a lamarche question, if you please


True Grumbler
Dec 10, 2003
hopewell new jersey
so, what are some of you doing with lamarche corner samples? one of my suppliers said that once the inventory was gone, that was it.

another supplier said that they were going to keep ordering as long as they could, and *try to* send out notices that #'s were discontinued as they became unavailable.

i'm definitely pulling the lamarche corners from the first supplier, as they were very forthright about their plans and i don't like not knowing when i place an order....well, you know the rest.

what does anyone else think?


I tossed all the samples that I got directly from LaMarche a long time ago.

One of my local suppliers carries some of their product. I am now "weeding" that off my walls as well. They are no longer going to carry the product either way. They still have a lot of the length moulding though.

My biggest fear is that the one profile that my most pickiest customer picks out will be the one they just ran out of.

I really hate to gamble. Especially with my customers and their likes and dislikes. I'm going with the companies that I know I can get product from.
i agree. what do you think, tho', about the second supplier that i cited, who's going to not make a definitive decision. i understand the he doesn't want to get stuck with surplus discontinued moulding, lbut i hate to have to call to verify availability, especially when i can't do that on a saturday.

i'm tempted to remove all of my la marche moulding.

"go with your temptation"

that works on *so* many levels :)

i think i will. i don't like to have to second guess and call the customers back.

Make hanging mobiles of them and see if Grounds for Sculpture will accept them as abstract art.

Seriously tho.... Just take them down and be done with it. If a customer comes in and is looking for one of their mouldings tell them that the company is no longer a reliable business and most of their stuff is no longer available. You need to be responsible first to your business and not to that other supplier just because he has stock left. That is HIS problem, not yours.
Here's adding to the confusion... I have a new LaMarche rep. who was in my store Tuesday. I confessed to Shawn that after all the grumbling about the service and supposed state of the company that I pitched my samples. He said he understood my reservations and said lets start over. He showed me the new catalog coming out and went through my old catalog and updated it for now. Apparently the LaMarche company is making a comback and wishes to squelch the rumors they are going under. Shawn suggested that I call them for statis of any moulding while my customer is standing there to be completely sure of availability and give me piece-of-mind. My new samples will be arriving shortly and I'm willing to give them another try...I think.
I removed my La Marche samples about 18 months ago after some agonizing. I have replaced them with some samples from several very good distributors and have not looked back
Lori... first, why should you have to call ANY company first to check on availability? either they are going to have a full compliment of their stock or not. You shouldn't have to waste your time (and your customers) doing this. There are way too many other frame distributers out there who have great mouldings and ACTUALLY have inventory to fill any orders.

Second, even if you DID call them, they will give you an answer only to "revise" the date later when the moulding doesn't arrive in your store and you are calling them asking where your order is. I have had them give 3 different dates of arrival finally being as much as 6 months away. As all have said here before, this is no way to run a business and you shouldn't have to be held hostage to their problems.

Of course their rep will say what ever it takes to keep you. They have been doing that for awhile now.

If LaMarche wants me to believe they are "new and improved" they need to mail all of their present and old customers a list of all of their mouldings with the inventory quantity of each as proof of stock on hand. I want the in house printout of their inventory as proof. Anything less is just smoke and mirrors.
If you have two samples alike, you can break them up and recut them on their backs and make those cute little boxes.... Christmas season is right around the corner... :D
If I were you, I'd keep those best looking (and selling) LaMarche corner samples under the table for that day when I may meet and ask a new vendor or, hopefully, a new eager manufacturer to replicate some of those very desirable moldings.
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if someone, somewhere was doing just that, as we are talking, that is copying LaMarche's best looking moldings for there is an absolutely clear, large, screaming demand in the market for all those now vanished moldings.
Try Gryphon.

They are comparable to LaMarche in look and quality and are related!

They have ALWAYS been in stock for me and when I did have a problem they fixed it no questions asked.

My 2cents.

By the way, where did the cents sign key on my computer go? I see $ & # but no cents!

New thread?
Thanks Framah,
You pointed out some very good purposes for me to reconcider the decision to put the stuff back on my wall. I took it down the first time because I took everyone's advice and that was from your experience. I would be extremely upset if I got the "smoke and mirrors" excuse from them. I actually do have a rep for the Gryphon line and like what I see.
Thanks for the input!
Lori... In that case, just check the samples with Gryphon's line and keep the good ones.

I just want to ask the hours of operation of La Marche? If you have thire samples and are suppossed sit on hold while your customer is there with you, are they going to open on Saturdays? Are they going to make sure they are oppen for all time zones, and what if your shop has a few late night customers, 7, 8 oclock?

