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George Leads Leslee Jee Textiles Charge Towards Jobber Business

March 13, 2020

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George Leads Leslee Jee Textiles Charge Towards Jobber Business

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Tariff and coronavirus disruptions to the U.S. furniture industry, especially with uncertain Chinese upholstery fabric prices, has prompted converter Leslee Jee Textiles (Huntington Beach, California) to increase its share of the jobber business, according to Scott George, vice president of sales.

“Diversity in markets will pay dividends in the long run,” George says, a veteran fabric man, who joined Leslee Jee Textiles just over a year ago from Valdese Weavers.

Since joining the company, he has seen a move towards higher-priced, but “better value” goods, for Jee from India and Italy. The company had been importing 100% Chinese fabric.

Still, 80%-90% percent of Leslee Jee goods are from China. Most are small scale jacquards in “a retail sea of beige,” he adds.

Jee has a performance fabric story, but it is not branded and has achieved in the finishing process, George says.

There is also a “green product line.” The Leslee Jee line is priced from $4.95 to $10.95, he says.
Leslee Jee uses a network of multi-line sales agents with their own dedicated salespeople in California.

The main targets have been residential upholstery and commercial-task-seating manufacturers in the U.S., but jobbers are playing an increasingly important role as customers, George emphasizes. And that’s an area he has the strongest experience.

The newest collection is Indian velvet in18 colors, George says.

“China still represents a great value and we are trying to be consistent in our pricing in spite of 25% tariffs,” he explains.

Leslee Jee was started in 2009 by Leslee Jee, previously design director of Momentum contract textiles, and Norman Zoref, Momentum president and chairman. Zoref continues in that position even though he retired last April.

His father was Lennie Zoref, a legend in veteran furniture fabric circles and his grandson, Rob Zoref, is a salesman for Leslee Jee.

 
 


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