Monday, November 15, 2010
THE BUSINESS AND FASHION NEWSPAPER OF THE HOME TEXTILES INDUSTRY
Macy’s Readies for Holiday after Strong 3Q performance in fourth quarter. The “M.A.G.I.C.” selling C INCINNATI — Macy’s Inc. ex- program, which launched this ceeded its own expecpast summer with Mat ations in the third cy’s training of about quarter on three fronts 130,000 sales associates – sales, earnings and and sales managers on cash flow – giving selling skills, is being the department store extended through yearchain the reason to apend “to give our seaproach the holiday seasonal hires a shortened son with optimism. KAREN HOGUET form of this training,” D u r i n g M a c y ’s she said. The acronym Macy’s third quarter earnings stands for: Meet and call last week, Karen Make connections; Ask Hoguet, cfo, outlined some of questions and listen; Give opthe key strategies the company tions and advice; Inspire to buy; SEE MACY’S PAGE 18 has implemented to accelerate BY CECILE B. CORRAL
| Vol. 31, No.27 | $8.00
Home Among Strongest for Kohl’s in Third Quarter BY CECILE B. CORRAL MENOMONEE FALLS, WIS. — Even though home is admittedly one of the two lines of business most impacted by the rising costs of raw materials, Kohl’s Corp. has managed to “navigate, mitigate and execute” around the problem — so much so that its home business proved a top performing category during the retailer’s third quarter. “The two categories
that are being most impacted by higher costs are footwear and home. And it’s footwear and home that are leading the company in terms of increases for the year while running slightly against the company trend in terms of average retail because of these higher costs,” explained Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and ceo, during Kohl’s earnings call last week. Kohl’s home comps for the third quarter rose in the low single-digit range and were up in by mid single digits for the year to date. Kohl’s “has found ways to mitigate” the problem via several efforts, such as “doing things like reverse auctions, and we’re expanding it. They are an aggressive way to get these SEE KOHL’S PAGE 18
Under the Christmas Tree This Season: Free Shipping N EW YORK — It’s beginning to look a lot like a free Christmas … free shipping that is. Walmart’s announcement last week that it would begin offering no-charge shipping online is likely to set off a chain reaction up and down the web and could very well define the dynamics of this holiday shopping season. Walmart is not the first retailer to offer free shipping, but it is the biggest. Target and J.C. Penney both initiated free shipping programs with some strings attached and other retailers have introduced variations on the theme
this year. A few, such as L.L. Bean, are offering no-cost freight regardless of order size or shopping frequency. But the Walmart.com program is all encompassing and includes no small print. Each year for the past several holiday seasons free shipping has been a factor in retail marketing efforts, but Walmart’s announcement is the largest, most widespread program in the marketplace. Come Dec. 26 it will remain to be seen whether such programs end or become fundamental elements of online strategies. HTT
Tis the Season for Holiday Catalogs See Page 8 for a look at this season’s trends in HTT’s annual catalog round-up
11/11/2010 5:06:59 PM
Home Textiles Today
Retail Briefs Pier 1 Likes 3Q Outlook
ier 1 Imports said it expects comparable store sales to increase in the range of 8% to 10% for the third quarter ending Nov. 27. Last year’s comp store sales for merchandise margins for the third quarter are expected to be approximately 58% of sales compared to last year’s third quarter merchandise margins of 56.6% of sales. President and ceo Alex Smith said the momentum should continue through the holiday selling season and the company has added about $3 million of additional store payroll and marketing in the third quarter. Pier 1 will announce fiscal 2011 third quarter sales on Dec. 2.
Bon-Ton Hits its Mark
ome did not rate a mention as Bon-Ton Stores announced third quarter sales results last week. Sales were flattish, down 0.5% to $700.5 million, with comps down 0.3%. The results met expectations, according to the company. However, deeper penetration of private brands and a reduction in clearance inventory helped boost gross margin by 90 basis points. The department store will report full results Nov. 18.
Sears Wish Book Meets Social Networking
he Sears Wish Book is going digital. New social shopping and networking capabilities will allow customers to review products and share lists online at Sears.com/wishbook or via their smartphone devices, iPad or through Facebook. Sears Facebook page also will offer 24 Wish Book prizes, one each to be awarded from Dec. 1 through Dec. 24, 2010.
The Bon-Ton Stores to Close Frederick, Maryland store
fter 38 years, the Bon-Ton Stores Inc. is shutting down its Frederick, Maryland, unit in January. The regional department store, which operates 277 department units in 23 states under several nameplates, acquired the 98,000-square-foot site at the Frederick Towne Mall in 1972. The closing will impact approximately 56 associates, but closing costs will not be material, the retailer said. The company is directing area residents to visit the Bon-Ton store in the Hagerstown Valley Mall.
November 15, 2010
Claude Litton To Hang Up His Leasing Pen BY WARREN SHOULBERG NEW YORK — There is only one Claude in the home textiles industry in New York and soon there will be none. Claude Litton, who for the past 32 years has run the industry’s major New York showroom building, 295 Fifth Avenue, is retiring at the end of the year. A successor will be named next month. Litton, 75, as president and ceo of the building, transformed it from a mixed use building to the anchor of the New York home textiles market while establishing an industry identity for himself that made him a single-name persona in the trade. An attorney by trade and a one-time Air Force pilot, Litton is also well known for his worldclass collection of movie memorabilia, some of which adorns both his office on the top floor of 295 as well as a few of the public spaces in the building. That collection of over 1200 original movie posters, plaster celebrity statues and other artifacts is one of the largest in the world. That Litton ended up running 295 is one of those accidental quirks of history. Born in Germany and arriving in the United States at age three, he spoke no English until he was six. He eventually attended New York University and then Brooklyn Law School, where he earned his legal degree. That led him to Irving Trust, where he got his first taste of the world of real estate. A friend set him up for a job interview which he thought was for a spot at a law firm, but it turned out to be for a
company called Manhattan Properties that owned an office and showroom building at 295 Fifth Avenue. At that time at least a third of the building was not in the home business and many of the showrooms were for Oriental rugs. “I developed a business plan, which was to make this the premier building in the industry,” he says, a daunting task considering at that time there were showrooms throughout the City and 295 represented less than 10% of the total. Litton started weeding out the non-showroom tenants, first the rug companies, then suppliers to the trade and converters and eventually the back office spaces. When he was done the building was essentially wall-to-wall home textiles showrooms and that’s the way it’s remained ever since. There were leaner years, particularly in the early 1990s when vacancy rates shot up into the 20% range, but over the years the building has averaged 95% occupancy. And only the street level bank and the barber shop don’t fit the textiles profile. Over the years other market centers have tried to take the textiles business out of New York, but none have ultimately been successful. Litton credits two fac-
