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An evolving Divatex goes after 'in-line'

Divatex is stepping out of the revolving door.

The product development and importing company is moving beyond the in-and-out promotional business that has been its bread and butter and is now pursuing in-line programs in its core sheet category, as well as top of bed and coordinate accessories, including window.

It's an evolution that began about 18 months ago as Divatex looked for ways to respond to the softened retail climate, president Avi Gross told Home Textiles Today.

"We were asking ourselves where we could be meaningful in this type of environment," Gross said. "The tendency is to import right now, and we have been doing it for so many years we have very strong relationships. Because of the political situation in some countries, some people don't want to travel as much. We feel at home there — and we have offices in most of those countries already."

What began as a trial in the latter half of 2002 has "exploded" this year, and Divatex will be rolling out a series of new sheeting constructions during the New York Home Textiles Market to keep the momentum going.

"We're creating more and more lines that can be core programs for major retailers," Gross said. "It taught us there's a place for us in the market beyond promotions."

New sheeting programs being unveiled later this week include:

  • A single-ply, 600-count all-cotton;

  • A 400-count sateen stripe with an attached solid hem and a 400-count jacquard sheet program to coordinate with offerings in its 400-count line;

  • A 300-count Egyptian cotton in 12 solid colors with fancy hems;

  • A 360-count all-cotton jacquar;

  • A flat-woven cotton/Lycra sheet;

  • A 350-cotton/modal sheet;

  • A 375-count twill cotton/ modal sheet;

  • A 350-count luxury blend sheet, 60 percent Egyptian/40 percent micro-fiber. "If it's successful, we'll add a 400 in the same construction," Gross said.

Divatex also will add eight colors to its existing solid color line of 400-count sateens with an attached embroidered hem for a total of 18 hues.

Although sheets account for 75 percent of the company's business, Divatex is pushing into top of bed offerings as well, with an emphasis on programs for department and specialty stores. During the market, most of the sheet programs it introduces will also include coordinate duvets, comforters and accessories, including window treatments.

Top of bed introductions will focus on differentiated fabrics — silks, poly silks, poly viscose jacquards and printed chenilles. Divatex will also leverage its expertise with faux fur looks in top of bed designs that mix silk and fur, jacquard and fur and jacquard chenilles and fur.

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