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Robert Allen launches home line

NEW YORK -The Robert Allen Group is launching a new brand, Robert Allen @ Home, that is designed to offer themed coordinated fabric collections for retail stores, specialty manufacturers, furniture manufacturers and interior designers/decorators.

The new brand is designed as a bridge line, below the firm's Robert Allen and Beacon Hill brands that are exclusive to the interior design trade, and different from the Ametex brand that is primarily for the furniture and specialty manufacturing trades, Ron Kass, president and ceo explained.

Robert Allen @ Home is print-driven and accompanied by select complementary wovens. The prints are assembled in color families rather than as a single pattern in a number of colors. Base cloths include a new construction-a herring bone-as well as heat transfers, sateens and sailcloth.

The launch includes two collections, Relaxed Chic, a 10-pattern coordination with warm colors such as apricot and buttercream, and Simply Modern, a bolder, colored geometric themed collection of 12 prints.

"We're doing all the coordination and thinking for the user," Kass explained.

The company expects to roll out six collections under the new brand during this year. The collections were created under the direction of Gary Filippone, design director for both Robert Allen @ Home and Ametex.

To support the new brand, the company is planning a major marketing drive including direct mail, educational programs and positioning, collateral materials and advertising that will be trade focused, according to Barbara Hayes, vp, marketing. There also will be some consumer national advertising toward the end of this year, she added.

As part of the emphasis on brand marketing, Kass said the company's sales staff now is focused on distribution channels.

"The Ametex sales force never sold Robert Allen before, but now the furniture sales force, the specialty manufacturer sales force and the retail sales force will be selling both Robert Allen @ Home and Anetex," Kass said. Steve Milender, vp, sales, heads the sales force for manufacturing and retail. He reports to Peter Gallagher, newly named senior vp, sales for the Robert Allen Group. He previously was vp, sales for Robert Allen and Beacon Hill. Pricepoints for the line are $3.95 to $5.50.

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