Springs brings it all together
Jay McIntosh -- Furniture Today, September 2, 2002
Fort Mill, SC — Springs Industries plans to show integrated home settings at the upcoming market, leveraging the acquisitions it made earlier this year of Beaulieu Rugs and the Burlington House window and bedding businesses. When the $2 billion company went private in fall 2001, it made plain its intention to become a one-stop shop for major retailers. This October, its presentations will showcase that thrust.
"It's a new day here. We're growing.
And we're digesting a lot," said Nancy Webster, vp of creative development.
In the meantime, the mill has reworked its bedding and bath offerings, layering in additional price points, building out collections and putting an emphasis on added value through new constructions.
"Our focus is on continuing to upgrade the complexity [of bed and bath] with new fabrications, more pieced constructions. We want to appeal to the consumers for impulse purchases and must-haves," Webster said.
New this market in the bedding area will be Artistique mini-duvet sets, an extension of the upper-end Artistique collection that debuted in spring 2001, and three new categories of quilts that leverage the March acquisition of Shanghai sourcing house Ultima Enterprises: the all-cotton, value-added Quilt Styles program; an opening price point program; and a promotional quilt set program.
The Artistique mini-duvet set program is intended as a high-value but lower-price-point alternative to Artistique sets, which include complete bed ensembles with hand-crafted details at under $300. Priced at $79.99 all sizes for a duvet and two shams, the five designs in the all-cotton program use pigment printing techniques to mimic jacquard and piqué grounds overlaid variously with embroidered accents and ribbon embroidery motifs.
Quilt Styles, previewing in four designs, also aims at the high-touch/high-value mark for moderate price points. Priced at $99 for a queen quilt, the program employs cotton facing, a cotton back and cotton batting. Fabrics across the collection include yarn-dyed chambray and mixed patchworks of toiles and stripes as well as traditional block patchworks with embroidered accents. Ribbon embroideries and appliques figure among the enhancements. The program includes coordinating shams and dec pillows.
The opening-price-point quilt program also is being sold open stock at either a $59/$79/$99 price grid or at $79 all sizes. Cotton faced and poly-filled, the collection features trend-directed and Americana patchwork looks.
Springs' promotional quilt sets, which might go to market under the Burlington label, include a plethora of looks from Back-to-School designs to botanicals to brights. Priced at $39.99 all sizes, the sets are faced in poly/cotton printed patchwork designs, backed in solid white or ecru, and use poly fill.
Also new in bedding is the Nautica solid-color sheet program, which was secured last spring. Its palette coordinates with the Nautica top-of-bed and printed sheet coordinates produced by American Pacific, giving the program the potential to open up a sizable revenue stream through Linens 'n Things and Bed Bath & Beyond, the most prominent retailers of Nautica.
Constructed of 280-count Egyptian cotton, the program will debut with 12 colors: white, ivory, canvas, khaki, sage, pale pink, glacier blue, yellow, navy, hunter, poppy and French blue. Nautica's trademark woven sailboat label will be affixed on pillowcases between the hem and body. The program will be sold open stock.
In bed-in-a-bag, Springs is also marking out the distinctions between its Wamsutta programs and the Burlington-branded business. Wamsutta will hew closer to traditional master bedroom looks. In higher-value offerings, Springs also will turn out sateen ensembles under both the Wamsutta and Bill Blass brands as well as piecework ensembles under Pat Farrell and Eileen West. Burlington's Absolute Bed In One collection will aim at more contemporary motifs, while Burlington House comforter sets will focus on perceived value through techniques such as heat-transfer prints on crinkled textured grounds.
"We're trying to bring bed-in-a-bag out of the doldrums," Webster said.
In the bath department as in bedding, Springs is bringing a more eclectic mix of fabrics and techniques into play.
The Wamsutta label will debut 18 new coordinate bath programs. Designs in shower curtains will include appliques, ribbon embroideries, heat-transfer prints on faux suede, puff prints on batiste, slub linen, poly/taffeta and engineered borders.
Carved coordinate rugs also are a big part of the bath story this market, as are more ambitiously constructed bath accessories. In freestanding accessories, Springs will introduce glass pieces under the Palace Splendor collection, coordinating with a wooden tissue box and wastebasket pair topped with lace-work metal.
"We will be very focused this market on freestanding accessories," Webster said.
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