Elrene Expands Seasonal Offerings

NEW YORK -Encouraged by improved sales for Easter products this season coupled with a renewed optimism in the economy, Elrene Home Fashions brought to market a hefty serving of new table linens and kitchen textiles for the fall and winter seasons.
     As Bryan Siegel, chairman of the board and ceo, told HTT: "We think that this year in particular will be a pretty strong seasonal year. We've been getting some good, early responses from our Easter sales - they are picking up nicely as the weather has improved. Already this is definitely a better Easter season than we had last year in terms of retail sales. They definitely have been ahead of last year's, for sure."
     Encouraged by that, he continued, "We believe the coming big seasons [Halloween, harvest and Christmas] should be pretty strong, too."
     At the New York Home Fashions Market, Elrene debuted "lots of fun, cheery, novelty-type looks with lots of color. Even for Christmas, when you think of the traditional reds and greens, we are offering more colors like Kelly green, pop reds and other vibrant colors. We're taking a more moderate approach this time, not going too cutesy or too serious, but rather much more fresh and clean. Just an overall more moderate aesthetic."
     Furthermore, in terms of count of patterns and collections, "everything went up" for this market compared to the prior year, Siegel said.
     "Last year, for Halloween, we showed about six collections. This year, we have eight," he explained.
     And within the new offerings, there is a heavier emphasis on vinyl offerings and coordinating kitchen components for trick-or-treat season, in response to requests for more child- and party-friendly wares.
     For the harvest season, Elrene showed 14 collections, versus last year's 11, and virtually all are fabric.
     Most significant, and at no surprise, is that Elrene's new batch of Christmas linens span about 20 collections - an increase from 2012's 17 offerings, and fabric here also dominates the assortment.
     On par with last year is the Hanukkah line, which comprises about three styles.
     "I think the holidays are really picking up steam," Siegel reiterated. "We saw some very good results in our first quarter, and with the way things are going week to week, we are optimistic. People are getting spring fever now, and I think that steam will continue and will roll right into some good holiday selling."
     In the soft window category, the company is launched five new designs at market.
     "Window has turned out to be a nice growth area for us," Siegel added. "We are happy with the business, happy with how it is going, and we like that it allows us to test the boundaries on different fabrics. We are having a lot of fun doing that and using a lot of that influence in other areas, namely table linens."

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