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Bombay Company brand looks to expand

Licensing, branding agency aims to extend line

NEW YORK — The Bombay brand, having reestablished itself in new furniture last year, could soon expand into several other licensed categories - including fabric and upholstery.

The Wildflower Group, a licensing and branding agency, said it is partnering with global trading company Hermes-Otto International USA to develop a strategy for several products designed to satisfy a consumer's home-furnishing needs.

"It's very exciting to be part of a brand revival with so much opportunity," said Michael Carlisle, principal, The Wildflower Group. "Our comprehensive brand expansion program will capitalize on the sky-high name recognition for the iconic brand among consumers, while delivering distinctive ‘value luxury' offerings with classic styling and unexpected detail."

Wil Hollands, president of Hermes-Otto International USA, called establishing strong licensing partnerships "a fundamental element of our overall growth strategy." He said Wildflower is "a proven leader in the licensing business."

In addition to fabric and upholstery, Wildflower and Hermes-Otto aim to expand the Bombay brand into kitchen textiles, home office essentials, flooring, home storage and organization, seasonal décor, bathroom fixtures, luggage and travel accessories, and men's and women's gifts.

Wildflower's partnership with Hermes-Otto International represents the latest effort to revive interest in the Bombay brand, which was once built around a chain of boutique specialty home stores.

Under a multi-year agreement that started last year, home furnishings importer Powell Company is designing, sourcing, developing and distributing Bombay-branded furniture in its core categories, including dining, occasional, youth and accent furniture and rugs.

At its peak, Bombay had over $500 million in annual sales and had more than 450 stores. The company, which started as a mail order business in 1978, discontinued its U.S. retail operations in 2008.

However, Bombay is still one of the most recognizable home décor brands in America, according to a December 2013 study by market research company Research Now.


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