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New Intros Make the Most of Market

ARLEE HOME FASHIONS

NEW YORK — As its Girls Night Out collection of novelty pillows grows, Arlee Home Fashions has added the ultimate coordinate — the Perfect Boyfriend pillow.

The Perfect Boyfriend pillow comes in the shape of half a man's torso with its arm rounded to accommodate a female who wants to curl up with “a great body but with no head games,” as the punned logo reads.

“It's a cute version of the body pillow,” said Robert Panko, vice president, product development.

Each pillow is dressed in a button-down shirt that is available in eight designs.

The Boyfriend is set to retail for $19.99.

Other Girls Night Out programs that were recently expanded include: the In Stitches small pillows embroidered with clever sayings; beaded pillows; bright colorways; and silk flower shaped pillows.

Also new is that for the first time the company is offering pre-packaged sets containing one throw and two coordinating decorative pillows in a variety of micro-fiber and other styles. Retail price points range from $16.99 to $24.99.

BALTA U.S.

DALTON, GA. — Balta U.S. is tapping into its European roots as one means of expanding its offerings to North American retailers.

The company recently created the International collection which comprises some popular looks manufactured and marketed by Belgium parent company Balta.

The International Collection includes more than 40 collections, each one of which has at least 20 styles. Constructions include opening price point heat sets through 1.5 million-point heat sets. The offering also includes 10 collections of rugs made using New Zealand wool.

“Balta is a 40-year-old company with decades worth of patterns, colors and resources, and we're proud to be able to bring this expanded offering to the U.S. market,” said Patrick Moyer, president, Balta U.S.

BALTIC LINEN CO.

VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — Baltic Linen Co. has added comforter sets to its high-end Wardrobe bedding line.

The line also includes accessories, like decorative pillows, which are set to be sold separately from the comforter sets.

Jane Berger, vice president, bedding design, said the company created the new comforter sets — which are available in the six new and two existing Wardrobe collections — because ,“We felt retailers understood comforter sets and wanted them, and from an inventory point of view, it makes total sense.”

She explained that customers should understand that these comforter sets are not traditional in the sense that the comforter, shams and bed skirts don't all match exactly.

“The comforter may be made of one fabric and the shams may be another,” she said. “It all ties together in color but the textures and fabrics for the comforter, the shams and the bed skirt vary, mixing and matching.”

The Wardrobe comforter sets are priced at $250 retail for a queen, a step up from the $129 opening price point comforter sets in its Signet collection.

GLENOIT RUGS

NEW YORK — Glenoit Rugs this past market grew the size of its kitchen rugs to include area rug sizes through 6-by-9, and simultaneously downplayed its designs for these new offerings to better coordinate them with the current sleek trends in kitchen cabinetry and countertops, said Debbie Powell, vice president, merchandising.

Titled Gourmet Accents, the collection comes in four groupings: fabric borders on a flat-weave base; plush and carved Chromajet 12-color rugs; Teflon-treated solids; and olefin embroidered looks. The smallest available size is 20-by-34.

In related news, Glenoit's Ex-Cell Home Fashions division has added latex-backed cotton bath rugs from India to its category assortment.

The line comes in three different qualities and six different colors, explained Powell.

They are: Emperor, a heavyweight solid in eight colors set to retail at $29.99; Market Mat, a mid-weight solid set to retail for $24.99; and My Choice, a lighter-weight solid set at $19.99.

HAVANA 1515

DALLAS — Upscale bedding and home accessories company Havana 1515, which gets its inspiration from its Cuban roots and vintage looks from the island, recently established a more moderate brand under its Cubanita's umbrella.

Titled Casa Cuba Co., this new brand targets mid-tier department and specialty stores, a notch below the high-end department stores that sell the company's Havana 1515 collections.

Casa Cuba Co. collections come in comforter sets and sheet sets, with a queen comforter set priced at $150 retail and a sheet set at $60.

“We had a lot of retailers who liked our lines but needed a different product at a different price point,” explained Sara Vazquez, president of marketing, who co-owns and co-operates Cubanita's with her sister, Rita Vazquez, president of design.

