Pillowtex begins new era with Dale as senior vp

Marvin Lazaro, August 3, 2001

Kannapolis, NC — The hiring of Gretchen Dale by Pillowtex Corp. as its new senior vp, design and new product development may herald a new era for the major mill.

Dale, who comes to the Kannapolis, NC-based Pillowtex after eight years at tabletop and kitchen textiles manufacturer Bardwil Linens, will oversee design and development and will report to Scott Shimizu, executive vp, sales and marketing. She will also be based here.

"I think it's really going to be a fun experience," Dale told HTT about her new company, position and responsibilities. "[The job is] going to entail pretty much anything, whether it's fabrications or a new way of making things or perhaps a new product category."

Dale added that by joining Pillowtex, and with the help of those working with her, she hopes to introduce plenty of change and new product and that she expected to unveil new products during the upcoming fall market with a major thrust tentatively planned for spring market in 2002.

"Mij Adams [vp, fashion designer] and Tom McElroy [divisional vp, mass merchandise design] head up two design staffs with a great team of young people," she said. "There's a lot of excitement going on around here, and there's a push to introduce new things here.

"I think some brands will be reinvigorated, while others will be getting some repositioning," Dale added. "This is really a job that brings it all together, and we'll bring out a product when it's right, with all of the marketing tools around it."

"Pillowtex is a fashion leader in home furnishings, but we want to enhance our design and product development activities. Gretchen is the top choice to fill this expanded business unit," said Shimizu about Dale.

"Gretchen Dale brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the home textiles industry," Shimizu added. "Not only does she have extensive experience in the industry, but she has a solid reputation with retailers and others in the industry for exciting, creative design and cutting-edge product development, attributes that are necessary to excel in today's competitive environment."

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