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S. Lichtenberg in shower curtains

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, December 9, 2002

Having established its name in soft window fashions, S. Lichtenberg is now going after the shower curtain business.

The soft window covering supplier, which had 2001 sales totaling $125 million, introduced a wide variety of shower curtains during the New York Home Textiles Market in October at its showroom here. The new looks range from traditional to contemporary.

"It's a natural segue," said Karen Wertz, director of product development, detailing the progression of the line from concept to actual product. She also noted that the line is free-standing and therefore not meant to coordinate with any of Lichtenberg's window offerings. "But there was some crossover between the two areas."

"I think there's a lot of opportunity with some of the looks we presented," Wertz continued. "We offer a really good value."

The large range of looks, about 40 different designs, were not developed with any specific retail channel in mind but were instead meant to tie in with other bath products and accessories already offered by most retailers.

Three of the new products that generated the most interest during the October market were Flower Shower, a 100 percent polyester opaque with a center voile inlay with flowers; Pom Pom, a polyester curtain with a satin bottom and an organza top with pompom appliqué partnered with embroidery; and Claudia, a taffeta center design with embroidered organza on the top and bottom. Retail price points range from as low as $9.99 to a high of $39.99.

"Our designs were pretty much all over the board," Wertz commented. "Some are very master bath, some are very sophisticated and some are casual. We really tried to offer something in our line for everybody.

"It was received very well," she said. "Some of the things shown were different than what buyers had seen out in the marketplace."

The shower curtains are generally sourced from China, Turkey or India and are available as either private label or Lichtenberg-branded offerings. Lichtenberg is shipping its orders (between 12 and 15 designs were placed) beginning in January 2003.

According to Wertz, the shower curtains may represent a very early opening for other product categories for Lichtenberg, but "it has to be the right time and the right marriage."

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