“We managed to keep the flavor and some of the embellishments, like ruffles and buttons, but made it more affordable for the customer,” added Rita.

Baltic Linen Co., based in Valley Stream, N.Y., is the licensee for Havana 1515 and Casa Cuba Co. bedding programs.

LACEY MILLS

CARTERSVILLE, GA. — Lacey Mills has refocused its product line to emphasize domestically produced offerings, swinging the ratio to 80/20 percent domestic versus imported goods.

Its new introductions for this past market speak to this move.

To its accent rug offerings, the company has added new cotton and synthetic collections, including: Grass Roots, a cotton solid and space-dyed stripe coordinate collection; Changing Seasons, a cotton-and-nylon blend; Shadows, a polypropylene retro stripe; and Cobble Creek, made of olefin in solids and stripes. New imported accent rug collections include leather looks, such as the shag Global Inspiration, seersucker weave and leather combination Lake Cuomo, a flat-weave leather-tilted Fresco and the multi-colored style Grotto.

The company's bath rug line is also centered on domestic goods, particularly cotton rugs like the Spa Soft collection.

NATCO HOME

WEST WARWICK, R.I. — With its eyes cast upward, Natco Home this past market raised the bar on it accent rug offerings with new, better qualities and higher price points beyond its traditional offering of promotional goods for the category.

“We now have more everyday looks and styles,” said Bryan Bogas, executive vice president for the woven, handmade and printed rug division.

The new varieties include printed and carved acrylics, tapestries, and new printed looks.

PARK B. SMITH LTD.

NEW YORK — Park B. Smith Ltd. once again has added to its Magic Blind soft window offerings, building it up with new constructions and styles — the latest being a linen collection.

These new linen Magic Blind window treatments come in four embellished styles — St. Tropez, Nice, Fru Fru and Monte Carlo.

The collection is also available in shower curtain styles.

REVERE MILLS

DES PLAINES, ILL. — Revere Mills has expanded its bath rug line since October when it added the category to its offerings.

“We've tripled our offerings because the business is growing for us,” said Dan Harris, vice president, marketing and product development.

More styles have been added to the line, including looped, reversible and jacquard woven spa varieties. Also, the company has expanded its solid colored offerings to coordinate rugs with some of Revere's most popular bath towel ensembles.

All of Revere's bath rugs are made in India of 100 percent cotton.

Retail price points for a 21-by-34 are set to range from $9.99 to $14.99 depending on the styles and construction.

SHAW LIVING

DALTON, GA. — Shaw Living's bath division for the first time added to its offerings cotton and cotton-blend rugs, including the licensed program it recently created under the Supima brand — representing the only one of the new cotton offerings that is not imported.

Shaw's cotton bath rugs span several styles, including a cotton and bamboo blend, a cotton chenille, and reversible space-dyed cotton and rayon chenille rugs.

“We placed more emphasis on cotton this time, whereas before we focused on nylon,” said Dennis Fein, vice president of bath for upstairs retailers, who said the company expanded into cotton offerings as a means of gaining more market share. “Cotton has grown in the last five years from 10 percent of the bath rug business to 15 percent. So we have to offer it, we have to offer everything.”

For the past market, cotton rugs comprised 60 percent of new introductions, versus 40 percent synthetic goods.

TOWN AND COUNTRY

NEW YORK — Town and Country's Brownstone Gallery upscale table linens division made a major presentation this past market of chair coverings under the Well Dressed Chair collection aimed at “wardrobe-ing your chairs,” the company said.

Available in 15 to 18 different styles, this new chair cover collection gives attention to details like piping, different skirt styles, bows and ribbons, buttons, hemstitching, embroidery and mitered edges.

VENUS HOME

FOOTHILL RANCH, CALIF. — Venus Home launched its licensed bedding program with Supima cotton this market.

It comprises 400-, 500-, 600- and 700-count Supima cotton sateen sheets. A 400-count queen sheet set, the collection's opening price point, is set to retail for $69.99.

Also new for this past market was the debut of the company's beach towel line — representing a new category offering for Venus. Under its newly created Venus at the Beach division, the approximately 50 beach designs come in double jacquard, terry and velour constructions. They are all available as 40-by-70 towels.

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