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Croscill rocks into solid color towels

Donna Myers, Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, August 11, 2003

New York — Croscill is leaping into new territory, launching its first open solid color towel line and rolling out a "basics" line of open stock comforters, blankets, coverlets and decorative pillows to complement its solid color sheet line.

The new programs, set to debut at retail in mid to late November, slot into the upper end of department and specialty store basics programs. Croscill is attempting to pull together into cross-merchandised displays what is usually an item business merchandised by department — much as Croscill does in its fashion bedding, bath and window businesses.

"We feel there's a real void in the market for taking basics to new fashion heights, so we're translating the whole look the way we do things for the retail environment," explained David Kahn, president and ceo of Croscill Home.

"Our customers have been coming after us for a high-quality basics line for a while," added vp Julie Brady. "They want to work with a financially stable, market-driven, merchandising-savvy, fashion-right company with the infrastructure to handle it all from beginning to end and produce high-quality products with wonderful details."

To buttress the initiatives, Croscill is stepping up its global sourcing operation with the hire of two new sourcing experts — Steve Abramowitz and David Halley, both named vp of global sourcing for textiles. Abramowitz was previously with Elrene. Halley hails from Philip Van Heusen. Both report to Kahn.

"When you think of towels and basic bedding, it's how you source them that really matters, so we're pretty confident about our new product expansion," Kahn said.

The company's roughly 90-sku basics program will feature an assortment of solid-color, multi-stripe, dobby, jacquard and print-dot sheets, down comforters, duvet covers and pillow shams. It will also include solid-color and multi-stripe bed skirts as well as solid-color cotton blankets, coverlets, throws and dec pillows. Blankets will be available in fleece, mini-square quilt and two varieties of cotton waffle, while coverlets will be offered in two types of mattelassé.

The basics program will be offered in a spectrum of up to six colors and feature details such as embroidered flowers, velvet fabrics and warmer-colored coordinates for fall/ winter.

Croscill has also added 350-count and 375-count sheets to its solid-color sheeting line, which currently consists of 310-count and 410-count programs.

The brand's new high-end, micronair cotton towel, dubbed Lavish, is the first of what could be several open towel lines. It is not, however, Croscill's first foray into towels. Croscill already produces embellished coordinate towels for some of its bath accessories programs, and since 2000 has offered a branded solid-color line as a Bed Bath and Beyond exclusive.

The new Lavish bath towel will retail for $19.99 and be available in 10 colors — white, champagne, dusty rose, ocean, sage, claret, gold, bronze, plum and black. Lavish towel dimensions will feature a 34" x 60" bath sheet, a 30" x 56" bath towel weighing 16.75 pounds, a 16" x 30" hand towel, a 13" x 13" wash towel and a 21" x 34" bath mat.

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