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Opinions Wanted Larson Juhl no longer a Crescent distributor...?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by KPF, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. KPF

    KPF CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Heard from a supplier, and had it confirmed from a Crescent staff-member, that "Crescent recently made the decision to no longer due business with Larson-Juhl for a number of reasons".

    Does anyone else have any info on this?
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  2. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    IF something like this would ever happen, and I don't think it would, I would suspect it would be LJ moving away from mat companies due to wanting to focus on their proprietary line of Artique mats. Not the other way around. Unless Crescent Cardboard was getting out of the matboard business entirely or only going to focus on OEM. Otherwise, why would CC leave the largest direct to framer distributor that they have (I suspect).

    The good news is that there are many players from both sides of this rumor (or rumour if you prefer) so hopefully we'll have word soon. Thanks for sharing.
  3. KPF

    KPF CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    This is a direct quote from a CRM Marketing Manager:

    "Your supplier is correct. Crescent recently made the decision to no longer due business with Larson-Juhl for a number of reasons, which will be officially announced in a couple of days. They will still be able to order our products for 60 days but, after that point, you would need to obtain Crescent from another distributor."

    I'm a little concerned about this. I guess we'll wait for an official announcement.
  4. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    My Crescent samples are over 10 years old, dog eared and dirty, I have tried over a year now to get new Select samples and have been told by Crescent that they don't have any. So instead of showing my stained select samples (the ink they used to print on them rubs off) to clients and having to constantly apologize I deiced to use Peterboro instead.
  5. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    I had heard that LJ was planning on focusing more on their own line of matboards and away from other suppliers. I would not be surprised to see them drop the other big matboard company too.

    I think (and this is only my opinion) that Crescent is wisely trying to get ahead of the story and spin it toward their favor.
  6. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Confirmed this with a reliable source. The relationship was determined to no longer be beneficial to the parties so Crescent has dropped LJ as a customer.
  7. sketchcalgary

    sketchcalgary True Grumbler

    I also just heard this a few minutes ago from one of my reps, so I thought I'd hop onto the Grumble to confirm!
  8. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hope Crescent has a good back up plan.
  9. MichaelMixonPhotography

    MichaelMixonPhotography MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    This is good news for Decor. Now they'll be getting all of my crescent linen and suede orders.
  10. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    I am honestly less worried about Crescent than I am Larson. Not that Larson is going anywhere soon, it just seems to me that they are redefining themselves to a point that many may choose to no longer deal with them or go from being 90%+ LJ to a much smaller part of the market.

    I also have spoken with a few other distributors that are licking their chops at the opportunity to get into some of these 90% LJ shops and using Crescent to open the door for them.
  11. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's assuming that they can get the samples to them.
  12. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Timing is everything.
  13. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    They told me at the show that they currently did have samples. For all I know they may be all gone by now :p
  14. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I;m more concerned that he writer used "due" when "do" is the correct word. I would say this email is not legit, no official email goes out with that simple an error.
  15. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree it shouldn't have been sent with a typo but it is accurate.
  16. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Could it be that it's the Canadian market that's affected?
  17. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No the U.S. is the same.
  18. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I believe Crescent has mat samples. I talked to them at the show, and I received a phone call earlier this week confirming what I wanted, and they said they would be shipped this week.

    Thanks Crescent!
  19. Tommy P

    Tommy P MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    From what I was told Crescent could care less about the matboard market. Mats are such a miniscule part of that companies business. Reps have been given ever expanding territories due to downsizing the rep force. They can't rightfully service their areas. And samples are just about impossible to obtain. Those at WCAF may or may not get what they were told.

    Just what I heard from a LJ rep. They also supposedly make next to zero profit on matting.
  20. craigc

    craigc Grumbler

    Tommy, I'm a Crescent distributor and you're flat out wrong about them walking away because of low margins. This has more to do with LJ's new attitude towards vendors and pushing their buying size to extract as much advantage as possible. Sometimes, you have to say no mas. What if you had a customer who represented 30% of your revenue and they tried to dictate how you ran your business, what lines you carried, what you charged them? How would you react? This had to be a very tough call for Crescent, but I assume they ran all the numbers.
  21. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    All framing material suppliers, including Bainbridge, Roma, Larson, LJ, etc, etc, are all downsizing their rep sales force and they are all given ever expanding territories. It is what happens when we go into a recession. This is just good business sense. This does not mean they don't like the framing market.

    For example, Bainbridge eliminated our rep, Jody, about 3 years ago, and they are certainly still interested in selling framing materials. The one for Colorado is now out of California. Oh, and "C" my Crescent Rep, is still here serving our market.

    IMHO I would place more confidence in what you are saying about Crescent if you heard the info from a Crescent rep, or a truly independent source. Instead it is apparently from a LJ rep, who apparently no longer sells Crescent and considers Crescent as a competitor.

