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Bardwil in bloom with new brands, bold colors

Retail Editor 4 -- Home Textiles Today, September 27, 2013

New York - During the New York Home Fashions Market this week, the mantra on the fourth floor of 1071 Avenue of the Americas was "Meet the new Bardwil."

"All I can say is ‘Wow'," said Susan D'Arcy, svp, design. "What we have for market is definitely the new face of Bardwil. We have more brands, more color, more designs, and an expanded product offering, than ever before. Much more."

Bardwil president Alan Kennedy explained that "the upturn in jobs, housing values, and the stock market is the ideal dynamic to give the consumer the confidence and desire to respond to new looks, new brands both contemporary and traditional, and higher quality in redecorating both existing home and newly purchased homes."

The biggest change is cooking in the kitchen category, which for many years has mainly a private-label-focused category for Bardwil, but now spans five brands.

"Now, because of the new brands we've signed with, we have the right mix to grown of kitchen line and take it beyond to a new customer," said D'Arcy.

Lenox has been a component of Bardwil's bath mix "in a small way" for a few years. But now the offering is being expanded. Last year, Bardwil also layered in Tommy Bahama into its kitchen line with a branded assortment of pieces, especially the kind used for outdoor cooking and entertaining - "and that was the springboard that has taken us to where we are now."

By now, she means the new Bardwil kitchen line also includes the Dena Designs, French Bull, and Waverly brands, along with the ongoing Lenox and Tommy Bahama collections.

The bath division is another point of differentiation this market.
After the past eight years of honing in on traditional Lenox branded looks, Bardwil is branching out into new looks that offer a reinterpretation of the brand's style for a younger target shopper.

As Darrel Druckman, vp of sales, explained, "Our bath was strictly
Lenox and now we're adding Dena, French Bull, and Waverly to the mix. We've gone from one brand to four, which broadens our retail reach and takes us into more demographics."

That brings up yet another transformation at Bardwil this market:

"We've got a whole new Waverly and a whole new Lenox," cited D'Arcy.

Lenox bath, kitchen and table, which have "always been designed
solely around the dinnerware," she explained, "have been stepped out of the box" - with the permission of Lenox.

"We collaborated with Lenox to create a fresh look that complements the dinnerware without being a direct match," she continued. "We change the face of Lenox, too. We worked with their designs without actually taking anything directly from it."

The new Lenox look takes a more casual, every-day approach and courts the younger, more "Millennial" consumer set. And Bardwil applies it across its three categories.

Much the same holds true for the Waverly line, which has been updated with brighter, fresher patterns and colors.

"Millennials like bright, jolly, fresh colors and designs," D'Arcy summed, "and now we've got a great cross-section of new brands
and looks with longevity."

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