20 May 2024, 09:50
By Furniture News Jul 08, 2019

Corndell and Global – domination through diversification

Corndell has undergone an impressive transformation. The heritage Cotswold cabinet brand is now enjoying a new lease of life under the stewardship of Global Home, which rescued it from administration in 2014 – and both businesses are returning to the Manchester Furniture Show this month to unveil new lines and reinforce recent releases, writes Paul Farley …

International container giant Global Home (stand B80) promises to bring three new ranges – the two-tone Guildford, compact Ascot, and an as-yet unnamed collection. These will join earllier launches such as Hampstead, further expanding Global’s offer beyond natural oak towards an increasingly colourful portfolio.

“Guildford’s a more compact and refined version of what we’ve done before,” says Global’s design director, Melanie Mills. “There’s a new Shaker leg and rounded edges, and it’s around -25% smaller, making it more suitable for most modern homes.

“Before these, we didn’t have any two-tone ranges that were substantially different to anything else on the market, so we amended what we had, softening the edges to really deliver something that retailers will find easy to sell.”

Global continues to specialise in FOB mixed container supply, and does substantial business with retailers large and small. It’s a preferred cabinet supplier for nationals including Dunelm and Harveys, and fulfils localised services for independents through regional hubs. And, thanks to the onboarding of fresh design talent, Global’s customers can expect further differentiation from its portfolio.

Also under Melanie’s watchful eye, there’s a similar story taking place at Corndell (foyer 2). New ranges such as the mix-and-match St James’ Range (which hits shopfloors at the end of this month) and the concrete-topped Austin are fast helping realign perceptions of the brand, positioning it as expressive yet commercial.

It’s taken a steady hand and stamina to bring the company back into the black. Upon his appointment as director three years ago, ex-banker Maarten van Eden implemented a strategy to overhaul Corndell’s cost architecture and factory supply chain in Witney, Oxfordshire, and, with the ongoing help of its new parent company, diversify its product offer and customer base.

This year, sales are up +10% so far, says Maarten, who is looking forward to Manchester, having enjoyed a rewarding Minerva members’ show in May. “People are loving the fact we’re diversifying from the normal run-of-the-mill oak and painted furniture ranges they see every day,” he reflects. “The new ranges will be going into the shops shortly, and even the older lines like Annecy and Nimbus are repeating well.

“At Stoneleigh, we took close to £40,000 worth of display orders. Our stand looked great, we kept our pricing keen, and we opened or welcomed back around 15 new accounts. We’ve got plenty to get our teeth into.”

Maarten describes Corndell’s progress as a steady consolidation. Despite the rare “frustrating supply chain glitch”, the refinement of the quality and delivery of its products over the last five years has left it, and Global Home, well regarded by their customers – many of whom will be glad of the opportunity to see what’s new in Manchester this month.

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