When PTS America, home to dinnerware brands such as Sango, 222 Fifth Avenue, Coventry and Westbury Court, was founded in 1996, the tabletop industry looked very different.
At the time, there was a clear differentiation of upstairs/downstairs brands, fine dinnerware was still very much in demand and department stores were the go-to for the consumer. Today, the tabletop market is facing a competitive online retail landscape, the casual, mix-and-match attitude of younger consumers and the dwindling number of department stores.
PTS America has embarked on a refresh of sorts, one that elevates its Sango brand of dinnerware into more of a lifestyle brand. The company is known for its in-house manufacturing capabilities, located in Indonesia. PTS sources and uses raw materials to craft dinnerware made of porcelain, stoneware and fine china. In addition, its in-house laboratories also formulate its own glazes, molds and specializes in developing original silk screens for printing ceramic transfers.
As part of its refresh goal, the company said it is aiming to provide retailers with fresh designs from its Sango and other lines.
“When fine dinnerware was really prevalent and prominent, Sango became a go-to for the decorative capabilities that PTS was able to infuse into the line. However, now I think the industry is absolutely geared towards more lifestyle focus and there’s really great opportunity to elevate and kind of shift gears and to modernize Sango’s offerings,” said Jin Seo, vp/design & product development, PTS America.
In addition, Seo pointed out that with so much casual dinnerware coming out of China, paired with the unpredictable tariff situation, the company, with its plant in Indonesia, has a great opportunity to step in and offer an alternative to retailers.
David Lee, evp/PTS America, said the company’s position in Indonesia has helped put it back into the spotlight with customers.
“Having our ceramics and wood factory in Indonesia definitely has risen our profile in light of the tariff situation. On top of Indonesia having GSP Duty-free status, a 0% duty makes our Indonesian goods even more attractive to our current retail customers and new, potential customers,” Lee said.
In addition, Lee also said that having first-hand knowledge and experience with transacting and shipping to most major U.S. retailers has also helped the company, as it minimized the learning curve with new customers.
Seo added that they are seeing the role of the new tabletop buyer changing, with buyers looking beyond dinnerware and exploring more accessories and giftables. “Today’s buyers are just shopping differently. And they want someone that they can partner with and that they can have a long-standing relationship with,” Seo said.
With so many new players in the market, it has become even more challenging, which is why the company has put their efforts into telling its story and the stories of its dinnerware collections in a fresh new way at the market.
In addition to preparing its latest tableware, such as a gold glaze line, large scale holiday printed designs and a wide variety of other fashion-forward dinnerware and accessories, the company is planning to tell stories with its offerings.
“We feel dinnerware is so personal and if a consumer is inspired by having something fun or yummy or anything just beautiful on their table, then I feel like the customers will absolutely resonate with our offerings and are more apt to buy. When there’s not a story, it becomes a little bit more difficult to explain what the product means and why it’s important,” said Seo.