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Mervyn's, Engelbreit birth new baby line

Illustrator Mary Engelbreit will bring her juvenile characters to all Mervyn's stores this September, in an exclusive new line of baby apparel and linens called Mary Engelbreit Baby.

The chain will also be redecorating its entire baby department to feature Engelbreit's characters, said Greg Hoffmann, ceo of Mary Engelbreit, though its current skus will remain. Target's Marshall Field's division may also take on the collection spring of next year, he added.

Engelbreit has worked with retailers in the past to do promotional products, but this will be the first time an entire product line is taken to retail, he said.

"Our partnership recognizes the common demographics of Mary Engelbreit fans and Mervyn's guests, as well as the high quality of Mervyn's baby products. It also ushers in a new era of direct-to-retail licensing for Mary Engelbreit Studios," said Hoffmann.

Lee Walker de Sarvide, vp of marketing, Mervyn's, added, "Mervyn's guests will adore Mary's playful and charming designs. The Mary Engelbreit Baby collection will offer guests refreshing new options for baby clothing, at affordable prices."

Featuring her Baby Booky characters Lamby and Doggy, for the girls and boys, respectively, the collection of 38 skus will include mostly apparel, though receiving blankets and quilts and crib bedding will also be included. Retail prices will be approximately $30 for a wall hanging quilt, $8 for a crib sheet and $12 for a dust ruffle. Other characters will be added later.

Hoffmann added that he does see his company eventually expanding into other domestics areas such as bedding, in the future. Mary Engelbreit is already licensed in such home decor areas as accent rugs and mats and kitchen textiles.

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