NEWELL, WV— As Fiesta Dinnerware, a division of Homer Laughlin, rebrands itself as The Fiesta Tableware Company, the company is entering a new phase, one that enables it to redouble its efforts on its retail business.
The rebrand comes on the heels of the recent acquisition of the former Homer Laughlin China Company food service operations by Steelite International, a British company. The company said the existing Fiesta retail business is not part of the sale and the acquisition does not have any effect on the Fiesta brand.
“Fiesta Tabletop as a company, now more than ever, will benefit from the acquisition of Homer Laughlin China and Hall China brands food service distribution by Steelite. The acquisition opens added production, reduced lead times and flexibility to focus on expanded creative goals within the retail marketplace,” said Rich Brinkman, vp/sales and marketing, Fiesta Tableware Company.
The Fiesta Tableware Company will continue to operate in Newell, as a retail-only tabletop and giftware manufacturer. In addition to the Fiesta brand, The Fiesta Tableware Company also will manufacture and sell other tableware designs to the retail market.
Brinkman noted that giftware and décor items will now gain greater focus, as the company has found the category has created positive incremental sales within its current mix the last few years.
“Going forward as a manufacturer and marketer, The Fiesta Tableware Company will be in a uniquely better position to address both singular and broader diverse opportunities. These are efforts that will allow us to polarize our efforts toward a singular direction versus the diverse needs of two industries,” said Brinkman.
Brinkman said the company is now poised to exploit new opportunities for growth in the marketplace, such as a focus on its Made in the USA projects, as well as to further develop its private label and OEM programs. He said the company also hopes to offer more exclusive pieces to its retail partners, provide a more robust product assortment to its entire retail customer base, seek out new retail partners and expand its relationships with existing retail and OEM partners.
Brinkman said the new exclusive focus on retail products frees up much needed production time to answer previous challenges in special retail markets.
While the company does plan to continue to partner with Steelite by producing some products for them for a transition period as their capabilities ramp up, Fiesta Tableware Company will also now be able to explore other partnerships and programs.
Earlier this year, for example, the company partnered with Nora Fleming, a collectable gift and tableware manufacturer, on an exclusive platter with a mini figurine designed by Nora Fleming.
“Joint venture relationships, such as the one with Nora Fleming, have proven for both partners to be a labor of love, fun and are ultimately explosive in the market. During the rollout in Atlanta this January, Nora Fleming and Fiesta experienced two highly motivated collectable groups come together with similar interests for entertaining and vivid color. We are still seeing the two collector groups evolving harmoniously,” he said.
The exclusive platter includes the Nora Fleming-designed mini Dancing Lady figurine that features several Fiesta Dinnerware colors on the tiers of the dress including Scarlet, Poppy, Daffodil, Meadow, Lapis and Mulberry. The mini fits in a hole on the wide rim of the platter and can be switched out with other minis in the Nora Fleming collection.
As for future partnerships, Brinkman said, Fiesta is currently in discussion for potential options with other well-known vendors within the home and gift category.