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Former Beacon execs license P'tex brands for blankets

Kannapolis, NC — Maintaining a profile in the blanket and throw business, even after selling off its former Beacon blanket division, Pillowtex Corp. has signed a sales and marketing pact with a new company, International Home Fashions, to source, market and sell blankets and throws under the Cannon, Fieldcrest, Royal Velvet and Charisma nameplates.

A new company formed for the purpose, International Home Fashions was founded by a trio of blanket industry veterans — Kenny Hines, Tedd Smith and Tom Gibbs — who had at one time worked for Beacon or Pillowtex, and who last year founded Biltmore Blanket Company, which was subsequently renamed Asheville Blanket Company.

Heading up the new company is Hines, as president, and rounding out the management team are Smith, president of sales, and Gibbs, vice president of institutional sales. Michael Eiper is vice president of national accounts.

Earlier, Hines, Smith, Gibbs and a fourth colleague, John Hill, had formed Biltmore Blanket Co., later renamed Asheville Blanket Co., as the American marketing and distribution arm of Chinese blanket and bedding producer Pac Fung. Asheville Blanket Company, still owned by Pac Fung, remains in business under the direction of John Hill, and will now supply blankets, throws, and other products to International Home Fashions for sale under the various Pillowtex brands.

Hines said International Home Fashions has cut separate deals with Pillowtex to handle blanket sales and marketing and sourcing. "The two are covered by separate agreements."

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