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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY BUSINESS | VENTURA COUNTY
REVIEW / LEO SMITH

Partners Bugle Boy, Lollytogs Enjoying Uniform Success

September 09, 1997|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Not that they want to blow their own horn, but the Bugle Boy folks are pretty pleased with this, their debut season, in the school uniform market.

"It has been going extremely well," said Howard Finelt, vice president in charge of the licensing division for the Simi Valley company. "The product that is out there in the Kids R Us stores has had tremendous sales. We're pleased with the development of our school uniform program."

Last April, Bugle Boy Industries entered into a licensing agreement with longtime clothing maker Lollytogs Ltd., allowing the New York-based company to market its line of school uniforms under the equally recognizable Bugle Boy name.

For Bugle Boy, the move was intended not only to take advantage of Lollytogs' established market, but also to counteract any potential dip in sales of its non-uniform school wear, as more school districts around the country turned toward uniforms.

"Our major concern was maintaining our position with children," Finelt said. "Since the school uniform business was growing, it was natural for us to be a part of that field."

In addition to the early success of its school uniform line, Finelt said, sales of non-uniform school wear have also climbed this year.

Officials at Lollytogs were equally pleased with the new children's clothing partnership.

"There's definitely a greater recognition of the Bugle Boy product," said Larry Plitnick, national sales manager for Lollytogs.

"We've been able to add accounts and build business with our existing accounts," he said. "We've gotten some of their market share, which is a little different tier of retailer. We had a specialty store and big mass-market business, whereas Bugle Buy has specialty store and middle-tier like Ross and Kids R Us. We've been making inroads to many of those accounts."

Finelt said the back-to-school clothing season generally continues into November.

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