Ellery Homestyles Flexes Diverse Designs
By James Mammarella -- Home Textiles Today, 3/7/2010 12:00:00 AM
New York —
Continuing to build on its Eclipse division of fashion blackout panels, and updating its Waverly bedding and window collection, Ellery Homestyles enters the current market with considerable momentum.
“Our business is strong; our replenishment business is especially strong,” ceo Budd Goldman told HTT. “But this was true for us all through ’09. Perhaps due to the diversity of our customer base, we have not felt the downdraft from the overall economy at all.”
“2010 is starting the same way,” Goldman added.
The house Eclipse brand has now grown to five collections — Eclipse, Absolute Zero, Kids Eclipse, Nursery Eclipse, and Off Campus — and Ellery continues to add “new fabrications, new viewpoints, new testing” of thermal and light-blocking attributes, he said.
“Kids Eclipse is really resonating with the retailers” across multiple tiers of distribution, Goldman said of the rollout of the juvenile segment that Ellery launched one year ago. Like the “adult” versions, the line targets retails of $14.99 to $24.99 for a set of panels.
In its licensed Waverly program, Ellery has undertaken “a more contemporary approach to traditional styling” for the brand, Goldman said. “The showroom really mirrors that. Our Ellery bedding is contemporary; the Waverly is traditional with a modern twist.”
In a different direction, the company’s William & Mary matelassé program, licensed by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, is doing “significant business” without the advantage of any real brick-and-mortar placement. Eight retailers, Goldman said, are offering the 100% cotton, made-in-Portugal, double-woven matelassé coverlets and bedspreads on their websites. “It keeps growing,” he said. “We’ve been able to expand its presence through each of the retailers.”
Ellery is also doing a vibrant trade in seasonal and faux fur throws, one of its hallmarks.
Meanwhile, the company has terminated its license with the Kas design label. Goldman said Ellery design director Angela Boswell is now leading a no-name in-house effort, and noted that this “good, smart, indie design” initiative has launched with good retail placement. “It’s not a bed-in-a-bag business,” he remarked.
Gauging the broad market, Goldman concurred with other home textile executives that, while the economic crunch of 2009 may have delivered “a respite on the cost-increase side,” that is now “about to change.”
He identified three factors: an inevitable appreciation of Chinese currency, which will make China-produced goods more dear; significant upward pressure on ocean freight rates, already occurring; and overall inflation in China.
This “last wild card,” Goldman said, will be driven by the “increasing cost of living there, and it will force up labor rates and all the other things that go into that.”
When is that third type of adjustment due? Without being specific, Goldman said, “It’s quiet right now, but I have a feeling..”
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