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Group 3 Now 2 Brands Less

Official Pillowtex Reassumes Control of Cannon and RV

New York ­— Now that Official Pillowtex LLC has decided to manage the Royal Velvet and Cannon brands itself, the consortium plans to hire an in-house brand manager for the project.

Brand management firm Group 3 Design is transferring the management of the Cannon, Cannon Royal Family and Royal Velvet brands back to Official Pillowtex LLC, the group that acquired the assets of the now-defunct mill in October 2003 for $128 million.

"We've had a good relationship with Group 3 over the years and just feel the ownership group wants to manage these brands themselves," said Ben Kraner, a representative of Official Pillowtex LLC. "Until we find someone, which will be in the very near future, we'll work closely with our main licensee, Li & Fung."

Earlier this year, Group 3 licensed the production and distribution of the Royal Velvet brand in bedding, bath and several other categories to Li & Fung. More recently, it licensed the Cannon and Cannon Royal Family brands to Li & Fung as well. The Royal Velvet license for bath rugs was placed with Maples Industries.

An inaugural bath offering under Royal Velvet is scheduled to appear in spring '05 at Kohl's and a limited number of yet-unnamed retailers. Retail placement for Cannon has not been announced, but the product is targeted to reappear at retail in early '06.

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