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Upmarket Furniture Brand Shifts To Licensing Model For Long-Term Success Inc & Co Brand, Maker&Son launches licensing model In the UK

By Deep Baliyan

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Upmarket furniture brand Maker&Son has pivoted its commercial model following the sale of the company in summer 2022.

Maker&Son Licences Ltd will now be responsible for maintaining the brand for the long-term by managing licensing agreements in the UK and overseas.

The first new licensee announced is the experienced team behind one of the brand's existing manufacturers, The Hastings Sofa Company.

Led by Danny Cleaver – Managing Director, Marc Gall – Operations Director, and Mark Hillyard – Finance Director, the team will run the Maker&Son business in the UK & Ireland territory, managing customer orders, and will be selling and making the same luxury furniture direct to customers under the Maker&Son brand.

This will operate separately from The Hastings Sofa Company business.

Maker&Son's parent company, Inc & Co indicated that the appointment of this licensee was particularly positive because part of the deal ensures past customer orders will be fulfilled in a timely manner. Taking account of the careful craftsmanship required to produce each order, the company predicts a maximum period of 16 weeks to fulfil the backlog of orders.

Inc & Co Group CEO, Jack Mason continued: "In our attempt to turn the company around having inherited its substantial debt when it was purchased, we did everything we could to deliver customer orders and find solutions where delivery was no longer suitable.

"Unfortunately, those attempts to maintain the company's existing structure were unsuccessful and ultimately liquidation followed. Having invested over £2 million from our parent company, Inc & Co, and remaining determined to realise the success that the legacy of this brand can achieve, we therefore adapted our approach and brought forward a plan to license the brand to select global manufacturers. In this case, the chosen licensee already had a history of crafting Maker&Son products for its customers.

"We formed Maker&Son Licenses to act as the brand guardian moving forward, managing our license agreements, and making sure that existing customers receive the best possible option, and new customers receive the quality of product and service that they rightly expect.

"We received significant interest in the license agreement for the UK & Ireland from a number of parties, but at this stage – given not only their track record of delivering high quality items for Maker&Son customers as a valued supplier in the past, but also because of their unique experience in making a success of another furniture brand that had been in distress – we believe Danny and his team are the perfect choice to lead the business forward in this territory," Jack Mason, Group CEO of Inc & Co.

Maker&Son will now be communicating directly with existing UK & Ireland customers who have placed orders to confirm they would like to proceed with manufacture and delivery or to offer alternative solutions. The team at Maker&Son Licenses will support Danny's growing team during the transition period.

New licensee of Maker&Son UK, Danny Cleaver, whose team successfully turned around the ailing Billy & Slouch to become The Hastings Sofa Company, said:

"We're approaching this new licensing agreement as a separate venture from any of our other companies, but our experience of building a successful high-end furniture brand means we've already got strong plans to grow the Maker&Son brand in the UK. That will include investing in showrooms and events as well as reintroducing product lines back into the UK portfolio in response to customer demand.

"As we invest in growing our Maker&Son team in the UK and Ireland, we'll work with the existing supply chain and family of manufacturers to make sure that the materials we use and the designs we create together are of the highest quality for our customers. We remain committed to the Maker&Son focus, on using natural materials and all made-to-order items will continue to be made by hand by highly skilled craftspeople," said Danny Cleaver.

Further licensee announcements of the brand overseas are expected soon as Maker&Son rolls out expansion plans to target 5 global territories by the end of 2023.
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