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Portico brand acquired by Haft and Schlang

Portico Bed & Bath logoNew York -- Industry veterans Gregg Haft and Charles Schlang have acquired the brand and intellectual property assets of Portico Bed & Bath Inc., which once operated more than a dozen luxury home furnishings stores in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Beverley Hills and other hot spots.

The retail operation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2004 and subsequently closed its stores. Its intellectual property assets were acquired last month for $310,000 by Portico Acquisitions LLC, a new company owned 50-50 by Haft and Schlang.

Haft is also the owner of Fayette, and Schlang the owner of Renaissance America. Both businesses involve branding, licensing, product development, sourcing and distribution as well as consulting work. Fayette and Renaissance share offices and frequently contract work to one another.

Portico will operate separately from Fayette and Renaissance – in a separate office with its own staff, both men told HTT. The business will be two-pronged: expanding the existing personal care products business and establishing a branded home furnishings business across several product categories, including furniture, mattresses, down products, spa bath, fashion bedding and selected giftware items.

“We’re going to cover a very wide range of product,” said Haft.

Home furnishings will be operated as a licensed business – including bedding and bath.

“Portico Acquisitions is a licensed model,” said Haft, adding that licensee guidelines will restrict the brand “to the best in each category.” He added, “We would rather take years to launch this than compromise on the integrity of the brand.”

In practical terms, he expects to see the first wave of home furnishings product in 12-18 months, he said. The brand will also set strict terms for retail merchandising and support. Retailers that aren’t able or willing to execute to plan will not be given the brand.

Said Schlang: “If you start out with the wrong retailer and the brand goes in the wrong direction, where do you go from there?”

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