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Macy's puts the push on embellished towel program

Looking to increase its profile in a category it sees as having broad appeal and untapped potential, Macy's has created a display of more than 40 feet of embellished towels in its flagship Herald Square store here and plans on making a similar impact in the segment at many of its other locations.

The department store's strategy is to tap into the sales potential for embellished towels by "indefinitely" making a "very strong statement" for this sub-category for the bath, Alan Natowitz, vp, dmm, home textiles, Macy's East, told Home Textiles Today.

"Our intent now is to grow that business," Natowitz said. "The bath category ebbs and flows, but embellished towels is a different bath category all unto itself because it appeals to a much broader audience."

While only the Herald Square store currently carries the display — largely because of the unit's generous square footage — the plan is to add expanded displays to 100 other Macy's stores along the East Coast corridor by this fall.

"It may not be in as grand a way because we don't have the same luxury of space at other stores," Natowitz said. "But we are looking to add the same visual impact for embellished towels by this fall in our other locations."

The Herald Square display features 40 different collections by Moonachie, NJ-based embellished towel manufacturer Avanti Linens.

"We have a close relationship with Avanti. And we wanted to make sure this display worked, and we believe it will be a success," Natowitz said.

Avanti has stocked Macy's with its best-selling bath, hand, wash and tip coordinated embellished towel collections — including eight licensed folk artist Warren Kimble collections and many in-house designs like Castle Hill, Banana Palm, Tulips, Regal Pineapple, Rose Buds, Quilted Floral and Primrose.

"It represents the largest display Avanti has ever had in any store" during its 33-year history, said Michael Tauber, president.

"The average wall space for this category is typically between 16 feet and 20 feet," Tauber added.

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