Wider variety, added info key sales drivers
Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 11/11/2002 12:00:00 AM
This year's holiday catalog offerings from specialty retailers cover all the bases, from European opulence to heartland heartiness. Promotional price points aren't getting as much of a workout as they did during last year's holiday season — at least as a selling focus.
Some catalogers have beefed up the information quotient. Lands' End Home offers advice about slipcover selection, while Pottery Barn devotes two-thirds of its back cover to "10 Ways to Simplify Your Holidays," and L.L. Bean's opening spread in home includes "Five Reasons to Choose L.L. Bean Flannel."
If industry-watchers' predictions that online sales will hit new highs this season come true, some of these multi-channel retailers should have a very happy holiday indeed.
Horchow sets the table for its holiday book primarily with fine imported linens, including velvet, embroidered sheers, hand-embroidered cutwork linen by Fino Lino, and 485-count Egyptian cotton, hemstitched linens by Sferra Bros. Three bedding groups are offered: a rich mocha, crimson and gold jacquard with satin quilt and 300-count Italian jacquard sheets; an intricate floral woven with heavy tassels and embroidered 275-count Egyptian sheets by Sweet Dreams; and a woven silver and gold bed set with printed 230-count cotton sheets from WestPoint Stevens.
Garnet Hill kicks off its winter book with flannels and quilts featuring the retailer's characteristically upbeat palette and whimsical designs. Flannel offerings are extensive throughout — from prints of fruits or florals to an embroidered scalloped flannel in cream. There also are coolly urbane offerings in muted sagey gray tones, as well as luxe looks. One of the book's showstoppers is a richly colored, handmade quilt of dupioni silk with luminous embroidered flowers and delicate beadwork.
Bloomingdale's By Mail
Bloomingdale's dropped three catalogs with holiday themes recently, but only one with a broad assortment of home textiles. Here, as elsewhere, velvet makes a strong showing. Velvet floral bedding is embellished with floral silk tissue appliqués and backed in cotton sateen. Coordinating velvet floor cushions and quilted velvet throws are offered in rich jewel tones. Elsewhere there are velvet drapery panels, velvet pillows embroidered with with seasonal sayings and patchwork velvet tree skirts with ribbon embroidery.
Crate & Barrel
Novelty patterns are in scant supply in Crate & Barrel's holiday catalog, which is grouped by theme — Be Jeweled, Espresso, Garnet Garnish and the like. Cross-merchandised color stories range from several variations of reds to luminous golds, pale silvers and sapphires. Seasonally hued throws and rugs are predominant, with a smattering of table linens, dec pillows and bedding, which is limited to two quilts. Tablecloth constructions include cotton-linen, cotton blend and cotton jacquard. Table runners come in cotton blend, velvet and sateen.
Pottery Barn kicks the patchwork craze up a notch with blanket and pillow shams inspired by winter caps, scarves and sweaters, backed in a red cable knit. But Velvet is the big story in this year's holiday book offerings of home textiles, where it appears in appliquéd tablecloths, toppers and chair slipcovers as well as on printed velvet duvet covers and shams.
Although Restoration Hardware significantly deepened its selection of home textiles earlier this year, the category takes a back seat to furniture and giftable items in this year's holiday catalog. Where textiles are offered they follow the party line, with nuanced designs in muted tones. There's nary a snowflake or primary color in sight.
Lands' End Home
Although flannel is the star of the show, the holiday book from Lands' End Home runs the gamut. New items include velvet slipcovers, "extra-soft" Easy-Care percale sheets in solids and stripes and a $16 Supima towel three inches larger than the previous offering. The book also offers "lowest pricing ever" on cotton towels ($10), knit sheets ($19 twin) and 220 all-cotton sheets ($10 twin).
L.L. Bean's holiday 2002 catalog offers nine pages of home textiles products. While that's just a fraction of the overall book, the retailer manages to cover a number of categories, and devotes a two-page spread to braided wool rugs made by Capel. New items include a $29 lightweight fleece throw, a "four-season" fleece blanket at $49 and a premium goose down pillow priced from $59 to $89, offered in three levels of density (soft, medium and firm) with a 250-count cotton shell.
Orvis' homespun offerings for the holidays feature traditional themes and fabrications. Bedding includes printed flannel sheet sets from $59 twin, quilts, hand-hooked rugs in holiday themes, needlepoint dec pillows and a coir floor mat overprinted with a snowman motif. The Sugaring Off flannel set is made of 4.7-ounce flannel trimmed in red rickrack and is imported from Portugal.
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