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Lifetime Brands has new sales partner in China

Chief executive Jeffrey Siegel, in Lifetime’s Garden City

Chief executive Jeffrey Siegel, in Lifetime’s Garden City showroom, says low- and middle-income consumers were not in much of a buying mood for discretionary decor items, “and that business has suffered.” (Nov. 16, 2010) Credit: Danny Ghitis, 2010

The Garden City-based housewares maker Lifetime Brands Inc., has a new agreement to distribute its Mikasa line of dinnerware, flatware and glassware in China, the company said Monday.

The agreement takes the form of a joint partnership with King’s Flair Development Ltd., a Hong Kong company that already has a wide distribution network to market housewares in China, Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime’s chief executive, said.

“This new joint venture positions Lifetime to take advantage of a significant growth opportunity in China, where a rapidly expanding consumer class has demonstrated an affinity for globally branded luxury goods at affordable price points,” Siegel said in a news release.

The Mikasa brand is known for contemporary patterns and designs that match the shopping patterns of young, urban, middle-income Chinese families, Siegel said.

King’s Flair has a well-run sales network with strong relationships among major retailers, he said.

Founded in 1945, Lifetime brands has about 1,000 employees and a market capitalization of $151 million.

It also owns and markets the Pfaltzgraff, KitchenAid, Farberware, Cuisinart and Wallace brands.

Lifetime’s shares were down 16 cents in early trading Monday, to $12.20, with a 52-week range of $8.46-$16.40.

Photo: Jeffrey Siegel, president and chief executive of Lifetime Brands, in the company's Garden City showroom.

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