TOKYO, March 7, 2008 – Mitsukoshi, the oldest and most prestigious department store chain in Japan, this week introduced at its flagship Nihonbashi store in Tokyo a line of high-end home furnishings manufactured by Kindel Furniture Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Mitsukoshi unveiled a wide assortment of Kindel furniture as varied as a reproduction of an 18th century American table and a Dorothy Draper-designed lounge chair on the fifth floor of its largest store, Kindel Director of Marketing Amy Wolbert said. Mitsukoshi began selling the furniture under special arrangement with Sala Azabu, one of Japan’s largest retailers of high-end home furnishings that has a 3-year exclusive distributorship to sell Kindel furniture in Japan.
“We are elated that this legendary Mitsukoshi store is now carrying our hand-crafted furniture,” Wolbert said. “Travel guides in many languages say that tourists visiting in Japan must stop at the Nihonbashi store to experience the ultimate in a Japanese shopping experience. That in itself will expose worldwide travelers to Kindel products.”
Named after a nearby famous bridge, the Nihonbashi store features a temple-like atrium on its ground floor, merchandise that isn’t readily available outside of Japan, and regularly scheduled free concerts and art exhibitions. Roots of the Mitsukoshi chain reach back to 1673 as a kimono store when its founder implemented the “one-selling price for cash” strategy. The chain posted revenues of $6.7 billion last year with sales from 36 stores and franchises around the world.
Established in 1901, Kindel employs more than 130 people including hand carvers, decorators and other skilled craftsmen at its 170,000-square-foot factory and headquarters in Grand Rapids. The company has exclusive rights to reproduce the furniture for The Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Del. Known for its authentic reproductions and historically based designs of the 18th and 19th centuries, Kindel also produces original designs from the influential interior designer, Dorothy Draper, and furniture based on designs from a licensed program with Mount Vernon, the ancestral home of George Washington.
Kindel is now launching introductions of its products at the showrooms of Robert Allen|Beacon Hill in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Dallas, Dania Beach, Fla., Westbury, N.Y. and Troy, Mich. It has also expanded into international markets including Japan, Dubai, the Ukraine and Russia.
Under a program called ReNew, the company also offers to refurbish any of the estimated 250,000 pieces of Kindel furniture made over the past century by using many of the same time-honored techniques at the same Grand Rapids location as when they were first manufactured. For more information Kindel, please contact Matthew Gryczan at email@example.com or phone (616) 957-2000.