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Aegean Apparel sets sail into home

Aegean Apparel, maker of robes and novelty sleepwear, has moved into home.

The 13-year-old company introduced its inaugural line of beach towels in late fall 2003, and this past spring debuted bath towel collections made at its factory in Turkey.

"We had been doing private label in home for Pillowtex and some department stores. After Pillowtex (went out of business), we decided to do branded," said Julaine Pelfrey-Fiely, account representative.

In beach, Aegean so far has adapted 70 novelty designs from its apparel lines. The 30-by-60-inch towels are made of terry velour and carry a suggested retail of $28. The towels are packaged in clear, cylindrical totes with a cord shoulder-strap.

"Our bag is ready to go to the beach. And it doesn't take a lot of floor space," said Pelfrey-Fiely.

Aegean launched three offerings in towels. Solid sets sold in boxed six-packs include a bath towel, two hand towels and three wash cloths at a retail of $39.95. Solids are available in 25 colors. Boxed six-packs of novelty applique towels have a suggested retail of $45. The applique towels are also available as an open line.

All bath towels are sized 32-by-56 inches and all hand towels 16-by-30 inches.

"The idea behind box sets was to make towel buying more gifty," Pelfrey-Fiely said. "The applique sets are where we've had the most interest, especially for back-to-school but also for spring, because of the colors."

Department stores constitute the company's primary channel of distribution, although it also does business on the apparel side with hospitality and institutional. In addition, Aegean is involved in promotional business, such as a recent contest in US Weekly that gave away an Aegean robe modeled in the publication by celebrity Jessica Simpson.

"Our biggest goal with the development of home is to bring fun to something that is very classic," said Pelfrey-Fiely.

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