Over 154 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry
 Furniture World Logo

Palmetto Pedic Poised For Major Expansion

Furniture World News Desk on 7/3/2024

Palmetto Pedic LLC, the five-year-old foam and bedding supplier owned by global fabric and home fashions manufacturer Home Furnishing International, has enlisted bedding industry veteran Daniel J. Baker in the newly-created position of Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Chief Merchandising Officer to spearhead significant growth in the retail bedding market with its extensive line of conventional foam and memory foam mattresses, upholstery and accessories.

“We believe there is significant opportunity for Palmetto Pedic to take a leadership role in the U.S. bedding industry and we are thrilled to bring Dan Baker on board to oversee our major expansion plans,” points out David Li, chairman and CEO of both Home Furnishing International and

Palmetto Pedic. “We are offering leading U.S. bedding retailers an excellent, made-in-America alternative to low- cost imported foam, mattresses and bedding products.

“We have seen major disruption occurring in the domestic and international bedding markets, and we are positioning Palmetto Pedic to step in and fill the void left by other suppliers and importers who are faltering due to challenging business conditions,” Li continues, pointing to global supply chain difficulties and aggressive anti-dumping duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. “These global shipping and supply issues are creating a major opportunity for U.S.-based manufacturers to gain market share.”

Beginning in December 2023, many global shipping carriers began diverting ships away from the Red Sea and the Suez Canal due to concerns over piracy and Middle East conflicts. Low water levels in the Panama Canal due to a drought created additional shipping disruptions; as did subsequent congestion at major international ports, including Singapore, causing substantial shipping backlogs. According to Xeneta, a leading ocean and air freight rate benchmarking and market analytics platform, spot container rates from the Far East to the U.S. West Coast have risen 29% since April this year, and are currently 198% higher than the same period a year ago.

Baker a 27-year sales, marketing and merchandising executive in the bedding industry – most recently as vice president of national sales and merchandising for Kuka Home – says he is excited and enthusiastic about the

vast new possibilities opening up for Palmetto Pedic. “Now is the time for domestic mattress manufacturers to really shine,” Baker declares. “With more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing facilities and a proven track record of pouring foam and supplying components to the bedding, upholstered furniture and automotive industries, Palmetto Pedic is in the driver’s seat.

“David Li has a real passion for the industry and he previously has established this company’s ability to provide exceptional quality, superior service and unmatched speed to market,” Baker adds. “Palmetto Pedic has the research and development to create value-driven products that serve the needs and wants of today’s buying public, including sustainable and chemical-free products, cooling fabrics, zoned and density-specific foam mattresses and many other pioneering new innovations on the horizon.”

Palmetto Pedic was formed in March 2019 as a joint venture between a group of private investors and Home Furnishing International, a privately held vertical fabric and home fashions supplier with annual sales estimated in excess of $250 million. The company has pursued an aggressive expansion strategy over the past few years, investing in new technologies in both foam and fabric manufacturing. Palmetto Pedic began pouring foam in its Gaffney S.C. facility in 2021 and has become a major supplier to the bedding and upholstered furniture sectors over the past two years. The company also supplies foam for the automotive industry.

“We have been focusing on bringing truly state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and foam formulations to the furniture and bedding industry, selling to manufacturers and distributors,” Li points out, adding, “Now, with the addition of Dan, we are positioning ourselves to take the next step and supply directly to major retailers.

“We pride ourselves on our position as a prominent high-quality and value-priced supplier for the U.S. market,” Li continues. “We also offer superior service, speed and consistency in foam and foam products, which we are now bringing to the U.S. retail market, including brick and mortar stores, specialty sleep retailers, mass merchants and online retailers.”

Baker reports directly to Li and is charged with developing a

national retail sales force. “We feel that Palmetto Pedic is well- positioned to serve the retail market, due to our flexibility and vertical structure,” Baker notes. “We have the ability to service

both large and small retail customers with a full array of delivery options: we are flexible in that we can distribute by the truckload or by the piece; as well as offering rapid drop-ship capabilities.”

