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Mohawk looks to grow juvenile line

Mohawk Home, based here, is making its strongest push ever in the juvenile category for the New York Home Textiles Market by more than doubling its product introductions across all home textiles categories.

Mohawk Home research found that there is $140 billion of discretionary income being spent on and by tweens and teens ages 5 to 14 and 12 to 20, respectively, all of whom comprise a population of about 35 million.

"They have the largest pool of discretionary money out there because they have low expenses," explained Jeff Jacobs, vp and product manager, textiles.

"That's a significant amount of people," he added. "And they are very opinionated and influenced by all types of media — music, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines and television. And what ends up happening is that as they keep changing their tastes, they want to change the way they express themselves and the way people perceive them, more than adults would. About 80 percent of those kids are making the final decisions on how they decorate their room."

Pat Moyer, vp, marketing, noted: "Someone can change their room three times a year, and you can't make it an investment for them to change that look.

"That's why our juvenile goes from promotional to mid-tier. We've made an effort to grow the category significantly — only a year ago, we had no licenses for rugs, and for this market we have a decent presentation."

Mohawk's breadth of juvenile products for this market includes rugs, throws, decorative pillows, bedding and bath rugs. The only textile category Mohawk Home is not making juvenile products for is table linens.

A large portion of the juvenile line is license oriented.

"We have greatly expanded the presentations we have in licensed properties with a focus on classic licenses and evergreens, particularly in younger markets with Scooby, Spiderman and Blue's Clues, for example," Jacobs said.

Mohawk Home is also developing new Mohawk Home Designs branded juvenile programs with retailers for larger presentations of products that coordinate throughout all categories.

Mohawk Home expects its strongest category for this market to be decorative pillows — which includes a new collection of pillows in the shapes of stars, moons, flowers and other designs. "Because these items are highly affordable, at $8 to $10 each, they are impulse-purchase items," Jacobs said.

In throws, Mohawk Home has identified "a tremendous charge toward different licensed properties," Jacobs added, like Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer. Throws will be available in a variety of constructions, including jacquard woven, tapestry and fleece, "which was once a product people viewed as seasonal but now is seen as a 12-month-a-year product," Jacobs said.

Some of these juvenile textiles are made domestically, but some are being sourced from overseas, such as fleece, high-pile knits, handmade shaped rug collections, and the novelty-shaped decorative pillows.

Throws are set at $15 to $20 and rugs are at $19.99 to $79.99, depending on the construction — handmade, hand-tufted and carved imported non-licensed shaped rugs and nylon printed with chromajet.

Bath rugs in the juvenile line will be priced at $14.99 and $19.99.

Tufted chenille bedding starts at $439.99 for a twin set.

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