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Sanger to Energize the Mix from Veratex

Veratex's appointment of a vp of merchandising — a first for the company — signals a strategic broadening of scope for the fashion-oriented home textiles producer, specifically expanding the Veratex private label business into mid-tier retail channels.

Debbie Sanger, who holds the new post, spent the first half of her career in merchandising, ultimately becoming a divisional merchandise manager at Mervyns. From there she moved to now-defunct kitchen textiles and table linens supplier Barth & Dreyfuss. She spent the past three years at diversified home textiles producer Keeco.

"Debbie brings to the table a lot of selling and merchandising to customer accounts in a way we haven't done before," said Dale Tablert, vp, Veratex. He added, "In today's world, where slots on the floor are so precious, you need to make sure you're digging into the store's assortment and not just your own."

Sanger told HTT she will bore down into point-of-sale information and in-store assortments to come up with insights and solutions retailers can use to appeal to consumers — especially in a tough retail environment.

"Retailers better batten down the hatches to weather the next one-and-a-half to two years," Sanger said. With home departments around the U.S. performing poorly, she'll work to help retailers "build safety into their stocks. I don't mean boring; merchandise has to be compelling. We're not going to give up on that fashion proposition."

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