Maples to produce Royal Velvet rugs

NEW YORK — Maples Industries has signed a license agreement with Official Pillowtex LLC to produce and sell bath, kitchen and area rugs under the Royal Velvet brand, according to brand manager Group 3 Design Corp.

Maples, based in Scottsboro, Ala., is a producer of tufted washable rugs in the United States. The company plans to leverage its manufacturing and distribution resources to supply Royal Velvet rugs to upscale retail channels.

Maples first Royal Velvet bath rug line will be introduced at the upcoming home furnishings market in October, and coordinates with the new Royal Velvet Bath Towel program. Li & Fung — the Royal Velvet licensee for bath towels, shower curtains and bath accessories — had previously announced its plans to ship retailers in January of 2005 for the spring 2005 season.

Group 3 Design Corp. is a New York-based firm focusing on brand management and development. The firm manages and directs all marketing, design and licensing for the Royal Velvet, Cannon and Cannon Royal Family brands on behalf of brand owners, Official Pillowtex LLC.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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