WPS looks to Maples for branded rug lineup

Marvin Lazaro, July 8, 2002

The large family of WestPoint Stevens brands for bath and accent rugs is shifting to a different manufacturer as the result of a new licensing agreement with Maples Rugs.

According to WPS, designs for both lines will be taken from current WestPoint brands Martex, Grand Patrician, Stevens, Utica and Lady Pepperell.

The Sugar Valley, GA-based Mohawk Home had previously held the license for both products.

"This is a critical area for us as we expand to provide complete bath presentations to our retail partners," said Bob Dale, president of WestPoint's Bed and Bath division. "For our consumers, we continue to offer more branded choices bearing the names they recognize and trust. We were very careful to choose a leader in design capabilities and product execution. Maples Rugs is a significant and innovative floor covering specialist."

Dale later told Home Textiles Today, "Maples has distinguished themselves as a product leader. They have many of the same desires, skills and customer contacts which parallel ours." He also characterized Maples as "an innovative leader" and noted that innovation was precisely the reason why Maples was selected for the license. Dale acknowledged that he eventually expects more product to be offered than was previously available.

The Scottsboro, AL-based and family-owned Maples manufactures tufted accent, bath and kitchen rug floor coverings. It markets its products under the Maples and Roomers labels as well as several different private labels for various retailers.

"This is a significant licensing arrangement for us and a very natural fit," said Wade Maples, ceo, Maples. "WestPoint Stevens is an acknowledged leader in bed and bath fashions. We are totally focused on rugs — that's all we do, and we do it well. So, this arrangement will significantly expand the product range offered by both companies and provide both with new growth opportunities."

Maples noted that the accent rugs would be suitable for use in bedrooms, children's rooms and several other rooms.

Said Dale, "You can't deny that there's a continued growth in the rug classification from the freestanding and coordinate standpoint. We're trying to address the coordinate standpoint."

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