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Pima cotton products booming
14
Apr '10
Global COTTON USA promotions of U.S. Pima cotton products have boosted demand for Supima (i.e. U.S. Pima) throughout the supply chain and increased sales of bales.

COTTON USA successfully partnered with Marks & Spencer (M&S), one of the leading retailers in the UK, and Christy, England's original towel manufacturer, to promote their U.S. Pima home textiles. In 2009, M&S and Christy purchased 6,895 bales of U.S. Pima cotton and offered more than 2.8 million COTTON USA Marklabeled products at retail.

M&S's home textile department has been a COTTON USA licensee since 2006. That the partnership between COTTON USA and M&S has been extremely successful is illustrated by the fact that M&S has increased its U.S. Pima cotton consumption by close to 2,000 percent since 2006. M&S purchased the equivalent of 5,421 bales of U.S. Pima cotton in 2009.

Sales of M&S COTTON USA Marklabeled products in 2009 grew to 1.0 million towels and 470,000 bed linens, a yearon- year sales increase of 7 percent for towels and 23 percent for bed linens.

Owing to its sales success with COTTON USA, M&S decided to source its entire “super soft” line of bath towels exclusively with U.S. Pima, in place of non-U.S. origin cotton. M&S also expanded its U.S. cotton bed linen range, increasing it by 350,000 pieces since 2006.

Similarly, COTTON USA licensee Christy decided to switch its largest and longest running towel range from non-U.S. cotton to Supima cotton. The switch to Supima has the potential to increase Christy's purchases of U.S. Pima by an additional 400 bales annually.

CCI has partnered with Christy to successfully promote its U.S. Pima towel ranges to the UK market. Christy has reported yearly sales increases of approximately 10 percent during the promotion periods.

Christy became a COTTON USA licensee in 2007 and has steadily increased both its U.S. Pima purchases and products labeled at retail. Christy's purchase of 1,474 bales of U.S. Pima in 2009 represented a 43 percent increase from 2008.

On the heels of its successful COTTON USA promotions of home textiles, M&S will begin labeling 40,000 trousers with the COTTON USA Mark and Supima logo in Spring 2010. These 100 percent Supima cotton trousers amount to an additional 93 bales of U.S. Pima purchases. Each bale of U.S. Pima is currently worth around $735 at export.

COTTON USA consumer promotions are funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP).

Cotton Council International

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