Skip to comments.Universal Furniture sticking with Paula Deen
Posted on 07/25/2013 11:40:30 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Universal Furniture International, the High Point company behind the Paula Deen Home Collection, will stick with the brand and its namesake despite the controversy over her past remarks about race.
In a letter to distributors Thursday, Universal CEO Jeff Scheffer said the past few weeks have been "very difficult," and a cause for careful consideration. He said the company has heard from many dealers, some urging Universal to "hang in there" with Deen and others that have already removed her banners, hang tags and other branding from their stores.
Scheffer said the company decided to maintain its relationship with Deen both because it believes the brand will continue to have retail value, and because of the belief that Deen is "not the person portrayed by the media."
"We have observed her as being kind and one who treats those around her with respect," Scheffer wrote. "Yes, she has acknowledged saying some hurtful things but she has apologized, and we accept that. We also feel equally dismayed for those hurt by Paula's remarks, which for certain do not represent our own diverse culture and beliefs at Universal."
Scheffer acknowledged that dealers will decide for themselves whether or how to continue promoting the Deen line of furniture, but "what everyone seems to agree on is that the product design is strong and her collections continue to sell well."
The celebrity chef has seen an exodus from her empire and has lost a number of deals, including with The Food Network, Smithfield Foods, Target, drug-maker Novo Nordisk and QVC.
Paula Deen didn’t weather this with grace. I heard a snippet of her on some stupid show, like the Today show, and she was groveling. She was weeping and saying something along the lines of anyone who hasn’t made such a mistake, pick up a rock and kill her.
Hearing that weepy mea culpa, I wished someone had.
I hate Wal-Mart PD’s kitchen supplies. All very low quality, shabby.
But the *furniture*...
It’s beautiful, solid, high-quality. I love it. I’ve got a desk and am saving for a cabinet now.
I was actually devastated by the whole PS controversy simply because I haven’t had a chance to get the other furniture yet.
The “bag lady” cabinet... that’s the ticket.