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The Rug Market climbs into juvenile bedding

LOS ANGELES — Having solidified its reputation over a number of years as a supplier of handmade traditional and contemporary style rugs, The Rug Market is now trying to make its name in juvenile bedding.

The company, based here, unveiled its first juvenile ensembles during last October's International Home Furnishings Market under The Rug Market Kids Home Division label and has since unveiled two additions. All of the patterns have been received well by retailers, Danielle Perez, design/product development manager, The Rug Market, told Home Textiles Today.

"It has just been a great success," said Perez of the October 2000 unveiling and the reaction since then. "Everybody loves the stuff so much, and there's been a lot of very positive feedback."

The idea to get into juvenile bedding was originated in July 2000 and was inspired by the success the company had with its line of juvenile rugs. Children's bedding seemed like the next logical step.

All of the ensembles are made from 100 percent cotton; are aimed at the 5- to 15-year-old age group; and are being sourced domestically and from India. European shams, standard shams, duvets, bed skirts, decorative pillows and window coverings are all offered as open stock items in twin and full sizes only. Coordinating cotton hook rugs, of course, are also available in two sizes, 3' x 5' and 5' x 8'. Also available is a collection of coordinating decorative pillows and rugs that tie into the bedding but are sold free-standing.

Although sheets are currently not part of the line, Perez said, The Rug Market is taking steps toward introducing a coordinating sheet line in the future.

Prices start at approximately $200 wholesale for a complete twin ensemble of European sham, standard sham, duvet and bed skirt, but retailers that purchase all four items in one pattern will receive a 10 percent discount. The smaller rug is offered at a wholesale price point of $65, while the larger is $165. Pillows and rugs from the coordinating line will range wholesale from $10.50 for a 16" x 16" pillow to $217 for a 5.6' x 8.6' rug.

A majority of the bed placement has been with specialty chain and department stores as well as catalogs. Given the success of the initial bedding introductions, Perez said, The Rug Market is hoping to reach the $2 million mark in its juvenile bedding business by the end of this year.

The two latest introductions, Angel Fairie and Garden Glow, as well as Butterfly, Lacy, Malibu Punch, Hippie Skippy, and Flower Power are all oriented toward girls, while Nautical Flags and Cowboys are geared more for boys. Animal Farm targets either a boy or girl. All of the patterns utilize bright primary colors or slightly softer pastels. Although most of the offerings are suitable for girls and all are for children, Perez said The Rug Market is working toward more boy-oriented patterns and the possible introduction of adult bedding in the future as well.

"I think the designs and colors really set them apart," Perez said about the line. "They're really unique and fun and bright, and they follow apparel trends. Since I came from the apparel side, I think I'm more familiar with producing concepts that are happening now in the market.

"The rest of the market tends to be safe," she added. "We're kind of opposite that."

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