Baltic readies for full-scale rollout
Cecile Corral -- Gifts & Dec, April 8, 2002
For April market the typically low-key Baltic Linen Co., which in December celebrated its 65th anniversary, is planning to raise its profile with the debut of its biggest collection ever of bath towels, terry robes and bedding goods.
Recently outfitted with a showroom that is almost three times the size of the original space — 4,600 square feet from 1,700 square feet — in suite 811 at 295 Fifth Avenue, the company can now fully display its entire lineup, including fully coordinated lifestyle vignettes as well as several new categories within bed and bath.
The design studio is also located within the new space, occupying about 650 square feet, for the company's two design vice presidents — Jane Berger for decorative bedding and JoAnn Wanamaker for bath.
"It's all light and bright; it's like a loft space," Berger told Home Textiles Today. "We've added new lighting, opened it up so that we can fully appreciate our large window that faces Fifth Avenue. We've changed the floors, added shelving. We basically gutted it from top to bottom. We installed fixtures that show our product the same way it would appear at a retail store. It's going to look great for April market."
The bedding division is expected to get a strong boost because of the added showroom space. Where the company used to display six beds, Baltic can now accommodate up to 12 beds as well as the many new product introductions from the company.
Some of the major bedding introductions set for April market will be comforter sets, which include comforters, bed skirts and shams and are set to retail for $39.99, and a new line of throws and blankets, imported from India, set to retail for $59.99. The latter had a soft launch in October with 10 skus featuring chenille and cotton. After getting "great placement at retail" for the line, Baltic has decided to move forward and enter the category. For this market, the company will introduce twice as many skus — 20 — comprising chenille throws with mitred borders and cotton, chenille and jacquard-chenille blankets in solids, stripes and plaids — some of which directly coordinate with bedding and some of which are freestanding.
Wanamaker is particularly excited about the bath division because the company "can now finally display bath robes in quantity and show the 17 to 20 different palettes of our towel line." Each palette, considered a program, is composed of six to eight colorways.
"The showroom is awash with our new towel display — with new shelves that go from the ceiling to the floor," she added.
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