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Divatex takes unique approach

Divatex

New York

President: Avi Gross

Principal businesses: Flannel bedding, jersey bedding, fleece blankets and throws, embroidered sheets, matelasse, cotton blankets, quilts

Divatex may not be alone when it comes to importing fabric from overseas for use in its finished products, but it may be unique in its thinking that United States fabric producers still have much to offer the home textiles industry.

"I think it will be a combination of global sourcing and American production because not everything can be done overseas," said Avi Gross, president of the New York-based company. "If the United States puts its mind to produce certain items, they can do it as good as anywhere in the world."

Divatex, founded in 1990 as an importer of flannel bedding from Portugal, now sources product and fabric from Israel, Portugal, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, China, India, Pakistan and the U.S., also conducting some cut-and-sew operations here.

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of little details that make a product sit on a shelf of a store in perfect condition," Gross said. "The biggest program in the world can fail if the bar code is on the wrong corner or if one digit is missing. But the factory you're working with may not understand that."

Which is why Gross believes that companies that have a history of operating with overseas factories have an edge.

Divatex "translates" the retailer's needs to the factory. The company operates out of three offices: New York, Portugal and Israel. It maintains three warehouses in the U.S., with negotiations underway for two more. Gross feels this foundation and its international knowledge will allow it to triple its sales over the next five years.

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