tors: companies need their creative people to be located in New York, and he has staggered the building’s leases so major tenant spaces do not come up for renewal at the same time. As for 295’s enduring position in the trade, Litton said a big reason is that the building has no underlying mortgage, having paid it off in 1939, which gives it great financial flexibility and stability. He also has refused to rent temporary space, which he believes is the biggest mistake a market building can make. He is also not shy about taking some of the credit himself. “I pride myself on four things: Being tough, fair and honest and keeping my word. “ That Litton has become the face of the building — literally — came about kind of accidently too. “I started putting my picture in our ads around the same time Lee Iacocca was doing ads for Chrysler. I changed the whole make-up of advertising from sterile pictures of buildings and personalized it.” Litton says he will miss the personal contact with the trade and the fine art of negotiating. He won’t miss the commute from his central New Jersey home, where most of his movie memorabilia collection is housed. He says he’ll keep busy by continuing his regular regimen of racquet ball and running. He also plans to spend more time with his wife of 20 years, Rosalee (his first wife passed away 22 years ago), and their children and eight – soon to be nine – grandchildren. “I’m 75. It’s time.” HTT
New Leadership at Nostalgia VERNON HILLS, ILL. — Nostalgia Home Fashions has appointed Gregory Williams and Peiyi Rong to the position of executive vp. Williams, a 23-year veteran of the home textiles industry – the last three years with Nostalgia, will oversee Nostalgia’s design, sales and merchandising functions, in the US. Rong, who has been with Nostalgia for
over 11 years and has served in a variety and senior management roles, will manage the company’s manufacturing in China, and financial operations. “The dual leadership of Williams and Rong will enable the company to further leverage its unique to the industry vertical integration process, and thereby better serve Nostalgia’s customers,” the company said
in a statement. In a related move, David Lueder, who has served as Nostalgia’s president and coo for the past four years, has left the company to pursue other interests. “Nostalgia wishes to express its gratitude to Mr. Lueder for his services with the company,” according to the st atement. HTT
11/11/2010 3:11:47 PM
Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Specialty Features, E-tail Bright Spots for Bed Pillows BY JILL ROWEN N EW YORK — The consensus from pillow makers is that business is holding steady with bright spots in the specialty areas, and makers reporting promising increases in their e-tail sales. Usually the jewel in the bedding category, sleep pillows are holding their own considering that price deflation and the sky rocketing cost of raw material is wreaking havoc on the entire home textiles industry. Value-added features that guarantee a better night’s sleep – everything from relieving snoring to keeping heads cool – are still leading the pack. And even though the bed bug scare may not have directly impacted sales, it is getting people into the bedding section at retail, some report. “The foam pillow market is under-performing mostly due to deflation at retail and substandard material used to get to the price,” noted Dan Schecter, vp sales and marketing, Carpenter Co. “Value-added products (something other than contour shaped pillows or traditional shaped pillows) show significant growth and are expected to continue on an up curve.” “The pillow business is generally good. We usually see this during tough economic times,” agreed Jeff Chilton, president, Perfect Fit Industries. “[There] is lots of price pressure, though, with rising cotton and polyester costs. We are concentrating on technologies that add consumer benefit without impacting pricing (severely).” According to Chilton, one example is the company’s OdorOut technology that eliminates odors. The fabric is coated and odors such as cigarette, pet, cooking and even urine are eliminated. “In general, basic bed pillows are “flat”— pardon the pun,” said noted Lonnie Scheps, svp, Hudson Industries. “The entire growth of this classification is in specialty bed pillows, and I am happy to report these specialty therapeutic versions in both polyester and memory foam are doing nicely.” Among the better performing
offerings, Scheps said, shapes with varying fills including memory foams addressing side, back or stomach sleepers as very pop-
“The pillow business is generally good. We usually see this during tough economic times.” —JEFF CHILTON, PRESIDENT, Perfect Fit Industries
ular right now. “Snore reduction remains hot and now, due to an unusual number of new sleep apnea users, C-Pap machine users need specially designed pillows to accommodate these users,” he said. “As we had the very first one a few years ago, we have seen more than a 100% pop in this classification. Again, America’s issue with obesity has also enhanced interest here as well.” “Pillows tend to be one of the more stable items always,” said Joe Mauer, vp sales, M & Z Marketing. The company has had success with health-benefit features that it tested with ear, nose and throat doctors as well as physical therapists for ailments such as sleep apnea, lower back pain and chronic snoring. Another point of agreement for pillow makers — the escalating cost of raw materials, especially cotton. What does differ is what suppliers are doing about it. While some propose passing on price increases, others are changing everything from sourcing to construction to offset the out-ofcontrol costs. “We are all facing the same raw material upward pricing increases — especially in cotton,” said Chad Alba tier, up, sales and marketing, Downlite. “We are focusing on alternative fabrications in order to maintain costs and retail price points. Some ret ailers are looking towards higher price points on like items/programs in 2011.” Added Albaier, “We are continuing to see interest in both construction, fabric, and fill innovation. Marketing ‘better/ healthier’ sleep is resonating well
with retailers and consumers today. Our launch of the Surely Memory at market was very wellreceived, and this product will be seen in Retail in 2011.” “[It’s] simple. We raise our prices — cost is cost we have no desire to go out of business out of fear of raising prices,” noted Schechter. “In order to make quality products cost must be reflected in our selling prices. We have no intention of cheating in size or quality to meet a static retail.” “Raw material increases (particularly cotton) are always difficult to pass through completely. Retail partners are sharing; everyone is sharing when it gets this dramatic. It’s a very difficult situation. We are redesigning many products to eliminate cotton,” said Chilton. Perfect Fit is also changing the sourcing game book for its company. “We are proud to say we are moving a huge percentage of our business that we had placed in China, back to the U.S.,” said Chilton. “We can react quicker and with all the increases, we are surprisingly competitive. We have very good retail partners and the future looks healthy. We are building/ planning one of the largest facilities for pillows in the world, in Monroe, N.C., and are aggressively pursuing new business.” “We look at alternative options (be it logistical, materials, packaging, etc.) to see where we can capture new opportunities, where we can help reduce or eliminate cost — all without sacrificing the quality and value of our products,” said Mandy Talbert, brand and communications manager, Louisville Bedding. “We work every day to maintain and absorb as much of the increase as we can and fortunately to date, we’ve been able to do so.” “We’re looking at expanding our sourcing to other countries outside of China and from a product perspective, we’re working on products that are poly/cotton blends with finishing techniques that make it look more like cotton,” noted Beth Mack, chief merchandising office, Hollander Home Fasions.
