Croscill and Excell have new market stories to tell
Retail Editor 4 -- Home Textiles Today, February 26, 2013
New York - Six months after taking over as president of the Excell-Croscill-Glenoit triumvirate, Joe Granger is ready to reintroduce the world to Croscill at market next month. And major redos for the two other units are not far behind.
Granger, who was president of Springs US and also spent many years at Ralph Lauren, said the introductions at market will represent a new course for Croscill, which was a legendary bedding and window powerhouse in the better market but has seen its business erode over the past few years.
In previewing what's to come, Granger told Home Textiles Today, "We have been very focused on enhancing the design strategy for the brand. In this, there are two key components. The first is that we wanted to elevate the quality of the designs intended for our core consumer.
"This is not to suggest that we intend to raise prices, as we are not," he said, adding that the sweet spot for the line would remain in the $199-$249 range. "We simply felt that there was an opportunity to express a higher level of design through the same traditional voice for this customer."
As important to the new strategy is targeting a newer customer. "Secondly, we have a compelling need within the brand to start to diversify our demographics, to appeal to a new customer. This does not indicate that the brand will become something entirely different in terms of aesthetics, but that it will begin to speak in a new traditional voice.
"This is intended to bring a more current and relevant voice to the brand," he said, "to allow it to speak to where traditional design for the home should evolve directionally. You will see both pieces in March market."
This will be part one of the new Croscill strategy. The company will make a second statement in June with the launch of a program Granger will only say now is "intended to create both a sense of anticipation on the consumer's part as well as a sense of urgency." He said these are two emotions "not commonly felt in home furnishings, but very common in successful consumer products business."
The company will also begin the process of transforming the Excell and Glenoit brands in March as well. He said there will be two launches of "incredibly innovative solutions for basic bath products" at market. Again, Granger played the details close to the vest but said they would focus around the shower curtain category where he believes there is an "opportunity to have the consumer view them as disposable fashion, creating a faster cadence of change."
On the Glenoit side of the house, the focus will be on the Resilience rug program for kitchen, "bringing further innovation" to the category.
And come September market, the Excell brand will be officially re-launched, again emphasizing design and increased frequency of purchase based on fashion.
The company enters the new year following what was a "difficult" but ultimately successful 2012, Granger said. "We were able to address quite a few of our own internal issues during the past six months and as a result I am very happy that both companies (Croscill and Excell/Glenoit) will finish the year profitability."
They will also enter the new year as a nationally recognized Women's Business Enterprise as part of parent company Patriarch Partners. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council says it is the nation's leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America's corporations. Patriarch, owned by Lynn Tilton, purchased Excell, Glenoit and Croscill in 2008.
Since arriving Granger has restructured the management at the company and now believes he has the team in place to make all of this happen. Included are: Richard Warren, senior vice president of sales and merchandising; Carl Mofield, senior vice president of global operations based at the company's Goldsboro, NC facility; Nina Bostick, vice president of sourcing and product development; Kathleen Moore, vice president of Croscill design; Noelle Smith, vice president of Excell design; Alison Sarkozy and Michelle LaRovere, head of Excell and Croscill sales respectively.
As the company's showroom in 295 Fifth Avenue began its market metamorphosis, Granger said the overriding idea was to step up the pace of new products. "We are focused on bringing more innovation across the board."
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