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LNT sees bed, bath bounce

Newer brands will drive holiday

Linens 'n Things will embark on its fourth quarter and the holiday season with new brands and offerings for its textiles business, particularly in the bedding and window treatment product categories.

"We continue to improve the quality of our [textiles] offerings and introduce new brands," William Giles, cfo, said during the company's third quarter conference call last week.

Examples of the 435-unit chain's new textiles initiatives, Giles said, include "upgraded assortments in sheets, down and flannel" as well as new brands, namely its Trading Spaces home collection, based on the home improvement program on Discovery Network's TLC channel. The Trading Spaces collection is exclusive to LNT and is set to launch early in the fourth quarter.

Other developments that recently rolled out include the introduction of the Liz Claiborne Home collection, which Giles described as already well received by shoppers, and LNT's new window treatment catalog.

"This new catalog will allow us to reach our guests through a different channel of distribution in a key category," Giles said, "and features an extensive collection of window treatments, window hardware and slip covers."

During the upcoming quarter, LNT's bath shop programs are expected to suffer some "mild disruptions as we begin the transition to alternate sourcing," Giles explained, as a result of the liquidation of Pillowtex.

"We do not, however, expect that this will materially impact our business," Giles added.

To help promote these improvements, LNT will continue employing new marketing activities it began during last quarter. A recently launched television and magazine advertisement campaign leads into the holiday season and is aimed at "generating excitement in the Linens 'n Things brand name to ensure we continue to drive traffic," Giles said.

"We feel good about some of the momentum we've built for textiles, and it will be good for the fourth quarter," Giles said.

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