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Melrose mixes it up in top-of-bed

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, December 9, 2002

Melrose Home Collections, while still a relative newcomer to home textiles, is rapidly expanding its niche and is now offering a wide and varied collection of top-of-bed ensembles.

Melrose made its initial foray into the market a little more than a year ago, offering an assortment of soft window coverings and coordinating decorative pillows, as well as soft tabletop items. At the home textiles market this past April, Melrose added throws and furniture slipcovers to its line. For October's market, Melrose unveiled the new collection at its temporary showroom space in 230 5th Ave.

The company's newest venture includes duvets, bedskirts, standard and Euro shams, neckrolls and decorative pillows in eight different coordinating looks.

"This is really exciting for us," John Emrani, managing director, told HTT. "This all came about as a result of requests from customers who wanted us to expand the unique looks from our decorative pillows and window coverings to the top-of-bed and build a story."

Much of the design inspiration for the new line, Emrani said, came from Melrose's parent apparel division and its upholstery fabric division, which enabled Melrose to tap into established looks. While many of the ensembles have a decidedly luxury feel, there are also contemporary and younger looks. "We're targeting different sectors in a retailer's business," Emrani said. "We are offering a distinct look that we feel caters to new homeowners looking to incorporate fashion into their bedrooms."

Tying in the other aspects of Melrose's business, coordinating soft window, decorative pillows, throws and slipcovers are also being offered, but the company has elected to stay away from the sheet and comforter aspects. The line is currently being offered as open stock only, but the company is willing to construct sets. Melrose's large warehousing facilities enable it to stock significant inventories and ensure timely delivery of re-orders, Emrani said.

The eight ensembles encompass a range of constructions. Cambridge is a taffeta and chenille, while Como/Lucca features quilting and a chenille base. Paris is a yarn-dyed Jacobean jacquard, and Mixed Media is a collage of textured cotton and linen. Natural Home features a blend of cotton linen, and Rose/Diamond Dot is a flocked satin. Spanish Steps is a textured chenille, while Woolen Blocks is a woolen blend duvet with contrast blanket stitching.

Wholesale prices for a queen duvet range from $49 to $79 and for throws, from $13 to $59.

Despite the relatively quick expansion of product offerings, Melrose is taking a conservative approach. "We're not going out and building new top-of-beds from fabrics we haven't seen success in already," Emrani said. "We're being cautious and smart about this."

The line is aimed to appeal to the specialty and department store channels, as well as catalogs.

While Emrani said Melrose remains focused on all of its businesses, he added that he would like to see bedding grow to represent roughly 20 percent of company sales.

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