Monday, April 2, 2012
THE BUSINESS AND FASHION NEWSPAPER OF THE HOME TEXTILES INDUSTRY
| Vol. 33, No. 9 | $8.00
Frette Goes to the Movies
Celebrity Brands vs Everyday Prices
BY JENNIFER MARKS
How Solid Color Towels Stack Up At Kohl’s And The New JCPenney
N EW YORK — International cinema provides the inspiration for Frette’s fall/winter collection, which pulls motifs from movies set in India, Britain and Italy. The brand’s crème de la crème Couture line pays tribute to Anglo-American films set in India and Bollywood with The Millionaire collection, which showcases an intricate design based on traditional Indian hammered metalwork techniques. The sateen cotton jacquard fabrics are finished to resemble silk and paired with raised, textured lines on quilts and covers that appear to be embossed. Also in Couture, The Golden Bowel includes Fanny, a decorative flying butterfly pattern that recalls Art Nouveau glasswork. Another pattern, Amerigo, reinterprets delicate gooseberry plants while the Maggie motif features a complex Deco design with giant butterflies on sateen cotton jacquard. Maggie also appears on embroidered quilts and embroidered edgings on In Frette Couture, The Millionaire bed and bath sets. line’s decorative paisley is based on a historical archive fabric.
BY JENNIFER WHITE KARP VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — In shopping for solid color towels, will the budget department store consumer be wooed by JLo and Vera or by more simple, everyday prices? That’s the question for consumers deciding between Kohl’s, which is home to celebrity brands by entertainment mega star Jennifer Lopez and fashion designer Vera Wang, and JCPenney, which recently implemented a radical new pricing system designed to wean shoppers from frequent promotions in favor of low daily prices. HTT visited both stores in the Green Acres Mall in the Long Island suburb of Valley Stream, N.Y., as part of the “Face to Face” series, which compares similar merchandising classifications at pairs of competing retailers. Retailers did not return requests for comment as of deadline.
At right: Linden Street is JCPenney’s private label brand that claims to offer quick drying, energy efficient towels.
Below: Towels by celebrity Jennifer Lopez recently made a splash at Kohl’s.
SEE FACE PAGE 1
SEE FACE TO FACE PAGE 12
SEE FRETTE PAGE 23
Groupon Keen on Home Textiles BY CECILE B. CORRAL C HICAGO — For the first time, online daily deal site Groupon sent members of its Groupon Goods team to participate in the recent New York Home Fashions Market. The company met with mul-
tiple home textiles suppliers and manufacturers during the weeklong event “to check out the latest and greatest in fall merchandise,” Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler told HTT. While attending the market was a first for Groupon, working with home textiles products
for sales events on its site is not. As Mossler explained, Groupon has offered some home textiles products since it first opened for business in November 2008. But it was not until the launch of Groupon Goods this past September that the comSEE GROUPON PAGE 22
Inside This Issue Swimwear Brand Gottex Diving into Home Category...........page 2 IFDA NY Chapter to Offer a Glimpse On The Textiles’ Future At Presentation ...................page 2 Back to the Future ..............page 4 Gen Why..............................page 4 Regence Swells Rug Line ...page 6 Database: Bath and Bath Accessories .................page 8
300 RUGS GUARANTEED IN STOCK 300 TOP AVAILABLE IN 5'X8' AND 8'X11' SIZES AND SHIPS WITHIN 72 HOURS
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Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
Swimwear Brand Gottex Diving into Home Category NEW YORK — Luxury swimwear brand Gottex plans to move into the home sphere through licensing agreements for beach and bath towels, bath accessories, bedding, dec pillows, decorative fabric, outdoor furniture and other categories. “I think, design-wise, this company has a great brand. And women know [the brand],” said Kerry Glasser, the New Yorkbased licensing consultant collaborating on the home licensing initiative. Gottex’s vivid prints have already been licensed for handbags and luggage, he noted. “The extension of the Gottex brand, incorporating its extensive design capably and archival design resources into home prod-
“I think, designwise, this company has a great brand. And women know [the brand].”
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—KERRY GLASSER, Licensing Consultant ucts, is a natural evolution of this fashion forward and highly regarded swimwear company,” said Glasser. The swimwear is distributed in more than 3,000 department store doors, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Belk, Bon-Ton, Carson Pierre Scott, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman and Von Maur. Distribution also includes specialty apparel stores and off-pricers. HTT
Gottex hopes to license its catalog of vivid beachwear prints to home furnishings producers for a variety of categories.
cmi Names Haynes National Accounts Manager PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Braided tex- both cmi and Rizzy Home. Last ture rug and home accessummer, she took on sories manufacturer cmi additional respon(Colonial Mills Inc.) has sibilities for cmi by hired Kirsten Haynes fulltargeting key potentime as the company’s natial accounts – which tional accounts manager. cmi said range from The company debrick-and-mortar scribed her as having a stores to online reKRISTIN HAYNES “successful and energetic tailers and catalogs. cmi sales personality.” “Since last July Most recently, Haynes the business of key served as a Kentucky and South- accounts, especially internet ern Ohio territory manager for and catalog retailers, has experi-
Tracking Textiles TOWELS BY THE COLORS Towel sales in 2011, in dollars, by the color and/or pattern of the product* Pattern or Print
15.9% Light Solid Colors
29.6% Dark Solid Colors
11.4% Cartoon, Logo or Theme
Dollar sales of towels increased 17 percent in 2011 even though unit sales declined 8 percent. While online, TV and home party channels grew, traditional in-store sales still accounted for 88 percent of total dollar sales. White and cartoon/logo/theme motifs were the only color segments showing unit growth. *Includes wash/face cloths and sets, hand towels, bath towels/bath sheets, bath towel sets and beach towels Source: The NPD Group/Consumer Tracking Service
enced an enormous growth and demand for our rugs and accessories. We found it was time to create another exclusive, fulltime position within our company. Our in-house sales and marketing team collaborated and agreed that Kirsten would be the perfect fit for the position,” explained Don Scarlata, cmi’s president/ceo. “She is an excellent communicator and understands the needs of her customers. Her enthusiasm
and sales knowledge is just what cmi needs to increase sales with these specialty key accounts.” Haynes in return said she is “really excited for the opportunity to play a key role in growing cmi’s business and eager for the challenge. I enjoy building relationships with my customers and working with Meredith Thayer, cmi’s in-house product designer, to create the perfect, individualized rug selection for each customer.” HTT
IFDA NY Chapter to Offer A Glimpse On The Textiles’ Future At Presentation NEW YORK — the International Furnishings and Design Association is hosting a presentation on “The Future of Textiles” at Material ConneXion in mid April. Home Textiles Today editor-in-chief Jennifer (Marks) Negley and Material ConneXion’s materials specialist, Ana Linares, will offer “an overview of what’s next in textiles,” followed by an exclusive tour of the site’s extensive material library. The event is scheduled on April 17 and begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. The presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. Material ConneXion is located here at 60 Madison Avenue. Tickets are $20 for IFDA members and $40 for their guests; and $10 for IFDA student members and $20 for their student guests. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 686-6020.
