DEALERS REMINDED OF SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
In recognition of Safety Awareness Month, Warren Steven Window Fashions, Minneapolis, MN, is reminding dealers that any Hunter Douglas product with a continuous cord loop system includes a cord tensioner.
Effective July 1, 2007, cord tensioners must be mounted to the wall or window casement in order to function properly and meet important safety standards, the company states.
It is critical that dealers follow the guidelines on the use of child safety devices, it adds. Warren Steven offers installation guidelines and sales tips for the new safety equipment on its Web site: www.warrensteven.com.
HUNTER DOUGLAS DEBUTS NEW SAFETY BROCHURE
In order to maintain awareness of safety issues associated with window covering cords, Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has unveiled its latest brochure, “Child Safety for Your Home.” The brochure provides homeowners with vital information to keep their window coverings safer for young children and pets. Cordless, single-cord and other safety features are detailed in the brochure, and a summary chart lists the safety enhancement options available with each Hunter Douglas product, the company states.
“Choosing new window fashions that suits one’s decorative and practical needs while also factoring in the various safety enhancement options available can become a daunting task. This new brochure, together with the supplemental information available at our Web site, is designed to simplify the process for our customers,” said Donna Lobosco, director of brand communications for Hunter Douglas.
RICCI TOOLS ACQUIRES ROYAL WINDOW COVERINGS’ VERTICAL LINE
Ricci Tools, Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has announced the acquisition of Royal Window Coverings’ complete line of vertical blind components and accessories. All of the tooling and equipment required to manufacture the V3000 carrier, as well as the rest of the components, are now in the Ricci factory in Montreal.
“It is our intention to offer all of these products in a timely manner and at competitive prices. We would be pleased to answer any inquiries about products formerly manufactured by Royal Window Coverings,” the company stated.
Ricci Tools is a manufacturer of vertical blind components and vinyl shutters.
NIEN MADE MOVES TO GO PRIVATE; PLANS AGGRESSIVE GROWTH WORLDWIDE
Nien Made® USA, Santa Fe Springs, CA, has announced that its parent, Nien Made® Enterprises Co. Ltd, a $350 million company, is awaiting approval from Taiwanese government authorities on its privatization plans.
Nien Made’s major shareholders are undertaking the buyout, according to the Nien family group, which has formed a holding company in partnership with CVC Capital Partners Asia-Pacific. In August, the holding company made a tender offer to shareholders to take the company private.
Nien Made spokesperson, Michael Nien, said the Nien family group, headed by chairman Norman Nien, has a majority interest in the holding company. Nien family members also are a majority of the board members of the holding group.
The privatized Nien Made Enterprises will be able to consolidate, under one corporate umbrella, all of its operational entities now located in Taiwan, China and the United States, the company states. Nien Made has two companies in the United States: Norman Shutters® and Nien Made USA.
Michael Nien gave an assurance that the change will have no impact on the operations and growth plans of the company. “There will be no changes in our management structure either in Taiwan, China or the United States with the privatization move. However, it will spur more our aggressive moves worldwide towards growing our sales in the ready-made and custom segments,” he said.
Norman Shutters CEO Morgan Chuang, whose family is part of the Nien group partnering with CVC, explained that the company is planning to grow aggressively worldwide and acquisitions could be a primary vehicle for the growth. Given the strong financial strength of the company, which now is nearly debtless, Chuang said the company has the ability to finance the growth from internal cash flow.
In the United States, Chuang said the company plans in the near future to merge Norman Shutters with the Nien Made USA National Accounts subsidiary. The merger of the two subsidiaries, which will be overseen by Chuang, will allow Nien Made to take advantage of the knowledge, capabilities and expertise of both organizations to better serve both National Accounts and fabrication customers.