That is the poorest excuse. I actually feel bad for the rep, to know that they are having so many issues and too just be able to see customers on a daily basis...that has got to be hard. But it would not change my feeling about how pretty those samples would look in the fireplace.
Patrick Leeland

BTW Gryphon has a person that is on the Grumble. He seems really nice, good luck with them
Shawn actually gave me a card printed from La Marche on the steps to take via their Web site www.lamarchemoulding.com/CustomerTools I haven't used it, but apparently you can check availability,Check the discontinued product list, Get an out of stock report, get a high inventory report, see new products, and download price lists and product info.
It does seem like they are trying to put the company back on track, but like Framah pointed out to me this has been on going for a very long time. I'm not sure if my customer would find this an inconvenience of their time or appreciate me taking the time to assure availability and delivery.
Don't get me wrong grumblers. I'm really not wishy-washy !!!! Just like to make well thought out, informed decisions.
This goes to show It takes a decade to build a good reputation!~ Only a year to to tear it down!~
We've had many problems with LM for nearly one year; out-of-stock mldgs, mldgs cut wrong(I buy chop), received with damage, and product not matching corner samples. So many times, having to call the client back in...a drag.

I've wasted so much time on the phone in the past year and still, we didn't give up....

But the other day, I was on the phone with them over a billing problem and they were to fax me a copy of the invoice in question.

The same day, I received a chop from LM, which I called for availabiliy one week earlier, the client still there...just in case.

Within the same hour, I was faxed a statement belonging to a frame shop in Idaho or somewhere(?), and UPS delivered my chop which smelled horrible, like dead fish.

Within that same hour, my boss and I (finally) started pulling their corner samples off the wall...though we did save just a few of our very favorite/popular ones.

It was just the last straw.
With 10 million zillion bajillion mouling companys times 1000 profiles per company, I can't for the life of me figure out why there are so many people giving this one sorry company the time of day.

Rarely a week...heck even a day goes by on here or the HH that somebody isn't having a problem with them. Sure they may be turning the company around but why would YOU want to be the one to test the shark infested waters?

I've take moulding down for alot less than an out of stock. After all the samples are free right
Yeah, Jay, but all those zillion molding companies' products speak exotic languages to you, not Italian or French. Indonesian rendition of LaMarche # xxxxx may please to Filipino or Vietnamese framers, but obviously not to all American framers, and this is why they lament incessantly LM's dissolution. If one day LJ suddenly disappeared, no one of those zillion companies would readily be able to compensate for taht void place, don't you agree with me?
I guess the million dollar questions is this: Are LaMarche's offerings truly unique?

I don't get out much any more and I'm not the one to answer that question. When I last looked at LaMarche, I remember thinking the mouldings were VERY special and unlike anything else I'd seen (in my limited experience.)

Since then, I've looked at Gryphon, for example, and thought the mouldings were absolutely dazzling. But I don't hear a lot of people talking about alternatives to LaMarche.

Cornel may very well be right about this, and that should make us weep as an industry. The answer may really be: LaMarche's mouldings are not unique; they are non-existant.
You're both right - LaMarche WAS unique. Their selection of beautifully designed large 4" - 6" mouldings was unmatched in the industry. When a customer walked in and wanted a 6' mirror in their front hall LaMarche made it easy to make that $2500 sale. Also, when I would scrounge through my collection of 1/2" - 3/4" smalls, and pulled the classiest design and looked on the back, it usually said LaMarche. I will miss them, and yes, their samples are gone from my walls.

When Peter died, so died the genious of the LM designs. Yes, there were some that he bought from manufactures in Italy or Spain or France, but for the bulk, his moulding were the brain children of Peter and Max. And then Peter.

And if you followed the progression of the the three decades, you know that it truly was ALL Peter.

You can't get that talent by having your mother marry the talent.....long after you were born. And that talent doesn't come from stupid mistakes about buying furniture and ignoring a multi-million dollar business.

The only talent that has survived is the real live gene-pool recipient... Phillip LaMarsh. Gryphon1.

If you haven't been paying attention, then you had better start.

You can bet that LM, LJ, Roma, Arquati are all paying attention. And none are laughing.
First of all, as long as La Marche is owned and operated by the present owners, there is no way in H*ll that they are going to make a comeback.

These people have established their incompetence with our entire industry. They actually believe we are idiots and will believe anything they tell us. I think they are direct descendants of P.T. Barnum, they think we are a bunch of suckers.

