New division goes casual
By Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, 8/30/2004 12:00:00 AM
DURHAM, N.C. —
Croscill bedding has gone casual with a new lifestyle collection called Croscill Casuals, which will serve as a separate division with its own branding, logo and packaging, all designed to grow the company's distribution channels.
The casual bedding looks will retail for $199 to $249 and be faster turn items with eight to nine months of longevity. Traditional Croscill master-bedroom looks primarily retail for $299 and have a life span of one to two years.
"It's not a price point issue," explained David Kahn, Croscill president and CEO, as to why the company is moving in this direction. "It's more about textures, fabrics, colors and lifestyles to target a different audience." He added that Croscill is making a huge commitment to cotton, madras, denim, gingham, twill, duck, microsuede and patchwork.
According to Michael Talbert, Croscill sales manager for the Southeast, the company has been given more real estate at retail for the new casual collection from its existing shops, which number 1,000-plus nationally, including JCPenney. "This will give us the opportunity to increase our assortment at retail in a big way. It means additional retail space, which is never something you want to give up if you can get it," he added.
"The casual momentum really started in window and then moved into bedding," said Kahn. "It's been the greatest breadth of change from Croscill that you've ever seen."
Talbert echoed Kahn, saying, "We are trying to make Croscill more diversified in the looks we offer. We are coming up with lots of different styles that are much more casual and unexpected of the traditional Croscill products."
Croscill bedding will now encompass four design groups: casual; young and fun; traditional; and sophisticated and elegant; the last of which still needs to be developed further, per Kahn, to attract the style-conscious designer consumer.
"We've been so traditional for so long that I'm thinking we need to shake it up to let people know the different looks and lifestyles we offer," described Kahn. "Everyone is asking us to create a separate umbrella for the casual looks."
The entire perimeter of the company's showroom at its semi-annual Style Out event featured casual, nontraditional looks with opulent styles peppered throughout the center. Approximately 25 beds were on display, with a 50-50 mix of casual and formal patterns.
In window, Croscill is showing lighter fabrications and casual "fun in the sun" looks featuring dots, daisies and other retro motifs. Baubles and ribbons of various constructions — such as grosgrain strips with 3-D appliquéd daisies — have also been added to jazz up the primarily casual looks in the showroom. The company is reviving its "Silent Glide" Roman shades and adding tab-top drapery to Ashford — its denim and corduroy duvet program — which will feature six new colors this fall's New York Home Textiles Market.
In bath, the company has developed lots of new looks utilizing natural bamboo and is playing with themes such as butterflies, dragonflies and seashells. Croscill is also building on the "young, sophisticated, pop look" of its Jonathan Adler bath collection.
Croscill's Carl Legreca, vice president of merchandising and marketing for bath products and decorative accessories, said four new organic ceramic shapes are being added from Adler's collection of vases and accessories, while a soft pink will join the solid-color lacquer-wear program. There will also be many PVA vinyl shower curtains, as well as canvas and multicolored options. Half a dozen designs in a new printed fiber-reactive towel will be added to Jonathan Adler in a few colors for the first time at this market.
"The look is dramatic, young and fun, yet friendly. We've had a lot of interest from retail," said Legreca, adding that soft pink and chartreuse will be important colors in the collection this market. A new sage color called charlotte is also being added.
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