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  • Cecile Corral

Park B. Smith extends tufted bath

NEW YORK -Tufting has been taken to new heights in the bath division of Park B. Smith.

Coordinating with its new and extensive collection of shaped bath rugs, a new line of tufted shower curtains featuring tufted novelty patterns in bright and pastel colors will be introduced at April market.

The coordinating line, made of 100 percent cotton, comprises a dozen designs and even more skus because some of the designs come in as many as four colorways.

The idea for the new rugs and shower curtains evolved through the New York-based company's desire to cross product categories within tufted product lines.

"We have such expertise in tufting that it only made sense to introduce this line," said Linda Johnson, coo.

Added Park B. Smith, Jr., ceo and president: "Park B. Smith was doing tufted rugs all along and then Smith & Johnson adapted tufting into bedding with softer tufting to bring it into the chenille category. We did it through a lot of trial and error and product development and eventually produced duvets, shams, comforters, blankets and petticoats. The whole look has been catching on very strongly, so we adapted it to shower curtains. It's a very eclectic look that complements our emphasis on layering within the company."

Within the collection, three subcategories divide up the lines. The novelty line includes Ducky, Ducky in bright colors; Swimming around, a pattern of brightly colored fish; Daisy splash, which features bright colors; Froggy, in primary hues; Ladybug, in bright colors; Lighthouses, in red, white and blue; Polka dots, in both bright and pastel colors; and Butterflies, also in brights and pastels.

The pastel line includes Polka dots, Flowers, and Daisies.

And the solid-colored tufted collection includes Polka dots, in natural and white; Retro-plaid, in natural and white; and Retro-lines, a striped pattern in natural, white, blue, green and lemonade.

The shower curtains and rugs, all handmade in India, will be sold separately but marketed and displayed as coordinates. Price points are $29.99 for the shower curtains and $14.99 for the rugs. They are targeted for department and specialty stores as well as catalogs.

"I think this is an outstanding category in and of its own," Johnson said. "The tufting has been engineered in the design so that the weight is perfect for a shower curtain. It gives it a great texture and ties everything in the bath together-the shower curtain with the towels and the bathrobes and the rugs. It makes for a wonderful coordination."

In late September, Park B. Smith Ltd. acquired bedding and home manufacturer Smith & Johnson, which was founded in 1991 and operated by Smith Jr. and his partner, Johnson. After Park B. Smith Sr., father of Smith Jr. and owner of Park B. Smith Ltd., took over Smith & Johnson, he appointed his son president and ceo. Smith Sr. and his wife, Carol, continue to serve as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of Park B. Smith Ltd.

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