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Custom to take part in Madden launch

The custom decorating business at JCPenney will participate in the May launch of the Chris Madden "Turning Home into Haven" home furnishings collection.

The custom decorating department — with its 760 decorators who make in-home visits to sell window treatments, bedding, table linens and other home accessories — is offering two sample book collections of approximately 57 fabrics.

"Chris went around the fabric market by herself and selected some 300 skus that fit her image," explained Brenda Jones, senior buyer for custom decorating. "She went by herself and picked a lot. If we already had the same design or something similar, we made those decisions. But she was the editor."

The result is the three-lifestyle offering that coincides with the themes of her merchandise for the JCPenney Home Collection — Serene, Romantic and Adventurous. The fabrics are from P/Kaufmann, which has 33 skus, and Richloom, with 24 skus. Fabrics include cotton/linen blends, all cotton, all polyester, cotton/polyester, cotton/rayon, rayon/polyester, and polyester/viscose. Some fabrics are domestically produced, while others are from India, Taiwan, China, and Italy.

"We also had a couple of patterns in the ready-made drapery line converted to 54-inch fabrics for this program," said Cecil Naftel, manager of the custom decorating department. Two of the patterns are being used for bedding and window coverings.

The program was outlined to the sales managers of the department during the corporate meeting in January. Decorators are using postcards to alert potential customers, and there is a monthly marketing advisory plan to highlight the buzzwords for the program, Jones explained.

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