Innovation Continues to Propel a Legacy Home Furnishings Brand

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — While many global manufacturers find that longevity leads to significant challenges in staying relevant to their customers, one market leader in the home furnishings space has managed to reinvent itself with regularity, earning a reputation for anticipating trends rather than following them. Founded in the central North Carolina town of Lexington in 1901, Lexington Home Brands has skillfully blended visionary thinking and business acumen with a willingness to take calculated risks. Over a legacy spanning 120-years, its leadership has demonstrated a remarkable ability to anticipate change and adapt their business model to meet the moment.

Lexington’s journey began modestly enough. Originally known as Dixie Furniture Co., it grew from a successful hometown manufacturer to an industry powerhouse with a global manufacturing footprint and distribution facilities totaling more than 1.5 million square-feet.

Throughout its lifespan, Lexington found pioneering ways to be recognized in a crowded marketplace. Under the leadership of three generations of the Link, Hinkle, and Young families— most notably Henry Link, J. Smith Young and his son, Jeff—the company weathered the Great Depression and multiple wars, along with the shifting desires of the American consumer. In 1940, Link visited the Ford Motor plant in Detroit and brought the concept of motorized conveyers back to create an assembly line in his operation, leading to the country’s first mass production furniture facility. It was during Jeff Young’s leadership that Lexington catapulted to industry prominence as a leader in licensed product development. He recognized licensed brands as an effective way to connect consumers with an aspirational lifestyle by collaborating with some of the most iconic names of the time including, realist artist Bob Timberlake; legendary golfer Arnold Palmer; beloved Southern Living magazine; timeless fashion brand Liz Claiborne; modern lifestyle brand Nautica; and the epitome of laid-back luxury, Tommy Bahama. This new spin on branding was pivotal for the industry. As other manufacturers scrambled to add big names to their offerings, Lexington was redefining the art of product development and storytelling through these highly recognized brands, developing narratives that resonated deeply with consumers and driving demand at retail.

The shift in the industry was so profound that it persists to this day. However, a new leader at the helm saw an opportunity to guide the company in yet another groundbreaking fashion. Phillip D. Haney, president and CEO since 2006, understood that a new paradigm was needed to keep the company on its growth trajectory. Through his previous work with the Ralph Lauren organization, Haney recognized the importance of visual presentation in providing inspiration for consumers to buy according to how they aspired to live. He elevated the design and style of collection introductions, speaking to the emerging affluent consumer segment and raising the sophistication of product designs. His goal was to define “approachable luxury” in the home furnishings space. As a result, Lexington became the first furniture company to fully embrace lifestyle marketing in their visual presentations. The company’s 100,000-square-foot showroom in High Point North Carolina became a must-see for retailers and interior designers around the world hoping to emulate the presentation created by Lexington’s expert team.

During the pandemic in 2019, most furniture companies elected to curtail production. Lexington did the opposite, building inventory as quickly as possible, anticipating the need for home furnishings as consumers were compelled to work remotely. Their marketing embraced the elevated importance of home as a sanctuary and workplace, and their product designs fit the needs of affluent consumers adjusting to a new normal. As a result, their business experienced explosive growth.

After the pandemic, the company recognized a shift in discretionary consumer spending towards a pent-up demand for travel. In response, Lexington produced and launched an innovative television campaign highlighting the pleasure of returning home. Narrated by Grammy Award-winning singer and producer, Steve Tyrell, it echoes the sentiment that home is the place where consumers ultimately want to be.

Today, Lexington Home Brands stands as a testament to managing a business through evolution. Its legacy of quality craftsmanship, product innovation, and market anticipation has allowed the company to remain an acknowledged industry leader for over a century. Of equal importance is continuity of leadership, a passion for the business, and the capacity and confidence to make directional changes ahead of the competition. These qualities have never been more important, given the changing dynamics of the workplace and the elevated importance of home. Managing a global business in the face of change over a long period of time is both art and science, and Lexington Home Brands has proven to have mastered both.

Media Contact:
Jane Chero

SOURCE Lexington Home Brands