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Name recognition pays dividends in sector


The link between the celebrity doyen and the mass-market home goods business has been fairly cemented, yet its nature is changing as narrow proprietary relationships have become less prevalent.

A new crop of names entering the mass market are approaching with a different strategy, developing a broad range of product that retailers can add to sales floors based on specific price, design and assortment needs. Still, they continue to command the name recognition that retailers have found valuable in reaching consumers.

The Jane Seymour Collection is expanding rapidly in the mass market, adding new segments, as well as additional retail customers. Seymour is bringing sensibilities formed as an actress, a painter and former partner of Saks, as assets to her collection. Her newest pillar design grouping is Cimarron Valley, evoked by the settings of her television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” The others are St. Catherine’s Court, based on Seymour’s Tudor manor house in England; the Winding Way, featuring a Cottage sensibility; Coral Canyon, based on Seymour’s California home and Grand Hotel, evoking the Mackinac Island landmark.

Seymour’s designs also are influenced by motifs from her paintings, which are prominent in recently developed segments, including lamps and throw pillows. Rugs are being added currently. Styling is deliberately broad and includes transitional and contemporary looks. Seymour’s background in retail influences development of her collection, including establishment of lower price points in the top of bed segment with queen comforter sets that were in the $349 to $449 range and shifted to $249 to $299. “We want to have a large range that’s even less expensive than we have now,” Seymour told Retailing Today.

The Great Indoors was a critical early retail outlet for the collection when it debuted there in spring 2007, but it since has found its way into furniture stores, Linens ’N Things and The brand also operates an e-commerce Web site, said spokeswoman Ami Rossi.

Early this year, Malibu announced a deal with Cindy Crawford Home Licensing to develop and market a comprehensive line of furniture home decor items inspired by supermodel. In addition to home decor, the deal covered tabletop and entertaining, outdoor decor, kitchen decor and related merchandise with shipments beginning in the middle of the year.

The line has since expanded to include top of bed, done in collaboration with Springs Global, and rugs, partnering with Mohawk, said Glen Rotner, president of Cindy Crawford Home, as the company has looked beyond its initial furniture store distribution. The domestics will first ship in fall.

“On non-furniture, we’ve developed separate lines for furniture stores and then lines that are separate for traditional retailers,” Rotner said. “They will be offered at the same price points. We’re gearing toward [middle-class] Americans. Her line in general is about accessibility with style and value.”

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