HUNTER DOUGLAS SETTLES PATENT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT
Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has announced it has settled a lawsuit against Shaoxing Hengfeng Curtain Factory of the Hu Tang Industrial Zone, Shaoxing, Peoples Republic of China. The lawsuit, filed in April 2007 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleged infringement by Hengfeng of three of Hunter Douglas’ U.S. patents for Silhouette® window shadings.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Hengfeng has agreed to the entry of a Consent Judgment, in which Hengfeng shall be permanently enjoined from selling, offering to sell, marketing or manufacturing certain window covering products that are covered by the Hunter Douglas patents at issue. In this regard, Hengfeng acknowledged that its subject products infringed the relevant Hunter Douglas patents and also acknowledged the validity of those patents, the company states. Hengfeng further agreed that it would destroy all infringing products in its possession and all materials and production equipment that was used or could be used in the manufacture of the infringing products.
“The resolution of this lawsuit reflects very positively upon our continued efforts to vigorously protect our significant investments in the development of technologically advanced and innovative window covering products,” stated Marv Hopkins, president and CEO of Hunter Douglas Inc. Hopkins added: “The resolution of this matter should send a clear message to other prospective infringers who may be considering entering the U.S. market to be very careful to ensure that their products do not infringe our patents.”
WINDOW FASHIONS, INC. HOSTS SOMFY TRAINING PROGRAM
Beginning in September, Window Fashions, Inc., Cheswick, PA, will hold Somfy Expert Programs throughout the United States.
The program schedule began with training in Cranbury, NJ, on September 18 and moved on to Elk Grove Village, IL; and Alsip, IL. The program moves to Kansas City, MO, October 17.
Dates for other areas have not been set yet. Limited seating is available. Updated information concerning these Somfy Expert Programs will be send via e-mail or can be obtained through the Window Fashions, Inc. sales department.
HUNTER DOUGLAS ANNOUNCES FALL 3-IN-1 PROMOTION
Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has begun a new 2007 Fall 3-in-1 Promotion featuring its annual Holiday Savings Event, along with Child Safety and Energy Efficiency Promotions. The program is designed to draw consumers to aligned Hunter Douglas dealers this fall and winter with a combination of limited-time rebates and free upgrade tied in to seasonal topics that consumers find timely and important, the company states.
“The holiday promotion entices consumers with generous rebates and capitalizes on their interest in making their homes more beautiful for the holidays, while the child safety and energy efficiency components focus on issues of special concern to consumers, making all three promotions especially attractive and relevant to them,” said Jim Mathews, Hunter Douglas vice president of corporate marketing.
The promotion is being supported by advertising in popular national magazines and top-ranked consumer Web sites, he added, and dealers will be provided with a comprehensive kit of program materials to support the promotions on their own.
COMFORTEX CELLULAR SHADES FEATURED ON DO-IT-YOURSELF NETWORK SPECIAL
Comfortex Corp., Maplewood, NY, will have its Symphony Cellular Shades featured on the “Green Me Up” special on the Do-It-Yourself Network.
The show challenges two families to cut their energy consumption and reduce their utility bills by choosing green renovations for their home, which include installing new, energy- and water-saving appliances, replacing light fixtures and installing insulating energy-efficient products.
Symphony Double Honeycomb Cellular shades were chosen for their energy efficiency. The double honeycomb cellular shades provide an insulating layer for year-round comfort and energy-savings, trapping warm air inside and keeping the cool air out during the winter, and doing the opposite in the summer.
ROCKFORD PROCESS CONTROL ACQUIRES TERRY HINGE AND HARDWARE
Rockford Process Control, Rockford, IL, has purchased the assets of Terry Hinge and Hardware Co., Van Nuys, CA, effective September 1, 2007.
The Rockford Process Control Casework Hardware Division will now be known as the RPC-Terry Hardware Division. The acquisition will strengthen the company’s presence throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and “will mark an important step forward for delivering high quality products and total customer satisfaction,” the company stated.
Rockford Process Control has manufactured casework hardware for the woodworking and cabinet industry since 1983. Terry Hinge and Hardware has more than 50 years of manufacturing experience and has developed an extensive line of products for the furniture, shutter and casework industries.