Covington Broadly Expands for Showtime

Carole Sloan, June 5, 2006

New York — Covington enters Showtime in High Point, N.C. with a new logo, new strategic alliances and a product mix four times the breadth of its offering at Showtime last December. A beefed-up sales organization rounds out the bill.

The venerable company, now under the ownership of Roger Gilmartin and private investors, sports a contemporary logo and name, “Covington New York.” The logo, said Gilmartin, is part of “our rebranding campaign developed by our advertising consultant, Leane Brenes of BrenesCo., with photography by noted British cameraman Toby McFarlan Pond.”

Two of three key strategic alliances will be unveiled at Showtime: Prestigious of England and Stof of France. In each arrangement, Gilmartin explained, “we will focus on prints only. It's an opportunity to broaden our offerings and give our customers a different look.”

Price points will be compatible with Covington's and “we will stock the collections here.”

The third alliance is with Peter D'Ascoli, president and creative director of D'Ascoli & Co., a design and marketing company with offices here, in Paris and New Delhi. The three-season licensing agreement involves the design of more than 100 skus per season of printed and woven fabric. Covington has the sole right to produce and distribute. The collection includes vintage floral prints, ikats, exotic themes, opulent jacquards and mod geometrics.

Overall, said Gilmartin, “Our offering is more than four times what it was at Showtime in December. Prints are about 37%, with new constructions, base cloths and technologies making up the major portion. Our new flock on linen and taffetas will be important additions.”

From a sales staffing perspective, Gilmartin said that long-time Covington rep Jim Hixon has rejoined the company as sales rep for the West Coast from north to south and including Arizona. Joining him in the area is Jon Tavasti, an 18-year veteran of Culp.

Char Quinn, formerly with Valdese, has joined the company for the upper Midwest area.

Steven Marrandino, formerly vp of home sales for Erlich Gress & Co., and senior vp, Johnson Inds., has joined the company as vp of special projects and key accounts, reporting to Chris Geiger, vp of sales and marketing. All sales functions for contract, decorative and furniture report to Geiger, who in turn reports to Gilmartin.

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