Lifetime Brands, a marketer/distributor of consumer home products, is taking over its own fulfillment with the opening of a new distribution center. The company, which includes the Pfaltzgraff tabletop items stores, catalog and Website, and the Farberware brand, is scheduled to open the DC early this year.
The 753,000-sq.-ft. facility in Fontana, CA, will replace a former Syratech Corp. warehouse in nearby Mira Loma, CA, and another DC in Mira Loma, that is operated by a third-party logistics provider.
“At the beginning of 2007, we had three DCs in southern California, all in that approximate area,” says Chris Kasper, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development for Westbury, NY-based Lifetime Brands. “All of them were acquired in acquisitions we had made, and a number of leases were coming up for renewal.”
When Lifetime Brands bought Pfaltzgraff in June 2005, it marked the company’s fourth acquisition in less than two years. Its other deals included kitchen utensils and cookware manufacturer Gemco Ware; lighting and wiring specialists Use: Tools for Civilization; and kitchen and barware specialist Excel Corp.
Founded in 1945 as the Lifetime Cutlery Corp., the company had been called Lifetime Hoan (for housewares of all nations) since 1991; it changed its name in June 2005 to Lifetime Brands. Consolidating from several DCs into one large facility “was a rationalization strategy, taking them and combining them into one larger facility that is more efficient,” Kasper says.
The biggest change for Lifetime Brands, Kasper says, will be operating the new DC itself, as opposed to any third-party logistics provider’s involvement. “We will be running it, and the overall efficiency, from being able to ship out of one facility as opposed to three, with everyone being on the same system.” This will require taking a brand new space “and configuring everything to make for an optimum efficiency of operations,” he says.
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