A century-old cookware manufacturer based in Kewaskum said it will sign a deal next week to sell products through a firm in China that does direct marketing to consumers, like Amway Corp. or Mary Kay Cosmetics in the United States.
Regal Ware Inc. says its products will be sold through a network of 2 million sales consultants worldwide and 2,500 storefronts in China. The marketer, Joymain Science & Technology Inc., had about $1.5 billion in sales this year and expects $2 billion in 2015, according to Regal Ware.
Joymain’s products include household and health items. The company has a U.S. affiliate, JM Ocean Avenue, that sells nutritional supplements and personal care items.
Most of the company’s business is in China, where Regal Ware also has sales but now stands to gain a much bigger share of the cookware market.
Regal Ware manufactures its products in Kewaskum and West Bend. More than half of the company’s sales are outside of the U.S., said David Lenz, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
This little quirk was interesting.
But there’s a catch, at least with some products. The sales pitch can be made in someone’s home, but the transaction must be completed in a retail setting.
“It’s a very different way they go to market because you aren’t allowed to collect funds in a consumer’s home. You have to go to a fixed retail location,” Reigle said.
Thus, Joymain has 2,500 storefronts, called customer “experience centers,” where its sales representatives conduct business.
Sounds like a bit of a PITA for consumers. In any case, it’s great news for a local business. And if you are looking for a good job, they are going to have some openings.
But Regal Ware, with about 275 employees, faces a problem in that more than half of its production workforce is near retirement age.
It’s a near-term issue to replace dozens of people who could leave the workforce in the next three years, and it’s a long-term issue as fewer young people pursue careers in manufacturing.