Hellenic throws blankets over upmarket channels
Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 3/31/2003 12:00:00 AM
AT THE NEW YORK MARKET —
Hellenic Rug Imports is launching an upscale line of Australian merino wool throws and blankets that the company hopes will help attract a new high-end clientele.
"These throws and blankets feel like cashmere, very soft and not itchy like other wool throws," said Steve Mazarakis, president. "They have a silky touch and that added warmth that cotton blankets and throws don't have."
The line is titled Aegean Merino Wool Blankets and Throws because it is made on the 40 looms at Hellenic's manufacturing and distribution facility in Naoussa, Greece, Mazarakis said.
The line initially will include 18 throws in solid colors and plaid designs and 15 blankets in similar styles in the line.
The throws are available in a single size, 50" x 70", and are set to retail for $69.99 through $99.99. The blankets are available in all bedding sizes, from twin through oversized California king (80" x 108"), which is set to retail for $259.99. The retail price for a queen-size blanket is $199.
Mazarakis said the line targets high-end catalogs, department stores, specialty stores and upscale furniture stores.
While rugs make up the company's core business, Hellenic has been producing blankets and throws made of lambs' wool for the past six years.
Also new for Hellenic's throw and blanket category is the Indian-made chunky chenille waffleweave construction, which, as a throw, carries a slightly higher price point, $39.99, than Hellenic's lambs' wool throws, which sell for $29.99.
While Hellenic will carry blankets made of merino wool and chenille, Mazarakis said it is doing away with its lambs' wool offerings for the U. S, market "because people here say they feel like sandpaper. We sell them very well in Europe, where we sell the majority of our blanket business. The U.S. is more of a throw business. Here, bed coverings are usually downs or quilts. Wool blankets are not that popular. But throws made of cotton, especially those made of cotton chenille, are hot because of the hand they have. Our merino throws have a similar hand."
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