Factory Man: How Furniture Exec John Bassett Bested China

Posted by Bill Esler | Posted: 07/04/2014 10:45AM

 

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture champion John Bassett III's battle against China's furniture manufacturers is chronicled in a new book from Little Brown.

Factory Man, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture With over $500 million a year in sales, the Bassett Furniture Company was once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer. Run by the same powerful Virginia family for three generations, it was also the center of life in Bassett, VA-an unincorporated town that existed solely for the people who built the company's products.

But beginning in the 1980s, the Bassett company suffered from an influx of cheap Chinese furniture as the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately was forced to send its production offshore to Asia.

Only one man fought back. That man is John Bassett III, a descendant of the Bassetts who is now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co., which employs more than 700 Virginians and has sales of over $90 million.

In Factory Man, Beth Macy brings to life Bassett's deeply personal furniture and family story. As she shows how he uses legal maneuvers, factory efficiencies, and sheer grit, cunning, and will to save hundreds of jobs, she also discovers the hidden and shocking truth about industry and America.  

Due out July 15, the book's road to reader's hands ironically tracks another battle among giants in publishing: Little Brown owner Hatchette's titles are currently restricted at Amazon as the two fight over pricing policies. It can be ordered from Hatchette, independent booksellers and Barne's & Noble.

Factory Man will be reviewed in the August 2014 issue of Wood Products magazine. 

 

About the Author

Bill Esler woodworkingnetwork.com

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Associate Publisher/ Editor in Chief, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for editing Custom Woodworking Business and coordinating content for Wood Products , CLOSETS , WoodworkingNetwork.com, and related newsletters. Bill’s expertise includes using innovative print manufacturing techniques to grow audience engagement, digital printing, purls, QR codes; and lead-generating webcasts, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at besler@woodworkingnetwork.com or follow him on Google+.

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