When it comes to cabinets, MasterBrand Cabinets is something of a prime minister. The company is one of the leading wall cabinetry manufacturers in the US and beyond, after main rival Masco. MasterBrand makes a variety of cabinets for kitchen, bath, and other parts of the home, from custom to semi-custom and stock products used in remodeling and new construction projects. The lineup of wooden cabinetry, such as maple and oak, as well as laminate-finished products is sold under nine-brands (Aristokraft, Decorá, Diamond, Kemper, and Schrock, to name a few) through home centers, lumber outlets, and specialty retailers. MasterBrand is a subsidiary Fortune Brands Home & Security, formerly a unit of Fortune Brands.
Fortune Brands Home & Security's operations consist of four business segments, the largest of which is Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry led by MasterBrand. In addition to its own brands, MasterBrand is the exclusive supplier of Martha Stewart's cabinet line to The Home Depot. MasterBrand also distributes cabinetry under the Thomasville Cabinetry brand name by Thomasville Furniture Industries.
Masterbrand does business through a network of manufacturing and dealer locations across the US. However, in August 2012 low demand forced the company to shutter its Martinsville, Virginia, cabinet manufacturing plant and reduce its workforce. The hard choice may allow workers at three other plants to work full time. (All told, Fortune Brands Home & Security has slashed its manufacturing plants and headcount by about 40% since the start of the housing slump in 2006.)
The Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry segment generates more than one-third of its parent's revenues. Most of the segment's sales are made in North America. The Home Depot and Lowe's are the segment's biggest customers, representing 34% of segment sales in fiscal 2011 (ends December).
Cabinet demand has waned since 2008. However, in 2010 the Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry segment sales began to recover and stayed on pace in 2011, increasing about 6% over the prior year. Results reflected revived business with The Home Depot and other customers paired with new product launches, amid slow consumer spending for big-ticket remodeling and construction products. Operating income rebounded in 2010 from a prior year's loss, but tumbled again in 2011 approximately 80%. Nonetheless, the segment remained profitable despite heavier promotional spending coupled with an increase in wood-related and transportation costs, and the toll of restructuring costs.
MasterBrand's strategy for building momentum counts on a sustained investment in products and customer service. The company in 2011 introduced a series of new door designs, color palettes, and features touted to help consumers customize their kitchen at a lower price.
MasterBrand was formed in 1998. It is the result of combining five separate cabinet brands under one company.