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CHF Ramps Up Design, Brands

Inks Kate Spade Bed and Bath License

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, March 7, 2010

In the further development of its new strategy, CHF Industries expects that 75% to 80% of its line will be national brand-based as well as a lot of private label for major retailers.

This growing emphasis will be focused primarily in the bedding segment of its business, while window coverings and bath will continue to have more open line product. In bath however, ceo Frank Foley told HTT, “there will be more seasonal fashion for in-and-out fashion statements at retail, as well as a more textile-centric bath business as the fashion base, and less in bath accessories. It will be a design-based business vs. a solid color base.”

That said, the company is putting a major push behind its new proprietary One Home towel using a patented technology “that is a form of polyester but has crystals and creates a greater surface,” Foley explained. Initially, One Home will launch with towels, “but will be an umbrella brand of consumer benefit products” with insulation and heat benefit properties — a complete line of blankets, bedding, mattress pads — as well as a line of products for a growing market: elder care.

The One Home towel was developed with input from “our ongoing market research and focus groups,” said Joan Karron, evp, who added that CHF has earlier used this approach in its window area. “We asked them, 'what don’t you like about towels?’”

Consumers told us, “We want a towel that molds to the body and actually dries quickly,” Karron added. “Weight for weight and size for size it dries 40% faster than cotton towels.”

The price points for the One Home towel, Foley said, “will depend on the construction. They’ll start at $9.99 and could range up to $29.99.”

As another step in its plan to expand its brand presence, CHF also has entered into a new, exclusive licensing alliance with “kate spade new york” to create the “kate spade new york home collection” to be sold throughout the United States and in selective international markets. CHF will manufacture, market and distribute the sheets, duvets, shams, bedding accessories, bath accessories, bath towels and rugs.

Most of the ongoing CHF product, Foley added, “will be made in our own manufacturing facilities.”

In new window coverings, the company is focusing on more soft modern looks with a lot of texture and geometric looks. “It’s all about the fabric,” said Karron. Solids, checks, chenille dobbies and metallics are important new fabrics, and layering has given way to simpler top treatments with grommets, tabs and button tabs.

Also new to window is a “window warmer” that has a scroll pattern on one side and is reversible. Overall, Foley said “Business in window is good and bath is terrific.”

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