More of a mass market future could be in the cards for the Oreck Corporation following acquisition of its assets this week by TTI Group’s Royal Appliance subsidiary, which manufactures well known home improvement and housewares brands.
Oreck filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year and this week the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee approved the sale of its assets to Royal Appliance for a little more than $17 million and the assumption of certain debt obligations.
Privately held Oreck was founded 50 years ago and for most of its history pursued a direct sales model that employed the company founder as lead pitchman with products sold through Oreck company owned and franchised stores. Recent years saw select models of its products become available at retailers such as Costco and Target, but the company missed out on the shift to bagless floor vacuums popularized by Dyson and the high replacement cost of Oreck bags was a sore spot for those loyal to the brand.
Under the ownership of Royal Appliance, Oreck joins a stable of floor cleaning brands that includes mass market staples such as Hoover and Dirt Devil. The company also manufacturers Milwaukee, AEG, Ryobi and Homelite brand power tools, accessories and outdoor products which also are widely available in the mass market.
Royal parent company TTI, which is based in Hong Kong, said it plans to continue manufacturing Oreck products at the company’s Cookeville, TN, facility, but indicated it will exit the company owned retail stores business.