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Croscill brings clarity to window resurgence

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, March 30, 2001

NEW YORK -The product that helped Croscill Home build its name in home textiles has been built up this market to make its strongest presentation in several years.

Croscill Window Fashions and the higher-end products it has become known for with retailers and consumers will show "it's deepest and strongest line in a long time and will make an extremely strong statement," said David Kahn, president/ceo, Croscill Home, about the products the New York-based company will unveil.

"We've never been this strong in window since sheets were introduced," Kahn said. "It is, without a doubt, a resurgence of Croscill Window."

The stronger and deeper line, said Cheryl Johnson, manager, Croscill Window Fashions, is due in part to the changes in vendor structure that the company has instituted. More and better fabrics are now imported from China, India and Korea, improving the cut-and-sew detailing such as seen with Elegance, one of Croscill's mainstays and more popular lines, which features a handsewn soutouche trim.

"When retailers walk in here I want them to see the high quality of fabrics and of the cut-and-sew detailing that we have," Johnson said. "That's very important because I believe the overall quality of window coverings has gone downhill."

Johnson said many of the shortcuts other manufacturers may take will not be taken by Croscill, upholding the high level of quality the company has become known for.

Croscill has also chosen to not trade down when it comes to the construction of its products. While its competition may choose to make and sell a $9.99 or $12.99 retail window panel, Croscill, instead, decided to step up to a better construction or search for its equivalent but with a different look. And although the least expensive panel currently made by Croscill carries a $24.99 retail price point, Johnson felt that despite the higher cost consumers would continue to turn to Croscill because its products "have a lot going on with them. There's a little more there when it comes to us."

"We keep on adding value," agreed Kahn. "Customers are coming back to Croscill because we keep on adding to it instead of taking something out."

Also contributing to the revival is the diversity that may be seen in Croscill's showroom now. With customers ranging from higher-end specialty stores to home improvement stores, Croscill is now able to offer products that cater to the different consumer bases of each retailer. From the Napolean to the Sara lines, consumers may purchase Croscill curtains for the master bedroom to the living room.

Rounding out the factors that have led to the revival is the way Croscill has remained on the cutting edge of fashion, Johnson said. By continuing to push the envelope and "establishing new classics," she said, Croscill has remained at the top level of window fashions.

The company has also managed to bridge the gap between retailers that only carry window coverings and no bedding by taking some of its more popular bedding patterns and translating them successfully into window fashions, Kahn said.

"We took some of our bedding and translated it into window, made major upgrades, and did very well with it," he said.

The timing involved with the improvements of the division coincide with the changes Croscill has made, Kahn said.

"I think that what happened is it took a good two years from when we really started the international push to get everything right," Kahn said.

Kahn added that of the 12 mainstay lines Croscill is currently showing, 11 have only built up their success within the last year to 18 months, a relatively short time considering how long companies usually take to develop a core product line.

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