When brothers David and Jeffrey Beyda were growing up in Brooklyn, they fully understood the ebbs and flows of their family’s home textile business, which was run by their grandfather, their father and mother. It was the center of their lives and the subject of many family meals.
“At 12 years old, I helped move merchandise to the showroom,” David recalls. “By 15 I was working in the New Jersey warehouse and driving a forklift, and as a student at NYU, I was still working part time,” he adds. “Even on the day I graduated, I was at the office in the afternoon.”
Founded in 1954 with one product – placemats – the business, known as Town & Country, has become a recognized leader in home textiles, specializing in table linens, kitchen textiles, rugs, towels and bedding, and other innovative branded products.
“We are the undisputed leader in the design, manufacture, and import of table linens and kitchen textile products across all channels of distribution,” David explains, “and we’re the market share leader in the table linens and kitchen textiles category.”
Established as a design and sourcing leader in branded and non-branded product for more than 50 years, Town & Country has also established a presence around the world, with headquarters in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, and sites in Bentonville, Arkansas; Shanghai, China; Shenzhen, China; Kowloon, Hong Kong; Delhi, India; and Lahore, Pakistan.
“IDB helped us do our due diligence and encouraged us to buy the company, because they’re not just a bank but a trusted partner who helps us find ways to create opportunities.
Having spent their entire careers with Town & Country, David, 52, and Jeffrey, 49, are now in charge. “Because we grew up in the business and we love our family, we’ve been involved in every part of it,” David says. “Our lives and business are together. And we think of our employees as just an extension of our family.”
In the ever-changing retail business, Town & Country has done everything possible to stay on top with its clients, including such leading brands as Kate Spade and Calvin Klein and retail customers that include Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, BJ’s, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Kohl’s and Dollar General, to name a handful.
A leading supplier of both licensed brands and private label programs to major retailers across the globe, they’re also selling online through Amazon, participating in the biggest retailing revolution in generations. A key to their success has always been the values they learned growing up – “honesty, integrity, pride in what we do, and respect for each other, our customers and the company,” David says.
This means being proactive and responsive to the needs of retail partners, consumers and manufacturing liaisons; consistently testing and improving products, and creating innovative designs and packaging; always delivering value and product performance; maintaining an on-time performance record that is among the finest in the industry; and developing the diverse talents of the company’s 130 employees, including 30 in design and product development.
To say the least, David and Jeffrey are big on continuous learning, which has helped the company move into a new phase. Most recently, the brothers brought in a leading private equity firm, H.I.G., to help fuel future growth more quickly than they could do on their own. “H.I.G. is the right partner for us,” says David. “They understand our history, our business, and the growth strategy needed to take Town & Country to the next level.”
“Next level” will likely mean a more aggressive acquisition strategy in the home textiles and accessories sector. “As retailers consolidate, so do vendors like us,” David explains, “so we’re excited to pursue new avenues of growth.”
Meanwhile, Town & Country has been an IDB client since 2003. “IDB has been a terrific partner,” David says. “They played an instrumental role when we considered working with H.I.G., and they will continue to play a key role in the future,” David notes. “IDB understands our business and our challenges, and has been with us through the ups and downs, again and again.
“The only way for a business like ours to succeed is to have trusting relationships,” he continues. “We have that within our organization, we have it with our customers, who are the center of all we do, and we have it with IDB.”