John-Richard more than doubles capacity in Vietnam

Company moved into new facility earlier this fall and has begun production of its case goods and upholstery line

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — John-Richard’s new plant here marks a new phase in the company’s history of manufacturing in Vietnam that aims to boost capacity and afford customers a wider selection of styles across categories.

The company has produced furnishings in Vietnam for more than 20 years, beginning with its sourcing of product from OEM manufacturing facilities around 2000. In 2006, it opened its own dedicated manufacturing facilities in the Binh Duong province, starting with a single building and later expanding to three facilities totaling about 90,000 square feet in subsequent years.

Now the manufacturer has moved to a new facility that is more than twice the size of the original campus at 250,000 square feet. Also, located in Binh Duong province, the move was precipitated by government requirements for manufacturing operations to be located in industrial parks, company CEO Alan Galbraith told Home News Now. Located around a half-hour from its existing plant, the plant comprises four interconnected buildings and provides additional capacity to produce its line of decorative furniture and accessories in a more streamlined production environment.

While not revealing the specific cost of the move and expansion, Galbraith said it is in the millions, representing an investment in new finishing and dust collection equipment along with wood processing machinery used to produce various parts and components used in the finished product.

“It’s been a significant investment for us as a smaller company,” Galbraith said. “Obviously it is multiple millions of dollars. It’s not a small amount.”

In addition to occasional, dining furniture and upholstery, the plant also produces mirrors as well as lamps, accent furniture and accessories. Many of these feature mixed media elements including not only fancy-face veneers, but also acrylic and metal accents.

“We typically take a technique that we use in one product category and transfer it to another,” Galbraith said. “For example, we have taken art that we produce and put that on furniture. And we are using the same techniques to either make lamps, or wall art or accessories.”

“So yes, we have added a significant amount of equipment to the new facility and just like everyone we need equipment to manufacture product,” he added. “But the key is not what we do on the equipment. The key is what we do after we take it off the equipment — it’s the hand work, the artisan work. It’s that skilled work that sets us apart.”

A view of the VOC capture system outside the new plant

Another key aspect of the building is the sustainable and environmentally friendly nature of the manufacturing footprint. In addition to LED lighting, features include the installation of VOC (volatile organic compound) capture systems, noise abatement measures and what the company describes as strict control of any effluents or airborne pollutants, effectively creating cleaner air inside the plant.

“We’ve done a lot of things in this facility that I am proud of and that I think will help make us a much better place to work,” Galbraith said.

He added that the new plant also will bring customers new innovations in design and finished product thanks to new capabilities in areas such as casting and printing.

In a statement issued about the new factory issued before the October High Point Market, the company also noted that these types of in-house capabilities are what will set it apart from its competitors.

“This is a very exciting time for our company as we move into this brand-new facility, more than doubling our capacity and enhancing our skilled artisans’ ability to continue producing unique and salable products,” added Scott Smith, chief merchandising officer.

“We’re going to do some things from a technological point of view that will enable us to further expand the design capabilities we have,” Galbraith added. “We want to push that design envelope on behalf of our customers and give them something different and unique. I think the most exciting thing for our customers’ point of view is probably the continued innovation that they will see from John-Richard because whenever we invest in a factory we think about innovation as part of the factory. We don’t think about what we need to do today. We think about what we can do tomorrow, what other things can we add in terms of our capability to make it more exciting for our customers.”    

Perhaps not surprisingly, because of the slowdown in the industry, the company is not utilizing all the available capacity in the facility at present. However, Galbraith said that will change once demand picks back up.

“Obviously, this past year has been difficult for everybody,” he said “But when we start to see growth again, we will be in a very good position to take advantage of that. We actually had seen a small increase beginning in April of this year and started to see the turnaround in volume coming back. So we’re quite encouraged by that. … The trajectory is positive.”

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 and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: