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Market briefs

Balta reveals wool collection

DALTON, GA. — Employing an efficient wool-spinning technique done in Turkey, Balta U.S., the fledgling American branch of the Belgium company Balta, introduced a new wool collection priced as competitively as the company's heat-set polypropylene rug collections.

The Sedona collection, produced in Belgium, is made of 100 percent New Zealand semi-worsted wool. Available in nine patterns, including watercolor, transitional and striped looks in desert-like colorways, a 5-by-8 rug is set to retail for $199 — the same price as a heat-set polypropylene rug in the company's Luxus collection, said Patrick Moyer, president.

""Most of the time when you introduce a 100 percent New Zealand product, it takes the price up significantly," Moyer continued. "But through our wool-spinning process we do in Turkey, we've realized efficiencies that allow us to price our New Zealand wool products as aggressively as our heat-set polypropylene products."

DWI Holdings adds new brand

NEW YORK — DWI Holdings has created a new brand, called Palladium, for bedding products other than Royal Sateen. Three Palladium-branded products were recently revealed — two are promotional comforter looks, Floral Fantasy and Renaissance; the other is Fashion Denim, a pieced denim bed with frayed edges and double-wilted stitching. The company said it will continue to grow its non-Royal Sateen offerings.

In addition, DWI is looking to expand its blanket and throw business with an increased focus on fleece for opening price points. "This is more of a commodity-related business we are interested in doing," explained Michael Bernstein, CEO.

In Royal Sateen, the company continues to introduce solid colors, such as Royalty Moss, to layer into the program. "We've had good response to this program, which was designed trying to fill the Charisma void as much as we can ourselves," added Bernstein. "We've increased the value of the product and made our collection more diverse in the process."

Fashion Industries refocuses floor

GRIFFIN, GA. — In its rug division's first market in New York under new leadership, Fashion Industries refocused its floor covering business on bath, indoor/outdoor and chromajet rug styles.

Debbie Stair, who joined the company in December as its sales and marketing manager for its area, accent and bath rug division, has enhanced her sales team with several former Pillowtex people.

"We're focusing on bath rugs, because some of the sales force we've hired came to us from Pillowtex, where bath was their focus," said Al Whiten, senior vice president.

The company introduced 20 new bath styles, 28 new indoor/outdoor varieties and about a dozen new chromajet rugs.

All of the products in the rug division are imported from India, China and Egypt.

Haywin expands David & Goliath

NEW YORK — Haywin Textile Products added four new designs to its David & Goliath collection, which are sold as mini sets for $49.99 to $69.99. New patterns are Superfly, I Love Me, Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite and Ex-Boyfriend.

Superfly reverses to a repeating positive/negative of the pattern. I Love Me has floating hearts reversing to the title print. Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite is a conversational look that reverses to a repeating bug print, and Ex-Boyfriend is a repeating print of a couple's photo that reverses to an ex-boyfriend montage.

Top-of-bed and sheeting is done in jersey knit, while throws are fleece with whip stitching. Newer items in the collection include embroidered 30-by-60-inch bath sheets, wastebaskets, bath rugs, and clear and solid vinyl shower curtains. There are also 13 new designs of decorative pillows.

"David & Goliath is taking on a life of its own," said Gregg Haft, Haywin president.

"The creativity and uniqueness of the product is filling a void that no one in the industry has ever addressed before. We are capitalizing on the opportunity by major product category expansion."

Haywin added, "This is not going to be a back to school only business. This customer doesn't want his/her mother decorating their bedroom for them."

JWS hits market with new introductions

ATLANTA — JWS Associates embarked on its first market in New York with a new permanent showroom and product category introductions.

At its 3,000-square-foot space in 295 Fifth Ave., the two-year-old company, which originated as a home fragrance supplier, debuted its comforter sets with 42 skus — all of which coordinate across JWS's other product categories.

The company also introduced its home storage line, which JWS recently added to its offerings through the acquisition of Morton Home Products.

The company expanded its bath rug offerings from India to 40 skus from 20 and its doormat offerings by 20 skus.

In related news, JWS is preparing for its move this month to a 45,000-square-foot distribution facility here. Formerly based at a 10,000-square-foot site, the company is relocating its offices, warehousing and distribution facilities to this site.

Mohawk adds new construction to floor mats

SUGAR VALLEY, GA. — Enhancing its floor mat division with a new construction, Mohawk Home added heat-transfer kitchen mats, runners and slices to its assortment as an alternative to its cotton heat-transfer varieties.

The 58-inch runners are set to retail for $29.99 and the 18-by-30 mats and slices are priced at $12.99, said Jerry Brooks, general manager, floor mat division.

"With these new mats, we were looking for more wearability and more design detail," Brooks added.

Thomasville to move to larger showroom

NEW YORK — Thomasville Home Furnishings will be moving to a 5,500-square-foot showroom on the 16th floor of 295 Fifth Ave., by June. Currently, the company occupies suite 1619, an 1,800-square-foot space, so the move will mean tripling the size of its showroom and most likely keeping its suite number due to the layout of the floor.

"We will have more showroom space for beds and a back-office studio that will allow us to have a design area, showing our commitment to New York," said Kenneth Lowery, Thomasville president, adding that a stand alone dec pillow line could be next.

Thomasville produces more than 95 percent of its products domestically, but has some sourcing out of Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, China and India.

"While we're cognizant of what's going on in global sourcing, we continue to be successful in what we're doing, which is taking a very measured and careful approach to sourcing," he said.

Scala expands into new categories

NEW YORK — Scala has jumped into juvenile bedding with its new Bambola collection, which caters to teenage girls, ages 14 to 18.

The highlight of the collection is a bedding pattern of bubblegum pink velour reversing to silk with a pink chiffon floral tucking accent on dec pillows and top-of-bed. The look has a baby blue ultra swirl throw with poodle hair texture. The pattern comes in blue, taupe, mauve, black, red and green.

Also included in the collection are several novelty dec pillows such as solid-color faux fur letter pillows, solid-color shaggy pillows, multi-colored shagadellic pillows and terry-textured towel pillows. Also shown were denim pillows with and without pockets.

According to company president Chip Scala, "The tweener area is a classification we should certainly look at and try to figure out how to market. We want to offer custom-made looks at affordable price points."

About 15 varieties of faux fur throws and dec pillows reversing to microsuede were also shown. Other looks in pillows include pieced faux leather, microsuede and silk. The company expanded bath accessories with about 15 mostly contemporary looks.

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