TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. – Looks like Surya will need more showroom space after its recent acquisition of the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (MG+BW) brand.
Surya just acquired the intellectual property of the luxury furnishings company for an undisclosed sum, continuing an acquisition push that included accessories company Global Views and RST Brands, an outdoor company, earlier this year.
“We had a lot of respect for the MG+BW brand,” Surya President Satya Tiwari told Furniture Today’s sister publication, Home Accents Today. ”We were always inspired by them, so we decided to try to get the IP so that we could refocus and rebuild it.”
MG+BW abruptly ceased operations and declared bankruptcy at the end of August. The company initially filed Chapter 11, but it was recently converted into a Chapter 7 liquidation. Tiwari said Surya was a vendor of the brand, and public bankruptcy records list Surya as a creditor that is owed a little more than $138,000.
When it closed, MG+BW told its 533 employees, mainly based in Taylorsville, N.C., that their jobs were eliminated since the business couldn’t secure needed funding from PNC Bank. Tiwari is hoping that many of those employees may find new positions with the re-introduction of the brand.
“We are hiring key folks to come up with the right plan,” Tiwari said. “We hope that many of these people are looking forward to going back to work.”
Company founder Mitchell Gold will work with Surya to get the company back up and running again. Tiwari said Gold won’t be as hands-on as in the past but will act as an advisor to make sure the company becomes a respected resource once again.
“It’s his baby; he’s glad it’s coming back,” Tiwari said.
“I am reenergized; I feel like the stars fell into place in a very good way,” Gold said. “There were suitors for the IP that were oriented toward down-marketing the brand. Bob and I were talking about how we built a brand that people viewed well, and now it has a new life with people that respect and admire the brand.”
Gold said they already brought back some of the senior team, and he plans to help them on strategy and staffing. “I will help them build a dream team. I am excited,” he added.
Surya will act as a wholesaler for the MG+BW brand working only with designers and high-end retailers.
The goal, according to Tiwari, is to better penetrate the higher-end interior design segment while boosting Surya’s existing assortment with the addition of MG+BW high-end bedroom, dining room, accent pieces, rugs and lighting.
Another draw of the MG+BW brand is the ability to customize product that appeals to Surya’s designer customers and designer-driven retail. The plans are to bring MG+BW back to its roots and “build on its core tenets of craftsmanship, customization, and a design-forward approach with MG+BW designs and quality being preserved and celebrated,” according to Tiwari.
Surya plans to restart manufacturing and assembly operations at the facilities in Taylorsville, N.C., in the first quarter of 2024.
“When Lane went under, that didn’t fit with our brand,” Tiwari said, referring to the sudden closure of United Furniture/Lane in November 2022. “Not all brands fit, but this one did.”
Surya worked with PNC Bank to acquire the IP for the brand, but not the retail division.
“The existing retail stores have nothing to do with us,” Tiwari said. “If previous customers have product being held in the MG+BW distribution center, we will work with them to get the product to them, but some of the product is in third party warehouses and we don’t have access to those.”
Executive Editor Cindy Hodnett contributed to this story