VARGEM GRANDE PAULISTA, SP, BRAZIL — Textil J. Serrano Ltda. is Brazil’s largest upholstery (estofados in Portuguese) mill and will be showing at Heimtextil in Frankfurt for the first time with prices for polypropylene fabrics from $1.87 for plains to $5.50 for polyester chenille, FOB USA.
Vargem Grande Paulista, home of the J. Serrano factories is a city in the state of São Paulo in Brazil and is part of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo.
“The Brazilian market is in a political and economic crisis at the moment, and exporting has been essential for the company,” says Claudia Gonçalves, Export Manager. “We decided to exhibit at Heimtextil, because we know this fair is a benchmark in fabric tendencies. Companies from all over the world, including Brazil, visit to see what will be fashionable. However, regardless of the moment of our country, J. Serrano has always invested in external partners, and treated the export of products with importance,” she adds.
J. Serrano is taking its product line, including its artificial leather line under its subsidiary company ‘Ledervin’ to the world market at Heimtextil in an effort to whip up some more business. It produces jacquard, chenille, plains and textured fabrics producing designs internally with five staff designers; about 70 percent of the production is devoted to upholstery and mattress ticking but it also produces finished area rugs, bedspreads and PVC fabrics for blinds.
The company serves (1) South America and Mexico, (2) USA and Caribbean, Canada, and (3) Europe as its top three markets for sales. Ameritex division of J. Serrano distributes the J. Serrano line to key American converters and U.S. furniture manufacturers with agents in California, Tupelo, Mississippi, North Carolina, Midwest and East Coast. Ameritex carries inventory for quick delivery working out of a 5,000 square foot warehouse in Medley, Florida but there are other distribution points throughout the world. Typical color lines might be 35 colors but only 10 colors are stocked in Medley for quick delivery. Minimums in the States are two pieces, Golfetti says but there are container load customers doing business with J. Serrano, he says.
J. Serrano is also well represented in Europe through sales agents to all types of customers including wholesalers and of course in South America through its own sales force. With three Brazilian Reals to the USD, Serrano is able to beat the Chinese at their own game for those who want to buy cheap. Besides, China is not the only game in town anymore for inexpensive fabrics as they have had to raise prices at least five percent this year. Except for some new velvets, attendees at Intertextile in Shanghai complained there was nothing new in upholstery at that fair this year.
“The benefit of buying upholstery from J. Serrano is its ability to delivery in six to eight weeks from Brazil and keep stock in the USA for two-day delivery, according to John Golfetti, U.S. Sales Manager, who has lived in the States for 28 years since he moved from his native Brazil. He has worked for Ameritex for 12 years and reports to Fernando Serrano, the sales and marketing principal. Fernando is one of the three brothers who own the mill. They are the grandsons (third generation same family) of Jose Serrano who started the business in a modest building in 1952. “You won’t find J. Serrano at any other tradeshows like Showtime in the USA but you might find its products at our customers’ stands,” Golfetti explains. “We respect the distribution channel in the USA and don’t sell to wholesalers.”
J. Serrano brand is present in almost all continents including the following primary countries: Argentina Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Mexico, USA, Peru, Colombia, Russia, Lithuania, Belgium and Germany.
“Besides our alliances with distribution and sales partners in several countries, we have our own corporate owned distribution in the following countries: USA (Ameritex Co.) Chile (Sur de Chile Textiles) and Colombia (J. Serrano Colombia),” according to Claudia Gonçalves, Export Manager who will be present at Heimtextil J. Serrano stand. Lucio Alves, J. Serrano controller will also be present.