Softline Home Fashions
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Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
OPINIONTodaY Back to the Future
F T ER BEST BU Y A NNOUNCED last week that it will close 50 largeformat stores and open 100 small Best Buy Mobile stores, Bloomberg News proclaimed: “The Era of Big Box Retail Dominance is Coming to an End.” The rise of online shopping was cited as one of the factors along with the “showroom” phenomenon whereby consumers visit a store to check out merchandise in person, then pull out their smart phones to do a price comparison online and buy electronically from another source. “Other forces are conspiring against the big-box model. Baby Boomers no longer have kids at home and don’t need to stock up on food and packaged goods,” Bloomberg reported. “Their kids are marrying later and delaying having their own children, meaning fewer are buying houses that need to be updated and furnished.” For an interesting counterpoint to all of this, one need EDITOR-IN-CHIEF look no further than the small-format, down-market retail channel. Dollar General, Family Dollar and Fred’s throughout the recession have been giving up general merchandise space to expand their refrigerated and frozen food offerings. Last week, Family Dollar announced it will drive more frequent visits to the store by adding tobacco, Pepsi products and name brand cosmetics from L’Oreal and Maybelline. Just as Walmart turned the grocery world on its ear by charging hard after food and consumables, the so-called “hard discounters” are looking to provide an alternative that is a hybrid of the old-fashioned neighborhood supermarket and a local convenience store. In short, the entire complexion of the retail world is in flux. The recession years have brought the emergence of an entirely new retail fomat: flash sale sites. (Question: How long before we begin to see consolidation in this sector? My money says it starts next year.) Along with the proliferation of flash sale sites, I suspect we’ll begin seeing more pop-up shops around the country — emulating a formula Tuesday Morning pioneered before it settled into more of an everyday off-pricer. Amazon earlier this year announced it will test a small, stand-alone store. From the mid-80s through the mid-90s the industry went through a wild ride as category killers exploded (then consolidated), warehouse clubs blossomed (then consolidated) and regional discounters made plays to expand their territories (then were largely killed off). Looks like we’re going back to the future. HTT
OME T E X T ILES INDUST RY, let me introduce you to the Millennials, aka Generation Y. I don’t believe you’ve ever been formally introduced. With the recent news that retailers like Macy’s and Kohl’s are launching specific efforts to go after this cohort — generally recognized as those from age 20 to those in their early 30s — it appears that the people who sell stuff are finally realizing that this generation consists of people who buy stuff … or at least could buy stuff. But it’s not going to be that easy. Us Baby Boomers were easy marks. Put anything shiny in front of us and we couldn’t whip out our credit cards fast enough. The Gen Xers who followed have basically turned out to be a bust, not overly concerned with the great American art of conspicuous consumption but willing to buy if it seemed like a good enough idea. Warren But Gen Y is a whole different slice of the demographic pie. Shoulberg These guys are scary … at least to anyone who doesn’t understand the ground rules of selling them. And so, in the interests of those whose PUBLISHER/ EDITORIAL DIRECTOR job it is to sell stuff, I thought it timely to explain some of the dynamics of the Millennials. And in the spirit of the season (at least for some of us) I’d like to put it in the form of the four questions. Why is this Generation different from all other generations? People born after the early 1980s have never not had the Internet as a resource once they could start handling a keyboard. This has forever changed the way they gather information, communicate with each other and interact with businesses. It’s the single most profound change of the rules since the invention of television a half-century before. Why is this Generation so hard to sell to? Yes, they are more cynical and less susceptible to marketing, but Boomers were natural-born cynics (“Never trust anyone over 30”) and marketing does work in reaching Gen Y consumers, but not the same old marketing. Pictures of smiling, satisfied customers won’t cut it with this group. They want the facts, they want some humor and they want a deal. Oh, how they want a deal. Why is this Generation not shopping the way their parents did? This group was originally called the Echo-Boomers, children of Baby Boomers. They watched how their parents consumed and like every generation before them — especially the Boomers — they did the exact opposite. This is the way it’s been since that first shopping mall, the Garden of Eden. Why is this Generation just not buying enough stuff? See all of the above but add in one extremely important factor: No age group has been hit harder by the Great Recession than Gen Y, which after getting out of college has not found the jobs their predecessors had waiting for them. Factor in massive school loans and higher prices and you have a group that is moving back into their old rooms at home. Not exactly a recipe for consumption. Maybe a more apt name would be Gen Why Not? HTT
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Family Dollar Posts Another Strong Quarter MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar reported its 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in earnings per share, but as it emphasized consumables, sales in the home category slipped. Executives said Family Dollar will be more cautious in the way it buys for the home category, but is focused on improving the quality of its basic offerings. By way of
example, president and coo Mike Bloom pointed to the introduction an enhanced solid color towel program this season. During the second quarter ended Feb. 25, net income climbed 10.7% to $136.4 million, or $1.15 per share. Sales increased 8.6% to $2.46 billion, with comps up 4.5%. Sales of home merchandise fell 0.5%.
For the first half, net income rose 9.8% to $216.8 million, or $1.84 per share. Sales rose 8.1% to $4.6 billion. The company is looking to drive more frequent visits by adding 1,000 new consumables during the second half, including cigarettes and tobacco, Pepsi products, L’Oreal and Maybelline cosmetic lines and Gerber baby food. HTT
Dillard and Lauder Feted by FIT N EW YORK —The Fashion Institute of Technology honored Dillard’s vice president Williams Dilliard III and The Estée Lauder Companies executive chairman William Lauder during its annual benefit gala her last month. The event raised just under
$2 million to benefit FIT’s Educational Development Fund, which provides scholarship, technology, and student services support, among other priorities. In a new feature this year, 28 FIT packaging design majors competed to design a new pack-
age for Lauder’s fragrance called pleasures. A team of judges from Estée Lauder and Dillard’s selected Nina Juang as the winner. She received $5,000 in cash. Rob Stevens and Alica Tagliasacchi were named runners-up and each received $1,500 in cash. HTT
From left: FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown, Leonard Lauder, William Lauder, William Dillard III, and William Dillard II.
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
Retail Briefs JCP Cautions on Impact of Pricing Strategy
aveats about potential business pitfalls are boilerplate in annual report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but JCPenney’s 10K filing last week included language particular to its new pricing strategy. The everyday pricing strategy implement Feb. 1 “could result in a prolonged decline in sales,” the company stated.
Belk Touts Strong Year
egional department store company Belk called its most recent fiscal year one of the strongest in its history, with net income jumping 43% to $183.1 million. Profit got a boost from higher sales and better margin as well as lower expenses and a deferred tax valuation. Excluding non-comparable items, net income for the year rose 27% to $162.3 million. Home was one of the leading categories for the year, along with ladies shoes and children’s. Sales rose 5.3% to $3.7 billion, with comps up 5.5%. Belk, a privately owned company, did not break out fourth quarter results, but said it achieved its eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year comp sales growth.
Lands’ End On The Block?
he New York Post last week reported that Sears Holding is quietly shopping for a buyer for the Lands’ End business, which Sears acquired a decade ago when Alan Lacy was ceo. According to the Post, “Lampert, who inherited Lands’ End when he took control of Sears in 2005 by merging it with Kmart, has approached a handful of private-equity firms as he looks to raise as much as $2 billion in cash, sources said.”
Target Reveals 1st Canadian Stores
arget last week announced the locations for the first dozen stores it will open in Quebec. The U.S. retailer plans to open up to 135 stores in Canada following its acquisition last year of 189 Zellers sites. In fall 2013, Target plans to open units in Anjou, Brossard, Gatineau, Joliette, Levis, Montreal (two stores), Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Sherbrooke, Sainte-Foy, Saint-Jerome and Troi-Rivieres.
Viente Joins JLA Home Design & Contract R E I D S V I L L E , N .C . — Arthur
V i e n t e j oi n e d J L A H o m e ’s Design & Contract division as its national sales manager, the company recently announced. JLA Home Design & Contract maintains a 10,000-sq.-ft. showroom in the IHFC building in High Point. JLA Home offers custom designed bedding and home décor accessories to the furniture store and design trade
through multiple brands including Hampton Hill, Woolrich, Tao, Echo and Harbor House. Viente comes to JLA Home with extensive experience in sales and marketing across multiple industries and companies. His previous experience includes work in sales and business development for Eastern Accents, Nancy Koltes Fine Linens, Blissliving Home and Leg-
acy Linens, and his knowledge base and resources extend across the retail, design and hospitality channels. In addition, Viente brings knowledge in sales development and customer service through B2B e-commerce platforms, and will be assisting with further development of JLA Home’s exclusive custom tradeonly B2B platform, www.olliix. com. HTT
Lord & Taylor Opens In New Hampshire
ord & Taylor opened a 122,000-square-foot store in Salem, N.H., at the Mall in Rockingham Park in mid-March — its first store in northern New England and the first full-line store it’s opened in more than a decade. “Lord & Taylor is very excited to debut a new, modern store concept at the Mall at Rockingham Park,” said Bonnie Brooks, president, Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns Lord & Taylor. The store is designed to mirror Lord & Taylor’s Manhattan flagship on 5th Avenue, the company said.
3/29/2012 4:02:32 PM
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
IFDA Names “Circle Of Excellence” Honorees N E W YORK — The New York Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) has announced the 2012 honorees of its Circle of Excellence Awards. IFDA created this awards program in 1992 “to recognize outstanding leadership, vision and dedication in the furnishings and design industry.”
