By  on July 17, 2009

During the last economic downturn, the door closed for Portico Bed & Bath, which filed for bankruptcy seven years ago. This recession, the door has swung open, as new owners gear up to relaunch the luxury home retailer with a bath and body collection.

Portico Spa — positioned as a eco-responsible range — marks the first phase of the company’s return. Portico, which had a sleek outpost on Spring Street in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood as well as a handful of other locations, liquidated in 2007. Together, Gregg Haft, owner of The Fayette Group, and Charles Schlang, owner of Renaissance America LLC, formed Portico Acquisition LLC and purchased the business. Haft and Schlang, veterans in the home textiles sector, serve as president and chief executive officer, respectively.

“We have always felt Portico was a highly equitable brand. It’s a lifestyle brand and its stores were a destination for trendsetters and leading influencers,” said Haft. Referring to the acquisition, he said, “It was a good opportunity to adopt a brand, and retain the attributes that made it special and also make it more timely, particularly with an uncompromising environmental commitment.”

As for why the pair chose to herald Portico’s return with bath and product products, Haft said, “Personal care and bath go hand-in-hand with a textiles program.”

Portico Spa products rolled out to nine Ulta stores this summer, and are slated to be carried in 32 Ulta doors by December, said Tracy Holland, president of Bravo Port Retail Management Group, the company that distributes Portico Spa. Earlier this month, the bath and body products also launched on Dermstore.com.

The collection’s 11 products,priced between $7 to $26, are available in three scents — Cucumber + Grapefruit, Blood Orange + Jasmine and Amber + Olivewood. All of Portico’s products — ranging from body lotion and cream, bar soap, bath mist, body wash — are free of petrochemicals, parabens, artificial colorants, propylene glycol, silicone, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and animal testing. Hair care products are slated for the end of the year.

Plans call for the fall introduction of cotton bed linens, towels and robes made with 100 percent certified organic cotton. Furniture, mattresses and home decor are slated for fall 2010. The linens and textiles end of the business will include Portico Pure Luxe tailored toward high-end boutiques, Portico Home for department stores and Portico Hospitality, intended for four- and five-star hotels and cruise lines, said Haft.

The company has drafted plans for 500-square-foot boutiques within department stores, and is currently developing a freestanding store concept, which will adhere to the LEED green building certification system. Haft said the company expects to open the flagship in SoHo in roughly a year. The department store rollout is planned for 2010, and the company estimates Portico will reach $100 million in revenue by 2012.

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