Hollander has been working more with consumers and a research panel to zero in on consumer wants and needs. Its lines include anti-microbial, hypoallergenic features – “always paired with comfort,” according to Mack. This past market, Hollander introduced the Homeric’s brand of pillows. “Brands meet the needs of consumers that want legitimacy in blind products; Homeric’s hit a lot of nerves and did very well.” Branding is also top of mind for fiberfill producer Invista, which now markets its products under the Dacron label. According to Brain Nix, segment manger, North America, branding
“Pillows tend to be one of the more stable items always. —JOE MAUER, M & Z Marketing
gives instant assurances to consumers and customers in the midst of rising increases at every level of the pipeline. “People in the pillow industry spend a lot of time talking about cover thread count and health benefits, but in our research, the top issue for consumers is comfort and the fill used in the pillow has a direct impact on that. Having the Dacron brand speaks to quality and durability and imparts trust among consumers, Nix noted. “Like every other manufacturer, we’re trying to hold pricing as long as we can,” said Mauer. One thing it is doing is changing the packaging for its products. “You see an improvement in the packaging, you can increase the impulse at retail and do better with sales,” he noted. Future Foam has focused on core issues of memory foam, including odor neutral constructions under its Stay Fresh trademark. According to Joe Blazer, director, marketing and product development, the company offers lighter foam that allowed it to increase the size of the pillow to better meet consumers’ expectations; and an encapsulated gel to create a more supportive foam
product. According to Blazer, the recent market “was one of the best I’ve seen. There may be fewer buyers, but they were very focused — and we had a very focused marketing program.” Though still cautious, pillow makers reported that retailers were in better buying moods this last market, each looking for new and different in the product world. One aspect of the business that has vendors ‘plumped’ up is the state of Internet. Most of the vendors HTT spoke to have been doing drop or factory shipments for many years and are continuing to see the sector growing as a percentage of sales. Internet sales also give retailers a chance to buy into a program or product on a test basis and then move it to the brick-and-mortar sales floor with more certainty. “We love e-tail and have been Factory-Shipping for over 12 years now,” said Scheps. “Hudson has perfected it so it becomes a very important part of our business. Retailers are open-arms for new innovative skus for e-tail and they test many varying SKUs for possible brick-and-mortar placement as well. It grows every year by double digits.” “The internet business is growing,” agreed Schecter of Carpenter. “The internet and a drop-ship program give them the opportunity to test new product concepts, color ways and price points. We expect to continue that growth.” “We pride ourselves in our ability to drop ship and it is a growing part of our business, reported Jeff Chilton. “It had doubled year to year until 2008 and is still on a dramatic growth pattern.” “Our Internet business is doing phenomenally well,” asserted Talbert. “Retailers seem to be much more open for their web stores, as the risk is minimal; it’s really a win-win situation, with not much to lose.” She added that if something doesn’t work on the site, “you just remove it; it’s really as simple as that. We do drop ship directly and it is a huge growing percentage of our business. Our Internet business has more than tripled in the past two years and continues to climb.” HTT
11/11/2010 10:45:51 AM
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Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
AmericasMart Expands Market Temporaries with New Categories ATLANTA — The AmericasMart is gearing up for its upcoming International Gift & Home Furnishings Market with expanded temporary product categories poised for the bi-annual event in January. Set in the Market Temporaries area, the 31 product categories will extend across AmericasMart’s
four buildings and be shown in more than 3,500 booths. Aside from new categories, there will be several new company exhibitors for the January market, prompting the AmericasMart to launch four new and re-branded product centers and introduce more than 500 new names of the 2,500 companies in
the Temporaries section. New categories and features being added to the Market Temporaries area this January include: HD Home, which will feature eight deign-driven home furnishings and décor manufacturers, staged on the first floor of the HOME destination in the Cen-
ter Hall of Building 1; Birding & Backyard Nature, a collection of outdoor products and themed gifts for birding and nature enthusiasts to be located on the third floor of Building 2 WestWing—“strategically aligned in the same building with the Living. Outdoor/Indoor. The Gardens. tem-
porary and permanent product centers,” AmericasMart noted; Global Designs, a “people positive” collection of handmade crafts “that reflect culturally meaningful designs” and assist in the economic and environmental sustainability of global communities with product classifications such as organic, environmentally friendly, fair trade, purchase positive, sustainable and green – staged on the fifth floor 5 of Building 3; AmericasMart also offered a full listing of where some of the other product categories in the Market Temporaries will be house for the January market: Building 1 Floor 1: HD Home (juried collection) Floor 2: Antiques, vintage, and one-of-a-kind items; Distinctly American; High Country Lodge; the Area Rug temporaries – the latter which is exclusive to the January event; Floor 7: Fine Linens & Home Textiles; Home Accents, Home Furnishings Floor 8: Home Accents; Home Furnishings & Case Goods Building 2 Floor 14 (showroom 1440): License & Design (Open January 14-16), also exclusive to the January market. Building 2-WestWing Floor 1: High Design (juried collection) Floor 2: Gourmet Foods Floor 3: Birding & Backyard Nature; Coastal Lifestyles; Living; Outdoor/Indoor; The Gardens Floor 4: Collegiate Products Licensee Pavilion Building 3 Floor 1: Cash & Carry Jewelry; Halloween; Holiday, Floral, Baskets Floor 2: Handmade Designs & Handmade Jewelry (juried collection); Living & Entertaining: Gifts, Tabletop and Accessories; Gourmet Housewares Floor 3: AmericasMart’s Children’s World Floor 4: Body & Soul; Spa Products; Boutique (juried collection); Down to Business; Jewelry & Fashion Accessories; Write on! Featuring Stationery, Imprinting, Paper & Occasions Floor 5: Global Designs; General Gifts & Museum Gifts; Inspirational Gifts; Pampered Pets AmericasMart said its Market Temporaries area “supports and enhances” the many other products shown in the center’s 13 permanent product centers. HTT
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11/11/2010 1:00:18 PM
Home Comfort Grows Jellybean Rug Size ATLANTA — Home Comfort is
launching its biggest size of its washable Jellybean accent rugs. Dubbed “Big Bean,” the new rug size is 23-by-44, a notch up from the average 23-by-34 Jellybean accent rugs. “These new larger accent rugs are perfect for a double door, double sink, or sliding door,” the company noted. Home Comfort’s Big Bean
rugs come in the same designs, poly-acrylic blend hand-hooked construction, quality and $39.99 retail pricing as the smaller Jellybeans, “and they even fit on our popular rolling rack,” the company said. Like their smaller counterparts, Big Bean rugs are machine washable, can be used both indoors and outdoors, and are made from 35% recycled materials. HTT
Las Vegas Market’s Opens Quick Registration LAS VEGAS — Vegas announced a new online quick registration system for the Winter Las Vegas Market, which takes place Jan. 24-28. The feature allows returning buyers, designers and members of the media who registered for the summer show to register for the upcoming market with one click. When users log onto their WMCommunity profile and click “register,” a confirmation page will be displayed with contact details. If no information has changed, the registration can be submitted immediately. The new quick registration
system also applies to previously registered buyers who are planning to attend the upcoming Gift+Home and Vegas Kids in January. Quick registration will be open for all exhibitors and reps later this month. First-time registrants attending the January market can visit www.lasvegasmarket.com for a streamlined registration process. The quick registration feature will be available to all returning buyers for future Markets. Nightly rates are as low as $44 and include properties both on and off the Las Vegas Strip. HTT
November 15, 2010
Home Textiles Today
Sleep Studio Intros Eco-friendly Gel Memory Foam N E W YO R K — Sleep Studio
has unveiled a line of mattress toppers and pillows using gel memory foam. The base of the new material is the same great ViscoFresh foam that was voted the “Best Organic/Eco-Friendly New Product” by Home Textiles Today readers in March of 2007. “Made with a patented process called Nanogel technology, the gel memory foam boasts personalized support, adding support specifically where it is needed the most, and creates an ideal sleeping climate that’s both cool and dry,” according to the company. The material also neutralizes body heat and wicks away moisture. The gel also provides even weight distribution and combats sagging. In addition, the gel memory foam has boasts eco credentials by removing up to 10% of the petroleum-based ingredients typically found in traditional memory foams. That portion has been replaced with natural, plant-based oils. “The unique formula utilizes ingredients derived from castor beans which have a lower carbon footprint in production than soy beans,” according to
the company. In addition, green tea was added to the formula to eliminate the foam odor and leave a fresh scent. The product also eliminated chlorinated fire retardants while still passing fire codes, according to Sleep Studio. Sleep Studio’s proprietary, eco-friendly MicroSafe is antimicrobial treatment for polyurethane foams is also part of the mix. MicroSafe guards against bacterial odors and resists mold and mildew. The
treatment also safely breaks down in the environment in six months in water and soil. As it is non water-soluable, it does not leach into the water as it breaks down. The new collection has received the CertiPUR-US seal for polyurethane foam products that have been tested and certified by an independent laboratory to meet specific criteria for physical performance, indoor emissions and environmental stewardship. HTT
Nourison Moves 295 Fifth Showroom to 1st floor Showspace SADDLE B ROOK , N.J. — Ahead
of the spring 2011 New York Home Fashions Market, area and accent rug house Nourison Industries Inc. will relocate its showroom to a larger, tri-level, first-floor space at 295 Fifth Ave. T h e p r e mi e r s p a c e w a s closed during the last market and in recent markets had been used as a multi-supplier display space and buyers’ lounge. The more than 10,000square-foot showroom has three stories, with the bottom floor facing Fifth Avenue. The company will use the new site to showcase its home accent and area rug programs. It will also serve as the home of Nourison’s hospi-
tality, custom area rug, and decorative pillow divisions. Nourison’s core programs, including all of its signature area rug and broadloom products, will continue to be shown exclusively at the company’s headquarters here as well as its other U.S. showrooms in Atlanta and Las Vegas and its European site in Zurich, Switzerland. “The success and growth of our home scatter and seasonal accent rugs led to our decision to expand to a larger showroom that’s better suited to servicing our important national retailers,” said Alex Peykar, president. “As a New York corporation with deep roots throughout
the state, we’re truly proud to call this great Manhattan location home.” Nourison’s new space officially opens its door in March 2011, and will be staffed yearround for appointments, walkins and market events. The showroom is not open to the public. HTT
CHECK US OUT ON THE WEB HomeTextilesToday.com
11/11/2010 3:17:08 PM
Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Holiday Catalogs: Home Textiles Close-up St. Nickâ€™s picks for themed home textiles are rather muted this year. While avoiding full-on holiday motifs may be good for inventory control, it also results in more sophisticated seasonal offerings.
