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Covington Buys Heirloom

Covington Fabric & Design has purchased the assets of Heirloom Decorative Fabrics of Westport, Ct., a converter owned and operated by Tom Bruno, a long-time decorative fabrics veteran who is joining the company July 14 as vice president, sales and marketing, reporting to Roger Gilmartin, president and ceo.

Bruno had been vp of sales for the Spectrum Fabrics division of Covington Inds. and then for Covington itself. His first job in the decorative textiles business was at Waverly. Prior to starting Heirloom, he headed sales at Weathervane Hill and Tomkins Roth.

"Tom will assume the responsibility for the sales and marketing functions of the merged entities and brings back into our business an unparalleled knowledge and experience of the sector," Gilmartin commented. He added, "An important collateral impact of Tom's appointment is that it will allow us to move Steve Marrandino back to head up the sales team in our contract business. This is a growing segment in our industry and this move will place the emphasis on this part of the business that it needs and warrants."

"This acquisition, Tom's arrival and the recent appointments of Marion Murray as creative director and John Severson as chief financial officer should be a very clear message to all of the seriousness of our family's commitment to restoring the Covington brand," said Mark Kahan, Covington's chairman. "Every company is judged by the quality of its executive leadership. We are now putting together the right management team to face the industry's challenges and take the company forward to new heights."

Heirloom Decorative Fabrics will remain as a brand within the Covington family, explained Gilmartin: "It will represent a higher-end brand for the Covington group, with sophisticated elegance as its signature. Existing patterns will stay in the line, and some of the things we had planned for the Covington line may be translated to Heirloom."

"Under our new ownership, we're really looking to put together the A team of the industry," he noted. "We bought the assets of Heirloom to get sales management, leadership, contacts and bring us a very important addition."

"When Steve moved over [from contract] it took our eye off the area we wanted to focus more on – contract," Gilmartin told HTT.

Covington itself "will have a new look" under the direction of Murray, and our market will continue to be the mid- to upper-end."

Heirloom's sales people will continue to carry the line and some Covington reps also will carry the line," Gilmartin added.

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