Have You Heard The News  (International)

New EPE licensee: DUVETS-to-curtains company

Character World is all shook up after clinching two major agreements which will help propel sales towards �13m this year.

The family-owned company, based at Stanley Green near Cheadle Hulme, has secured licences to design and manufacture bedding products featuring Elvis Presley and award-winning animal portrait photographer Rachael Hale.

Its deal with Elvis Presley Enterprises will see Character World design and manufacture duvet covers, sleeping bags, blinds, ponchos and bean bags featuring the rock and roll legend. The goods will be in the shops in time for Christmas.

Managing director Danny Schweiger said: "This brand will have global appeal for adults as well as teens. Properties featuring music and film legends are experiencing resurgence as people look to the past for inspiration.

"Icons such as Elvis Presley have inspired generations for many decades and will become increasingly popular as the demand for 'retro' brands continues to grow.

"We're extremely excited about the possibilities for the brand."

The licence for Rachael Hale products will see Character World supply duvets, curtains, towels, fleece blankets and sleeping bags featuring dogs and cats to stores and catalogue firms including John Lewis, Woolworths, Debenhams, Argos and Littlewoods.

Danny said: "The Rachael Hale brand has wide appeal and an extremely high profile across the globe.

"It's a change in direction for us, as this brand will appeal to teens as well as children."

He runs the business with brother Mark, who is sales director, and their dad Tommy, the chairman. Established in 1998, the company posted sales of �8m for 2006. It employs 34 staff. Turnover this year will be boosted by licensing agreements for Disney favourites in addition to the Elvis and Rachael Hale ranges.

Character World's other licences include The Simpsons, Spiderman, Barbie and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Meanwhile, Character World has expanded its sourcing operations in Pakistan through a joint venture. It also buys from China, Turkey, Bangladesh and Portugal.

Source: Charmaine Voisine

Posted: 10th. June. 2007 

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