West Elm goes for red, but stays away from the full Christmas theme.
Crate & Barrel salutes the holidays with pillows.
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Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Restoration Hardware emphasizes the sumptuous.
L.L. Bean acknowledges the holiday with seasonal flannel sheets.
11/11/2010 4:24:10 PM
November 15, 2010
Home Textiles Today
Garnet Hill gives a nod with thematic sheets and towels.
CB2 sets the table in silver and gold.
11/11/2010 1:03:49 PM
Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Although Napa Style invests little in textiles, it goes wholeheartedly at the holidays with dec pillows.
Sur La Table offers candy-stripped kitchen textiles.
11/11/2010 4:08:21 PM
November 15, 2010
Home Textiles Today
Acron goes gifty with the Nuddle ultra plush microfiber blanket.
Wisteria gets ornamental with mirrors.
Anthropoligie celebrates the season with twill plaids.
11/11/2010 3:12:17 PM
Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
PEOPLETodaY McNulty JoinsWelspun N EW YORK — Industry design veteran Elizabeth McNulty has joined Welspun as senior vice president of design and product development, heading up those areas for the rapidly growing Indiabased textiles resource. McNulty was most recently
with Chenab but spent a good portion of her career with Revman, where she was a senior member of the design staff. The position at Welspun is new and she reports to Barry Leonard, who joined the company in late summer as president. HTT
Valdese ‘Hotel’ Party
AmericasMart Promotes Turnbull, Adds Mike Gay ATLANTA — The AmericasMart
Sr., president and chief operatAtlant a has promoted Mike ing officer of AmericasMart and Turnbull to svp of strategic rela- its AMC, Inc. parent entity. tions for AMC Inc. In his new position, and its AmericasMart Gay will lead the marketand Lightfair Intering, advertising, technolnational entities, and ogy, retail services and named Mike Gay svp publishing teams, which of marketing. work closely together to Turnbull was fordrive the mart’s total marmerly svp of marketketing strategies for the MIKE GAY ing, the post now being company, which orgaAmericasMart filled by Gay. nizes 19 annual markets. “[Turnbull’s] deep Gay spent the past 13 experience and passion for mar- years at Philips Consumer Lifeketing and developing solutions style in Atlanta as vp of marketfor complex businesses made ing and general manager of ehim an ideal leader for Ameri- commerce and value-added casMart,” said Jeffrey Portman services. HTT
HTT Business Group Hires Conference Manager B OCA R ATON , F LA . — Sandow
Media announced that Heather Grant has joined the company as conference and events manager for the Sandow Media Retail Group. Sandow, publisher of Luxe, NewBeauty, Worth and other media properties, purchased the Retail Group, which includes Home Textiles Today, Furniture/ Today, Home Accents Today, Casual Living, Gifts & Decorative Accessories as well as Interior Design, from Reed Business Information earlier this year. Grant will be responsible for coordinating all events and programs developed and produced by the Retail Group for many of the brands within the group. She
reports to Connie Lineberry, vice president of marketing of Sandow Media Retail Group. Previously, she was event planner/account services coordinator for Apple Rock Displays and coordinated and managed more than 40 events per year for client Lowe’s Home Improvement. Prior to that, she was admissions marketing and events coordinator at High Point University. “We are excited to have Heather join our team. Her background in event planning and marketing is a huge asset as we expand the number of events and conferences for the Retail Group in 2011,” Lineberry said. HTT
Valdese Weavers feted a group of its New Yorkbased decorative jobber designers at a reception earlier this month. From top to bottom: Among those at the event were Steve Prada, Kravet, Laura Levinson and Neil Nahoun, both Valdese and Alice Geurcio, Kravet. Laura Levinson, left, Valdese, with Alexis Audette, Beacon Hill, and Jennie Wilde, Robert Allen Group. MJ Ramos, left, Duralee, with Greg Lawrence, Calico Corner.
11/11/2010 10:50:05 AM
NY Fall Home Fashions Market — September 2010
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Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
BUSINESS TodaY Mohawk Ind. 3Q Sales Decline, Earnings Soar BY CECILE B. CORRAL C ALHOUN , G A . — Mohawk In-
dustries Inc.’s Mohawk segment – which includes the Mohawk Home and Karastan businesses – managed to churn a 34% margin gain and a lower-than-expected 6% sales decline in its third quarter. During the company’s earnings call earlier this month, Mohawk Ind.’s chairman and ceo Jeffrey Lorberbaum told investors and analysts that the company twice raised prices for some products within the Mohawk segment during in the quarter, which negatively impacted volume. “We were a little aggressive with our price increases relative to our competition, so we’ve adjusted those,” he said, later add-
ing, “The goal is to recover the cost and make sure we are positioned well.” A bright spot in the segment has been the recent boom in polyester filament products, which have “grown faster than anticipated,” he said, adding, “We didn’t expect the polyester to gain as fast as it did. That prompted Mohawk to create new styles and price points to build on the trend. Mohawk is also investing in additional manufacturing and extrusion equipment in the early 2011to support this momentum. For the third quarter, ended Oct. 2, net earnings were $51 million, up 49%, and earnings per share were 74 cents, which included unusual items that were offsetting. Sales fell 5.3% to $1.309 bil-
lion, representing a 3.8% decrease with a constant exchange rate. Year to date, earnings were $140 million compared to last year’s$25 million net loss, and EPS was $2.03. Looking ahead, Mohawk Ind. expects sales demand and raw material trends from the third quarter to continue through the fourth quarter. “Next year, we anticipate increased sales growth, higher selling prices and margin improvement as we gain leverage from the changes we have implemented in the business,” Lorberbaum said. Mohawk Ind.’s fourth quarter guidance for earnings is 53 to 63 cents per share. The fourth quarter will include four fewer days compared to the same period last year. HTT
Sales, Profits up at Crown Crafts GONZALES , L A . — Propelled by
big growth in its NoJo division as well a new shipments and improvement replenishment orders in the core bedding and blanket side, Crown Crafts saw earnings nearly double during the recent second quarter. Net income from the quar-
ter ended Sept. 26 was $1.2 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to a profit of $803,0000, or 8 cents per share in last year’s second quarter. “In the second quarter of fiscal 2011, we enjoyed steadily increasing customer demand and positive market response to new de-
signs across our various product lines,” said E. Randall Chestnut, chairman, president and ceo. Sales from branded products in its NoJo business – which includes Disney, Nautica Kids and Sesame Street, among others – rose 33%. Total sales climbed 9.2% to $23.7 million. HTT
November Comps Helped by Halloween Calendar Shift NEW YORK — Last-minute Halloween shopping promotional with their holiday offerings earlier helped push comps up 2.6% during the first than usual. “Some stores are already in a rush to week of November, according to the Johnson cut prices and are extending store hours,” said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst. HTT Redbook. Same-store sales in the discount segment rose 3.1% durJohnson Redbook Index ing the week ended Nov. 6, First week of November year-over-over % change while comps for the departWEEK ENDED 11/6 11/13 11/20 11/27 MONTH TARGET ment store group increased Department stores* 1.6 1.6 2.0 1.6%. Discounters 3.1 3.1 3.3 Month over month, comps Redbook Index 2.6 2.6 2.9 were flat. *Including chain stores and traditional department stores As even casual observers Source: Johnson Redbook Index have noted, retailers have gone
NRF: Retail Container Traffic to Increase 9% in November WASHINGTON — Even as import
