SOLD:  Southern Furniture sold to China

Staff Writer

Samson Holding has just bought Southern Furniture Company in Conover.

The China-based company will operate the manufacturer and transition into Samson's Universal Furniture brand, just like sister company, Craftmaster Furniture in Alexander County did.

Samson Holding is headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong, China, but has subsidiaries in the United States, Great Britain, France, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Samson Holding Chairman, Samuel Kuo, is excited for the acquisition.

“Southern Furniture represents a good strategic fit for Universal. Both companies share an alignment in product line, price point and quality,” he said.

Jerome W. Bolick, President of Southern Furniture in Conover, also says the sell was good for his company.

“We feel confident that Universal is extremely well positioned to continue serving our existing customers and managing our employees,” he said. “They are in good hands.”

With the sell, existing employees will be offered a more comprehensive and robust employee benefits program including healthcare, dental, vision and a matching 401K retirement savings plan.

“Launched only three years ago, Universal's current married-to-frame upholstery program has become a significant percentage of our overall business,” Universal Furniture President and CEO Jeff Scheffer said. “This acquisition will afford us the opportunity to offer our customers made-to-order fabric and leather options, an important selling feature not available in our current program,” he said.

Founded in the 1923 by Jerome's father, the late Oscar W. Bolick, the 96-year-old upholstery manufacturer was known to employee generations of the same family.

Retired Observer News Enterprise Editor Sylvia Ray, said that the sell was a shock to the local business community.

She said that the families seemed to be very loyal to Bolick and his company.

“The Bolicks were always close to the families they employed,” Ray said. “They employed up to four generations of the same family.”

She also said that past members of the newspaper family talked many times about how respected Oscar Bolick was by business people.

“At the depth of the Depression he didn't close his doors and was respected by keeping jobs for his employees,” Ray said.