Robinson Exits Oneida Tabletop, Launches New Brands

Robinson Home Products has launched two tabletop brands, Living by Robinson and Robinson, following its exit of the Oneida tabletop business. The new brands were on display at the fall New York Tabletop Market.

In an exclusive interview with HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®, Ross Patterson, president, Robinson Home, said the tabletop portion of the licensing agreement with Oneida is being terminated. The company will no longer serve as Oneida’s U.S. wholesale distributor for flatware and dinnerware.

“We will transition the business by selling our remaining Oneida tabletop inventory to our customers through the end of the year,” he said.

Robinson Home and Oneida have had a long relationship that dates back to the mid-1960s. More recently, the two companies in 1996 entered into a licensing agreement to use the Oneida brand on kitchen tools and 10 years later would add a second licensing agreement for cutlery. In 2009, Robinson and Oneida signed an agreement that allowed the former to use the Oneida brand on dinnerware and flatware.

As it moves forward, Robinson Home is further leveraging its expertise in the tabletop business with the new Living by Robinson, an assortment of casual flatware, and Robinson, a fine dinnerware and flatware collection. The two new brands join Robinson Home’s Craft Kitchen and Studio Cuisine kitchenware lines, which were introduced earlier this year. At the Tabletop Market, Robinson previewed new tableware lines under the Craft Kitchen brand.

“We have been running that [Oneida tabletop] business for almost 10 years and we have put the right people in place on the product development side, built customer relationships, and when we talk about our new brands, they have been received well. We are capable and ready to do new things,” he said.

Patterson stated that the new brands will have targeted, limited distribution within the department and specialty store channels. Robinson and Living by Robinson are expected to start shipping in January 2019.

In addition, Patterson said that Robinson Home would open a showroom at AmericasMart in time for the January edition of the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. He said the company plans to utilize its new space in Atlanta as a platform for new product launches.