Regal Ware nears deal to expand sales in China
Joy Main to visit company Monday and Tuesday

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

Dec. 7, 2014

WEST BEND - Regal Ware Inc. is scheduled to sign an agreement with officials from one of the world’s largest direct selling companies Monday that will open China to the Kewaskum and West Bend company’s for greater sales of its high-end stainless steel and cast aluminum cookware. “We are selling in China now, but it’s not a lot,” Regal Ware Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dave Lenz said Friday afternoon. “This will definitely give us a greater reach into that China market.”

Joy Main’s goal is to take two shipping containers per month of Regal Ware products within the first 12 months.

The Chinese company will test market sales in March or April, Lenz said, and plans a full launch mid-2015.

“We’re definitely excited about the opportunity,” Lenz said. “They’re a well-established company in China. This has potential to be a very significant relationship for us.”

He was cautious about predicting the effect this agreement will have on Regal Ware’s employment. “Ask me in another year,” Lenz said.

The family-owned, private corporation employs more than 270 people.

Joy Main has 2 million consultants worldwide and 2,500 stores in China, Lenz said. About 97 percent of its sales are in China, which includes Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.

Joy Main’s chairman of the board, vice president of marketing and the company’s top four field sales leaders will be in Kewaskum on Monday to sign the letter of intent and tour Regal Ware’s West Bend facilities Tuesday, Lenz said.

Joy Main sells nutritional supplement, personal care, wellness and lifestyle items, with a focus on the bathroom, bedroom and whole-house air filters. With Regal Ware, the company is expanding into kitchenware.

Regal Ware sells its products direct to consumers through independent distributors worldwide.

Earlier this year, Regal Ware received revolving loans from Washington County and West Bend totaling $800,000 through Economic Development Washington County. Those loans were used to assist the company with $5.1 million in improvements that included a robotic production line, information technology, facility upgrades and additional high-tech skills positions.

“They continue to be on track to attain the employment commitment they made with those loans earlier this year,” EDWC Executive Director Christian Tscheschlok said.

He suggested the Joy Main deal could help Regal Ware achieve that hiring goal sooner in the next few years — and perhaps exceed it.

In the United States, Joy Main has a joint venture with direct selling company Ocean Venture, South Jordan, Utah, to market products under the JM Ocean Avenue name.

According to Regal Ware, Joy Main decided a year ago to expand into kitchen products with a focus on cookware. It was researching other companies when Regal Ware’s in-country brokers suggested Joy Main look at Regal Ware.

Regal Ware’s reputation for quality and its longevity, including ownership of the West Bend Cookware brand name, earned it the contract, the company stated.

Joy Main had an advance marketing team in Kewaskum and West Bend on Friday video recording Regal Ware’s factory and office and the Washington County Historical Society’s West Bend Co./Regal Ware Museum, 18 E. Washington St., Curator of Education Jessica Sawinski Couch said.

Video from Friday and the visits will be used by Joy Main for its marketing efforts back in China, according to Lenz.