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Sheaffer Company sold?


terim

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William Penn seems to be into luxury pens, and are an authorized Montblanc dealer in India.

 

The best thing William Penn could do with the Sheaffer brand is open a very small factory in Fort Madison Iowa USA, and produce a small batch of top quality Legacy Heritage fountain pens each year and grow from there.   If the quality is there, it will attract loyal Sheaffer fans and fountain pen aficionados.  

 

When an iconic brand known for quality outsources it's manufacture out of the country of origin to cut costs, it becomes a shadow of it's former self, and ends up like what Sheaffer is today.  

 

Pelikan is owned by a Malaysian company, but maintains it's manufacture in Germany where Pelikan originated, and the prestige of the brand is in tact today.  

 

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9 hours ago, Paul-in-SF said:

An earlier thread in this same forum on this topic. Perhaps the moderators could be moved to join them in some way. 

 

 

 

Done

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, langere said:

I wonder if this bodes well or badly for Sheaffer.  IMO, Sheaffer for a long time has been the poor stepchild of the pen business, with few innovative products.

7 hours ago, Sh.Andrews said:

I don't think it's possible to bode worse.  Current condition = extinct

7 hours ago, davefoe said:

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I'm not optimistic, that's for sure. Maybe it just becomes a brand sold in India and Asia.  It's pretty much a dead brand here in the U.S.A., it would seem. 

9 hours ago, Mark from Yorkshire said:

So this is true, I wonder if it’s the beginning of the end for AT Cross company and their reliance on Chinese Manufacturing?

19 minutes ago, max dog said:

When an iconic brand known for quality outsources it's manufacture out of the country of origin to cut costs, it becomes a shadow of it's former self, and ends up like what Sheaffer is today.

 

My view would be that, when American companies with iconic brands and household name products have lost in-house domain expertise, home ground manufacturing operations, product innovation, and business direction, then being/remaining (some semblance of) ‘American’ adds no value except to a very small minority of US-based or even Asia-based hobbyists who would prefer to buy American brands all else being equal. Perhaps the best thing would indeed be to sell (say, as this has already happened) the Sheaffer name and rights to an Indian company, and Cross to a Chinese company, Parker to a Japanese company, and see what they can do with the brands banking on the heritage while distancing themselves from the langour that has beset the brands for the better part of the past two decades. A foreign company can't really do much worse, but at least they can either evolve the brands into something with relevance and competitiveness in the market today, or have the decency to kill them off if that doesn't pan out. And, who knows, if an foreign owner can breathe new life into those old names, having successfully transformed them down to the DNA level, I'm confident there would be US-based capital venture who'd be keen to buy those brands back at elevated prices so as to reclaim (and market) them on being ‘American’ by ownership once more.

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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and if maybe they make less costly versions (is it a knockoff if you own the brand?) of former models (these remain available on the secondary market), all the better for those of us not interested (or unable to) in spending hundreds of dollars on a pen

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15 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

the langour that has beset the brands for the better part of the past two decades.

Ah oui, Blessent mon coeur d'une langeur monotone.

A new invasion.  

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The Sheaffer Icon pens were hard to find in several stores with medium nib, now we have to wait some time to know if they will be back in the market. Pen production has change so much in the last decades: big companies sold and resold,many new small companies have come into the scene, countries like India and China are making a big percentage of the pens in the world market,ink colours available have increased ,etc. 😳

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Inevitable progression for Sheaffer? William penn will have to do a lot better than the present product portfolio in order to keep the brand alive and in good shape. It could start by re-introducing the Legacy line and go from there. Not sure how much of Sheaffer tooling and know-how survives to make that happen. I sincerely hope and pray that Sheaffer survives this transition.

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On 8/6/2022 at 12:23 AM, max dog said:

 

The best thing William Penn could do with the Sheaffer brand is open a very small factory in Fort Madison Iowa USA, and produce a small batch of top quality Legacy Heritage fountain pens each year and grow from there.   If the quality is there, it will attract loyal Sheaffer fans and fountain pen aficionados.  

 

 

 

That would be awesome, but as long as we're dreaming, they should create a modern version of the snorkel too!

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On 8/10/2022 at 10:37 AM, sndeshpande said:

Inevitable progression for Sheaffer? William penn will have to do a lot better than the present product portfolio in order to keep the brand alive and in good shape. It could start by re-introducing the Legacy line and go from there. Not sure how much of Sheaffer tooling and know-how survives to make that happen. I sincerely hope and pray that Sheaffer survives this transition.

word

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On 8/10/2022 at 5:02 PM, terim said:

Their involvement in the pen business seems to be confined to some brand named Lapis Bard .... which has one model (?) called Avon.  Yikes. 

 

Just looked up the Avon.  And at that price (I went on a currency exchange rate website)?  Ehhhh, I'll buy a Pelikan M400/M405, or maybe a higher end Sailor or Pilot....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

ETA:  Although some of the ink colors they sell look interesting....

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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On 8/11/2022 at 2:32 AM, terim said:

Their involvement in the pen business seems to be confined to some brand named Lapis Bard .... which has one model (?) called Avon.  Yikes. 

 

William Penn is more popular as a distributor for Sailor / MB products in India; they're not all that famous at making pens per se. 

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William Penn is just a distributor of a few luxury pen brands.

 

IMO; Indians are a lot more demanding/discerning and have come a long way from the days of Cross BP being a luxury/sought after gift in the 80's/90's.

Sheaffer just doesn't exude the luxury of a MB/Pelikan etc.

 

A few Parker models are manufactured by Luxor in India and Sheaffer could be manufactured in a similar manner.

 

According to the article, the Indian premium/luxury writing segment is pegged at INR 400 crores ($50 million).

I am sure it is a lot larger but many would make purchases on their foreign trips.

 

Sheaffer enjoys a 15% share ($7.5million). Premium market is pens over $10.  :headsmack:

 

Sheaffer will probably go down the route of 'pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap'. The American heritage will help.

A low-mid range brand with heritage.

 

Indian taxation does not help if they continue to import rather than manufacture in India.

No mention of the acquisition price.

 

OTOH, I am unaware of any 'Indian' luxury brand on the global stage.

Engineer :

Someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

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You are welcome.

 

If you look at the history of Indian retail it is littered with failures of western brands. India is a very price sensitive market.

Brands that are taken for granted in the west, have either not ventured into the Indian market, folded or have minuscule presence.

 

Rich Indians still tend to shop abroad owing to taxation and lack of variety.

 

IIRC, the luxury brands that are present have around 2-5 stand alone stores in a country of 28 states and 1.35 billion population.

Sadly, CS and knowledgeable staff are another fly in the ointment.

 

 

Engineer :

Someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

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is it just me or is nearly all fountain pens listed under sheaffer.com is listed as out of stock.

sheaffer.png.c5bf95d9dcaa04a766e640df90d607c8.png

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