Pillowtex inks quilt deal

Looks to capitalize on homespun popularity

Heath E. Combs, Marvin Lazaro, January 21, 2002

Hoping to capitalize on the homespun looks that consumers seem to be gravitating toward more and more, Pillowtex Corp. announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Pem America to produce a line of quilts.

The product line will be for the major mill's Royal Velvet, Fieldcrest and Cannon lines, with designs to traverse classic patterns in new color combinations and "new, innovative looks for the traditional quilt."

According to Gretchen Dale, senior vp, design and new product development for Pillowtex, Pem America's proficiency in making quilts is what provided the impetus for the deal.

"We have the best brands in the business. Pem America has the expertise in making quality quilts. Rather than try to make the products ourselves, we are joining our brand recognition and excellence in customer service with Pem America's expertise and capabilities in manufacturing quilts to broaden our product portfolio and offer customers increased selection."

The line is scheduled to debut during the Home Textiles market in April and will subsequently ship by the fall. Both the Pillowtex and Pem America showrooms will show the line, but Pem America alone will handle marketing and sales functions. Each of the three brand names will include six to 10 designs with retail price points starting at $80 and ranging up to $200 for the first collection, depending on the brand.

"This is a unique marriage … that will take quilts to a new level in the home fashions arena," said Heath Hart, executive vp of sales and marketing for Pem America. "The brand names of Royal Velvet, Fieldcrest and Cannon will introduce the first non-designer branded quilts. This is a true first in the quilting market. Our customers are already excited about the possibilities this partnership presents."

Sizing and construction for the new line were not available at press time.

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