cargo volume at the major U.S. retail container ports continues winding down into the end of the year, a 9% increase is expected this month over November 2009, demonstrating some cautious optimism from retailers for this coming holiday season. The most recent monthly Global Port Tracker report, released late last week by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, said U.S. ports handled 1.34 million 20foot equivalent units (TEU) in September, the latest month for which actual numbers are available. That was down 6% from August but up 17% from September 2009. September marked the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year improvement. December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of yearover-year declines. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent. “Retailers know shoppers still have the economy in mind, so they are being very mindful with inventory levels this year,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vp for supply chain and customs policy. “The cargo numbers show that retailers are expecting a much better holiday season than they have seen over the past two years, but the industry is still being cautious.” October was estimated at 1.29 million TEU, a 9% increase over last year. Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of: Long Angeles/ Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast. “October is historically the busiest month of the year as retailers stock up for the holiday
season, but the peak shifted to August this year as retailers brought merchandise into the country early to avoid a repeat of delays on the part of ocean carriers seen earlier this year,” NRF explained. November is forecast at 1.19 million TEU, up 9% from last year, and December at 1.1 million TEU, up 1%. January 2011 is forecast at 1.08 million TEU, up 7% from 2010. February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.06 million TEU, down 5% from last year, while March is forecast at 1.04 million TEU, down 10%. NRF noted estimates for months beyond March have not yet been calculated, “but a solid recovery is expected in the second and third quarters of 2011 after the usual winter slowdown.” The first half of 2010 totaled 6.9 million TEU, up 17% from the same period last year. The full year is forecast at 14.6 million TEU, which would be up 15% from the 12.7 million TEU seen in 2009, which was the lowest since the 12.5 million TEU reported in 2003. The 2010 number remains below the 15.2 million TEU seen in 2008 and the peak of 16.5 million TEU seen in 2007. “Despite the economic uncertainty and the underlying weakness of the economy, we continue not to project a double-dip recession,” said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates. “Underlying fundamentals remain healthy. Inventory-to-sale ratios, while going up marginally, are still at a 10year low, suggesting extremely tight supply chain management. Consumer confidence has not changed much over the last four months, but consumer expenditures have picked up. The fear of unemployment and financial exposure may be waning.” HTT
11/11/2010 10:48:56 AM
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Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Suryalata Spinning Mills Plans Capacity Expansion H YDERABAD , I NDIA — Suryala-
ta Spinning Mills Limited is increasing the capacity of its blended yarn spinning to 200,000 spindles over the next two years. The 27-year-old company, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, manufactures polyester, viscose and poly/viscose blend yarns. As a first step, Suryalata Spin-
Kohl’s 3Q KOHL’S FROM PAGE 1
costs to the lowest level,” he said. Kohl’s is also “holding on to raw materials as long as we can” as well as “continuing to consolidate our vendor structure overseas. We have a very concentrated supplier base as it is,” he continued. But it is Kohl’s growth that is “our really great weapon,” Mansell went on. “We have seen consistent growth in the last twoand-a-half years in this tough economy. We have been there for our supplier partners,” later adding, “We are always looking at different countries of production, [alternatives] in construction … In that way, our partnership with Li & Fung has helped us.” Ultimately, Kohl’s goal is to shield shoppers from price increases. “I like to think we know how to deal with this situation better than our competitors,” Mansell said. “We are employing all things we know how to do to
ning is launching a new bay of manufacturing line with 35000 spindles at Urukondapet, near Hyderabad. The company is also setting up a coal-based power plant for captive consumption, which would improve cost efficiencies and margins. Suryalata Spinning has added 4,2888 spindles over past five years.
“In India, present yarn consumption pattern is 60% cotton and 40% synthetic and in the world it is vice versa i.e., 40% cotton and 60% synthetic,” said joint managing director M.K.Agarwal. “Consumption of synthetic yarn is increasing in India and expecting in line to world consumption pattern in the years to come.” HTT
mitigate this ultimately for our customer. We believe we still have a consumer who is buying cautiously, so they are less likely to pay higher prices. We will go out of our way so the customer doesn’t have to see the impact of those rising costs.” Net income for the third quarter, ended Oct. 30, rose 0.5% to $194 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with $193 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago. Sales increased 4.1% to $4.2 billion, while comps were up 1.8%. Year to date, net income for the nine-month period increased 16% to $652 million, or $2.12 per share. The results exclude the lease accounting corrections. Sales increased 7.4% to $12.4 billion, and comp store sales rose 4.4%. “This sales performance, along with strong inventory management, allowed us to continue to increase our gross margin rate,” Mansell said. “We are
pleased with the expense management discipline across the company that allowed us to grow our expenses less than we originally planned.” A highlight in the third quarter was the performance of private and exclusive brands, which increased by almost 300 basis points and comprised 48% of total sales for the period. Particularly strong brands included Simply Vera Vera Wang and Food Network, which experienced sales increases of 15% or more. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Kohl’s expects total sales to increase between 4.5% and 6.5%, comparable store sales to increase 2% to 4%, and gross margin as a percent of sales to increase 20 to 40 basis points over last year. The company expects earnings per share of $1.51 to $1.59 for the fourth quarter. In 2011, Kohl’s plans to open 40 new stores — 10 in the spring and 30 in the fall, representing “a slight increase” over what the retailer had originally expected. HTT
Macy’s 3Q MACY’S FROM PAGE 1
and Celebrate the purchase. The recently created “Gift” strategy, which started development in May 2009, is being expanded with three new components: new gift shops in 400 doors featuring limited-edition, exclusive “and fun” gifts that are mostly under $50; “Be”-themed shops, which encompass gifts that fall under the headings “Be warm,” “Be glamorous” and similar themes for all categories of business; and Celebrity shops, situated throughout the store and stocked with items from Macy’s many celebrity- and exclusive branded lines, including Martha Stewart. “All of these will be presented in new and very interesting ways both in our stores and online and the products are being supported by a terrific marketing campaign,” Hoguet said. Earnings per share for the quarter ended Oct. 30 were 2 cents versus a loss of 8 cents per share in the year-ago period. Sales increased 6.6% to $5.62 billion, and comps were up 3.9%. Combined online sales from macys.com and bloomingdales.com in the quarter grew a healthy 24.0%, positively impacting the company’s samestore sales by 0.8%. In the third quarter, the company opened two new Macy’s stores in Palmdale and Tracy, Calif., a new Bloomingdale’s store in Santa Monica, Calif., and three new Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores. A fourth Bloomies outlet is set to open later this
month. Small-scale Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores were singled out as increasingly stronger performers in the quarter. “One of thoughts behind My Macy’s was to help smaller stores do better, and that appears to be working,” Hoguet said. Year to date, earnings per share were 42 cents year to date compared with a loss of 27 cents per diluted share last year. Sales rose 7.0% to $16.7 billion, and comps increased 4.7%. Online sales – at both macys. com and Bloomingdales.com – shot up by 28.5%, supported by a 0.7% percent rise in samestore sales. Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy’s, Inc. Cash flow results year to date proved another highlight, with $346 million in the first three quarters compared with $406 million in the same period in 2009. This includes a funding contribution to the company’s pension plan of $325 million in 2010 year to date, compared with approximately $146 million in the first three quarters of 2009. Macy’s also increased its earnings guidance for the second half of 2010 to $1.50 to $1.55 per share, excluding expenses associated with the early retirement of debt in the third quarter. This compares with previous guidance of $1.45 to $1.50 per share for the second half of 2010. For the full-year 2010, earnings guidance is $1.94 to $1.99 per share, compared with previous guidance of $1.89 to $1.94, excluding expenses associated with the early retirement of debt. HTT
