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Lighting and home decor goods represent an important segment of the $4.42 billion juvenile products market, and at this week's Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) show here, suppliers are adding new merchandise to spur growth.

"There are great opportunities for expansion in the juvenile market," noted Michael Dene, chairman of Emess Lighting, Ellwood City, Pa., a major supplier of juvenile lighting.

Licenses are one way to add longevity. According to data from the NPD Group and the JPMA, nursery lamps are the number-one licensed home furnishing item in juvenile products. In fact, more than three-fourths of all nursery lamps sold last year were licensed.

Recognizing this, Emess has greatly enhanced its offerings in lamps under the Walt Disney Co. and Looney Tunes licenses. While Emess' Alsy and Cresswell divisions also carry some non-licensed kids' lamps -- animals and teddy bears -- the company made its largest introduction yet in licensed goods at last week's High Point home furnishings market.

The lamps target toddlers to teens, and range in design from pastel three-drawer lamps with character drawer pulls, to back-to-school goose-neck desk lamps featuring various characters.

Some of the most creative lamps that buyers will see at the JPMA Show are Emess' Looney Tunes dome touch lights with voice chips inside that play a favorite saying from one of the cartoon characters. The lamps, which will retail from $7.99 to $9.99, are attention-getting items that would make appealing endcap displays. Several major retailers have already planned endcap displays, company executives said.

Emess will show in the Win-gate Monday Furniture booth at the JPMA show.

Other lighting and accessories suppliers will make introductions at JPMA, including Juvenile Products Corp., which unveils four lamps under the Baby Snoopy umbrella through a licensing agreement with Peanuts.

Alan Freidel, president of Juvenile Products, said his lamps of Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and Lucy will coordinate with a dozen other product categories at the show and will be available at retail in 1999 to coincide with the 50 year anniversary of Peanuts, created by Charles Schultz.

Juvenile Products is also featuring several ginger-jar lamps in 13 colors and handpainted, ceramic lamps in animal designs such as lions and elephants.

Susan Lettieri, co-owner of Roxbury, N.Y.-based Kiddie Lites & Accessories, is also featuring animal theme lamps. The three-dimensional line, called Heh, Diddle, Diddle, features a Noah's Ark design, an All-Sports theme complete with baseball bat to soccer ball, and a lamp reflecting the famous cat-jumped-over-the-moon nursery rhyme.

The company is offering its new Over the Rainbow Collection of 3-D poly-resin lamps in tea party and enchanted castle motifs. Each set comes with a lamp, switch plate and frame set.

And finally, Kiddie Lites also has a ginger-jar lamp line, but with a nightlight built into the base. There's a pink lamp with heart cutouts, a blue lamp with moon cutouts and yellow and white lamps, each one of which has star cutouts.

Brian Green, manager of Great Beginnings, a Gaithersburg, Md.-based specialty store, said he anticipates moon and star themes will be a big hit again this year after doing so well last year. There seems to be no end in sight of the strength of Winnie the Pooh, he added.
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Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 26, 1998

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