Furniture Maker Opens New Factory in Mexico, Cutting Facility and DC in Arizona

Richter Designs (Los Angeles), a manufacturer of upholstered furniture, will soon open a 335,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. Richter's executive offices and design center will remain in Los Angeles. Operational this month, the factory will be five miles away from the company's new 120,000-sq.-ft. cutting facility and distribution center in Somerton, Ariz. Combined, the two new manufacturing and distribution facilities will employ approximately 300 people.

"This sophisticated new facility will position us perfectly for the future," said Braden Richter, founder of Richter Designs. "It will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and staffed with an eager and well-trained workforce to provide consistent high quality in everything we produce."

Richter’s customers include William Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie and Restoration Hardware. It had sales of about $55 million in 2005. The San Luis Rio plant will double the manufacturing capacity of Richter's current factory in Los Angeles and, together with the nearby Somerton facility, will triple the company's overall distribution capacity. Designed by architect Francisco Javier Moreno, the building is located near several other luxury-brand factories in San Luis Rio, including one operated by Bose Corp.

The new factory announcement represents a milestone for Richter, which does business as Apex Design Group, LLC. Apex Design acquired the assets of Richter Manufacturing out of bankruptcy last November. Apex Design is an affiliate of Buxbaum Group, a turnaround investor firm based in Calabasas, Calif.

"Richter Designs has a strong customer base and an excellent lineup of products, and this $3 million investment in its production and distribution capacity will allow it to fulfill its potential," said David Ellis, chief executive officer of Apex Design and president and chief operating officer of Buxbaum Group.

Among the new equipment being purchased for the facility are computerized cutting machines and ergonomically designed sewing machine workstations. The factory will make full use of the company's new IT system that allow customers to track their orders through delivery. There will be separate areas for the production of fabric and leather furniture. The factory will offer employees such amenities as an onsite cafeteria, daycare and a dispensary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

"The San Luis Rio location was selected after months of research, in part because of its easy access to freeways and the quality of its workforce, which has undergone extensive training to ensure the highest quality workmanship," noted Paul Buxbaum, chairman of Buxbaum Group. "Its proximity to Richter's headquarters and design studio in Los Angeles will facilitate fluid communication."

Source: Buxbaum Group

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