King Koil shifts U.S. strategy

Employing a new business model this year, Willowbrook, Illinois-based mattress licensing group King Koil now is manufacturing its own products and selling to retailers through a dedicated sales force.

“I’ve been laying the foundation for the shift toward direct manufacturing since joining King Koil late last year,” said David Binke, chief executive officer of King Koil. “With the continuing shakeup underway on the retail side of the bedding business and the sorting out of manufacturing and retail alliances, the licensing model just isn’t as effective as it once was. Under the new changes, we will build on the great 120-year-old brand and assure our products continue to be made to our exacting standards throughout the U.S.”

The new business model is being phased in over the next several years in stages, the company said in a news release. King Koil already had planned to open a factory to service the West and Southwest regions of the country and has entered into a new arrangement with East Windsor, Connecticut-based Blue Bell Mattress Co., one of its oldest licensees.

Under the new strategic partnership with King Koil, Blue Bell is manufacturing and distributing King Koil products in the Northeast and Midwest from its two factories in Connecticut and its recently acquired factory in Roseville, Michigan.

The company also is building a sales organization and adding to its corporate staff. Announcements in these areas are expected over the next several weeks.

“Blue Bell is a historically strong partner for us with great ownership and an excellent management team,” Binke said. “The company is uniquely positioned to be a strong, committed King Koil partner through its recent expansion.”

King Koil is sticking with its international licensing strategy and will continue to develop new opportunities, resources and services for those plants, the release said. 

The company has more than 30 international licensees. In 2015, the privately held company was purchased by one of them, Kuala Lumpur-based Kaiserkorp Corp.