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Veratex to add towels by Avanti

Joan Gunin, Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, April 1, 2002

Augmenting the presence it has built up through steady expansions beyond bedding and into soft window, bathroom accessories and framed art, Veratex announced that it has signed a licensing deal with Avanti Linens for a line of embellished towels.

According to Dale Talbert, vp of sales, Veratex will debut the new line this market. At least 20 patterns will be part of the introduction, with some designs taken from past Veratex ensembles, and some to coordinate with the new bedding ensembles for this market. A freestanding collection is also planned. Bath, hand, wash and fingertip towel sizes will all be offered.

The Moonachie, NJ-based Avanti will manufacture the line, Talbert said, adding that Veratex and Avanti have worked out a deal for selling responsibilities. However, both manufacturers will show the lines in their respective showrooms. Veratex is located at 303 Fifth Ave., while the Avanti showroom is located in 295 Fifth Ave.

In order to accommodate the new line, Veratex will now show its soft window line with the beds, while the space formerly occupied by the window line will be combined with bathroom accessories. In turn, Michael Tauber, president of Avanti, said his company would be dedicating a portion of its showroom to display the highly embellished line.

"It's a product category we have not participated in before and I think it will mean big business for us," Talbert told Home Textiles Today. "I think this could easily add on at least $1 million in sales to our bottom line in the first year."

Talbert said Veratex knew it would get into the embellished towel business when the company first introduced its bathroom accessories; it was just a matter of time until a manufacturing deal was signed.

"We've told some of the people in our key accounts that we are getting into that area of the business, and they were very excited about it," Talbert said. "It's good-looking stuff, and it's classy."

According to Tauber, the line will consist of a combination of terry cloth and velour in multiple colors on a 12- to 16-pound blank. Elaborate embroidery and trims made from Veratex fabrics will complete the look.

"We know the potential of the success of the line based on our past successes with other bedding manufacturers," said Tauber, who added that the line will be domestically made in Avanti's factories in New Jersey.

Like its bedding, bathroom and soft window coverings compatriots, the embellished towel line from Veratex will be offered at the same levels of distribution. Shipping on patterns that previously appeared on bedding ensembles will begin immediately. Newer patterns, however, will not be shipped until June. Price points, Talbert said, will hover around the $19.99 retail price point for a bath towel and generally not go much higher.

Avanti was chosen for the manufacturing license, Talbert said, because "nobody makes towels better than they do."

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