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Regal to offer new rug category

Susan Andrews, Cecile Corral -- Home Textiles Today, July 9, 2001

Bath and accent rug manufacturer and importer Regal Design studio, based here, is entering a new category of bath rugs in an attempt to broaden its distribution reach to a new customer.

Donna Sandy, design director, said for the first time in the company's 62-year history, Regal will add printed and hand-carved rugs to its offerings to target a mid-tier customer. The collection will be introduced formally at the New York Home Textiles Show in October at the company's fourth floor showroom at 104 West 40th St.

The new printed and hand-carved collection will be imported from China, manufactured by a high-end source, Sandy said.

The rugs will be made on finely spun acrylic, "which provides for better printing and more clarity for the design," she said.

Price points for the new rugs are estimated to retail at $25.

Regal, which typically serves department and specialty store customers, is expecting this new collection to broaden its distribution into "the high end" of the mid-tier market, Sandy said.

The new printed and hand-carved rugs will coordinate with a line of shower curtains and bath accessories under Regal's licensing agreement with Cashtown, PA-based artist Sharon Pierce McCullough, whose artwork includes whimsical and folk art designs and tropical animals.

The shower curtains will also be imported, but Regal is still shopping for a "unique base fabric to use for them. We haven't finalized anything yet," Sandy explained. The bath accessories, also coming from China, are still being designed.

Regal is known for its design and its assortment of tabletop rugs — rugs made on small sewing machines that feature high and dense pile and texture.

All of Regal's rugs are machine washable.

Domestically, Regal produces $20 to $50 rugs that include high-end solid and patterned bath rugs made of cotton, acrylic, nylon, polyester, chenille and other constructions.

Regal also imports many of its lines. Its acrylic rugs come from China, India and Mexico; cotton rugs are from India; and its polypropylene line — mainly a Christmas promotional line — is made in Mexico. All imported rugs retail for $20 to $30, except for the high-end hand-gun-made bath and accent lines, which sell for $50 for a 2' x 3' and $100 for a 3' x 5'.

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