TORONTO — Noma Industries Ltd. exited the Christmas products market by selling its last two operating units in the business. The sales close a 34-year chapter in which Noma was a leading North American producer of decorative lights, trees and ornaments based on vinyl and other plastics and materials. It now will focus on its core wire harness and components businesses.
The Toronto firm said last year it was considering the sale and other options for its money-losing Christmas and seasonal products business.
The business last year had an operating loss before taxes of C$18.3 million (US$13.4 million). Its losses were growing despite Noma's increasing reliance on low-cost imports while it cut back North American production.
On Sept. 9 Noma announced it sold its Canadian Christmas products division to Alderbrook Industries Ltd. of Pickering, Ontario, and its U.S. lights and ornaments business to Inliten LLC of Northfield, Ill. It did not disclose terms of the deals.
Alderbrook focuses on seasonal decorative products, manufacturing some in Pickering and importing the rest, Charles Parker, the firm's president, said in a telephone interview. Although the company does little plastics processing in Pickering, it does blow mold cores for fabric-covered ornaments.
Parker said Noma will supply Alderbrook with outdoor-light sets for the rest of 1997 but that his firm probably will import the sets after the contract runs out. Alderbrook will take over a leased Noma plant in Toronto that Noma mainly used for warehousing.
Inliten imports decorative light sets and ornaments, mainly from Asian countries, said Michael Sugar, chief operating officer of the private company formed in early 1997. The Noma business it acquired also focused on imports, and Inliten did not acquire any manufacturing assets.
Sugar said Inliten has no plan to manufacture Christmas products, partly because many small components such as motors are not made in North America.
This spring, Noma sold its artificial Christmas tree division to General Foam Plastics Corp. of Norfolk, Va. The firm also sold its U.S. specialty giftware business to Midwest of Cannon Falls Inc. of Cannon Falls, Minn.