Joint program drives window growth

Licensing initiatives and bath extensions aside, CHF is going into market with ambitious designs on expanding its window business, which did $109 million in sales in 2001.

The big news is a new marketing and merchandising agreement with window hardware supplier Kirsch. The joint program features coordinating products from both companies — rods, finials and accessories from Kirsch; soft window coverings from CHF's Cameo brand. Four lifestyle groups — casual, formal, romantic and tropical, — make up the presentation aimed at specialty retailers.

"We're trying to simplify the shopping experience," said executive vp Joan Karron.

The program has been in development for the past six months, and fixturing will debut during October market that includes a 4-foot planogram for each lifestyle and color-coded packaging for easy coordination. All of the product is exclusive to the program, and price points, although not yet final, are expected to fall in the $29.99 to $39.99 range for both curtains and hardware.

Leading CHF's in-line presentation of products is the Peri collection of soft window coverings. More than 22 styles hit the market next month, with the vast majority of them featuring a wide array of fabrics and an even wider array of cut-and-sew techniques and embellishments.

"We have an incredible understanding of how to put together curtains," said president and ceo Frank Foley. "And we have put together a great marriage of cut-and-sew custom techniques with unique fabrics."

The overall design mood takes its cue from the romantic trend pervading the apparel arena, and the collection is suffused with high-touch, craft details.

"Things are much different now with Peri," Karron said. "It's not about the swish, the swoop and the droop. It's the uniqueness of the fabric."

Highlights of the new line include Bali Macrame, which coordinates back to the original Bali Sheer and features a macramé band and tab tops. Sophia is a printed sheer with all-over vintage flowers surrounded by a damask shape. Also new are Limoge, an all-over floral with mylar threads and scalloped edging; Moulin Rouge, an Austrian-look macramé; Gwyneth, an engineered bottom embroidery with an all-over scroll; Mystique, an iridescent faux silk with viscose slub yarn; and Morocco, a tile design on a matte ground that coordinates with the existing Oasis line. Also part of the line are Chiffonade with macramé, Palace Gate, Ballet, Daphne, Bolero, San Tropez, Trellis, Crepe Stripe, Harlequin, Foulard, Elysee, Borghese, Mayfair and Opal.

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