CHF Pumps Up Bath, Back-to-Cool
Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, August 5, 2006
New York — Bath and Back-to-College will get an enormous amount of attention at CHF Industries during market week, as the company moves to simultaneously raise its profile in the bath department and inject new thinking into product directed at academia-bound shoppers.
“What we do best is take bigger-picture ideas and interpret them,” said CHF president and ceo Frank Foley. “It's not about making goods, it's about selling them. And it's not about selling them onto the shelf. It's about selling through to the consumer.”
Rather than go after a chunk of the solid color towel wall in bath, CHF is pulling together solid color towels with a variety of embellished coordinates to boost multiple sales. CHF calls the program “Pump It Up.”
The base program has 22 colors across 10 towel constructions: hollow yarn, three-ply for higher loft, low-twist, slub effect weave, nanotech (the product is finished at the yarn level rather than the towel level for a softer hand), bamboo/cotton boucle, bamboo/cotton single-yarn, anti-microbial soy, “fashion solids” with different techniques on the end or dobby; and the Super Towel, a 23-lb., 30-by-56 inch ringspun and combed cotton construction.
Coordinates include prints reversing to yarn dye backs, embroideries, appliqués, and yarn-dye jacs.
“It's the modernization of embellishment for the trend-sensitive customer,” said vp Joan Karron, adding that an embellished look “doesn't have to look like a tea towel at a bordello.”
CHF is also making a big statement in freestanding accessory coordinates, with 20 new designs on display. “We're focused on building into a significant bath player,” said Foley.
In bedding, several new programs address the college crowd under the merchandising banner “Back to Cool.” Introductions include:
Flip It: Fully reversible bed set components that can be combined in 16 different ways;
Indian Bazaar: block print sets CHF describes as the evolution of its Hippie Chic line;
The first Back-to-College offering under the Umbra label, a print on microfiber with an alternative fiber fill;
Denim and Tees: A denim top-of-bed reversing to a bright multi-color stripe that coordinates with a line of vibrant jersey sheets;
Bright colored two-tone microfiber pintuck top of bed, which can also coordinate with the jersey sheets;
Pillow Talk: jersey knit pillow cases with printed sayings on both sides, packaged as a point-of-sale collectible item.
The big thrust in college has to do not just with timing, said Foley. “For domestics, the season has become what Christmas is for the table linen industry.”
In Window, CHF is presenting several product directions: formal traditional looks, the mainstay of the business; casual with linen as an important fiber component in blends with cotton and man-made fibers; and unique looks from engineered designs ranging from sheers to organza mixed with novelty yarns and gold or silver thread accents; and shrink yarns that create new effects in sheers.
Across the design spectrum, larger and bolder designs are new fashion statements, interpreted in soft color combinations. The natural story is carried through all design and fabric statements.
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