Soft Home Strong at Parisian

Carole Sloan, Staff Staff, December 12, 2005

Soft home is outpacing the overall home business at the northern department store group of Saks Department Stores (SDSG) as well as Saks' Parisian division.

And among the leading segments of soft home, said Howard Winkler, senior vice president, is the Jane Seymour Home Collection which will launch four new bedding styles in January.

Although the Bon Ton has agreed to acquire the northern division of SDSG in 2006, the contract with Seymour has been renewed for another year, Winkler said. “We plan to build on our ongoing success.”

Going forward, there will be 10 beds on the floor, six from the Grand Hotel-Msckinac Island Collection, two from Coral Canyon and two from St. Catherine's Court. “Our biggest success has been with the Grand Hotel line with its cleaner lines,” Winkler related. The covers of both the Parisian and northern SDSG semi-annual home books in January will feature one of the new designs.

New in the collection for 2006 are 600 count solid color sheets in four colors at $149 for the queen set. Like the retailer's Living Quarters 600 count sheets, “They both are single insertion construction,” Winkler emphasized.

The retailer will add to the lighting, “which has been very good,” as well as continue with items such as the charger plates that feature her artwork, Winkler said.

Within the soft home department, Winkler pointed to “the overall luxury sleep area” — feather beds and foam, as well as sheets as sales leaders and better bed-in-a-bag at $199 to $249. “There's a lot of growth in better sheets.” Towels and table linens “are just okay,” he noted.

For this holiday season, “We're keeping soft home on the front burner” in terms of marketing, he said. “A lot of times during the holiday, the tendency is to cut soft home marketing efforts.”

Overall, the Jane Seymour Home Collection will continue “with our aggressive marketing. Jane brings something to the market that others don't have — the image she creates and the people she brings in. With her new television show and her book, she has a loyal following,” Winkler observed.

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