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Hollander to shut fashion operation

Boca Raton, Fla. — Hollander Home Fashions this morning said it will effectively withdraw from the top-of-the-bed fashion bedding business, in the process closing its New York design office and eliminating five designer positions, in a broad refocusing of its core business units.

Hollander said it is streamlining its top-of-the-bed business in order to concentrate on retail-ready, down and down-alternative basic and fashion-basic programs. The company said it will continue to support existing fashion programs, as well as "develop select retail-ready programs, primarily through private offerings."

Key executives, including ceo Jeff Hollander, were not immediately reachable for comment. In the formal statement, he said: "We recognize that we need to focus on our unique strengths and that these adjustments will enable us to expand our position as a leader in producing high-value lifestyle products that offer enhanced comfort."

The company said fashion bedding accounts for less than 10 percent of total revenue; it has experienced a 40 percent increase in the run rate for basic bedding over the last two years.

Hollander said the move permits it to better utilize its factory space and, in turn, increase its basic bedding production. Overall, the company said it will augment basic bedding factory space by more than 250,000 sq. ft. in addition to the new space in Pennsylvania.

The announcement was contained in a broad statement announcing a new 80,000-sq.-ft. warehouse space in Pennsylvania and expanded global sourcing initiatives. A company spokesman confirmed the exit from the business segment. In recent months company executives have hinted they would like to see better productivity out of their fashion division. Hollander's New York showroom at 1071 Avenue of Americas will remain unaffected and open.

The company also said it's created a new operating company in China, Hollander Home Fashions Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, which will join its existing five operations under a joint venture. It also named Mason Carroll vice president of global sourcing, from his former position heading up fashion bedding.

Basic and fashion basic bedding products will continue under the oversight of vp Amy Webster and Andy Schantz, vp of the Laura Ashley line. Additionally, cio Scott Anderson has been promoted to vice president of operations.

Hollander also said it plans to announce the appointment of a new chief operating officer to oversee all manufacturing and sourcing operations "in the coming weeks."

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