    Generally, I wonder about any rep that bad mouths the competition. I have good reps that don't bad mouth the competition; yes they know who I carry and they may talk about benefits and features of their product, but they don't bad mouth.
  22. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    My LJ rep also told me about how expensive it is for them to process an order and how much to deliver and a whole bunch of other blah blah blah. It is call cost of doing business, we all have it. Quite honestly, I despise the way that LJ bullies around framers and apparently their suppliers too.
  23. Frame Lady

    Frame Lady CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I knew about this on TUESDAY BUT WAS ASKED TO KEEP QUIET SO I HONORED MY PROMISE. I was so itching to get on the Grumble and announce it, I was sitting on the biggest scoop of the year and had to keep my trap shut !!! I was trying to confirm the rumor, but I am glad someone else broke the ice.

    I was told LJ wanted deeper price cuts from Crescent and Crescent said no, it went downhill from there and they cut LJ off. You would think they would iron out the problem, this is a chunk of change. But as others have said, maybe LJ has something up their sleeve with the Artique line that we are not aware of, yet.

    I think my Crescent samples are at least 12 years old, they are very dingy, I just tell the customer the old song and dance that the company is too cheap to send me new ones! My sales rep is over 2,000 miles away!
  24. Tommy P

    Tommy P MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Well, I'm glad to hear that Crescent is healthy and will still be an available supplier. Evidently just not through LJ. I like their matboard. I think LJ could regret this alleged decision.
  25. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Here's what I don't understand about this and other similar comments. We cut new samples, especially the whites, on a weekly basis. This goes for all manufacturers of matboard, We have stick on labels with the appropriate bar codes for each. Cutting new samples is no big deal. Losing business because your design supplies look shoddy, is.
  26. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    RubberMaid was bullied by a large retail outfit. That retailer refused to allow RubberMaid to increase their prices after their costs went up. That retailer forced RubberMaid to go bankrupt. If LJ is pulling the same thing on Crescent that the word's largest retailer did to RubberMaid then I think that Crescent dropping LJ is a smart move on their part. Can't let the big companies push you around, they'll push you right out of existence.
  27. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I just spoke with crescent rep today. Not only did she suggest and order me new samples of the entire line...... She also asked where I bought from. I don't buy my crescent mats from LJ..... I can get them cheaper from another supplier.

    This sounds like a bunch of bullying to me and not happy if this is the way they are going to do business.
  28. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Kristie, I agree in part. First, I am getting new samples from both Crescent and Bainbridge, but they keep track of what I have ordered in the past, and if I wanted to get the same new ones every year, I can see that would be a problem.

    I do cut my own samples from those I use. For some old style designs, {eg. with Museum Solids} I will do a triple mat with the same mat for 1st and 3rd, so I need more than a single corner sample of the same, and I should not expect the supplier to provide; If those I use get dirty, I cut a sample (normally 2 at a time). And those I cut show the bevel, or reverse bevel which can be important in some designs.

    However, as new mats become available, I do not consider them unless I have a sample, other than the printed example from the specifier. For example last year Bainbridge sent me the 6 corner samples of their Distressed Old World Metal line. They are decorative mats, and I would never consider them. However, I had a non-conservation framing job come up where the sterling and grey slate were perfect. So I ordered them - $70.00 retail for each mat - because I had the sample on hand.

    And, If I had to pay for part of the cost for the samples, I would consider that. After all, the supplers not only provide the samples, but they have to pay freight to ship them to me too.

    I can be somewhat of a hoarder, and last year I threw out my first set of Crescent corners - that I had to pay I think $5.00 for ..... back in about 1969 or 1970.
  29. mbboston

    mbboston CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2


    Call Crescent, and you will have a new set of samples in no time.
  30. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Wonder what prices from the other distributors will do once LJ no longer will have them. Many of the smaller distributors will now be your only source for Crescent and will be able to raise their prices...just sayin'
  31. Tom Reigle

    Tom Reigle Guest

    Has anyone considered the fact that Bainbridge has their "Basics" line which almost duplicates most of Crescent's Selects line? ............. Just sayin' also ...........

    I see this as an open door for Bainbridge to broaden their horizons with LJ, ........... if they (BB) choose to kowtow to LJ's apparent bullying tactics. I personally like Bainbridge and consider some of their line as much better than any of the Crescent line for certain designs.
  32. wcox

    wcox CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Appears to me all this is going to do is hurt the framer and hurt Crescent. In fact I would guess LJ will be fine. But do to the fact that I would bet LJ bought a HUGE percentage of Crescent, this could effect Crescent drastically and if they can't even afford to get out samples sets, they just cut off a major part of their rsales.

