Mini case scandi home furnishings, inc. kaj rasmussen founded scandi



Kaj Rasmussen founded Scandi Home Furnishings as a corporation during mid-2002.  Sales during the first full year (2003) of operation reached $1.3 million.  Sales increased by 15 percent in 2004 and another 20 percent in 2005.  However, profits after increasing in 2004 over 2003 fell sharply in 2005 causing Kaj to wonder what was happening to his “pride and joy” business venture.  After all, Kaj has continued to work as close as possible to a 24/7 pace beginning with the startup of Scandi and through the first three full years of operation.

            Scandi Home Furnishings, located in eastern North Carolina, designs, manufactures, and sells to home furnishings retailers Scandinavian-designed furniture and accessories.  The modern Scandinavian design has a streamlined and uncluttered look.  While this furniture style is primarily associated with Denmark, both Norway and Sweden designers have contributed to the allure of Scandinavian home furnishings.  Some say that the inspiration for the Scandinavian design can be traced to the “elegant curves” of art nouveau from which designers were able to produce aesthetically pleasing, structurally strong modern furniture.  Danish, and the home furnishings produced by the other Scandinavian countries—Sweden, Norway, and Finland, are made using wood (primarily oak, maple, and ash), aluminum, steel, and high-grade plastics.

            Kaj grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark and received a college degree from a technical university in Sweden.  As is typically in Europe, Kaj began his business career as an apprentice at a major home furnishings manufacturer in Copenhagen.  After “learning the trade,” he quickly moved into a management position in the firm.   However, after a few years, Kaj realized that what he really wanted to do was to start and operate his own Scandinavian home furnishings business.  At the same time, after traveling throughout the world including the U.S., he was sure that he wanted to be an entrepreneur in the United States.  Thus, while it was hard to give up the Tivoli Gardens with its many entertainment and dining activities, as well as the other attractions in Copenhagen, Kaj moved to the U.S. in early 2002.  With $140,000 of his personal assets, and $210,000 from venture investors, he began operations in mid-2002.  Kaj, with a 40 percent ownership interest and industry-related management expertise, was allowed to operate the venture in a way that he thought was best for Scandi.  Four years later, Kaj is sure he did the right thing.


            Following are the three years of income statements and balance sheets for the Scandi Home Furnishings Corporation.  Kaj has felt that in order to maintain a competitive advantage that he would need to continue to expand sales.  After first concentrating on selling Scandinavian home furnishings in the northeast in 2003 and 2004, he decided to enter the west coast market.  An increase in expenses associated with identifying, contacting, and selling to home furnishings retailers in California, Oregon, and Washington.  Kaj Rasmussen was hoping that you could help him better understand what has been happening to Scandi Home Furnishings both from operating and financial standpoints.

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