Bath towels in my grocery cart, please
Over the past few months, many industry contacts have talked about their clandestine efforts to pursue alternative channels to sell their wares. I say clandestine because none of these companies wants to reveal their tactics, much less the specific retailers they are courting, for competitive purposes.
For some decorative pillow players, pet stores offer a new venue for carrying pet beds, which are essentially oversized box or round decorative pillows.
Some rug suppliers are doing the same, pitching their accent pieces as pet products.
For some bedding and bath companies, grocery stores seem to be an option, at least as in-and-out seasonal programs.
My neighborhood Publix Supermarket – a 936-unit chain present in five southeastern U.S. states – for the past couple of weeks has been carrying in a large end-cap display of all-cotton bath ensembles.
Made in Pakistan, these towels come in four solid earthy tones – light beige, taupe, burgundy and deep teal – and are available in four sizes, from washcloths to bath sheets.
The prices fall right in line with typical discount pricing, from $0.99 for a washcloth to $7.99 for a bath sheet.
As a frequent shopper at Publix, I’m well aware this supermarket regularly offers its customers a variety of seasonal impulse purchases. These bath towel sets are clearly part of that strategy.
But as someone close to this industry who knows how hard home textiles players have been hit by the weak economy’s impact, I am glad to see new opportunities like this one sprouting at unlikely but logical places.
Let’s have some more of that, please.