• Cecile Corral

Brentwood acquires MI space for facility

Decorative pillow, throw and window treatment manufacturer and importer Brentwood Originals, based here, recently acquired a 45-acre property in Village of Memphis, Mississippi, where the company plans to build a 400,000-square-foot manufacturing and distributing facility.

The new facility represents the largest expansion of capacity in its 44-year history and "reinforces our commitment to continue to invest and grow its business," said Loren Sweet, senior vp, sales and marketing.

"The increasing demands of the evolving retail climate demand more and more from the manufacturer, which can only be achieved over the long run by investing to ensure that one's capacity and service levels can keep pace," he added.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 1. The completion of the facility is projected for May 1, 2002.

Brentwood Originals currently operates a 330,000-square-foot facility in Youngstown, OH, which represents Brentwood's largest existing company-owned facility; two adjacent buildings totaling 250,000 square feet here at headquarters; and another smaller facility in Olive Branch, MS, which will be vacated and sold.

Brentwood imports its entire product assortment from overseas. But at its domestic facilities, "we take our pillow shells and blow them with polyester and sew them shut," Sweet explained. "It's not a traditional cut-and-sew facility."

"Certainly the events of the last couple of weeks have impacted businesses of decorative accessories, but the categories of windows, throws and pillows have been doing well in relation to the rest of the home categories and we have confidence business will remain strong in the long run," Sweet said.

He specified that demand at retail for decorative pillows has been greatest, followed by throws and, finally, curtains and other soft window treatments.

"A year or two ago, chenille was dominant, and it is still big; but it's no longer the only main construction," Sweet said. "Other growing constructions include brushed twill, damasks, animal looks and host of more fashion-oriented styles — including silk and tropical colors."

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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