Gibson Sees Upstairs Opportunity



The new licensing partnership between Nambé and Gibson grants Gibson entrée to the high-design and bridal markets and Nambé the opportunity to focus on its core category of expertise, metals.

Under the terms of a licensing agreement signed earlier this fall, Gibson will handle manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and sales for all Nambé dinnerware beginning in April, 2011. Existing patterns will continue to be shipped in the same Nambé packaging and under the Nambé brand.

Gibson plans to introduce roughly 10 dinnerware patterns and accessories next spring, according to Tina Perez, Gibson’s vice president of marketing.

The agreement enables Nambé to focus more time, energy and resources to its core competency of metal giftware, a category that is growing, Bob Varakian, president, said. “It’s a matter of concentrating on our strengths,” he said.

“We’re not dinnerware experts,” Varakian continued. “We weren’t in a position to give it our full attention and expand it to where it can be.”

Nambé entered the dinnerware category with five-piece place settings in 2008. Gibson, on the other hand, “lives and breathes dinnerware,” Varakian said. “They understand what the brand represents and how it needs to be positioned.”

Developing the Nambé dinnerware brand introduces Gibson to the upstairs bridal market, a potentially lucrative market, Perez said. “It’s going to help us develop a side of the business we want to focus on. It will permeate everything we do,” she said. Although the upstairs dinnerware business has been hampered by changing bridal tastes and the limping economy, Gibson is confident the segment will bounce back. When it does, Perez, said, Gibson will be ahead of the curve. “We will be prepared to skyrocket when the upswing comes.”—Allison Zisko­