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Cinde W. Ingram

Tommy Bahama joins forces with Outdoor Experience

Tommy Bahama director of licensing Chrisann Furciato contracted with multi-line sales agency Outdoor Experience as its sales, marketing and product development arm in outdoor furnishings.

Bill Echols, president of Outdoor Experience, plans to meet with retailers this month during the Casual Furniture Retailers Forum in Orlando, Fla. Sixteen stores already had signed on by mid-January as exclusive dealers in their markets. An official launch of Tommy Bahama outdoor furniture is planned for the July premarket in Chicago, but products will only be shown to dealers who have joined as partner stores.

While Brown Jordan International, Echols' former employer, focused on the high end when it made Tommy Bahama furniture, the range will now be the mid- to high-end. The furniture will be cast and tubular aluminum plus woven, loom products. Other products will include exclusive outdoor fabrics, linens, lighting, rugs and fans.

"We're trying to create the Tommy Bahama lifestyle for the outdoors," Echols said. "We expect to have 150 stores signed up for the first season."

Established in August 1992, with corporate headquarters in New York and Seattle, Tommy Bahama is a lifestyle company that defines elegant tropical living with a complete home furnishings collection as well as sportswear and accessories.

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