• Jennifer Marks

SaraMax Optimizes Product Range

SaraMax will introduce three new licenses in beach towels, as well as a variety of new products in beach and kitchen textiles, at this week's New York Home Fashions Market.

New beach licenses include Animal Planet, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew, joining CopperTone, Speed Racer - The Next Generation, and Lassen. Also new: designs by surfer/marine life artist Christian Riese Lassen will expand into bath.

New products in beach include multi-purpose tote/towel sets that fold out of colorful bags with an inflatable pillow. Sets can contain an extra towel for drying off while reclining on the other. Retails from $14.99 to $24.99.

New beach offerings include the Ultimate Chaise Lounge Cover with pockets on either side for sunglasses, cell phones, water bottles and tanning lotion. The underside of the foot is a zippered security pocket for valuables — or a foot protector. The product folds into its own tote bag with shoulder strap. Retails range from $16.99 to $24.99.

"We're trying to take beach towels and make them different," said Ronnie Gindi, president of sales and marketing for SaraMax's home division. "Everything becomes a bag, so now instead of being an item it's a category."

In kitchen, SaraMax will introduce coordinated gift sets, like kitchen textiles with a choice of bamboo baskets, cutting boards, wire bread baskets, recipe tote bags, wine totes, embroidered felt bags, ceramic mixing bowls or plastic popcorn bowls. Buyers can put together their own components for retails ranging from $9.99 to $16.99.

SaraMax tested the concept during the fourth quarter with its Betty Crocker license and decided to expand it based on the response, said Melissa Nunziato, design director of home décor: "We really wanted to give the consumer something they can purchase and feel good about."

Also new is Project Planet, a line of eco-friendly kitchen textiles in a blend of regenerated cotton/poly yarns . Kitchen towels, bar mops, pot holders, over mitts and aprons are packaged in sets and can address every channel of retail, said Gindi. "From the header card to the J-hook to the product, the whole thing is recyclable," he added.

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