• Andrea Lillo

Nautica to enter big boxes

NEW YORK — Though Nautica focused on its apparel business at Banc of America's Consumer Conference last week, it did announce that its home textiles line will debut in the big-box, specialty retailers at the end of this month.

"We're very excited," said Harvey Sanders, chairman, president and ceo, speaking to analysts, adding that the new distribution channel will strengthen and extend the brand.

Previously the Nautica home collection, consisting mostly of bedding, had been in department stores. And though it still has a "mature business" with several department store retailers, he said, "we have not gotten the support of the department stores in the past." The lack of appropriate space to display the collection was a problem, he said. "When you come out with nice things, you want it to be seen. We want to stay in business."

Sanders continued, "We will have a nice presentation in the big boxes." However, the collection won't expand too quickly. "We're concentrating on controlled growth."

Though apparel will be the focus of the first retail store in Rockefeller Center in New York, opening this month, he didn't rule out adding the home line in the future.

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