A member voting system selected luminaries in four categories, and this year these honorees will be feted at the Evening of Distinction event here on May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Union League Club, 38 E. 37th Street. Awards and their recipients will include: • Excellence in Education -Susan Weber, founder and direc-
tor, Bard Graduate Center; • Industry Resource & Product Design -- Cary Kravet, president, Kravet Inc; • Interior Design -- Charlotte Moss, Charlotte Moss LLC; • Media -- Hearst Design Group’s Elle Décor, Michael Boodro and Barbara Friedmann; House Beautiful, Newell Turner and Kate Kelly Smith;
and Veranda, Dara Caponigro and Jennifer Bruno. Fashion impresario Simon Doonan and designer Jonathan Adler will be the Masters of Ceremonies. Claire Coleman, the founder of the IFDA, will also be recognized as the organization celebrates its 65th year. A portion of the evening’s
KATE KELLY SMITH
profits will benefit the IFDA Educational Foundation, which distributes grants and scholarships to students and professionals in the furnishings and design field. Former recipients of the IFDA Circle of Excellence Awards include Cindy Allen, Clodagh, Eric Cohler, Jamie Drake, Louis Gropp, Larry Laslo, Chris Madden, Charles Pavarini lll, Karim Rashid, Margaret Russell, John Stark and Raymond Waites. For tickets, event patron opportunities or any other information about the IFDA’s Circle of Excellence Awards, visit http://conta.cc/z9WsIT, contact the IFDA office at (212) 6866020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. HTT
Regence Home Swells Rug Line N E W YO R K — M i c r o f i b e r
accent rugs and gun-tufted-like machine-made area rugs are just two examples of new products industry newcomer Regence Home is developing and bringing to the marketplace after only two years in the business. Regence, which was established in 2008 but didn’t really get going until 2010, is the U.S. marketing and distribution arm of longtime, Panipat, Indiabased manufacturer Riviera Home Furnishings, which operates a large-scale factory that primarily produces a broad array of bath rugs but also makes accent and area rugs. It distributes the products wholesale around the world. Through Regence, the manufacturer is looking to extend the reach of its area and accent rug products to retailers around the United States. At Regence’s helm are Scott Carlton, vp of sales for the East Coast region, and David Martin, vp of sales for the West Coast region. Carlton is based here at the company’s main showroom; Martin works out of Minneapolis. “Regence is a new paradigm for the [Riviera] company,” Carlton explained. “This is a new business venture, to come
into the U.S., set up company, set up warehousing and a showroom, work with designers. And part of the process is to learn, refine what we are doing, work with new technologies and constructions, and give exposure to the company with innovative product.” Carlton, who joined the company in 2010, said Regence started out “maybe with two legitimate offerings in accent rugs.” As of last month, it had developed “an exponentially larger” assortment that also includes area rug sizes to showcase to its growing retail customer base. “Now we have about a dozen accent rug collections and about seven different groupings of area rugs that come in a range of constructions and looks,” Carlton noted. He explained that Regence’s strength is “innovation of construction and fiber differentiation.” For example, the company’s new microfiber line stems from Riviera’s strength in bath rugs. “We labeled it as ‘The softest rug in the room’ because we use microfiber, which is typically used in bath rugs, and made a complete accent rug collection in many colors and
Versailles, from Regence Home’s new Avignon collection of machine-woven, viscose/chenille blend rugs.
patterns” that can be used in rooms throughout the home,. He explained. “The innovation comes from yarn structure,” he continued, “and that’s the kind of thinking we’re trying to do with our rugs.” Regence’s newer area rug line is also based on innovation, Carlton added. A recently created collection comprises machinemade rugs that are made to look
like gun-tufted products. “And they do not shed, and can retail for the same price as our standard gun-tufted pieces,” Carlton noted. So far, Regence Home’s overall strategy is working, as more and more retail customers are showing interest in its assortment. “I think our growing range of product and our wider spectrum of rugs have given us a better
chance at expanding our business at retail,” he said. Since last month’s New York Home Fashions Market, Regence has gotten additional placements with new and existing retail partners. “We had a good market,” he continued. “Our traffic was good, and we drew in a lot of new customers to our showroom,” which is located at 7 West 34th St., in suite 615. HTT
3/29/2012 4:03:42 PM
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Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
Bath Suppliers End ’11 With Sales Gains For Basics
BA A T A D B
for many other home textiles categories, bath products produced a slight sales gain last year, and suppliers are looking forward to better business in 2012 Industry-wide and across the segment’s five categories – bath towels, bath/scatter rugs, shower curtains, bath accessories, and tank sets – the U.S. bath business managed a 2.7% gain in overall sales in 2011 to $25.7 billion, and essentially retained its place at 17.7% as a percentage of the total home textiles universe – a slight dip from the prior year’s 18%. But the sales increase of 2011 did not come easily, suppliers noted. Many suppliers had to work around retailers’ demands for price point reductions – even in the face of rising raw materials and labor costs. “For several years now, they wanted more and more opening price point, more and more price reduction, and that makes it increasingly difficult for companies like ours to increase business,” explained Wade Maples, co-owner, Maples Rugs.
N EW YORK — As was the case
That might explain why the bath rug sales were flat year over year, coming in at $1.1 billion, and comprising about 25% of total retail sales. Towels fared better, experiencing a 2.7% sales increase. Basic solids drove the business as retailers shied away from broader fashion offerings.
BY CECILE B. CORRAL
O H A CCESS
Venus Home’s Shiv Shankaran, general manager, described 2011 as “a tough year” when Venus saw “a downtrend in fashion bath towels and coordinates” but on the other hand “did reasonably well and continue to grow in our value solid towel programs,” which retail for $7.99 and less. Price points were also largely affected by a continued volatility
in cotton pricing over 2011. “Contending with the uncontrollable surge to cotton pricing,” was New York-based Loftex USA, which was nonetheless “very pleased with our 2011 sales growth, which exceeded corporate goals,” said coo Jeffrey Williams. “Given the recent stabilization of cotton, we are very optimistic that 2012 will be another successful year as we will continue to focus on innovation and supply chain excellence,” he added. Added Loftex USA’s vp of marketing/brand development, James Booth: “Going forward it is all about product design and innovation and being ‘in connection’ with the consumer at all levels-retail/social/ mobile.” The hope for bath suppliers now is that 2012 will offer new opportunities for stronger growth. Maples has already noticed from his ret ail partners “a demand for newness and a trade up in price,” which led to his company’s debut in March at the New York Home Fashions Market of the “TruSoft” collection of ultra-soft fiber-made bath
BATH AND BATH ACCESSORIES
% of the Home Textiles Universe
$25.72B $25.05B 2011 Home Textiles 2010 Home Textiles Universe Universe
rugs that are poised to retail for $24.00 – a notch above the typical $12 to $14 bath rug offerings. “We showed our new TruSoft [bath] rugs in both solids and prints, and we got a great reception from retailers,” Maples added. “And this will help business this year for us.” HTT
HTT’s new Database series replaces the long-running Facts series of category sales reports. The next Database report will appear on April 16 and will cover the area rug category.
BATH AND BATH ACCESSORIES Source for all tables and charts: Home Textiles Today market research
Merchandise Mix, 2011
2011 total retail sales: $4,550 million up 1.1% from $4,500 million in 2010 2011
Discount department stores $2,648 Mid-price chains $714 Home textiles specialty chains $642 Off-price chains $214 Other* $132 Warehouse clubs $91 Department stores $59 Single-unit home specialty stores $27 Home improvement centers $23 Total $4,550
$2,597 $734 $635 $207 $131 $90 $59 $27 $23 $4,500
2.0% -2.6% 1.1% 3.3% 1.1% 1.1% 1.1% 1.1% 1.1% 1.1%
9.3% Tank sets
Other* includes direct-to-consumer and other channels such as PXs, grocery stores, and the like. Figures have been rounded. 2010 figures have been revised.
