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Arlee Expands Window Treatments

More showroom space to spotlight new casuals, blackouts, contemporaries

James Mammarella -- Home Textiles Today, March 1, 2010

Arlee Home Fashions, a longtime vendor of throws, dec pillows, chair pads, runners, placemats and window treatments, has expanded its window division as retail placements continue to pick up.

“We have expanded the showroom area for window” for the New York Home Fashions Market, said Marsha Caparelli, svp, Arlee Group, which is based at 261 Fifth Ave. She pointed to an expanded Thermatec blackout line with interlined, interwoven and coated variations. “We've taken Thermatec in a more fashion direction,” she added. “It's not marketed as a commodity.”

Faux silks, some with embroideries and embellishments, are among the new fabrications in Thermatec, which Caparelli said can be offered at an attractive $10 retail opening price per panel. Two leading items this market will be Melange, a solid color interwoven; and Scape, a silk-look interlined model.

Arlee has also added casual panel pairs, in faux suede and duck looks, to its Total Window Solutions line. “Traditionally these have been more formal,” Caparelli told HTT. “But of course casual is now so important.”

In a third area, Arlee is bringing to market a broader Soft Modern line, featuring damask, sunburst and hourglass models in faux silk and velvet.

Caparelli said she believes in “the lipstick theory” as one reason for growing curtain sales, citing the “She won't buy a new dress, but will buy a new lipstick for a new look” metaphor for consumer home decor spending during times of tight household budgets.

“I'm not saying placements have been easy,” Caparelli confided. “Certainly there is price pressure. But sales are good and our retailers are doing well in their window departments.”

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