Stanton Sofas adds Mexico production for zero gravity motion line

Company will make fabric and leather sofas, loveseats, chairs and sectionals in new 125,000-square-foot Ensenada plant

ENSENADA, Mexico — Upholstery manufacturer Stanton Sofas is expanding its manufacturing presence here with a new cut and sew and manufacturing plant that also will produce its zero gravity motion upholstery line.

The company continues to produce this product in customs fabrics in its Canby, Oregon, plant, which has been producing the zero gravity line for about a year and a half. However, in addition to fabric, the Mexico plant also will produce the line in leather, offering a mix of options for sofas, loveseats, sectionals and chairs.

The company has been producing cut and sew product in Mexico for the past few years with two area facilities totaling 60,000 square feet supplying its U.S. operations.

The new 125,000-square-foot leased facility being built from the ground up is about two miles away from its previous operations. It will produce cut and sew fabrics and also produce zero gravity product featuring triple motor functionality with headrest and footrest options.

Fabric zero gravity sofas are expected to retail from about $1,600 to $2,000, while leather zero gravity sofas are expected to retail from $2,400 to $2,800. Special order fabric and leather product will have lead times of four to five weeks, although some product could ship in as little as two to three weeks.

The expansion in Mexico aims to cultivate and expand one of the fastest growing segments of the company’s business.

Zero gravity products currently represent about 97% of the company’s motion business, said Chris Staley, one of four principal owners in the business. The fabric line being produced in Mexico currently represents about 20% of the zero gravity business.

It has been producing the fabric line featuring some 350 fabric options for a few months. Starting in October, it will begin producing leather segment, which will be available in as many as 10 leather options. The expanded leather offerings will ship by year end and are expected to hit retail sometime in the first quarter of 2023.

“We will be working to get as much out of there as possible,” Staley told Home News Now of the zero gravity products. “We are trying to shift to the new norms of demand which in the last couple of weeks has sprung back. We are seeing larger stock orders come back, which is very welcome.”

While the company is still producing some of the fabric line in the U.S., it eventually plans to produce the entire line in Mexico. That shift, he said, will take place in the next year or so.

The company said the move makes sense for a few main reasons. For one, it’s easier to find available workers in Mexico compared to the U.S. Currently the Mexico plant employs 130, which is expected to reach 250 over time. This compares to 350-400 in Canby, which Staley said should remain consistent moving forward as the company will continue to produce its stationary upholstery line there.

“We struggle mightily to hire in the Northwest,” he said. “We always have. We don’t struggle down there. They have excellent apparel manufacturers down there and there is great sewing talent. We wanted to tap into that…It was a good fit for us.”

Secondly, Staley said it also makes financial sense as the company can have raw materials such as fabrics shipped to Mexico from China without a 25% tariff or 14% to 17% duty that’s incurred by shipping it directly to the U.S.

The move also is expected to pay dividends with a potential stabilization of inland freight costs, which Staley sees normalizing moving forward.

“We are seeing the land freight adjust like ocean freight,” he said, noting that the product will ship to Canby and ship from there to customers on the west coast as far east as Kansas. “The more that happens, the better it is for us to be competitive.”

Finally, the ability to ship from Mexico, he said also helps it service customers — on the west coast and beyond — in a quick and efficient manner.

“We are open to remain super-competitive on the west coast better than anyone else,” he said, noting that the Mexico presence “weaponizes the speed” of its special order program. “We also are open to expanding anywhere there is a customer that values what we do.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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