3/29/2012 4:40:11 PM
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Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
New Owners of Linen Kist Expand into Décor Services BY CECILE B. CORRAL VAIL / B EAVER C REEK , C OLO. —
In less than a year under the new ownership of couple Nikki and Nick Kern, longtime luxury home linens shop The Linen Kist has managed to uphold its character as a venue for highend bedding and bath while evolving into a more total-home décor service source. As Nikki Kern explained to HTT, she had a quick learning curve. But she swiftly realized the ingredients she would need to take her new business to the next level without actually alter-
ing its tried-and-true foundation. “We want to save The Linen Kist because it’s had such a great following for so long and many loyal customers over the years. We want them to know they can still come here to get their Sferra sheets and their Abyss towels and Labrazel bath accessories,” Kern said. “But we wanted to offer our customers more. We wanted to also be a one-stop service for them for custom draperies, upholstery and in-home design consultations.” The Linen Kist was first
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opened here in 1989 by Nancy Rehder as a high-end linens boutique that catered to both locals and seasonal residents with second homes in the area. Rehder ran the business successfully until 2000, when a local entrepreneur approached her about selling her business to him. Looking for a change, Rehder agreed. She relocated to Seattle and started working part-time — this time on the supplier side, serving as a rep for several home textiles companies. That lasted for about six years, until one day in 2006 her store’s buyer called her again – this time looking to sell the business back to her. Again, Rehder agreed, and she soon returned to Vail/Beaver Creek to run The Linen Kist full time. Kern owned and operated a Benjamin Moore paint store and flooring business in the area for more than 20 years with her husband, which they sold in 2010. A little more than a year ago, she was offered an opportunity to come work for Rehder at the store part time. “It was all fun and all new to
me, and I considered it more an internship than a job. I was looking to gain knowledge about the textiles and linens business,” Kern said. “I wanted to know about thread counts, about everything that had to do with the linens business. Design has always been my forte, and working with [Rehder], I was really learning the [home textiles] trade,” Kern said. A few months into her job, Kern and her husband had an idea that could bring them back to the home décor business through a new route. “We just threw it out there — we told her that if she was ever interested in selling the store, we’d be interested in buying it,” Kern said. And to their surprise — she was, very quickly. “Within about six weeks of
telling her, she offered the store to us,” Kern said. “[Rehder] said she was ready to retire.” The Kerns became the new owners in July 2011. And their first order of business was naming Kern’s best friend and longtime Linen Kist associate Amy Joersz the new store manager. Having spent 15 years working at Linen Kist for Rehder, Joersz was instrumental in helping Kern learn the home textiles business after she joined the store. “Having Amy stay on as the manager helps us gain customers’ trust, and she is the foundation of the store, really. When customers come in and see her, they can trust that things will go on as they have been all along,” Kern said. “And that is very important, since so many of our customers are return cus-
3/29/2012 2:30:21 PM
April 2, 2012
Home Textiles Today
tomers.” Another mainstay in the plan: the linen offering. “Linens are the backbone of this business,” said Kern, adding that the merchandise mix remains much the same but has undergone some “diversifying” since she took ownership. “We’re working a little more now with some different brands, trying to focus on drawing more of our loyal customer base while expanding the assortment to include some newer items that are more affordable,” she continued.
Sferra Bros. continues to be The Linen Kist’s core, top-of-the-line bedding brand. It is also a key component of bath along with Abyss and Matouk. In the utility bedding category, Scandia and Cuddledown products make up the bulk of the assortment.
The store’s bedding display continues to include two queen-size beds for showcasing fashion bedding and a twin-size bed for down utility products. But Kern is integrating new suppliers to the mix offering more affordable luxury goods. “For example, Kassatex has a beautiful bamboo-and-cotton sheet set and duvet covers and shams that we’ve introduced and are carrying in a small display and can sell in the $200 range as opposed to maybe $450, which is what a lower-end Sferra sheet retails for,” Kern explained. She added: “We are in no way trying to run out Sferra. They are still our core. But we want to also offer some more affordable options, working with vendors we can trust and who help us diversify a little in product and price point. With the market still somewhat tough, there is a need for that.” Also new is an updated fashion statement. While traditional looks “are still a big part of our motif here in the valley,” Kern said, “more and more people are asking for an updated interpretation, or what
we call ‘mountain contemporary,’ which allows you to incorporate the popular natural wood looks used in so many homes here with more transitional décor and linens.” And the most notable shift in Linen Kist’s new business approach is the addition of special custom services to the store. As Kern explained, “we want to be a one-stop shop” for drapery, upholstery, and in-store and in-home design consultation. The store recently remodeled the showroom space of the store, “opened it up a little,” Kern said, and added a work station with a “very large counter space” as a more comfortable area to work with customers more closely. “We’re not interior decorators, but we offer our customers ideas as experts in the design field,” she said. “We just want to help our customers with their design needs, from the time they walk in the door to the end product. With their linens or drapery or upholstery needs, we work as a subcontractor, so now our customers only need to deal with one [company] — us.” HTT
3/29/2012 2:31:03 PM
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
At right: At JCPenney, towel prices are clearly marked on signs. At left: A display of JCP Home Pure Perfection towels compared a new towel to one that had been washed 50 times.
Linden Street, private label 100% cotton Lucite shelves Made in India About 6 colors Wash, $8 Hand, $6 Tub mat, $8 Bath, $18 Liz Claiborne, national brand 100% cotton, low twist Low, stepped shelves Made in India About 10 colors Wash, $7 Hand, $10 Bath towel, $13 Bath sheet, $19 American Living, national brand 100% cotton White wooden shelves Made in India About 7 colors Wash, $6 Hand, $9 Bath, $12 JCP Home Pure Perfection, private label 100% cotton Low, stepped shelves, Made in India Also Lucite shelves About 10 colors Also wall with cubbies Wash, $5 Hand, $6, Bath towel, $7 Tub mat $8 Bath sheet, $12 Linden Street Quick Dri, private label 100% cotton Low, stepped shelves Wash, $3 Wall cubbies Hand, $4 Bath towel, $5 Bath sheet, $9 JCP Home, private label 100% cotton Free standing tower Made in India Also Lucite shelves About three colors Wash $2 Hand, $3 Bath, $4 JCP Home, private label 100% cotton Free standing tower Made in Pakistan Wash, $5 for eight multi-color
POINT OF SALE, PRODUCT INFORMATION
Face to Face TOWELS FROM PAGE 1
Hang tags with product information
Signs for all towels use a square from new logo
Sign on top of shelves listed prices, fiber and directed shoppers to jcp.com for more prices, sizes.
Described as getting softer and fluffier with use Hang tags show color range Described as thirsty towel with fade-resistant colors, Lint release and no pilling. Large sign above wall display: JCP Home perfection Samples compare towel after 50 washes to new.
Hang tags describe product as energy saving Reduce dry time by 33% compared to other towels
Everyday pricing Described as ultra absorbent cotton
In February, JCPenney began offering “fair and square” pricing, cutting store prices by 40% and getting rid of almost all of its 590 promotions and discounts. The goal is to encourage consumers to shop on a more regular basis and feel confident they are getting the best price on any given day. Pricing is on three tiers: everyday prices that eliminate the need for coupons, month-long values that offer a sale price for an entire month and best prices, markdowns for the first and third Friday — paydays for many consumers. The price cuts create a noticeable difference between the retailers. Seven out of the nine towel collections on store shelves at Kohl’s offer wash cloths priced above $10. At JCPenney, all wash cloths sold in the store are below $10, some as low as $2 or $3. Four collections sold in Kohl’s stores include bath towels priced above $20, with the other four collections pricing bath towels below $20. (One collection did not appear to include bath towels). At JCPenney, none of the bath towels sold in stores was priced over $20 — several were priced below $10, with
some as low as $4 and $5. In January, when JCPenney ceo Ron Johnson laid out the vision for transforming the 110year-old department store, he said a core JCPenney towel that retailed at $10 actually leaves the store, after discounts, at $3.30. And so its new everyday price is $4 and its “best” price will be $2. Prices at JCPenney now use round numbers exclusively — so wash cloths are $5, not $5.99. It renders moot a murky ret ailing mystery: does 99 cents signify a bargain to consumers or do consumers disregard the cents portion of the price tag? At Kohl’s, Jennifer Lopez’s name stands alone above her towel collection, which features tasteful silver signage that coordinates with her silver tags and labels. A small photo of Lopez is positioned at eye level. Vera Wang’s two collections, under the Simply Vera brand, feature the only fiber blend seen in either store with 70% viscose and 30 % cotton, as well as a Microcotton collection. The merchandising of her line also includes a small photo. Both collections feature a limited color palette that includes fashion colors: pink for Lopez
3/29/2012 4:05:27 PM
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
At right: Apt. 9 is a private label brand at Kohl’s. At left:Towels by celebrity Jennifer Lopez recently made a splash at Kohl’s.