NRF: Return Fraud to Cost Retailers $3.7 Billion in Holiday ‘10 WASHINGTON — Return fraud
looks like it will be a bigger headache for retailers this holiday season, with the National Retail Federation estimating the industry to take $3.68 billion in losses compared to holiday 2009’s $2.74 billion. NRF’s annual Return Fraud Survey, completed by loss prevention executives at 111 retail companies, found that return fraud will cost retailers an estimated $13.95 billion during the full 2010 calendar year, up from $9.59 billion in 2009. Fine-tuning return policies has become “both a science and an art as retailers contin-
ue to grapple with roller-coaster return fraud rates,” NRF said. When asked if their company has ever changed its return policy to specifically address return fraud, nearly two-thirds of participating retailers – 65% – said yes. “Retailers are still struggling to find the appropriate balance between providing stellar customer service for their shoppers while prohibiting criminals from taking advantage of lenient return policies,” said Joe LaRocca, NRF senior asset protection advisor. “Combating this very costly problem helps retailers keep prices low but can unfortunately involve establish-
ing policies that inconvenience honest shoppers.” The most common type of return fraud is return of stolen merchandise, which 93.5% of retailers said they have experienced in the last year. Also, “wardrobing,” which is the return of used and non-defective merchandise like special occasion apparel and certain electronics, also poses a huge problem, as 61.7% said they been victims of this activity within the last year, up from 46.2% in 2009. Additionally, 88.8% said they have had a problem with employee return fraud, 68.2% have experienced the return
of merchandise purchased on fraudulent or stolen tender, and 35.5% have found criminals using counterfeit receipts to return merchandise. Many retailers have begun to adopt policies which require customers returning merchandise to show identification, NRF noted. Ret ailers estimate that 3.89% of returns with a receipt are fraudulent, but that number jumps to 12.61% for returns without a receipt. As a result, 67% now require customers returning items without a receipt to show identification, which reduces fraud. One in five re-
tailers — 21.1% — requires shoppers with a receipt to show identification. While the majority of retailers’ policies will remain unchanged this year (83.6%), 5.5% of retailers said they will loosen their holiday return policies while 10.9% will tighten. According to the survey, one-third (33%) of retailers say their return policies are more flexible during the holiday season in order to accommodate shoppers who may be purchasing gifts. According to an NRF survey conducted last December, 87.9% of Americans feel retailers’ return policies are fair. HTT
11/11/2010 3:01:59 PM
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866-456-0405 Outside the USA please call 515-247-2984 Please reference key code: I03HTHSAD
3/24/2010 2:24:04 PM
Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Calendar November 13 – 16 International Hotel / Motel Show Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York (914) 421-3200 www.ihmrs.com
24 – 25 The Sleep Event Business Design Center, London, UK www.thesleepevent.com +44 (0)207 921 3722
December 5–8 Showtime Fabric Fair Market Square, Textile Tower, High Point, N.C., (336) 885-6842 www.itma-showtime.com
AmericasMart, Atlanta (404) 220-3000 www.americasmart.com
15 – 18 The Canadian Home Furnishings Market (TCHFM) The International Centre Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (514) 866-3631 www.tchfm.com
15 – 18
24 – 28 Las Vegas Market World Market Center, Las Vegas (702) 599-9621 www.lasvegasmarket.com
25 – 27 Surfaces Mandalay Bay Convention Center Las Vegas (866) 860-1975 www.surfaces.com
DOMOTEX Hannover Hannover Fairgrounds, Hannover, Germany (609) 987-1202 www.domotex.de
18 – 20 Texworld USA Jacob Javits Center, New York (770) 984-8016 www.texworldusa.com
The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, UK (609) 921-0222 www.springfair.com
18 – 23 imm cologne The Exhibition Center Cologne, Germany www.imm-cologne.com (773) 326-9920 or +49 221 821-0 www.imm-cologne.com
January 2011 10 – 11 Dallas Fabric Show Dallas Market Hall, Dallas (214) 655-6100 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
10 – 13 National Retail Federation Convention Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York www.nrf.com (202) 626-8162
12 – 15 Heimtextil Frankfurt Fair & Exhibition Center Franfurt am Main, Germany (770) 984-8016 heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com
12 – 19 Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (404) 220-3000 www.americasmart.com
13 – 16 The Atlanta International Area Rug Market
7 – 10 Texworld Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Centre, Paris, France +33 155 268 989 www.texworld.messefrankfurt.com
19 – 25
29 – February 3
Dallas Holiday & Home Expo Dallas Market Center, Dallas (214) 655-6100 www.dmcfinds.com
New York Home Textiles Market Week At the New York International Gift Fair, Jan. 29 - Feb. 3 At 230 Fifth Avenue, Jan. 30 - Feb. 4 At 7 W New York, Jan. 28 - Feb. 3 (800) 272-7469 www.nyhometextilesmarketweek.com
19 – 25 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (214) 655-6100 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
21 – 24 F!NDS Dallas Temp Show World Trade Center, Market Hall, Dallas (214) 655-6100 www.dmcfinds.com
21 – 25 Maison & Object Parc des Expositions, Paris-Nord Villepinte, Paris, France (888) 522-5001 www.maison-objet.com
23 – 26 Interiors Birmingham The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, UK +44 (0) 20 7921 8408 www.interiorsbirmingham.com
29– February 3 New York International Gift Fair Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Passenger Ship Terminal Piers, New York (800) 272-7469 www.nyigf.com
8 – 10 Expofil Parc des Expositions, Paris-Nord Villepinte, France +33 (0) 4 72 60 65 00 www.expofil.com
11 – 15 Ambiente Frankfurt Fair & Exhibition Center, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (770) 984-8016 www.ambiente.messefrankfurt.com/ frankfurt
CGTA Gift Show Toronto International Centre; Toronto Congress Centre, Toronto, Canada (416) 679-0170 www.cgta.org/Assoc/Home.aspx
ASD Las Vegas Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas (310) 481-7300 www.asdamd.com
30 – February 2
12 - 14
Intirio Flanders Expo, Gent, Belgium +32 09/24 38 450 www.intirio.be
The Atlanta International Fine Linen and Home Textiles Market & The Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (404) 220-3000 www.americasmart.com
February 6 – 10 Spring Fair
Home Textiles Today’s New York Winter Market Kickoff Party The Penthouse Lounge and Rooftop Garden at 230 Fifth 6 p.m- 8 p.m. (646) 805-0226 www.hometextilestoday.com
14 – 18 New York Home Fashions Market Home Fashion Products Association (212) 297-2122 (Kellen Co.) www.homefashionproducts.com
16 – 18 Interstoff Asia Essential— Spring Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. (852) 2238 9917 www.interstoff.messefrankfurt.com
24 – 27 27 – March 2
30 – February 3
Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) 325-6587 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
22 – 24 Domotex asia/CHINAFLOOR Shanghai New International Convention Center, Shanghai, China +86 21 6247 7668 www.domotexasiachinafloor.com
April 2–7 High Point Market International Home Furnishings
11/11/2010 1:06:59 PM
Center (IHFC), High Point, N.C. (336) 869-1000 www.highpointmarket.org
6–8 Lineapelle Fair District, Bologna, Italy +39 02 8807711 www.lineapelle-fair.it
14 – 17 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York (914) 421-3200 www.icff.com
15 – 17
26 – 28 gulfBID Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Manama Kingdom of Bahrain +973 1729 3131 www.gulfbidexhibition.com
26 – 28 Vision10: International Window Coverings EXPO Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta (651) 293-1544 www.wf-vision.com
Home Textiles Today
November 15, 2010
Surtex Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY (914) 421-3200 www.surtex.com
18 – 20 Hospitality & Design Show Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas (508) 743-8502 www.hdexpo.com
18 – 22 Evteks CNR EXPO, Istanbul, Turkey +90 212 465 74 75 www.itf-evteks.com
Proposte Villa Erba in Cernobbio, Como, Italy +39 02 6434054 www.propostefair.it
1–3 Interior Lifestyle (Ambiente/ Heimtextil/HomeDesign) Japan International Exhibition Center (Tokyo
Big Sight), Tokyo, Japan +81 3 3262 8453 www.interior-lifestyle.com
