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Metropolitan Home to enter textiles fray

NEW YORK — Coming soon to a store near you …Metropolitan Home magazine-branded home textiles.

The New York-based magazine announced that it had appointed Concept Marketing Group Inc. (CMGI), also based here, to develop an upscale, extensive line of quality soft and hard home furnishings, including bed, bath, furniture and decorative accessories, branded with the magazine's name. As licensing representatives, CMGI is charged with guiding the development of the products.

"What we would like to do is very much in keeping with Metropolitan Home, which is very contemporary and very clean," Susan Alter, vp, franchise marketing, Metropolitan Home, told Home Textiles Today. "We'd like to carry forward that look."

"The products that are developed will reflect the taste level the magazine is at," said Kerry Glasser, president, CMGI. "Our vision is to mirror the demographic the magazine caters to."

The magazine and CMGI are hoping to place the products at the department store level.

According to Alter, among the first items produced will be a full range of bedding, including top-of-bed and sheeting, as well as decorative fabrics, throw pillows, wall borders and rugs. Bath items, towels and accessories would be second off the production line, while furniture would be the last items unveiled.

The manufacturer that will produce the goods has not been chosen but must have the design aesthetics, capability and production facilities to help Metropolitan Home launch the line, Alter said. Glasser added that whatever manufacturer is chosen, it must represent "long-term stability for us." A target unveiling date has also not been set.

"This will be a partnership between the manufacturer and us," Alter said. "We neither have the manpower nor do we know the ins and outs of manufacturing and distribution, so a partnership will be important."

Despite the soft state of the home textiles market, Glasser said he believed that would not pose a problem to the venture.

"I don't think the market is standing still," he said. "Even in a soft market, it's a time when retailers are having to plan ahead and gearing up for the next possibility. I think something new and fresh and exciting, like the Metropolitan Home products, will be accepted by the right retailer and by the consumers. We believe we can bring something to the table."

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