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Rudi goes back to drawing board

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, July 8, 2002

Slightly more than a year after entering the U.S. market, Rudi Home Fashions is re-positioning its assortment and is ready to show retailers a new sense of direction this October.

Rudi is the U.S.-based arm of long-time Turkish textiles manufacturer Dilhan, which has built its business over the last 30 years by shipping goods to various European and Arabian countries. Rudi originally previewed its line during the recent April market, but retail reaction was tempered since many of the products featured over-the-top opulent looks in an already crowded marketplace.

Getting away from that approach, Rudi is planning to introduce during the October market a re-vamped window and top-of-bed presentation with lower price points and styling geared more toward the U.S. and its consumer base. Since Dilhan owns and operates its own weaving, dyeing, printing and cut-and-sew facilities, the shift has been relatively seamless.

"We've spent the time since last market determining where our prices and our designs should be," said Dick Silvia, sales manager for Rudi. "We have a tremendous amount of product that we'll be ready to show retailers."

Rudi's primary offering to retailers continues to be a wide range of soft window coverings. A selection of double cloths, clips, burnouts and matelasses, as well as many others, will all be showcased this fall in a vast array of fabrics. Coordinating top treatments and sheers are also offered for many of the designs. Retail price points will range from $19.99 to $39.99.

"We're really focusing on key looks for the U.S. market and good price points," Silvia said. "We have the ability to compete with anybody in the business on prices.

"No matter what, for everything, we're concentrating on our unique manufacturing ability," he added.

Rudi also plans on presenting several new top-of-bed ensembles and shower curtains, two areas which the company sees as having significant growth potential. Fabric-by-the-yard is yet another area in which Rudi hopes to grow.

Going hand-in-hand with the new design and pricing approach, Rudi also now operates a distribution center in Larchmont, NY, giving the company the ability to ship to its customers from here in the U.S. rather than operating strictly as a direct importer.

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