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29 Mar

Banana Republic Enters Home Category

Banana Republic desires to change into a player in the house category.

It has launched BR Home with bedding, rugs, pillows and decor.

The BR Home collection, which is obtainable starting Tuesday online and in 15 stores within the U.S., retails from $40 for washed cotton pillowcase sets to $7,550 for luxurious, handmade rugs woven within the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. There shall be a dedicated space for BR Home inside each of the 15 stores.

“Our expanded Home collection is central to our vision to be the premiere lifestyle brand that positions BR as an experiential and cultural cornerstone in our customers’ lives,” said Sandra Stangl, president and chief executive officer of Banana Republic, a Gap Inc. brand. “Banana Republic is a destination for discovery, adventure and imagination.”

The BR Home product development and design teams traveled the world and collaborated with makers and artisans to develop home textiles, incorporating sustainable materials and practices wherever possible, the corporate said. Materials include European linen, plush cotton cashmere and organic cotton.

Aaron Rose, head of commerce and experience for Banana Republic added, “Discovery and self-expression are an integral a part of our customers’ lives at home, work and away. We all know they care deeply about great style, design, and quality in all facets of their lives, and we’re excited for BR Home to be a central a part of their personal lifestyle.”

Some Banana Republic bedding offerings.

Courtesy of Banana Republic

The road comes as Banana Republic looks to expand beyond fashion into lifestyle, Rose told WWD.

“As we considered the house space, we developed our product line with our core customer in focus in addition to our recent elevated brand positioning. Our recent home textiles line offers a spread of accessible and premium styles. For instance, our washed cotton percale sheet set starts at $195 and our luxurious cotton-cashmere silk sheet set is priced at $550,” Rose said.

Details include streamlined closures, exaggerated proportions and textures, in addition to fringes.

The brand new home collection builds upon last fall’s launch of ART, Curated by Banana Republic, a group of exclusive works from artists and photographers.

Many fashion retailers have gotten into home decor, including Ralph Lauren, Vince, Gucci, The Webster, La DoubleJ, Moda Operandi, Missoni Home, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Matchesfashion.com, H&M, Zara, L.L. Bean and Kate Spade.

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, Gap reported a $273 million loss and a 6 percent sales decline. Gap and Banana Republic plan to shutter between 50 and 55 stores as the corporate continues to downsize its fleet of stores. Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, told WWD earlier this month that Banana Republic has had “a pleasant run of growth,” but stumbled attributable to store closures, a shift away from work-casual styles and an absence of newness over the vacation.

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