and eggplant and purplish gray for Wang. The dobby for both Lopez and Simply Vera towels appears more upscale, with a basket-like weave on the Jennifer Lopez towels and a striped pattern on Wang’s. The celebrity brands are priced on the higher side of Kohl’s solid colored towels, but are not the only higher priced ones. Chaps Home, a private label, is the second highest-priced solid color towel line. Like American Living at JCPenney, Chaps Home at Kohl’s was created in conjunction with design powerhouse Polo Ralph Lauren. Sourced directly by Kohl’s, Chaps Home was a huge launch for the retailer in 2007, and the first national brand that Kohl’s carried in each of its major departments. American Living, introduced in 2008, was the largest brand launch to date in the JCPenney’s history and was initially intended for the retailer’s “best” pricing category. At Valley Stream, American Living towels were priced mid-range. Earlier this year, Ralph Lauren’s president said the company and JCPenney had decided to discontinue the American Living
line. Kohl’s has several other private labels: Apt. 9, Sonoma life + style, Croft & Barrow and The Big One. Pricing for the first two is similar, with towels in the mid to high teens, and prices are similar for the latter two, with prices under $10. Private label brands at JCPenney are limited to the Linden Street and JCP Home labels. The two Linden Street collections are the highest-priciest solid color towel lines — yet they would compete with nearly the lowest priced solid colored towels at Kohl’s. The Linden Street Quick Dri towels carry hang tags that describe the product’s energy efficiency: they reduce drying time by 33% compared to other towels. The JCP Home brand featured several collections. The JCP Home Pure Perfection line gets the most display space, with the collection found in several places in the Valley Stream store. A large wall sign drew attention to the collection, as well as hang tags describing the towels’ fade resistant colors, lint release and anti-pilling capabilities. Samples compared new towels to ones washed 50 times.
Simply Vera, celebrity brand Micro cotton Made in India About 7 colors Wash $17.99 Hand $23.99 Bath, $29.99 Chaps Home, national brand 100% cotton loop, Made in Turkey About 10 colors Wash, $15.99 Hand $19.99 Bath, $25.99 Simply Vera, celebrity brand 70% cotton, 30% viscose Made in India About 5 colors Wash, $13.99 Hand, $17.99 Bath, $21.99 Jennifer Lopez, celebrity brand Cotton About 7 colors Wash, $13.99 Hand, $17.99 Bath, $21.99 Apt. 9, private label Solid Pima loop Made in Turkey About 7 colors Wash, $13.99 Hand, $15.99 Bath, $17.99 Apt. 9, private label 100% Pima cotton Quick drying textured towel About three colors Made in China Wash, $13.99 Hand, $15.99 Bath, $17.99 Sonoma life + style, private label 100% cotton, Made in India About 10 colors Wash, $11.99 Hand, $13.99 Bath, $15.99 Croft & Barrow, private label 100% cotton Made in India About four colors Wash, $7.99 Hand, $9.99 The Big One, private label 100% cotton Made in India About six colors Wash, $5.99 Hand, $7.99 Bath, $9.99
POINT OF SALE, PRODUCT INFORMATION
Shelves Small image of Vera Wang
Electronic screens, small signs with details on buy one, get one free promotion
Screens and signs for BOGO
Screens and signs for BOGO
Shelves Screens and signs for BOGO Silver shelf signs coordinate with silver tags and label Small image of Lopez at eye level
Screens and signs for BOGO
Screens and signs for BOGO
Screens and signs for BOGO Described as fade resistant, highly absorbent, low lint producing with spot stop technology
Screens and signs for BOGO
Screens and signs for BOGO
SEE TOWELS PAGE 14
3/29/2012 4:07:12 PM
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
Face to Face TOWELS FROM PAGE 6
The other national brand at JCPenney is Liz Claiborne, which is now owned by the retailer. Liz Claiborne solid colored towels feature a low twist cotton and at the Green Acres Mall, were positioned in the front of the department. Online, shoppers for solid colored towels can find slightly
more selection, but not a whole lot more. At jcpenney.com, there are more colors and some brand extensions, such as American Living Hamilton Towels and Home Expressions from JCP Home, which were not seen in the store. In addition, towels are also sold in sets, such as the 6piece JCP Home Pure Perfection set for $30. If bought indi-
Chaps Home towels at Kohl’s. Chaps is the No. 1 brand at Kohl’s, according to Ralph Lauren’s president.
JCP Home Pure Perfection towels line the wall at the Valley Stream store location.
CALL FOR ENTRIES! ENTER THE 61 ST ANNUAL RETAILER EXCELLENCE AWARDS It’s THE honor of the industry, recognizing retail and individual achievement. IT’S EASY, ENTER YOUR OWN STORE OR YOUR CUSTOMER NOW Then join us for the Gala Awards Dinner to celebrate the winners.
Sunday, August 19, 2012 During The New York International Gift Fair, Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers Sponsored By:
Entry Deadline: April 30, 2012. Go to www.GiftsandDec.com, click on the REA button for entry forms or email Caroline Kennedy, firstname.lastname@example.org to request a form.
vidually, the same towels would total $36. At kohls.com, there was an online exclusive towel collection, the Smart Dry six-piece set for $89.99. And compared to the store, a wider range of colors also appeared to be available online. While JCPenney has largely eliminated its promotions, Kohl’s has not. In the Valley Stream location, shelves in the towel department featured multiple small LCD screens with details of a buy one, get one free promotion. Printed signs with the same information were perched on top of each screen. Circulars from JCPenney look quite different now — more akin to editorial pages, with far fewer images of products and screaming discounts. In the 12-page circular, with pages roughly 10-inch square, a total of 11 products are identified by description and price. A Kohl’s circular, with its super tabloid size of 21 inches long by 10.5 wide, is anchored by headlines touting savings and discounts of up to 30% and $10 Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent. In a 10-page spread, there are over 150 photos of products and models, often showing multiple items in a single photo, for a huge array of discounts. HTT
3/29/2012 4:07:34 PM
How do you make your company stand out from the hundreds of other suppliers calling on the same ten retail accounts?
