Next Creations, Alok Partners in New Company

Will strengthen business opportunities

Carole Sloan, September 2, 2010

NEW YORK - U.S.-based Next Creations and Alok International of India have formed a joint venture, a new company Next Creations Holdings LLC, to strengthen each company's business opportunities.
     The new company will involve all of Next Creations Designs, including its branded businesses and its license for Charisma home textiles products as well as private label, according to Michael Vidra, president of Next Creations Designs.
     It also will include the Raymond Waites Designs brand for all product categories except Waites' license in furniture with Laneventure and specialty accessories with the Phillips Collection.
     The Raymond Waites Designs business now will be known as Raymond Waites Designs LLC and will be created and marketed under the new corporate arrangement.
     The formation of a new company came about as Next Creations allied with Alok when it gained the Charisma license. As Arun Agarwal, president of Alok International, explained, "They are incredibly talented in design and merchandising, and we have manufacturing strength. We will become a significant business in the United States (as result of this affiliation).
     Alok has joined to board of Next Creations Holdings LLC, but the business activity has nothing to do with Alok's overall business activities, Agarwal emphasized.
     Vidra explained that the new alliance is a result of what "I felt we needed to be closer to a very strong manufacturer. As an example, we're not strong in sheets and this will move us there in a major way. It also gives us financial strength by their ownership in the company." Vidra earlier had bought out the company's other private investors, he said.
    "I felt that No.1 today was that very large retailers want to be closer to their manufacturing sources, and we have the advantage in providing the designing and marketing plus for this," Vidra commented. Alok, he noted, is more than a billion dollar company today and among the top three. "They have state-of-theart facilities, and we can bring them our design capabilities."
     Vidra added: "It won't change much in what we're doing now. We do a lot in China, and we still have the freedom in sourcing. And Alok will continue to sell direct."
     For Alok, said Agarwal, "We will become a significant business in the U.S. in bed, bath and window in a fashion-forward perspective."
      Next Creations Holdings' first major move will be in the launch of Charisma under its licensing arrangement, which brings the company into three major sheet programs as well as towels that will debut at year end, said Vidra.
     The Charisma program under the aegis of lead designer Annie Wao will launch this month with two beds with additional beds later in the season. The queen is pegged at $249 for the duvet.
     There are three sheet programs - a 500-count Supima percale easy care in four colors, a 600-count Egyptian cotton sateen in six colors and a third high-count sheet that is to be finalized.
     The new towels include a Quick Dry 23 pound using a specialty yarn at $28, an Egyptian cotton replacing the existing towel as well as robes, bath accessories and rugs.

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