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B&D bath revamped

Barth & Dreyfuss, based here, recently revamped its bath division to bring back a line that was dormant for two years, and entered an entirely new category.

At the fall home textiles market, new free-standing towel collections — totaling 40 skus — earned Barth & Dreyfuss some new customers, as did the company's debut of 100 percent cotton tufted reversible rugs from India, said Richard Glinerd, senior vp, bath division.

For the free-standing towels, Barth "threw in the trash all of our old drawings and started with new designs and a whole new approach," said Denise Matlack, sales manager, bath division. "We took a more fashion-forward approach this time around and marketed it differently than before by grouping them within trend looks, like toile, Americana, Spring Fling, terry appliques and quilted looks. We essentially took all the current trends and applied them to our new free-standing towel line."

Added Glinerd: "Free-standing towels is a huge nut we hadn't really cracked right until now." The free-standing towel line comprises 100 percent cotton terry bath, hand and tip ensembles imported from Mexico. Bath towels are priced at $12.99. Glinerd said the free-standing towel line currently occupies up to 10 percent of Barth & Dreyfuss' total towel business. His goal is to raise that rate to 25 percent — "that would be really great," he said.

Glinerd, who started working for Barth & Dreyfuss in late spring, said one of his first initiatives in his new post was to re-create the company's free-standing towel line.

"I looked at the talent that was here and I saw that there was no way we shouldn't be making free-standing towels," said Glinerd, who formerly operated his own private bath accessory importing business. "I knew we could put together a great package, and I was right. The line was very well received at market."

Barth & Dreyfuss' expanded bath rug offerings also recently got a facelift. Whereas the company once produced only domestically made printed bath rugs in partnership with Glenoit Corp., Barth & Dreyfuss' bath division now also offers 100 percent cotton tufted reversible rugs made in India.

"At first this was sparked by comments from retailers who wanted to buy more vertically from us — they want to buy everything from one location," Glinerd said. "But we had also been seeing in the marketplace a lot of shaped tufted rugs. We asked Glenoit to help us out with it, but they don't make them. So we started looking to produce them ourselves."

At market, Barth & Dreyfuss introduced 15 new bath rugs patterns — nine of the imported coordinate rugs and six new printed designs by Glenoit.

The bath division chose to import from India because of an existing relationship for tabletop and other products with the country.

"We wanted to capitalize on our resources in India," Matlack said. "And some of our free-standing shower curtains already come from there, too. The bath rug business was a natural extension for our line."

Price points for Barth & Dreyfuss' imported bath rugs "are at roughly the same retail price points as our Glenoit rugs," Matlack said — $19.99 to $24.99.

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