TexTiles is our Middle NaMe
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
PEOPLETodaY Orian Rugs Hires Two ANDERSON , S.C. — Orian Rugs is ramping up is top sales staff with the addition of two new vps of sales to head the company’s Southeast and Midwest markets. Paul Crump has been named vp of sales for the Southeast region, and Mike Donovan joins Orian as the vp of sales for the Midwest region. PAUL CRUMP Crump brings more than 13 years of sales expeOrian rience in the floor covering industry. At Orian, he will focus on establishing the company’s account base in the Southeast along with growing existing business in the region. “Paul has an in-depth understanding of our industry, a broad base of customer relationships, and a long history of sales success,” said Brandon Culpepper, vp of sales. “He serves his customers with MIKE DONOVAN skill and integrity, and Orian is excited that he is a Orian part of our team.” Donovan has more than seven years of experience in the area rugs business, “and has been successful at building relationships with some of the world’s largest corporations as well as with smaller regional retailers,” the company said. In his new post, he will be responsible for establishing new accounts and growing existing business throughout the Midwest region. “Mike’s experience compliments our approach to build relationships that meet and exceed the regional retailer’s diverse needs with custom-
Overstock.com Adds Dilworth SALT L AKE CITY — Overstock.com Inc. has appointed Timothy Dil-
worth as its new svp of marketing. Dilworth comes to the company from Coldwater Creek, where he worked since 2000 in various marketing positions -- most recently as senior vp of marketing. In his new stint with Overstock.com, Dilworth is responsible for defining and driving all marketing activities across the organization. HTT
Rizzy Home Hires Klein as National Sales Manager C ALHOUN, GA. — Rizzy Home,
a manufacturer of handmade rugs and textiles, has brought on board to its staff Harris Klein as national sales manager. Based in the Southwest region, Klein is in charge of all of Rizzy’s sales personnel. He reports to Mark Ferullo, vp. Klein brings many years of career experience to his new post
at Rizzy. Most recently, he was with Applica Consumer Products where he served as senior manager, responsible for managing some of the company’s major accounts like Costco, BJs, Amazon, AAFES, Fred Meyer/Kroger, and several others. Prior to that, he was vp of international sales and Midwest sales for Salton, a Chicago-based kitchen appliance
company. There, his assigned accounts included Kohl’s, Meijer, and Shopko in the Midwest as well as major Mexican customers and key distributors in Latin America. “Harris’ experience as a buyer, merchandise manager, and sales executive will greatly benefit Rizzy Home as we continue our tremendous growth” said Ferullo. HTT
GLM names Falkenberg NYIGF Show Director W HITE P L AINS , N.Y. — GLM has promoted Christian Falkenberg to show director of its New York International Gift Fair, effective immediately. He reports to GLM ceo Charles McCurdy. Falkenberg first joined the company in 1992 and over his tenure has held various sales and management positions with the company’s International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show, Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show, AH&MA Lodging Expo, and the Air & Waste Management Association Conference and Expo. He was promoted to
vp in 2003. Most recently, Falkenberg served as show manager for the NYIGF — a position he has held since 2008. In his new role, he is charged with “comprehensive oversight” of the NYIGF, including strategic development, brand positioning, sales, audience marketing, public relations, and operations as well as day-to-day management of the Fair’s 15person sales team. “In recent years, the NYIGF has undergone a series of strategic refinements to enhance the overall product offering, crosscategory synergy, market dif-
ferentiation and presentation, to better serve the needs of our customers,” McCurdy said. “Christian has played a key role in the Fair’s evolution. Given his deep experience within the gift and home industry, and the NYIGF specifically, the Fair’s growth and success will thrive under his guidance.” Falkenberg said he is “looking forward to bringing the Fair through the next phase of Focus Forward 2013 launching Artisan Resource Market this summer, and strengthening the NYIGF’s position as the premier marketplace in the gift, home and lifestyle industry.” HTT
NRF Names Davis svp, Executive Director of NRF WA SHINGTON — As part of its
greater effort to restructure its education and research arm, the National Retail Federation has named Ellen Davis svp and executive director of the NRF Foundation. In this role, Davis is tasked with more closely aligning the Foundation with NRF’s strategic plan, “taking the organization’s multimillion-dollar Retail Means Jobs campaign to the next level by emphasizing retail’s contributions to the
economy and the diverse career opportunities available within the industry,” NRF said. Additionally, she oversees a team managing NRF research projects, professional retail certification and training programs, initiatives to develop the next generation of retail leaders, and university partnerships. And Davis will continue to serve as a chief spokesperson for NRF on retail industry trends. “With her deep understanding of retail and consumer trends,
her love of our industry, and her strategic communications background, Ellen is the perfect candidate to re-imagine the possibilities for our Foundation, bringing it more in line with the larger objectives of our organization,” said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. “The decision to create a new vision for the NRF Foundation follows a year of significant financial investments by NRF to increase the power of our government relations and communications activities. Com-
bined, these three priorities will ultimately provide NRF with a more robust, comprehensive platform to advocate on behalf of retailers.” Davis joined NRF in 2002 as manager of media relations, continuing in positions of greater responsibility until being named vice president in 2008. During her tenure, she has led the team responsible for NRF consumer research and industry trends as well as NRF communication vehicles, including social media,
NRF SmartBrief, and Retail’s “Big” Blog. NRF described her as one of the organization’s “most visible spokespeople,” as she has appears regularly on broadcast programs including National Public Radio, CNN and CNBC, and in major print publications. Most recently, Davis played a key role in the implementation of NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign, a strategic initiative that highlights the retail industry’s role in job creation and innovation.” HTT
3/29/2012 12:06:45 PM
TO GI S DA TE R Y ! 2.0
Solving the supply-chain puzzle
2012 LOGISTICS CONFERENCE Join us for this special one-day conference filled with expert speakers, panels and workshops devoted exclusively to retailers and manufacturers in the gifts and home furnishings industries.
THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012, 9AM-4:15PM AMERICASMART, ATLANTA, GA
Networking Cocktail Party, Wednesday, May 9, 6:30-7:30pm, Westin Peachtree Plaza TOPICS TO INCLUDE:
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Keynote Speaker: Bill Lindler, Sr., CEO of United Steel Storage, is a man leading retailers routinely refer to as ‘The Lynchpin of Logistics.’ Bill will share his decades of experience as he explains key paradigm shifts that are likely to alter the logistics landscape. Ocean Freight: Smooth sailing ahead, or waves of change? A panel of experts from companies including Havertys Furniture, American Global Logistics, Descartes and Stanley Furniture will do a deep dive into this sector. Home Delivery: Leading home delivery experts at Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery and 3PD will share the podium with key retailers from Bob’s Discount Furniture, Haynes Furniture/The Dump and Wayfair, to discuss segment challenges as well as logistics solutions. Trucking Update: Transportation executives from American Signature, SunBelt Xpress, Zenith and Watkins & Shepard Trucking will update you on many of the key drivers impacting this segment. You’ll hear about fuel costs, hours of service regulations, the dwindling driver pool and much more. Retail Panel: Key retailers including Badcock Home Furniture & More, Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Williams-Sonoma, Freedom Furniture & Electronics and Broad River Furniture will talk big-picture challenges and best-practice logistical solutions. Supplier/Importer Panel: Hooker Furniture, Home Meridian International, A.R.T. Furniture and Jofran Furniture will evaluate the logistics landscape from the supplier’s perspective.
TO REGISTER, VISIT HOMETEXTILESTODAY.COM/LOGISTICS2012 Sponsored by:
For more information, contact Heather Grant, Conference & Events Manager 336-605-1061 or email@example.com
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
BUSINESS TodaY Gordmans Keen On Store Count Growth In ’12 And ‘13 O M A H A , N E B . — Gordmans Stores credited strong sales at its six new stores, a modest comp increase and continued expansion of the retailer’s gross profit margins for propelling its fourthquarter and fiscal 2011 results. For the quarter, ended Jan. 28, the company reported a 21.2% increase in net income to $10.2 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, compared to $8.4 million, or 44 cents per diluted share in the year-ago period. Net sales for the 13 weeks increased 10.0% to $185.1 million from $168.4 million last year, and comparable store sales were up 2.1%. Fiscal 2011 net income jumped by 61.5% to $25.2 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, compared $15.6 million in fiscal 2010. Excluding the one-time, pre-tax expenses of $10.6 million related to the initial public offering, non-GAAP adjusted net income for fiscal year 2010 was $22.4 million, or $1.28 per diluted share. Net sales for the year in-
creased 6.7% to $551.5 million from $517.0 million in fiscal 2010 as a result of the opening of six new stores, and a comparable store sales increase of 0.7%. New store growth has been a key growth vehicle for Gordmans. The regional chain plans to open nine new stores this year as well as “at least” nine more new sites in 2013, explained Jeff Gordman, president and ceo. “We are aggressively focused on our store expansion plan for 2013,” he said. The company is currently in negotiations for many of these sites, set to open in existing markets such as Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Colorado Springs, Kansas City and Albuquerque, as well as new markets of Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati in Ohio. Including the new stores slated for 2013, Gordmans will have grown its store count by 35% over three years -- from 68 units by end of fiscal 2010 to 92 by the end of fiscal 2013, he noted.
