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Trading Spaces eyes retail brand

Cecile Corral, Staff Staff -- Home Textiles Today, September 2, 2002

The Discovery Network's increasingly popular daily program "Trading Spaces" is looking to become a retail brand for home goods.

Responding to steadily climbing viewership, the cable network has embarked on an effort to brand the show as a licensed property and is actively looking for partners to create a broad spectrum of home textiles, accessories, do-it-yourself products and even a board game under the Trading Spaces brand.

"The show has taken off with viewers like a rocket," Pamela Rucker, vp of communications, Discovery Consumer Products, told HTT. "There's been such a loyal following — even from celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell, who when she had her show always talked about it, that we thought the next logical move was to brand the show with home goods."

Aired daily on Discovery's The Learning Channel (TLC), the one-hour-long Trading Spaces premise is to help two neighbors redecorate one room in the other's home with a $1,000 budget, a 48-hour time limit and the assistance of two professionals — an interior designer and a carpenter.

Details such as a launch date for the license are still under development, Rucker said. But several categories have been singled out for solicitation to potential home textiles suppliers: pillows, rugs, window treatments, throws, bath products, table linens, kitchen textiles, bedding and blankets.

A design theme for the brand is also still being developed, but Rucker said "some of the buzzwords we're using to describe it to potential partners include words like stylish, unique, fashion-forward, resourceful, empowering, affordable, creative and innovative. That's what we are looking to make of this brand through the products."

Also still being worked out is the level of retail Discovery hopes to target. Home centers will be the target for the DIY goods, Rucker said. For the home textiles and accessories, specific channels are still being decided.

"We are only certain right now that we will probably include at least some of these products in our own stores," said Rucker, referring to the 167 nationwide Discovery Store Channel retail stores.

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