The Bombay Company continues U.S. expansion
New national retail partners to be announced this fall
Susan Dickenson -- Home Accents Today, 8/26/2011 11:48:09 AM
NEW YORK, N.Y. - It's been a year since The Bombay Company debuted the first of its new product line in itspermanent showroom at 489 Fifth Avenue here. The soft launch took place during last August's New York International Gift Fair, by appointment, in the penthouse offices of Hermes-Otto International USA, the exclusive licensor of Bombay products in the U.S.
Soon after, on September 30th, The Bombay Company launched to consumers on QVC with an assortment of 14 "best-selling archival pieces and fresh designs" that ranged in price from $29 to $180. In March, QVC followed with two more offerings featuring a 19-piece collection of wood furniture and globally-inspired accent pieces, "adapted from Bombay's long- established practice of offering products for every budget and every room." In April of this year, Hermes-Otto USA President Wil Hollands announced Bombay's first nationwide in-store distribution deal: at 180 Kroger Company hypermarket stores, including Dillons Marketplace, Fred Meyer, Fry's Marketplace, King Soopers, Kroger Marketplace and Smith's Marketplace locations.
Today, Bombay products are in 180 Kroger Company stores at price points ranging from $7 to $400. Hollands says the response from both the retailers and consumers thus far has been "fantastic" and that Bombay's U.S. expansion is right on track. Meijer stores launched a selection of Bombay products in May, Bombay products can be purchased online at QVC, and several more retail partners will be announced in the coming weeks.
"Our business continues to expand,and in addition to our current relationships we will be launching two new relationships this fall with national retailers," Hollands said. "Bombay's exclusive black label will be launching at a leading big-box national specialty retailer in four major product categories with other categories following shortly after. We will also be launching an exciting shop concept with the beloved ‘Bombay Safari' theme along with a mini ‘Bombay Gift' display at holiday time with a well-known national retail chain."
In an interview with Home Accents Today earlier this year, Hollands described the Bombay product assortment as four segments: Core - detailed furniture collections, luxury lines, embellished accessories and wall décor & layered tabletop; Gift/Seasonal - holiday décor and special occasions; Novelty - unique and special items that Bombay is famous for; and Bombay-to-Go - ready-to-assemble furniture, packaged gifts, boxed traffic items. The marketing strategy incorporates product and packaging concepts such as "black label," "striped label" and "Bombay Heritage" for the specialty store, mass, general merchandise and club channels.
"With the absence of Bombay stores in the marketplace it is our intention that the next chapter of the Bombay evolution is to offer the broadest assortment of our wonderful products with select retail partnerships," Hollands said. "Bombay is an exclusive brand and throughout our long history we have had several iconic packaging designs. We are using this differentiation to distinguish our exclusive assortments."
Hollands said the quickly-growing collection currently comprises about 35% archival pieces and 65% new or "next generation" designs. "Our collection is a lifestyle representing so many categories that it is impossible to show all that we have to offer in our NYC showroom," he added. "I don't know what the exact count of products there are in our many diverse collections but it a vast and exciting assortment."
Bombay's re-emergence in the U.S. has also begun to take shape in social media channels. "There were many loyal Bombay fans with a few different Facebook pages looking to connect so we soft-launched on Facebook last fall and on Twitter earlier this year. We have plans to expand and grow our presence as we continue to establish meaningful partnerships and have products in the marketplace.
"We are focused on creating beautiful product designs with all the Bombay traits -- unexpected details, unique embellishments, hallmark of quality and craftsmanship -- throughout all the product categories of the Bombay lifestyle. It's an ever-evolving creative process. With so much inspiration from our classic archival designs and the exciting ports around the globe, you never know what will come next."
About The Bombay Company -- Once a multi-channel retailer with more than 450 stores and nearly $600 million in annual retail sales, Bombay has been repositioned for the wholesale market with programs suited to specialty, department and mass channels. The Bombay Company's collection is founded on wood furniture, embellished accessories and tabletop collections distinguished by classic styling and unexpected detail. Bombay continues to rank among the most recognized home décor brands, according to company research.