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Pendleton taps industry vet Johnson

Gearing up to make a big splash in the wide-open market for adult blankets, century-old Pendleton Woolen Mills has tapped industry veteran Pete Johnson, former ceo of Faribault Woolen Mills, to lead the company's expansion into department stores, specialty stores and catalogs.

After a 40-year career at Faribault, Johnson has joined the new Blanket & Home division of Pendleton, headed by former Mercantile Stores merchant Robert Christnacht. Expanding its jacquard-woven wool blanket lines into traditional retail channels, Pendleton will launch its new home collection at this October's New York City market.

"Pendleton has the strongest brand related to wool of any U.S. manufacturer," said Johnson. "They are serious about the wool bed blanket business and with the strength of their brand, Pendleton can dominate this category."

Mort Bishop III, president of the family-owned company founded in 1863, said, "We are committed to the wool bed blanket business and believe that Pendleton has an outstanding opportunity to fill a void in the market left by other woolen mills struggling to deliver in the race of tough times. We are confident that with Peter's guidance, we will be a strong and viable player in the wool bed blanket business."

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