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Springs extends reach with Brazilian deal

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, August 17, 2001

Fort Mill, SC — Springs Industries has taken the concept of global sourcing to the next level, entering into an exclusive agreement with Brazilian textiles manufacturer Coteminas for bedding and bath products.

"Supplementing Springs' manufacturing capabilities with Coteminas' world-class textile facilities will allow us to offer a broader array of products on a competitive basis," said Crandall Bowles, ceo and chairman of Springs. "We are committed to creating value for our customers, and we will achieve that with a balance of domestic manufacturing and access to international facilities," he continued.

"I certainly believe, as Springs also believes, that this agreement will bring advantages to the consumer. That's really what drove both companies," Josue Gomez, ceo of Coteminas, told HTT.

The family-owned Coteminas company, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, manufactures a variety of finished bedding and bath products, including sheets, pillowcases and towels. Coteminas' 2000 sales totaled slightly more than a $250 million, with bed, table and bathroom items accounting for approximately 39 percent. Knitted active apparel such as T-shirts, sport shirts, fleece and socks made up 46 and 15 percent of sales, respectively. Brand names manufactured by Coteminas on the home textiles side include Artex, Santista, Garcia and Calfat.

The goods will be made at any six of Coteminas' 11 factories located throughout Brazil, said Betty Turner, vp, public affairs for Springs, based here. Coteminas-made product will be marketed under the Springs name or as part of its private-label programs.

The manufacturing agreement between the two textiles giants marks the first of its kind for Springs.

"We have other alliances, but this is the first one that is an exclusive strategic alliance where they are manufacturing goods for us," Turner said, adding that Coteminas' facilities, its ability to deliver and experience are what led to the partnership.

"We came up with a very interesting structure that will be very good for our customers," Gomez said of the agreement, adding that Coteminas has exported product to the United States for several years to other companies aside from Springs.

Despite the distances involved in importing the product from Brazil, Turner said Springs was confident the company would be able to deliver to retailers in a timely manner.

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