Brad Cates has been named chief executive officer of Sarreid Ltd., following one year as chief operating officer of the company. Partners Alex Sarratt, Charles A. Hoffman Jr., and Charlie Mauze will continue to serve as the company’s board of directors.
The move is the culmination of a succession plan long envisioned by the partners of the 54-year-old company known for its high-design furnishings, Sarreid says. “The three of us have always been very hands-on, and integrally involved in the day-to-day activities of this very unique, entrepreneurial company,” relates Hoffman. “We needed an executive who would not only keep the spirit alive, but who could take the reins and move Sarreid into the next half century. Then along came Cates, and we recognized that he had the same passion and energy for the business that we all shared.” Indeed, Sarratt describes him as “in a class by himself…smart, aggressive, bold and inventive, a risk taker and a great leader.”
Born into a furniture family, Cates is an industry veteran who brings to the position more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing and operations for a number of marquee furniture brands. His unique skill sets turned out to be fortuitous choice for the times. When the pandemic hit, the executive acted quickly to overcome the challenge of the cancelled Spring Market by harnessing video and implementing other digital tools to help promote a new, greatly accelerated go-to-market strategy.
“We made massive changes in terms of how fast our product cycle was moving,” says the executive whose timely marketing efforts included building an on-site Zoom and photography studio inside the company’s headquarters. “New product comes in, we shoot it, and we distribute content. We now have more than 300 product videos on our website and we’re continually increasing our awareness, pushing out messaging to retail partners, the design community and our social media followers on a near-daily basis. We love High Point and we love coming to Market, but we’re no longer waiting for a Market to introduce new product. For us, every day now is Market.”
He continues, “Today’s consumers demand immediate gratification and that is directly reflected in everything we do at Sarreid, from how we’ve organized our warehousing system to our marketing and purchasing. As a company, we don’t partner with massive, million-square-foot facilities. Thanks to deep relationships with eight boutique factory partners across four countries, we have more product on the water, on purchase orders, than we’ve had in probably a decade or more. We know this is the time to increase market share, and we’re on a good path, making quantum leaps in growth that are reflected in our sales.”
“In finding someone with all the skills and energy necessary to propel the company in this way, a lot of good things all came together at one time, at the right time,” notes Hoffman. “We’re very excited about what’s going on, where we are and what’s about to happen. We feel so fortunate that Brad has found his home with the Sarreid family. It’s a perfect fit and one that will stand the test of time.”