By Allison Zisko
CHICAGO–Sometimes the most anticipated birthdays are the best kind, which is why Homer Laughlin is employing a staggered approach to its own 75th anniversary.
Beginning here at the International Home & Housewares Show, the company is unveiling limited-edition pieces of its vaunted Fiesta ware. The brand turns 75 in 2011, but for collectors, “limited availability is heaven,” said Rich Brinkman, vice president of sales and marketing.
So collectors, as well as retailers nationwide, will have, for a short time, access to three new items in the new Fiesta color, marigold, a color that Brinkman believes has a vintage feel to it and is often associated with special anniversaries. “Gold, in my opinion, makes you feel good,” he said.
The first item, a set of three nesting mixing bowls, will be available for 75 weeks, beginning April 1 through Sept. 1, 2009, after which they will be retired. The bowls, which will also be available in eight other colors that will not retire, are on display at the Housewares Show.
Once the bowls are retired, Homer Laughlin will bring out the next marigold piece, a 19¼-inch platter, the biggest platter it has ever made. The platter will also only be available for 75 weeks. Following the platter is a third piece that Brinkman declined to mention, but which has never been made by Homer Laughlin before.
This sequential, limited-availability approach “drives enthusiasm and excitement about the brand,” Brinkman said.
The 75th anniversary series will have special backstamps and the packaging will be similar to its existing packaging; only the writing will be in gold. Once the actual date rolls around, the company will hold special events to celebrate.
In addition to the marigold bowls, Homer Laughlin is introducing ivory as the brand-new color for 2008. All items will be available in ivory. It will be the first time the company introduces two colors in the same year.