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Tauber jumps back into the biz

Poly-Commodity Corp. is embarking on a course of expansion.

Jeffrey Tauber has taken a stake in and is joining the company as president. The one-time Bloomingdale's buyer and divisional merchandising manager left the industry in the early 1990s to launch CyberShop, an online department store. Prior to that, he had been president of his family's company, Avanti Linens.

"I've always wanted to get back to this industry," Tauber told HTT. "I feel there's vast opportunity in spite of the fact that everyone's running for the hills."

Tauber will oversee sales, marketing and product development at Poly-Commodity, which imports primarily high-thread sheets and flannel sheets, as well as flannel blankets, pillow shams and bath towels.

Early on, Tauber said, the company will pursue the towel business — particularly heavier weights such as 700 grams and 800 grams. "We would also like to do jacs," he added. "Because of the requirements of putting up jacs, people have shied away. I think we can help retailers get into it and out of it like a fashion business."

The company's supply network extends to Europe, China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia. Joe Gleicher, CEO and principal, will focus on sourcing and key customers.

Poly-Commodity will continue to produce private label goods, but Tauber also hopes to put more emphasis on the company's trademarked brands: Royal Heritage, Georgetown and Royalty. He acknowledges that retailers are increasingly resistant to brands that aren't their own, but believes brands that add "a clear value" remain attractive to retailers.

But why invest in an industry that is going through a difficult period of consolidation — with even more expected after the last quotas drop on Jan. 1? "I'm a little bit of a contrarian," Tauber said. "It will be an ugly, ugly scene in the next couple of years, but in the end, there will be some healthy survivors."

At present, the company has no plans to relocate from its current New York showroom at 295 Fifth Ave., he said.