Update: August 6, 2010:
I got an email from Harry von den Stemmen, the Sales Director from Robe with an update on the US side of the business:
We have just signed the lease for a new fully air conditioned warehouse nearby the old location in Fort Lauderdale. To achieve this, we had to negotiate a termination of the current lease agreement, which has probably sparked some ideas that we may disappear.
The crew remains the same, but we will keep our stocks as low as possible for the time being. In order to compensate the lead time, the factory will treat US orders with highest priority. We ensure to always provide the latest brand new equipment. Lead times should be no longer than 2-3 weeks. A reasonably small demo stock will be kept in the new facility.
Robe Lighting Inc. will exhibit at LDI as every year, this time it will be both 2324 at the LVCC in Las Vegas. This will follow the annual Plasa exhibition, where we will present a series of new products — which will also be shown at LDI. Moreover, we will have our usual demo room for a detailed presentation of the novelties.
We believe that this decision is good for our customers as well as for ourselves. Continuity is important, and we trust that the customer will understand, that saving on expenses is vital and guarantees that we can keep our prices reasonable.
We have just received some new orders, which may already indicate a positive change in buying trends.
I was just emailed a link to this article at LSI – the breaking news on some of this isn’t so breaking, but some of it is, so I don’t feel like too terrible of a moron! ICD is going to be joining with Martin. Hell, I’m thrilled to see that ICD gets to keep on truckin’! Frankly, I’m proud to have missed this article, because now I get to report that ICD gets to keep on truckin’.
From the article:
USA – Martin Professional has confirmed that a deal has been reached between Inner Circle Distribution (ICD) and Martin Professional, Inc. (MP) that sees industry veterans and ICD owners Nick Freed, Noel Duncan and Gary Mass trading in their circle for a yellow triangle and rejoining the Martin US team.
During their time at Inner Circle Distribution, Freed, Duncan and Mass, all of whom have previous work experience at Martin US, emerged as key players in the US rental market.
Inner Circle Distribution has been involved in the entertainment industry since 2005 as a distributor of primarily moving head lights throughout the USA, Canada and the Caribbean.
“Through this agreement, a circle has been closed (no pun intended) as all three owners have worked for Martin in the past, effectively earning their stripes here,” stated Brian Friborg, president of Martin Professional’s Florida-based US subsidiary. “We are very happy that we have succeeded in concluding this deal, but are even more ecstatic at the prospects it entails. Combining such well-connected and knowledgeable guys with the best and broadest product portfolio in the market, I think it’s safe to say we have a winner.”
UPDATE YET AGAIN – July 12, 2010:
Just got an email back from Harry von den Stemmen about the health of the company, and Robe is officially doing fine. There is a US factory in Sawgrass that is still being staffed, but like all other companies in the US, times suck. I have been assured that the company is doing fine, which is great news to hear!
BREAKING NEWS from the JimOnLight.com News Desk (otherwise known as my office) just now – I have it on good authority from a source close to the situation that Robe Lighting and Inner Circle Distribution (ICD) are in trouble. Actually, Inner Circle Distribution has folded according to my source, and Robe is on the brink. This leaves lighting company Coemar unrepresented in the United States, and Robe’s US interests are now gone.
More on the situation as it develops. It’s a shame, Robe just developed the ROBIN series LIFI plasma moving head.
Robe US is folding, not Robe CZ. Regardless, this still sucks.
News on the other two as it develops. I hope it’s not bad news. Quite frankly, I hate bad news so much that I’d rather write stories about puppies who carry flashlights around in their mouths or something equally less sucky.