5–8 Showtime Fabric Fair Market Square, Textile Tower, High Point, N.C. (336) 885-6842 www.itma-showtime.com
13 – 15 NeoCon World’s Trade Fair The Merchandise Mart, Chicago (800) 677-6278 www.merchandisemart.com/neocon
13 – 15 American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) National Conference at NeoCon The Merchandise Mart, Chicago (202) 546-3480 www.asid.org/foryou09
14 – 16 Licensing International Expo Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas (212) 951-6612 www.licensingexpo.com
22 – 28
Dallas Holiday & Home Expo Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) 325-6587 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
22 – 28 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) 325-6587 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
24 – 27 F!NDS Dallas Temp Show World Trade Center, Market Hall, Dallas (214) 655-6116 www.dmcfinds.com
30 – July 3 & July 7 – 10 New Designers Business Design Centre, London, UK 020 7288 6738 www.newdesigners.com
July 13 – 20 The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market AmericasMart, Atlanta, GA (800) ATL-MART or (404) 220-2435
15 – 18 (TBD) The Atlanta International Area Rug Market AmericasMart, Atlanta, GA (800) ATL-MART or (404) 220-2437 www.americasmart.com
31 – August 3 ASD/AMD Las Vegas Sands Expo Center & Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV (310) 481-7300 www.asdamd.com
August 1–5 Las Vegas Market World Market Center and Pavilions, Las Vegas, NV (702) 599-9621 www.lasvegasmarket.com
13 – 18 New York International Gift Fair Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Pier 94, New York (914) 421-3200 www.nyigf.com
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November 15, 2010
360 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10010 Tel: (646) 805-0227; Fax: (646) 365-2307 www.hometextilestoday.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennifer Marks 375 South End Avenue #32U New York, N.Y. 10280 (212) 945-9151 | firstname.lastname@example.org FOUNDING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Carole Sloan 16 E. 96th St., New York, NY 10128 Tel: (212) 831-8266 | Fax: (212) 831-0814
Comparing Apples to Oranges “I don’t understand why 2007 is being used as a yardstick for ‘normal’ when the events of 2008 (not to mention everything that followed) demonstrated it was anything but.”
A N W E STOP comparing everything to 2007? in the stock market. As I write this, some cable TV yammerer just reI remember the (fairly young) head of an Internet startmarked that retail sales are down — compared up describe in 2000 how the venture capital group that to 2007. funded his outfit initially granted him $250,0000 — then A quick reminder: 2007 was the year when the bubble came back and offered $1 million, then $3 million, then economy in the form of an overheated housing market and $6 million. insane levels of consumer debt was hitting peak. I don’t unI think it was about a year later that the business colderstand why 2007 is being used as a yardstick for lapsed — along with many other internet start“normal” when the events of 2008 (not to menups of the era. Of course, that recession was caketion everything that followed) demonstrated it walk compared to the latest one. was anything but. I don’t want to get all “new normal” here. And It’s not normal for middle-class people to buy EDITOR-IN-CHIEF while it’s painful in the interim term to see conand flip multiple houses simultaneously. It’s not sumers retreat to what used to be considered comnormal for mortgage companies to extend credmon sense behavior — keep your debt to a miniit without inquiring about a loan-seeker’s job stamum, don’t buy more house than you can afford, tus and annual income. Until the shenanigans don’t purchase more stuff than you really need – that crashed the economy got going, it was not ultimately, it is to the good. considered normal for reputable financial instiNow that retailers are starting to talk about extutions to package up a bunch of amorphous crap panding their store portfolios again, it’s also good to and sell it to investors. see most of them doing so at a more measured pace We might as well make comparisons to 1999 — anoth- than they did during the ’90s and the aught years. With more er crest-of-the-bubble era when any mope with a couple of sales continuing to shift to the Internet, perhaps that level of bucks to spare could fall out of bed and rack up big gains restraint will become permanent. HTT
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A New Way of Doing Business “More than a few suppliers now have awakened to the potential that the non-Walmart genre of retailer is offering.”
SANDOW MEDIA PRESIDENT AND CEO Adam I. Sandow VP CREATIVE AND EDITORIAL Yolanda E. Yoh EVP, GROUP PUBLISHER James N. Dimonekas
A L K ING W I T H W H AT FINA L LY seemed to paths out of this dilemma. be scadillions of home textiles suppliers about What makes it even more interesting is how this also is their relationships with the internet — and con- impacting the way suppliers look at product distribution. currently with the growing numbers of non-Top For some actively seeking non-Top 15 retailers as their sole 15 retailers who have become accounts — it became ob- targets, there are many avenues to pursue. vious that there are some major changes taking In many cases, being able to offer small quanplace in home textiles world. tity purchases from a U.S.-based distribution More than a few suppliers now have awakcenter – company owned or at an outside facilened to the potential that the non-Walmart ity – is key. For others, being able to offer reguFOUNDING genre of retailer is offering — both in terms lar goods from current lines is even more critiof new sales volume opportunities as well as EDITOR-IN-CHIEF cal. The latter scenario oft times revolves around profits. More to the point, they see these brickgeographically segmenting the country so there and-mortar retailers and dot-com folks as a being strong is no — or little — competitive overlap by style or price business partners for a long time to come — albeit per- point. haps representing just small volume at this juncture. For As suppliers are beginning to see, regional or local remany, it’s low hanging fruit, waiting to be harvested. tailers are able to do automatically what the big guys are One aspect of this duo of opportunities — the internet now just rediscovering. For further examples — think My and the supplier-direct involvement with this business phe- Macy’s. nomenon — seems to have many flummoxed. “Should we All in all, what appears to be a growing awareness on or shouldn’t we” seems to be the critical question. Most the part of suppliers — and a major interest in expanding suppliers are passionately fearful of upsetting the folks at their involvement in these changes – bodes nothing but the big boy conventional retailers. But little by little, in pri- positive down the road. Let’s hope that road — and the vate, off the record conversations it seems that there are time frame — are short. HTT
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THE WEEKLY BUSINESS AND FASHION NEWSPAPER OF THE HOME TEXTILES INDUSTRY® 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010 Telephone: (646) 805-0227 Fax: (646) 365-2307 USPS 497-490 HOME TEXTILES TODAY (USPS 497-490) (ISSN 0195-3184) is published 30 times a year except for the weeks of 1/18, 2/1, 2/15, 3/15, 3/29, 4/5, 4/19, 5/3, 5/17, 5/31, 6/14, 6/28, 7/5, 8/2, 8/23, 8/30, 9/20, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, 11/29, 12/13 and 12/27 plus extra issues 1/26 and 11/22, by Furniture/Today Media Group, 360 Park Avenue South, 17th fl., New York, NY, 10010 a subsidiary of Sandow Media LLC, 3731 NW 8th Ave, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. HOME TEXTILES TODAY copyright ©2010 by Sandow Media LLC. Annual subscription rates: U.S. and Canada $169.97; 1 year, other countries $325.99 for surface mail and $525.00 for airmail. All payments must be made in U.S. currency. Subscription inquiries: HOME TEXTILES TODAY, PO Box 5879, Harlan, IA 51593-1379. Phone: (866) 456-0405. HOME TEXTILES TODAY and THE BUSINESS AND FASHION NEWSPAPER OF THE HOME TEXTILES INDUSTRY are registered trademarks of Sandow Media LLC, used under license. Sandow Media LLC does not assume and hereby disclaims liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the material contained herein, regardless of whether such errors result from negligence, accident or any other cause whatsoever. (Posted under Canadian International Publication Agreement No.4202803. Sandow Media/CDS (Mint Hill) POSTMASTER: Send address changes to HOME TEXTILES TODAY, P.O. Box 5879, Harlan, IA, 51593-1379 Email: HTTcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: RCS International; Box 697 STN A, Windsor Ontario N9A 6N4. Printed in the USA.
