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Ritzenthaler steps up with Cuisinart

Kitchen textile, table linen and bath towel manufacturer and importer The John Ritzenthaler Co., based here, recently forged a licensing partnership with electrical kitchen appliance company Cuisinart to produce table linens and kitchen textiles.

Ritzenthaler introduced its initial line of Cuisinart product, geared toward specialty stores, in October at the New York Home Textiles market.

"Cuisinart represents for us a slightly higher price point than our average line. Towels, for example, retail for $4.99 to $5.99," said Chip Steidle, vp, sales and marketing. "It is equal to our Sterling line — our top line."

The Cuisinart license also represents only the third licensing partnership for the 109-year-old company. Ritzenthaler currently is the kitchen textiles licensee for Weber Grills — a partnership Ritzenthaler has maintained for the past four years. As part of its acquisition of Standard Terry in May 2000, the company also acquired a licensing partnership with hot sauce brand Tabasco, which Ritzenthaler declined to renew earlier this year.

"We decided to partner with Cuisinart because it is a highly recognized brand name in the housewares business, and we thought it would be very applicable to our product group," Steidle said. "We wanted to create a line that had a more housewares look than a linen look, one with bright colors and patterns with grids and checks."

Ritzenthaler's Cuisinart collection includes domestically made table linens as well as kitchen textiles imported from Turkey, Steidle said. Colorways are black, butter yellow, dark green, red, cobalt and taupe.

For the assortment, Ritzenthaler created some entirely new constructions and designs.

"The oven mitt we made into a puppet mitt shape, which is new for us, and the palm part utilizes terry in it, which is also new for us," Steidle said.

Also new for Ritzenthaler is the use of terry on one side of a reversible place mat. The idea prompted the creation of a line of 100 percent cotton terry tablecloths and napkins, which also launched in October.

"The idea for the terry tablecloth collection came forward through our desire to use our core manufacturing knowledge in terry weaving for multiple types of products," Steidle said.

He added that the colorways for the terry tablecloth collection coordinate with the Cuisinart collection.

"Both the terry tablecloth and the Cuisinart collections represent the whole idea of casual living and an all-inclusive lifestyle for the breakfast room and kitchen table," he said.

The terry-made products are all 100 percent cotton terry, easy-care and pre-shrunk to reduce additional shrinkage after washes.

Colorways for the terry tablecloth collection, which is made in Turkey, include natural, black, butter yellow, dark green, red, cobalt, taupe, moss green and smoke blue. The collection is available in six sizes. The price point range is $14.99 to $29.99.

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