    If I was still in the business, I could boot Crescent now and only carry Bainbridge and Artique.
  33. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I guess that would either make my complete set of Crescent Rags and Crescent Selects, still in the box, a potential collector's item.
  34. Frame Lady

    Frame Lady CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Frankly I do not have the time to cut new mat samples, maybe others do. right now I can not keep up with the business I have. I am trying my best to find new employees. For a long time we have asked for white/cream only samples but were told this was impossible. And I was informed Crescent told LJ to take a hike. Bainbridge will jump on this opportunity, I just got brand new Bainbridge samples of their entire line and can't wait to put them to bed in their new caddy's!
  35. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    If you haven't given Peterboro mats a serious look- you should.
  36. MitchelC

    MitchelC MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    That is why i NEVER purchase ANYTHING from LJ unless it is a last resort. I am glad i started stocking Crescent matboard using Cash Moulding. :thumbsup:
  37. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I believe it is 6 states in this region which are served by Palmetto and G&G for full line Crescent products. Both companies are family owned just like mom & pop frame shops.
  38. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This may be a good chance for some of our smaller distributors to get additional business, that will plow some of their profits back into our local areas. Yes, most of these distributors are family owned, and going through the same issues we are.

    Many of us complain about the box store competition, then buy our products from large distribution companies, because we believe we can "get a better deal". I'm not trying to badmouth our larger distribution companies, but I believe there is an important need to support our smaller, independent, distribution companies when possible.

    And these smaller companies, at least in my experience, excel in service.
  39. ctamcsin

    ctamcsin Grumbler in Training


    We'd be happy to send you new samples! Please contact me so I can fill your request!
    Thank you!

    Christine Tamcsin
    Crescent Cardboard
  40. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God


    This is turning point in Crescent's history, and I'm not being sarcastic. We've had two Crescent reps in a week post on The Grumble. A week ago, I would never have thought that this company could get back some of my respect, but look at what's happened.

    All the best to Crescent. Hope they prosper. And, here's hoping that their rag mats cut clean on a Wizard.

    BTW: I still have to find out if LJ Canada is no longer carrying Crescent, because they had an exclusive up here.
  41. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Welcome to the Grumble Christine. If you have the power to approve samples to framing businesses you will become the most popular person in the history of the Grumble. I'm covered but there are many here that will seek your assistance.
  42. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My local Antons Rep told me the other day that they are going to be carrying Crescent matts and, so far as I know, Tempo Art Supplies also has the full range so no problems for me in Perth.
  43. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Kudos for Crescent for stepping up. I've always had great service with them.
    I think LJ just shot themselves in the foot IMO.
  44. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Not the first time for that Nicole. I used to order from them but if I wanted truck delivery they "demanded" a minimum, then they "demanded" that only moulding counted for fulfilling that minimum, matboard purchases no matter how many didn't count. Then they "demanded" that the minimum be met every single week or no truck delivery. never asked how to earn my business just kept "demanding" I meet their hoops.

    I have not done any business worth noting with LJ for years. Too many other suppliers out there that want my business. When you have to jump through arbitrary hoops to "earn" the right to do business with a supplier then you cede the power of your purse to them. If they want my business they can earn it, if they don't want my business that's OK with me, I am happy with the suppliers I have.
  45. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Call Crescent directly, get in their system. They'll send you samples. That worked for me.
  46. szarr

    szarr Grumbler in Training

    Crescent Distribution Announcement

    Crescent has chosen to end its relationship with Larson-Juhl as a distributor of Crescent’s full range of matting and mounting board products. We have reached this decision after much careful consideration and feel that this is the best way to ensure that Crescent’s full range of products are always available to you when you need them. It follows a lengthy period in which repeated requests were made for Crescent to drastically reduce its color ranges in our popular RagMat, Select, Moorman and Decorative ranges which we are unwilling to do. These and other changes in our relationship with this distributor, along with the fact that they sell their own internationally produced competitive matboard range, have led us to this decision.

    As a family-owned company for over 110 years, Crescent has built its business supporting independent framers by offering a range of American made matting products with uncompromising quality and unlimited creative options. We renew our commitment of maintaining a full product range and are choosing to fully support those distributor partners who share our vision for complete framer support.

    Crescent remains fully committed to this industry, completely financially stable, and well prepared to adjust to these new market conditions. We are also pleased to confirm that we have received strong commitments of support from our large group of independent distributor partners and are working together to make sure that you have uninterrupted access to Crescent’s full range of matting and mounting products. Please contact our Customer Care team at 1-888-293-3956 or visit www.crescentcardboard.com/distributors.html for a complete list of preferred Crescent distributors in your area.

    At Crescent we deeply appreciate the years of unwavering support of our custom framing customers and we look forward to serving you in the years ahead.

    The Crescent Family
  47. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Welcome to the Grumble Szarr, and thanks for this valuable information.

    Are you with Crescent?
  48. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Thank you for an official announcement and welcome to the Grumble.
  49. szarr

    szarr Grumbler in Training

    Thank you for the kind welcome. Yes, I am with Crescent. I run Crescent's Customer Care team and am the aforementioned CRM Marketing Manager. Should anyone have any questions, need a distributor, or help obtaining samples, I can certainly help you with that. Feel free to email, call, or PM me.

    Thanks all!


  50. Julie Walsh

    Julie Walsh MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    What about Canada???? Not on your website map of distributors.
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