Häfele Canada Celebrates 40 Years of Kitchen Cabinet Innovation
Häfele Canada has been a global leader in hardware solutions and innovative furniture, kitchen cabinet, and architectural millwork components for 40 years. As they celebrated their 40th anniversary last week, the business reflected on their achievements and the functional and aesthetically pleasing furnishings and hardware solutions they’ve developed that have influenced the hardware industry for decades. Häfele Canada has been a necessary force in the furniture sector and generated trends that have guided investors, architects, planners, and consumers.
The family-run company takes pride in its German roots, dating back to 1923. Adolf Häfele and Hermann Funk opened their own specialty store for hardware and joinery called “Products for the hardware and tool industry” until eventually establishing a wholesale warehouse to distribute their products. After the second world war, Häfele expanded beyond the domestic market to take their business global. In 1980, they established Häfele subsidiaries in a number of countries, including Canada. The Canadian headquarters are located in Burlington, Ontario, and include a sales and distribution centre and showroom to serve the furniture, kitchen cabinet, and architectural millwork sectors.
“A lot of little things add up to add value beyond the hourly or base salary,” said Earl Ducharme, Häfele Canada president and managing director. “Because people aren’t jumping up and down to get into niche hardware, we have to be really great at what we do in terms of having a great value proposition and in terms of having a great culture. A place where people can join and grow their career.”
By 2028, the global furniture industry is expected to grow by $11 billion. Häfele Canada is a key player in this market serving customers in 150 countries and with over 8,000 employees across the globe. One of the vital pillars of their brand is to stay close to the woodworking market and customers which involves many small and medium-sized businesses. “Our strategy in Canada is really to expand and diversify in terms of brand,” Ducharme noted. “There is nowhere here that you can find Häfele boxes on shelves today. We are not a company where the consumer, the designer, or the builder can come to us directly and get the best level of service and also buy our products directly. So we are looking to change that in the next coming years.”
Häfele Canada is celebrating their many milestones while looking toward the future of the industry and their brand. The pandemic has provided an unlikely opportunity for the business to pivot in new directions and transform the Häfele Canada image to service all.