Sea Gull Lighting and Murray Feiss rocked the lighting industry late last fall when they announced plans to combine forces under a newly formed holding company, Quality Home Brands. But just as the paint was beginning to dry on the new signage, on June 20 the outfit cast its net again, securing a partnership with Encompass Lighting Group, which manages the Tech Lighting, Tiella, 2thousand Degrees, T~Trak and LBL Lighting brands. The new uber-entity will continue operations as Generation Brands, renamed thus so as not to exclude Encompass products’ commercial applications.
“The merger certainly balances our product portfolio and our branding strategy with regards to all the markets that we serve,” says Ace Rosenstein, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. “Murray Feiss Lighting and Monte Carlo Fan Co. being strong in the home decor and lighting showroom channels; Sea Gull Lighting being more of the professional brand for the homebuilder, electrical contractor and specification markets; Royce Lighting serving hardware stores and homecenters—all complement the brands of Encompass Lighting Group and augment the groups’ commercial, showroom and retail sales.”
While leveraging their combined strengths and resources, each of the three strategic business units—Murray Feiss, Sea Gull Lighting and Encompass—will continue to operate independently, their current management and sales representation remaining in place.
“We anticipate a smooth integration just as we experienced with the Sea Gull Lighting and Murray Feiss partnership,” Rosenstein says. “I think the biggest reason for that is the fact that we haven’t changed much, and we intend to keep it that way. Yeah, we’ve had some corporate initiatives that have changed, but nothing that touches the customer.”
Although Generation Brands is now among the top five largest lighting enterprises in North America, size is not the company’s main agenda, explains Ron Hersh, President of Murray Feiss.
“The ultimate mission is not to be the biggest, it’s to be the best and to continue to bring to market a top level of design, a top level of quality and the support behind that to service our customers to the highest level,” Hersh says. “We want to be viewed together pretty much as we have been individually in the past, and that is to be the preeminent source for decorative lighting needs.”
Based on its business model of searching out complementary companies, Generation Brands does anticipate more growth, both by acquisition as well as within each of the separate units. But for now, the new company is reveling in the energy generated by current opportunities.
“There’s a lot of excitement around here,” says Sean Lavin, Vice President of Marketing for Encompass Lighting Group. “Murray Feiss and Sea Gull are institutions within the lighting world. Encompass is a relatively new company, so we have a lot that we can learn from them. Benefiting from their experiences, being a part of Generation Brands and having [Generation Brands CEO] Tracy Bilbrough at the helm are big positives for Encompass.”