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Two sides to Tommy home story

Tommy Hilfiger Home continues to plumb the high and low — low being a relative term in the world of designer label bed and bath.

For the spring market, Tommy added a corduroy construction to its core bedding program, and at the upper end it continued to build out its top-tier Crest collection by layering on a new lace-trimmed sheet collection that retails at $90 for a flat or fitted queen.

"We're continuing with our formula of bringing in new textures at great values at our opening level and, at the Crest end, creating a very strong value relative to what's available at that level in the market," said Norm Savaria, senior vp and chief merchandising officer, Revman Industries, which produces Tommy Hilfiger Home.

"The successful strategy for us is high and low — and avoid the middle because it's death."

Tommy Hilfiger Collection, positioned just below Crest, has been growing at a moderate pace, Savaria told Home Textiles Today. Sales from core assortments have nearly doubled as a percent of total business over the past 18 months. Crest, which launched last October, has scored "pretty significant double-digit gains."

The utility bedding program that rolled out to retail in fall 2002 has exceeded expectations, Savaria said, with fashion offerings logging the strongest performance.

In the bath area, Tommy is working on a more cohesive approach to the category, he said. Although the label has produced coordinate bath accessories occasionally in the past, it hasn't been satisfied with the velocity of sales.

In the immediate term, it will focus on adding coordinate shower curtain stories for Crest and core offerings.

In Crest bath, Tommy will begin phasing out its $14.99 Crest cotton towel in favor of a step-up construction silk/cotton/modal offering at $19.99. Premier color offerings include pearl, blue mist, cashmere, veritique, claret, captain blue, amethyst and tuxedo.

"It's a pure luxury fiber," Savaria said. "Today's shoppers are conservative about their spending, but if they see a strong product and they love it, they buy it."

In bedding, Tommy added four colors to its 400-count sateen solid-color and damask sheet collections: tea rose, frost, silver mist and amethyst dust. The palette for the 600-count, single-ply sheet collection introduced last market was not being expanded this market.

The new lace-trimmed sheeting is composed of a 400-count cotton body either in solid or pintuck. The sheets are offered in white and cashmere.

Tommy added one Crest bed this market. Fairmount is a paisley in blue, yellow and angora edged in a two-tone twisted corduroy that drapes over a camel-toned faux suede bed skirt. Dramatically striped sateen sheets echo the blue in the top-of-bed pattern. The same stripe is engineered into a box design on clean-edged Euro squares.

In Tommy Hilfiger Collection, the company debuted three new beds.

Laurel features a combination florals in a cheery red hue on a white dotted ground. The bed skirt and shams feature a red and white gingham pattern lined with red trim. A quilt with textured heart-shaped panels layers into the group.

Gypsy Farm House layers pattern on pattern with a French blue and floral paisley on a tomato red ground. The duvet reverses to a paisley floral strip, and sheets feature an all-over petite floral motif with a decorative border. A white sheet with an embroidered edge serves as an alternate. A coordinating decorative pillow and pashmina-style throw are accented with a beaded, embroidered paisley motif.

The core Classic Cord line, also part of Collection, includes Rustic Romance, an aubergine corduroy top-of-bed paired with a floral corduroy sham, a windowpane ruggle sheet, a stripe knit fringed throw and dec pillow, and a winter white and pale blue dec pillow. A camel-based corduroy bed pairs with red Burns Tartan sheets or blue Ithaca Stripe sheets. An olive duvet coordinates with pine Forester sheets and Hilfiger Hall sheets.

Also available are argyle quilts in camel/olive and navy/olive tones.

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