Baker’s extensive experience in the bedding industry includes 10 years with St. Louis-based Glideaway (Fredman Brothers), most recently as Executive Vice President/North America and Chief Merchandising Officer. He previously served as Vice President, Western USA for Nashville-based Southerland Bedding Company; he was Vice President, General Manager and Executive Vice President for Utah-based Straight Comfort (Nex Gel/Natura); was Southwest Vice President of Sales for Dallas-based IBC Bedding Company; served as Executive Vice President for Spring Air West in Salt Lake City; and began his career with Simmons Mattress Co. as Executive Key Account Manager, where he was a two-time “all American” sales executive.

The creation of this new position for Palmetto Pedic mirrors a successful expansion strategy that Li has

implemented in the parent company’s other divisions, including within the home fashions category under Executive Vice President Amy Bell; and within the American Decorative Fabrics division directed by President Jack Cobb. “We have been enjoying double-digit growth in our other divisions, due to our dedicated team of merchandising experts,” Li comments. “There have been major changes taking place in the bedding industry over the past few years, and now that we have brought Dan on board as our residential expert, we expect to see similar gains in our conventional foam and memory foam mattress and bedding accessories businesses.”

Palmetto Pedic is taking advantage of the strengths of its corporate parent, Home Furnishing International, which is one of the leaders in the global decorative fabrics market, to bolster its product development efforts. Home Furnishings International has developed a substantial reputation for its technological innovation, and Palmetto Pedic is using the parent company’s proprietary yarns in its mattress ticking fabrics.

Home Furnishing International has invested close to $50 million in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities over the past five years. The company also is a leading vertical global fabric and home furnishings supplier with superior manufacturing capabilities in China, operating more than 3 million square feet of manufacturing facilities in Rugao, Jinjiang and Hangzhou. The company’s Chinese factories currently produce more than 300 million yards of fabric every year.

Palmetto Pedic expects to debut a major line of new conventional foam and memory foam bedding products

later this year and in early 2025. “We are going to be designing and developing an entirely new line of products specifically for the retail market,” Baker asserts. “We have the design, development and technological

capabilities to really make an impact in the industry.”



About Home Furnishing International
Home Furnishing International entered the U.S. home furnishings market in 1995 with the formation of American Decorative Fabrics (ADF), a major decorative fabrics supplier. The Home Fashions International (HFI) division debuted in 2001, providing home fashions and window treatments to leading retailers in virtually every major channel of distribution, including mass merchants, national chains, department stores, specialty retailers and catalogs. HFI added a decorative accessories division in 2005, expanding into decorative pillows, table linens and pet beds. ADF-HFI unified its corporate identity under the Westgate brand in 2006, and added freestanding window treatments and bath fashions in 2007. The company expanded into the outdoor market in 2015, developing an extensive line of performance fabrics, cushions, decorative pillows and accessories. Home Furnishing International and private investors formed a new joint venture, Palmetto Pedic, LLC, in March 2019 to provide conventional foam and memory foam, mattresses, toppers, pillows, foundations, adjustable bases and accessories to the U.S. bedding, upholstered furniture and automotive industries.

The company supports its U.S. business with manufacturing and distribution facilities totaling 1 million square feet, including a more than 625,000-square-foot plant in Gaffney, South Carolina. In August 2021, the company bought an industrial complex in Blacksburg, S.C., with more than 367,000 square feet of manufacturing on one floor, located on 65 acres adjacent to the Interstate 85 highway. The company also maintains a major showroom in New York City, a dedicated fabric showroom in High Point, N.C., and has more than 200 U.S. employees.

The Chinese division manufactures more than 300 million yards of fabrics annually and employs more than 1,000 people. Home Furnishing International also owns its own distribution company in Brazil; and the company currently exports decorative fabrics, apparel fabrics and finished home fashions to more than 80 countries around the world.