Fabrics & Furnishings International - Summer 2019 Issue

Page 12


Sarom, Largest Indian Wholesaler, Plans Doubling Sales by 2025 Via 300,000-Square-Foot Warehouse F&FI News Network


UMBAI, INDIA — Sarom Fab Private, Ltd., is the largest fabric wholesaler in India today, with $18 million in sales for 2018 and 150 employees. It ranks #32 on the Fabric & Furnishings International Top 40 Jobbers List outside of North America. Sarom was founded by Manish Shah and his brother Rohit, with brother-in-law Deepak Nishar as a third partner. The business is growing 20 percent a year, Manish says, and he anticipates doubling the business “within five more

years because the Indian economy is very good.” Sarom caters to 5,000 sofa manufacturers and 1,000 retail accounts, both cuts and rolls, but he feels there are many more accounts Sarom is not yet doing business with. “We want to increase our accounts to 20,000 from 6,000 today. There is at least one retail shop in every Indian village. To service that market, we need a distributor in every state. Right now, we have distributors in 26 out of 30 states. We need more distributors, as many as 50 in total,” he says.

“We specialize in upholstery, although we have curtain fabrics too in our line. We sell four to five different base cloths and digitally print them. We have been selling chenille for five years, but now we are also selling leather looks and velvets. Our collection is priced from $2.25-$11 per meter. We fill the whole basket for the customer and want to have the best stock, service, and price available in the market. We have 150 running collections, but retailers in general cannot digest all of the books on the market today.”

Sarom is about to embark on its biggest venture yet, with the construction of a $50 million, 300,000-square-foot vertical warehouse in 2020 with semi-automated systems. “We will make immediate daily shipments from the receipt of order,” Manish says. “We will automate only those operations which are more expensive to do by hand, or would be faster by automating,” he says. Sarom produces its own sample books and recently launched a contract collection with 5,000 books. FR is not

important in India yet, but Sarom can use an FR finish on its goods if requested. Sarom was built on the foundation of a 40-year-old retail business established by Amarshibhai Shah, Manish’s father, and his uncle, Shantilal Shah. Shantilal is deeply involved in the financial end of the business, and Amarshibhai is also still involved in the business. While the seven retail stores in the retail wing of the family business still thrive today, the real growth story is the 15-year-old Sarom operation. F&FI

Mexican Artell Expands South with $12M in Annual Sales F&FI News Network


EXICO CITY — Artell, the Mexican fabric wholesaler that turns 40, is expanding into Central and South America this year, along with offering online sales and additional products for contractors. With $12 million in annual sales, the company made the F&FI Top 25 North American Jobbers List. “We see a very important growth opportunity for the next few years in the hospitality sector,” General Director Angel Perez Gomez says. “We started to open territory in South America, where we believe that we can be a good alternative thanks to our collections and infrastructure.”

Warehouse, Mexico City

Showroom México, City


Starting in 1979, company officials went through a tough time in Mexico because borders were closed to imports. But imports were eventually allowed, and now Artell produces its own collection, the Artell brand. There are now about 18 to 20 collections in a wide variety of textures for upholstery, tapestry, wallpaper as well as other collections for children, outdoor, and more sophisticated styles. The company’s main showroom is in the capital, along with retail branches across Mexico City and Guadalajara, which carry all its collections and services for contractors and consumers. While there are different discounts depending on the type of customer and volume of purchase, Artell’s collection ranges from $20 to $40 per square meter. Its high-end collections cost about $60 per square meter. “[Our main customers] in residential [are] mainly decoration offices, interior designers,

decoration shops, furniture manufacturers, upholsterers, and headrails,” Gomez says. “And we serve them through samples, and they are requesting the footage according to their needs. And as for contractors, medium or boutique hotels are our biggest concentration. In the spaces described above, it’s public areas, restaurants, and of course guest rooms.” Artell has 120 employees. Its 6,000-square-meter factory is in Mexico City, where the company sample lines for its two companies, the Artell Group, and Telas Bayon, its lower-end brand. Most collections are renewed every month or so, but others are renewed more frequently. The main 18 to 20 collections are stored with an existing inventory of about 200,000 square meters for quick delivery. “Our own collections are made in Mexico, but the vast majority we import,” Gomez says. “…For the last six or seven years approximately, there has been a marked trend for textures, and a much-decreased demand in general for prints, geometric drawings, etc. In the upholsterer market, we have encountered that change as well.


Angel Pérez Gómez

Enrique Javier del Rio Audibert

The demand for prints just started coming back recently, and now we are about to launch two new collections of printed fabrics and drawings again.” Artell is the exclusive distributor and representative of many European fabric brands, such as Güell-Lamadrid, Les Creations, Alhambra, Casamance, and CasaDeco, among others. “Our services also include confection services such as reupholstering, making curtains, cushions, etc., and especially consulting services in decoration that we offer for

free,” Gomez says. “This gives an added-value for the customer to feel comfortable when it comes to addressing all their basic needs. As part of this, we get in front of our retail customers in our own stores as well as with a strategic alliance through leased space with what we call corners, inside of department stores, like the very famous store in Mexico, El Palacio de Hierro.” F&FI

Exterior view of main offices

Guadalajara showroom

Interior view of main offices

Summer 2019