“We begin 2012 with sound strategies in place to maintain our positive comparable store sales growth momentum and we are well positioned to successfully execute our aggressive store expansion plan.” Gordmans’ outlook for the first quarter, which ends April 28, calls for: net sales between $132 million and $133 million, which reflect a low-single digit comparable store sales increase; and diluted earnings per share in the range of 40 to 41 cents, using a diluted share count of approximately 19.4 million shares. For the 53-week fiscal year ending February 2, 2013, the company said it expects: net sales to be between $629 million and $634 million, which reflects the opening of nine new stores and a low single digit comparable store sales increase; and diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $1.46 to $1.51, using a diluted share count of approximately 19.4 million. HTT
Another Solid Week For Comp Sales NEW YORK — Strength in seasonal merchandise alyst. She added: “Easter buying continued to show continued to lift comps during the fourth week of March, when same-store sales rose 3.8% fol- its traditional territorial bias, and was more inlowing a 3.6% gain a week earlier, according to tense in the southern states.”. HTT the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index. Comps in the discount channel climbed 4.4%, while Johnson Redbook Index they increased 2.6% in the Fourth week of March, year-over-year % change department store channel. WEEK DED EN 3/3 3/10 3/17 3/24 3/31 MONTH TARGET “Spring business, which Department stores* 1.6 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.2 2.3 focused on seasonal apparel Discounters 3.6 3.9 4.3 4.4 4.1 3.8 and outdoor categories, was Redbook Index 3.0 3.3 3.6 3.8 3.4 2.3 aided by warm weather in *Including chain stores and traditional department stores many parts of the country,” Source: Johnson Redbook Index said Catlin Levis, Redbook an-
Fred’s Looks To Aid Challenged Home Business In 2012 BY CECILE B. CORRAL M EM PHIS , TENN . — As home continued to struggle at Fred’s over the fourth quarter, having dropped by 150 basis points, the regional chain is ramping up its offerings with more value-priced goods going forward. During the 700-unit Southeastern chain’s earnings call late last month, Fred’s ceo Bruce Efird explained that the home business “continued to be challenged” as it is “the most susceptible” to declines during the still-difficult economic environment when Fred’s core customers are instead focused on necessities versus discretionary goods, like home linens and décor. To alleviate home’s challenges, Fred’s merchants are actively “making changes” to the home assortment with more “valuepriced” merchandise in various categories, including “a lower opening price point” in bath as well as price shifts in new top of bed, window treatments and home furnishings, in hopes of “driving performance,” Efird added. “Were focused on [offering] more $50-and-under furniture and [value-priced] wall art, rolling out by the end of Q2, as examples of how we are working to drive the comps [in home],” Efird cited, adding that Fred’s also recently hired a new head merchant for home as part of the effort. “Our team has developed enhanced merchandising plans and expanded product areas to reinforce the Super Dollar and Core 5 programs for 2012,” Efird later elaborated. “We are planning to continue our accelerated pharmacy expansion program and leverage the benefits of our pharmacy customers into all areas of our store.”
Along with pharmacy, consumables also helped drive Fred’s otherwise strong fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 results – which Efird said “exceeded expectations.” For the quarter, ended Jan. 28, Fred’s net income increased 14% to $9.8 million versus $8.6 million in the year-earlier period, with earnings per diluted share rising 23% to 27 cents from 22 cents in the fourth quarter last year. Fred’s noted that in the quarter, a favorable adjustment to its income tax rate added $0.02 cents to earnings per diluted share. Excluding the income tax rate effect, earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2011 increased 14% compared with fourth quarter of 2010. Total sales increased 2% to $497.6 million from $485.6 million last year, and comparable store sales were up a modest 0.1%. For the fiscal 2011, Fred’s net income increased 13% to $33.4 million compared to $29.6 million for 2010, with earnings per diluted share rising 16% to $0.87 from $0.75 last year. Total sales for the year increased 2% to $1.879 billion from $1.842 billion for the same period last year, and comps grew 0.5%. “During 2011, we focused on our key strategic goals: building customer traffic, increasing market share, and accelerating growth,” Efird said. “Both customer traffic and market share increased for the year, and new store openings were up 70% for 2011 with the opening of 26 new stores and 24 pharmacies. Also, we upgraded more than 200 existing stores with the elements of our Core 5 program – bringing the two-year total of upgrades to more than 400 stores.” HTT
3/29/2012 11:54:14 AM
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Cost Plus’ Home Division Still Dominates Over Growing Consumables In Q4, 2011 O A K L A N D , C A L I F . — Even though its growing gourmet consumables offerings continued to take the credit as the key traffic driver into its stores, Cost Plus’ home division boasted strong performances across textiles and bath as well as other home decor categories during the fourth quarter and fiscal 2011. In the fourth quarter, the mix between home and consumables as a percentage of net sales was 57% and 43%, respectively, versus 56% and 44% last year. For the full year, the mix was 61% home and 29% consumables, compared to 2010’s mix of 60%/40%, respectively. Cost Plus explained that the increase in the home sales mix is the result of higher furniture sales as a percentage of total sales year-over-year. Net sales for the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 28th, were up 6.7% to $364.3 million, from $341.6 million last year, and same store sales increased 7.6%, due to a 3.4% gain in customer count and 4.1% in the average
ticket per customer. Net sales for fiscal 2011 were $963.8 million, a 5.2% increase over fiscal 2010’s $916.6 million, and same store sales were up 5.4%. Net income for the fourth quarter was up 28% to $36.5 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, compared to $28.5 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. For the year, net income for fiscal 2011 swelled by 469% to $16.5 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, versus 2010’s net income of $2.9 million, or $0.13 per diluted share. “Fiscal 2011 marked another year of significant progress for Cost Plus World Market,” said Barry Feld, ceo and president, during the regional home furnishings chain’s earning call late last month. “We met or exceeded our sales and earnings guidance in all four quarters and have now delivered eight consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases. The strategic pillars of the brand: home decorating, home entertaining and gift-giving, overlaid
with our strong core competency and seasonal merchandise continue to provide our customers with unique, authentic and affordable solutions for all of their shopping needs.” With “only” 258 stores in 30 states, Feld said, Cost Plus sees plenty of room to grow “over time to 500 stores nationally.” The company plans to open five to 10 new stores in fiscal 2012, moving towards 15 to 20 new store openings annually. This year’s first new store, Mount Prospect, opened in Chicago late last month. “In the near term, we have identified 100-plus new locations within our existing markets which will allow us to leverage our marketing and distribution cost structure,” Feld continued. “We believe our two, state-of-theart distribution centers, 1 million square feet on each coast, can support the next 100 stores without additional fixed cost. Longer term, we see significant opportunity in new markets.” E-commerce is also in Cost Plus’ sights for this year, and beyond. Feld said the company
Domestics A Bright Spot For Dollar General In Q4, Early 2012 GOODLETTSVILLE , TENN. — Dol-
lar General’s home department is staying on path in its road to recovery into 2012 after undergoing shifts in the merchandise mix, packaging, presentation and price offering since the back half of last year. During the discount chain’s fourth quarter and fi scal 2011 earnings call late last month, chairman and ceo Rick Dreiling called the recent performance of the retailer’s domestics business “encouraging.” Shoppers are continuing to respond favorably to Dollar General’s improvements in product quality and assortment in bedding and bath and other home categories. “We’ve been focused on improving the quality and meet-
ing customers’ needs,” he said. “Areas like bed and bath, which had been slow for some time, have been making a comeback since later last year, and the trend is ongoing in this New Year.” He later added that fourth quarter comps for home, including bedding, bath and other domestic categories, “exceeded overall comp percentages in the quarter.” The company reported record sales, operating profit and net income for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter (14 weeks) and full year (53 weeks) ended Feb. 3, 2012. “For Dollar General, 2011 was another exceptional year,” Dreiling said. “We executed on our operating priorities and delivered strong financial per-
formance, while, at the same time, we were able to make significant investments which, I believe, will enable us to continue to achieve outstanding results.” “The strategies and investments we have put in place over the last four years have helped us capture the market share, customer loyalty and operating efficiencies that are driving our results. I believe those strategies and investments, along with the ones we have planned for 2012, will continue to serve us well. In fact, sales for the year are off to a strong start. We are expecting another year of profitable growth, including fiscal 2012 estimates of total sales growth of 10 to 11 percent on a comparable 52-week basis.” HTT
