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Restoration Hardware touts Italian linens leadership

Beats first-quarter estimates

Corte Madera, Calif. – While reviewing its first-quarter results late yesterday, Restoration Hardware laid claim to being one of the largest importers of luxury Italian bedding in the world.

RH’s Italian bedding consists of “the exact quality product produced in many of the same factories at half the price of the most well-known Italian bedding brands,” chairman and ceo Gary Friedman told analysts during the company’s quarterly conference call. “ We’re also the largest importer of Belgian linen and Thai silk.”

The retailer’s labelling of Belgian linen has raised hackles in some quarters of the home textiles world as packaging reveals the products are made of Belgian flax but often woven outside that country, usually in India.

Friedman asserted RH has become the go-to home brand for Nieman Marcus, Saks, Barney’s and Bergdorf customers. “RH has built the most comprehensive curated collection of luxury home furnishings in the world under one brand,” he said. “We have disintermediated the supply chain by eliminating the wholesale markup and inefficiencies that exist in the highly fragmented luxury market, allowing us to offer unmatched value.”

For the quarter ended May 3, RH generated net income of $1.8 million vs. a loss of $161,000 in the year-ago quarter. Net revenues jumped 22% to $366 million on top of a 38% revenue bump in last year’s first quarter. Comp brand revenue climbed 18% on top of 39% growth in Q1 of last year.

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