11/11/2010 5:32:20 PM
November 15, 2010
A Study in Black and White
“Black Friday has moved from an insider industry term to a signal for consumers that this was a BIG shopping event.”
HEN BL ACK FR IDAY comes, at least according to Steely Dan, “I’m gonna dig myself a hole, Gonna lay down in it ‘til I satisfy my soul.” Now, however, when Black Friday comes, it’s going to be followed by Black Tuesday … and Black Thursday and Black Whatever. There will certainly be no soul satisfying going on. PUBLISHER/ As we head into that most wondrous time EDITORIAL DIRECTOR of the year, Black Friday has moved from an insider industry term — one that frankly really wasn’t used very much by anybody anyway — to a signal for consumers that this was a BIG shopping event the day after Thanksgiving to the overdone catchphrase du jour it has now become this year. I think I saw my first Black Friday reference over the summer when some poor demented retailer decided they needed a little merchandising fix. Ever since, both the volume and the veracity have been turned up in ever increasing doses to the point where a virtual Black Friday Feeding Frenzy has broken out all over the shopping highway. It’s become not just black out there, but downright dark. Which leads to the inevitable question of exactly what will retailers do on the real Black Friday? Will it be Very Black Friday? Really Black Friday? Blacker than Black Friday? Wait. That’s it: Blackest Friday. Retailers never met a promotion they didn’t like and having overused coupons, percents off, one-day sales and events — whatever that means — they have now hitched their merchandising wagons to this Black Friday thing. Won’t you boys ever learn? The single biggest promotional event on the home textiles merchandising calendar was traditionally the January White Sale. It began as a vehicle for stores to promote bed and bath products right after the Christmas selling season, textiles never being a real core classification for the holidays. They could promote a product category that hadn’t been overdone to death in December and get weary consumers back into the store one more time. And it worked. So well, in fact, that stores started holding a second White Sale later in the year, often over the summer but sometimes whenever there was a lull in the promotional calendar, usually sometime between St. Swithin’s Day and President Polk’s Birthday. Pretty soon there were White Sales all over the place and the shopper knew that if they missed one, they needn’t worry. Like the crosstown bus, there would be another one coming along before not too long. Whatever cachet White Sales had got watered down to the point where they were just one more time when sheets and towels were put on sale. That a mattresses sale is perhaps the only home product event more common than a White Sale has become a fact of retailing life. Now the same thing is happening to Black Friday sales. This year they’ve generally only turned up in the second half of the year, but my memory faintly recalls at least one in the spring. You know in 2011 there are going to be more Black Friday sales and they are going to happen every day of the week. And they’ll probably still be called Black Friday. After all, if The New York Post can put Page Six on page 12 and 47th Street Photo was on 45th Street for years, why can’t Black Friday be calendar-neutral? It’s just one more example of retailers beating up on whatever they can. Maybe they should call it Black and Blue Friday. HTT
Home Textiles Today
BigResearch: November Finds Shoppers Weary, but Less Practical about Spending COLUMBUS, OHIO — Consumers
are slightly less confident about the U.S. economy in November than they were last month, but at the same time they are feeling less practical about spending as the holiday season approaches. That is what consumer research firm BigResearch found in its most recent Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey, which was conducted Nov. 3 to 9. The monthly survey monitors more than 8,000 consumers. The November survey found that just over one in four (27.4%) surveyed consumers said they are very confident/confident in chances for a strong economy. That was one point lower from October’s 28.5% and nearly two points from Nov. 2009’s 29.2%. “While the current reading is an improvement from the dismal 22.3% recorded in November 2008, this figure remains well below November 2007’s 37.2% and November 2006’s 50.3%,” BigResearch noted. Post-election this month, fewer than one in four (23.0%) said they feel more optimistic about the economy. The ma-
jority - 56.5% - are not, while 20.5% just don’t know. Those most likely to feel more optimistic include men - 27.1% versus women at 19.1% - and $50,000+ wage earners - 27.2% compared to the 20.1% making less than $50,000. “While confidence remains depressed compared to last month and one year ago, it seems that shoppers will still elect to head to stores this holiday season,” BigResearch noted. In November, 45.0% said they had become more practical and realistic in their spending, lowering three points from October’s 48.6% and about a point from November 2009’s 45.9%. “With many retailers kicking off the holiday season with early Black Friday deals, fewer consumers contend they’re focused on needs rather than wants when spending,” the research firm also found. “While the majority (54.1%) is still focused on the necessities, this figure has declined almost three points from last month (56.7%) and a point from a year ago (55.2%).”
More good news for retailers: After rising in October to 34.6%, the number of consumers planning to decrease overall spending has dropped nearly four points to 30.8% this month, on par with November 2009 (30.4%). However, with a third (32.2%) making paying down debt a fiscal priority over the next three months, it is unlikely consumers will overspend this holiday season - as one-fourth plan to increase savings (25.3%), while one in five (21.3%) intend to pay with cash more often. “The holiday shopping season - and the accompanying advertising onslaught - has begun, and early ‘Black Friday’ deals seem to be among the most popular promotions to entice shoppers to stores,” BigResearch added. While pre-Thanksgiving might be a little early to begin Christmas shopping for some (34.2%), nearly a third (30.6%) said they’ll take advantage of early bird deals. More than one in three (35.2%) don’t know if they’ll shop sales yet. HTT
Shaw Gears up for 2011 Winter Market Event Schedule DALTON , G A . — Shaw has set
the dates and place for its upcoming 2011 Winter Market events, during which it will launch several new lines within its Anso nylon, Evertouch and ClearTouch branded products for soft floor coverings. Spanning from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11, the event listing includes the following: Jan. 13-14, Cobb Galleria Convention Center in Atlanta;
Jan. 13-14, Embassy Suites – Grapevine, in Dallas; January 19-21, Disneyland Grand Californian in Anaheim; Jan. 13-14, Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Chicago; Feb. 3-4, Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.; Feb. 9-11, Harrah’s in Atlantic City, N.J. This year’s winter market theme is “Connection,” said
Kathy Young, director of marketing, based on the concept “a circle of support.” She added: “We’re looking forward to spending time with our retailers. We have innovative offerings, program and marketing tools to serve all areas of the country, and we’re excited to share this with our customers.” More information and market registration is available at www.shawshows.com. HTT
J.C. Penney Ventures into Freestanding Online Retail Brands P L A N O , T E X A S — J.C. Pen-
ney created a new division to launch new retail nameplates separated from the company’s core brand. The Growth Brands Division will launch its first two projects next summer in collaboration with Hearst Magazines. CLAD will be an online retail-
er of modern menswear. Gifting Grace will be an retailer offering unique gift times targeting women ages 30 to 54. Anne Sutherland Fuchs, a former executive at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has been hired as group president for the division and reports to JCPenney chairman and ceo Mike Ullman.
CLAD is headed by Will Swillie, previously been director of brand management at Retail Convergence, which owns Rue La La and other online retailers. Gifting Grace will be run by Mary Drolet, a retail industry veteran and founder of Club Libby Lu. Swillie and Drolet report to Sutherland Fuchs. HTT
11/11/2010 5:03:54 PM
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