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Kamal Launches Sleepwell in U.S.

Vertical home textiles manufacturer Kamal Group has opened a U.S. division to broaden its retail-direct business.

Industry veteran Scott Gress is ceo of the division, Sleepwell Inc. Former Dan River exec Lou Casali recently joined the company as svp of sales and marketing. Long-time industry designer Eva Harley is creative director. The division was established in early May, and the selling network is up and running in several key areas of the country.

"Kamal has supplied the U.S. market for many years via U.S. importers," said Casali. "This will be a direct factory-to-retailer model, with design, marketing and distribution here in the U.S. as the value added services, to name a few."

Sleepwell will initially focus on sheeting and bedding ensembles, but Kamal's product range also includes quilts, bedspreads, duvet covers, sheet sets, curtains, table linens, pillows, sofa covers and decorative accessories. Purchasing options consist of FOB Karachi, LDP U.S. ports, and U.S. warehouse replenishment.

Kamal Group, based in Faisalabad, Pakistan, did $64 million in export business last year, with the U.S. as its major export market. Kamal's business units encompass spinning mills, fabrics, polyester and cotton yarn production, weaving, dyeing and sock manufacturing.

"We feel this business model is the wave of the future and the most competitive way to bring product to the retailer," said Ahmad Kamal, chief executive of the Kamal Group. "You have to cut the fat. This is a low-cost manufacturing base with a tight marketing arm."

The company will take a showroom space for the New York Home Fashions Market, which runs Sept. 15-19. Sleepwell will begin shipping this fall.

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