HLC Holdings, RAK end distribution agreement


Newell, WV—Dinnerware giants HLC Holdings Inc./Kenilworth Trading Co. LLC (KTC) and RAK Porcelain are ending their distribution agreement, effective January 1, 2016. HLC, through its affiliate Kenilworth, had been the exclusive distributor of RAK Porcelain dinnerware in the U.S. and Canadian markets since 2007, selling the line through its own extensive dealer and distribution network.


KTC was established under the HLC umbrella to introduce the United Arab Emirates-based RAK dinnerware line to the United States foodservice market. HLC Holdings also includes the venerable Homer Laughlin and Hall China brands — a wide range of dinnerware and tabletop completer items manufactured in HLC potteries in West Virginia and Ohio, USA.


Over the past eight years, KTC has marketed the RAK Porcelain line under both the Kenilworth and RAK brand names alongside HLC’s USA-manufactured brands. 


In July 2015, it was announced that RAK Porcelain was creating a new venture, RAK USA, to work in conjunction with KTC to service the U.S. and Canadian markets. Subsequently, RAK USA presented a revised go-to-market strategy, which forced a reevaluation of how HLC and the Homer Laughlin and Hall China brands would be perceived in the market. Consequently, HLC and its affiliated KTC will no longer represent the RAK line in the Americas.


“HLC has decided to stop distribution of RAK and focus on our core dinnerware category. The proposed changes to the tabletop line would not have allowed HLC to communicate clearly to our distribution partners about who we are as a family of companies. For this reason, and after a great deal of deliberation, Kenilworth Trading Company will no longer distribute RAK Porcelain products,” said Liz McIlvain, president of HLC.


“We’ve had a strong partnership and a great relationship with RAK,” continued McIlvain. “We’ve had a lot of success building the RAK brand in the U.S. and look forward to working together to execute a smooth transition.”


HLC Inc. and Kenilworth Trading Company will continue to accept and process purchase orders for RAK Porcelain products through December 31, 2015. After this time, product inquiries should be made to RAK USA’s customer service department at 866-552-6980.


HLC staff will be available well beyond the effective separation date to handle questions related to the transition and to make the transition as smooth as possible. The HLC Customer Service department can be reached at 800-452-4462 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.


About The Homer Laughlin China Company

The Homer Laughlin China Company (HLC Inc.), founded in 1871, is the largest domestic tableware manufacturer in the United States, employing over 800 skilled craftsmen in a 37-acre facility. Homer Laughlin China, Kenilworth fine dining china, and Hall China comprise the HLC Inc. family of companies. HLC’s diverse range of lead-free commercial dinnerware meets every conceivable need for today’s discerning chefs and restaurateurs. Setting the tone — not just the table — is at the heart of the HLC commitment to its customers. For more information, please contact the Homer Laughlin China Co., 672 Fiesta Drive, Newell, WV 26050. Phone: (800) 452-4462. Fax: (304) 387-0593. Web: www.hlchina.com. Email: hlc@hlchina.com.