.com. Anuszkiewicz Schimelpfenig 18 Kitchen & Bath Design News • August 2018 INDUSTRY UPDATE NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING THE KITCHEN AND BATH MARKET

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