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Chortex eyes high end of market


Lancashire, England

President: David Johnson

Sales director: Hilmi Erdursun

Principal business: bath towels

Chortex was one of the first suppliers of Egyptian cotton towels to the United States, said Hilmi Erdursun, sales director, though the company's history began in 1904. A vertical mill with weaving, dyeing and finishing capabilities, the towel company underwent changes this past February when it was purchased by Coats PLC, formerly Coats Viyella, based in London, one of the largest textiles companies in the world, he said.

Chortex has been shipping goods to the United States for 15 or 20 years, and is a major part of the annual turnover. Its warehouse in Charleston, NC, allows it to turn goods around within 24 hours.

Plain-dyed bath towels are produced in its U.K. manufacturing plant, while beach and jacquard towels are sourced from the United Kingdom and Egypt.

Aimed at the higher end of the market, Chortex targets specialty and department stores, boutiques and catalogs. "The market has polarized," he said, "There is a huge abundance of the lower price of market. We've differentiated ourselves. Our colors are much different, for example." Chortex works directly with its bigger customers, but for smaller retailers and boutiques, King Cotton, Dallas, distributes its goods.

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