Springs Looks To Int'l Growth For Brands

Don Hogsett, Carole Sloan, March 1, 2010

Everything Springs Global's branded division does from this point will focus on international expansion.

Europe and the Middle East are important, with the signing of a distributor for the latter region imminent. The company also sees Asia as a major goal “and we're on our way to signing a distributor,” said Joe Granger, president of Springs Global branded products.

Springs Global also will have a presence at the Inertextil Shanghai show later this year.

While there are other potential alignments on the horizon, Granger noted that the Court of Versailles collection that had its European debut at Maison & Objet in January “has much more potential in Europe as it has here. At Maison, we made some retail contacts but we need to have personal contacts with the major players there.”

As far as the look of Versailles, Granger said, “We had to bring the design into today's language. I told the design studio to approach it as if Marie Antoinette were alive today. And I feel really good about the way it looks.”

Similarly, the Diane Von Furtstenburg home collection that will be introduced later this year will have a major international presence. “The challenge is how we do it thoughtfully. She is well penetrated in Asia — eight of her 32 apparel stores are there.”

And key to the way Granger sees the home business developing, the company will design, source and market not just home textiles but tabletop, rugs, furniture and decorative accessories for each of its own and licensed brands. These categories are opportunities for the company rather than licensing them out to others, Granger explained.

Each of these moves is designed to support brands and customers and build consumer awareness — it's a total home solution,” Granger remarked. Key elements for this approach are Springmaid (now rolling out in bath at Target), Wamsutta, Diane Von Furstenburg and Waterworks. “We're targeting the 25- to 35-year-old woman — it's our most important demographic.” To do this Granger remarked will be done with marketing in print, electronic, sponsoring key events and “carefully thought out social media. You have to talk with them yourself.”

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