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Haywin, Simmons ink licensing deal

NEW YORK — Haywin Textiles has signed a long-term licensing agreement with mattress manufacturer Simmons Company and will roll out seven branded lines of bedding products beginning later this year.

Under the agreement, Haywin will produce bed-in-the-bag as well as comforter sets with coordinating window treatments, sheet sets and accessories under Simmons' brand names, including Beautyrest, Beautysleep, Deepsleep and Backcare. The lines will be crafted for department, specialty and mid-level retailers.

"The license will allow us to significantly expand our customer base," said Haywin president Gregg Haft. He added that over the next two to three years, the new lines have the potential to boost Haywin's volume by 25 percent to 30 percent.

There will be seven quality levels under the licensing agreement. Each will be distinct in terms of brand name, packaging, fabrication and price point. Haft declined to discuss how the levels of the program will be priced. Each collection will also have a distinctive design point of view, he said.

Fabrications for the brands will include 180-count, 200-count and 250-count blends as well as cotton, jacquard and sateen bed ensembles. Haywin will produce some of the goods at its joint venture plants in Mexico; the rest will be sourced globally.

Design work for the new branded program will be overseen by Doug Hartman, senior vp, design, who joined Haywin last December. The program will be managed by vp, marketing Maureen Granger.

The agreement marks the Atlanta-based Simmons' first foray into fashion bedding, although the company has existing licenses in other categories of the home textiles business: Louisville Bedding and Hollander for mattress pads and bed pillows; and Chatham for bed blankets.

"We were looking for licensees that could put out the quality of a product we're looking for," said Marco Roca, Simmons' vp, global licensing and international operations. "Somebody who's paying $1,000 for a bed isn't going to be satisfied by the quality level of a $150 bed-in-the-bag."

Marketing teams from both companies will meet within the month to hammer out the fine points of each brand's positioning, Roca said. Haywin will launch the line at the New York Home Textiles Market in October.

This is Haywin's second major branding initiative. Two years ago it signed a long-term licensing agreement with Fruit of the Loom. Haft said the company will "continue to look at other strong nationally recognized brands."

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