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Avanti Linens Expands Ultima Line

Family-owned and operated embellished towel manufacturer and importer Avanti Linens is appealing to its upscale specialty customer base with the expansion of its fledgling drop-ship monogrammed bath ensemble collection.

Ultima, as Avanti dubs this program, launched in May as a 10-sku banded and embellished assortment for Bloomingdale's, said Jeff Kaufman, president and coo of Avanti.

"We started it as a better alternative to Avanti [branded goods] for better specialty stores, and it's had a very good reception," he said, which has encouraged Avanti to now branch out the assortment to other higher-end retailers, including single-unit shops.

Canadian towel manufacturer Cambridge supplies the 18-pounds-per-dozen, 100% Egyptian cotton bath, hand and tip towels, and Avanti creates the single-initial monogramming and embellishments.

Available in the alphabet's 26 letters, the line comes in seven towel-and-thread color combinations — white with ivory, white with black, mocha with blue, sage with ivory, granite with silver, ivory with mocha, and linen with mocha.

While monogrammed towels would normally be confined to special-order programs, Avanti has the infrastructure at headquarters here to offer this line on a 24-hour drop-ship basis.

"We are able to drop-ship directly to the consumer from Avanti's warehouse," Kaufman said. "It is hard to predict what a customer wants. This is not made to order. Rather, we'll ship quickly, and we'll stock based on the orders coming in."

Kaufman said Avanti, which has long worked with many mainstream department and specialty chains, created this line to reach an untapped higher-end channel because "customers were asking us for better price points in embellished towels."

The monogrammed Ultima bath towels aim at a retail of $29.99.

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