Anyone who buys into their malarkey deserves what they get, and it won't be moulding. How about lost customers?

Toss your samples, save yourself a lot of frustration and grief.

La Marche was once a darn good supplier of some very unique product that no one else came even close to handling. The only thing you can get from them now is what is left of that great line, or some bad knock offs of it.

OK, enough of this, I am tired of holding back and I don't want to tell you what I really think of La March.

Cornell their moulding may be great. I wouldn't know and don't care to find out. I have plenty of profiles that I'm in live with and not one is from Larmarche.

If Fender, Gibson, or Martin quit making guitars, that void would go unfilled. IMHO the top 5 moulding companies could go under today and I don't think it would effect me one bit.
IMHO the top 5 moulding companies could go under today and I don't think it would effect me one bit.
Let's see.

Piedmont, Ivy, LaMarche (for all intents and purposes,) . . . not to mention the ones absorbed and then dismantled by L-J.

Williamson has become unrecognizable.

I know I'm missing somebody here.

Peter LaMarche must indeed have been very good at his business since he considered my product, way back when I hardly was able to hold my own weight, leave alone producing for such a LARGE "monster". (See how "simply" I measure one's business aptitude?

For those who did not know him in person, I too can testify that Peter was a perfect gentleman and a very personable character. Too bad his company was revolving so much on his own spinning it up.


You can afford the luxury to be going with any other supplier but the five biggest ones exactly because those exist, which fact alone allows for other suppliers achieving their much smaller tasks. If the first had vanished tomorrow, the rest of the suppliers would not be able to meet market's sudden and superior demand and you might not get your frames as you were once being used to.
Hm, you must know of no situation when clients were waiting from one year up for their frame-maker honor any given order. In such times there is no room left for the middlemen. The end user deals directly with the framer and gets his art be framed at the frame manufactory. So be careful what you are wishing for. ;)

[ 05-23-2005, 07:07 AM: Message edited by: Whynot ]
I don't wish for any company to go under. Heck, I wish they were all thriving as well as the rest of the framing industry. But moulding companies have to earn their business just like I earn mine. You do that by having superior service and product. The only one of the "top 5" that Ron mentioned that I carry is LJ. What I'm seeing is that product that was once thought of as "high end" is turning into junk and the stuff thought of as "cheap" is pushing some real quality. The "knockoffs" are looking better than the real thing. I’m guessing this trend will continue.

I don't think that companies like Omega, International, Wall and Decor fear that they will not be able to service the framing industry. If you ask me these companies are sleeping giants right now. Example: Did I see something about Omega carrying closed corners in a recent mag? Because we know Omega's all junk, lets ignore them and over pay for inferior mouldings and non-existent service from companies pushing “high-end” product.
Ohh and I just ordered a length from Williamson. So I guess they're still around for now. I was matching a piece. $4 for a 1" moulding with a faux burl finish LAUGH!
Jay, I didn't mean to imply that Williamson was gone or in any danger of going away.

They have undergone some substantial restructuring. That's all.

I mean REALLY substantial.
I could not agree with JRB more.
I ordered some corner samples and their home decor catalog at the end of Jan. just to placate the sales rep,, (I felt sorry for.) Have yet to see either. Hmm....was supposed to be here March 1st.
I was also given a card where I could check stock online,, it'a all a big bunch of you know what!
Even if the Co. made a come back I would not have anything to do with them.
They have lost consumer confidence on all levels.
Toss the samples unless you like aggravation!
The other giants that I think you were thinking of Ron were Victor, Neucomb Maclin, Bendix, and Italian Moulding.

Williamson will be an interesting exercise to watch since they decided to stop having reps a year or so ago.

The quality in parts of the line reflect the change in manufacture as well.

As for LM? Toss the samples and go see Philip at a show.
there was a comment above about omega moulding being junk. to this i say "not true"! they used to be akin to viking moulding (if anyone remembers them) but they have improved tremendously. a very pretty line with nice profiles and finishes. the customer service can be a little sketchy, but the line is good. check them out sometime.

since the thread started, i've completely pulled all of my lamarche samples, moved things around and feel that i have a brand new show room! thanks to all who replied!

Bendix is not gone.

I just picked them up and they have some new very nice mouldings.

Reasonably priced and different.

I don't like the styrene crap but the wood samples have come in perfect each time so far. (I think I just jinxed myself)

Sorry, I miss spoke there. . . what I should have done was wax long for the days when Bendix used to bring us wonderful stuff that didn't appear in Walmart the next week for a tenth the price I'm paying "wholesale" in stick.

I won't miss spoke again.....