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Hollander Home Fashions expands operations

Boca Raton, Fla. - The operative word at Hollander Home Fashions these days is "new" - new headquarters office here, new Manhattan showroom, new production facility in Los Angeles, and a new designer license introduction (a biggie) coming up at the New York Home Fashions Market.
"It's definitely been a year of real estate for us," ceo Chris Baker told HTT.
In New York, Hollander has relocated from its long-time showroom on Avenue of the Americas into a new space at 440 Park Avenue South (at 30th Street), 10th floor. One of the key product introductions the manufacturer will unveil during market week - which takes place Sept. 10-13 - will be Lauren Ralph Lauren utility bedding, a license that had long been held by WestPoint.
"We've definitely expanded the line and feel there is significant growth opportunity in better products," said Baker, who sees the brand doing more in luxury down and premium poly fills.
Hollander will begin shipping the line in January.
In addition, the company is moving more aggressively into woven blankets. Although it had dabbled in the woven business, the category as a retail offering is getting a boost from new accounts Hollander has opened in the hospitality space.
Hospitality "is something Hollander had ignored in the past," said Baker. "We've made good progress this year and expect at particularly strong 2013."
The company continues to grow its own Live Comfortably brand. "It's in its infancy stage, but we feel it has legs."
A boon to that effort comes from direct-to-consumer business, which Hollander confines to its major retail accounts with ecommerce divisions. The opening earlier this year of a 200,000-sq.-ft. facility in East Los Angeles was "an excellent secondary benefit" to direct shipping. Most of those orders are now processed in Hollander's Dallas plant, and Baker expects the West Coast operation to supplement that. The LA plant replaces two older facilities in the area that are shifting operations over the coming months to the new structure.
Similarly, Hollander's new Boca Raton headquarters replaces an older building the supplier had outgrown and is located near the original site. "It's literally down the street," said Baker.
While the past decade has seen some significant shifts among utility bedding suppliers - with majors like Pillowtex going out of business and other leaders doing owning significantly less market share than they did previously - Baker thinks it likely more could lie ahead.
He pointed to price integrity as a key factor, noting many companies did too much unprofitable business for too long.
The other major challenge for the home textiles business as a whole, he said, is product.
"We need to be creating innovative products that generate consumer excitement," he suggested. "We need to give people a better reason to buy based on desire rather than necessity."


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