has the ability to increase online business to $100-plus million during the next three to five years. In fiscal 2011, e-commerce generated revenue of $26 million, up 54% from the prior year. “Our e-commerce model is profitable and is accretive to the bricks-and-mortar business on the operating margin line,” he noted. “During 2012, investment in our e-commerce business will provide for new platform technology and upgrading search functionality. The redesigning of the website and online assortment will more closely mirror the look and feel of our stores, creating a seamless customer experience across all customer touch points.” Cost Plus will soon begin testing site-to-store, in-store pickup and shipping to home door in this year and expects to rollout the effort chain-wide in 2013. And another key initiative for Cost Plus in 2012 is the continued testing wholesale and store-within-a-store concepts. The company is currently conducting a such-pilot in four
Bed Bath & Beyond locations “that showcases our entire consumables assortment, excluding alcohol, in a World Market branded shop. We are optimistic about the prospects of this pilot, which will continue in 2012, and both companies are in the process of evaluating the results in next steps,” Feld added. Looking to the first quarter, Cost Plus is expecting net sales in the range of $210 million to $214 million, based on a same store sales increase in the range of 6% to 8%, compared to a same store sales increase of 5.5% for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. For the full fiscal 2012, the company expects net sales in the range of $1.0 billion to $1.1 billion, based on a same store sales increase in the range of 5% to 6% compared to a same store sales increase of 5.4% for fiscal 2011. Comparable store sales for fiscal 2012 were measured on a 53 to 53 week basis, while comparable store sales for fiscal 2011 were measured on a 52 to 52 week basis, the company noted.HTT
Two More Companies Join Goodweave WASHINGTON — Two more companies have joined GoodWeave, an organization working to end child labor in the rug industry and provide educational opportunities to children in weaving communities. Tibetan Karma Carpets and è bella designs join more than 90 North American rug companies producing child-labor-free rugs certified by GoodWeave. Following a visit to Nepal with Airline Ambassadors International, friends and flight attendants Alex Burgnon and Mike Rhodes started Tibetan Karma Carpets. The company sources the silk and wool rugs Burgnon and Rhodes discovered on their visit
to Nepal. “Life is about service, and for us, this is the best way to serve,” Burgnon said. “GoodWeave helps us raise the ethical bar.” Boulder, Colo.-based rug company è bella designs, founded by self-proclaimed “texture junkie” Nicole Linton, also joined Goodweave. T h e c o m p a n y ’s n a t u r e inspired alpaca and wool rugs can be found in the homes of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Sharon Stone. “I want to sustain livelihoods through my business,” Linton said. “GoodWeave has a parallel mission. That helps me educate my clients.” HTT
3/29/2012 11:54:44 AM
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
Calendar April 3–5 Lineapelle Fair District, Bologna, Italy +39-02-880-7711 www.lineapelle-fair.it
21 – 26 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC), High Point, N.C. (336) 869-1000 www.highpointmarket.org
(914) 421-3200 www.icff.com
20 – 22 Surtex Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York (914) 421-3200 www.surtex.com
June 1–3 Interior Lifestyle (Ambiente/ Heimtextil/HomeDesign) Japan International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight), Tokyo +81-3-3262-8453 www.interior-lifestyle.com
24 – 26 Vision10: International Window Coverings EXPO Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta (651) 293-1544 www.wf-vision.com
Showtime Fabric Fair Market Square, Textile Tower, High Point, N.C. (336) 885-6842 www.itma-showtime.com
11-13 NeoCon World’s Trade Fair The Merchandise Mart, Chicago (800) 677-6278 www.merchandisemart.com/neocon
26 – 28
12 – 14
gulfBID Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain +973-1729-3131 www.gulfbidexhibition.com
Licensing International Expo Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas (212) 951-6612 www.licensingexpo.com
May 8 – 10 Proposte Villa Erba in Cernobbio, Como, Italy +39-02-643-4054 www.propostefair.it
15 – 17 Hospitality & Design Show Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas (508) 743-8502 www.hdexpo.com
20-26 Dallas Holiday & Home Expo Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) 325-6587 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
20 – 26 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) 325-6587 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
22 – 25 F!NDS Dallas Temp Show World Trade Center, Market Hall, Dallas (214) 655-6116 www.dallasmarketcenter.com
27 – 30 & July 4 – 7 New Designers Business Design Centre, London 020-7288-6738 www.newdesigners.com
Las Vegas (702) 599-9621 www.lasvegasmarket.com
August 12-15 ASD/AMD Las Vegas Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas (310) 481-7300 www.asdamd.com
Global Sources China Sourcing Fair Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami tradeshow.globalsources.com
New York Home Textiles Market Week Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York At 7W Aug. 17-23 At 230 Fifth Ave. Aug. 18-23 (800) 272-7469 www.nyhometextilesmarketweek.com
11 – 18
18 – 22
The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (404) 220-3000 www.americasmart.com
New York International Gift Fair Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Pier 94, New York (914) 421-3200 www.nyigf.com
July 10 - 12
12-15 The Atlanta International Area Rug Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (404) 220-3000 www.americasmart.com
27 - 30 Textile House South America Anhembi Exhibition Pavilion São Paulo, Brazil (+55 11) 2105-7000 www.grafitefeiras.com.br
24 – 26 Texworld USA Jacob K. Javits Center, New York (770) 984-8016 ext. 401 www.texworldusa.com
24 – 26 Home Textiles Sourcing Jacob K. Javits Center, New York 770 984 8016 www.HomeTextilesSourcing.com
30 – August 3 Las Vegas Market World Market Center and Pavilions,
29-31 Intertextil Show Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China (852) 2238-9983 www.messefrankfurt.com/hk
September 7-11 Maison & Objet Parc des Expositions, Paris-Nord Villepinte, Paris (888) 522-5001 www.maison-objet.com
Evteks CNR Expo, Istanbul, Turkey +90-212-465-74-75 www.cnrevteks.com/
9 Home Textiles Today’s New York Winter Market Kickoff Party (646) 805-0226 www.hometextilestoday.com
19 – 22
International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York
New York Home Fashions Market Home Fashion Products Association New York
16 – 20
(212) 297-2122 (Kellen Co.) www.homefashionproducts.com
10 – 12 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) DAL-MKTS www.dallasmarketcenter.com
13 – 14 HD Boutique Exposition & Conference Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Fla. (770) 291-5400 www.hdboutique.com
13 – 15 Indigo (Home Furnishing Edition) Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium +33 (0) 1-70-38-7000 www.indigo-salon.com
21 – 23 Heimtextil Russia IEC Crocus Expo Exhibition Center, Moscow +7 (495) 721-1058 www.messefrankfurt.ru
October 13 – 18 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC), High Point, N.C. (336) 869-1000 www.highpointmarket.org
November 12 – 15 International Hotel/Motel Show Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York (914) 421-3200 www.ihmrs.com
December 2–5 Showtime Fabric Fair Market Square, Textile Tower, High Point, N.C. (336) 885-6842 www.itma-showtime.com
January 2013 9 – 12
Heimtextil Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Center Frankfurt, Germany heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com
3/29/2012 11:55:23 AM
Home Textiles Today
April 2, 2012
Groupon Goods GROUPON FROM PAGE 1
pany began regularly offering home textiles, she continued. “Due to their popularity, we introduced a bed and bath section in January 2012, offering great deals on comforters, pillows, rugs, sheets, towels and other home textile-related products.” Groupon Goods are available in North America’s 175 markets and are designed to offer shoppers deals on a broad array of products, from home goods to electronics, fitness, health and beauty, and other retail items, at price points that are 50% to 90% reduced from the original ticket. Within home textiles, recent sales events have included: $34 for Hotel fine linens six-piece sheet set ($110 value); $39 for a
bamboo-derived towel set of two wash cloths, two hand towels and two bath towels ($114 value); and $39 for a Hotel Collection 300-thread-count duvet cover set with pillow shams ($100 value). Further supporting its home business, in mid March the company sent out a Groupon Goods email devoted to home items.
“And, we’re excited to continue to be able to bring even more of these types of deals to our customers from home textiles vendors in the coming weeks and months,” Mossler added. Home textiles vendors who currently work with Groupon or are considering the option can benefit from “brand expo-
sure to a huge audience of potential customers, have the ability to move products/excess inventory at a fast rate, and increase traffic to their website — ensuring exposure to addi-
tional products,” Mossler noted. “In addition, women make the bulk of home textiles-related purchases, which corresponds well with Groupon’s majority female customer base.”HTT
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Cinematic Inspirations FRETTE FROM PAGE 1
Moving forward in time, Couture rounds out with a group of masculine, geometric designs called Seventies that pay homage to thrillers and adventure movies set in 1970s London. For the fall/winter 2012/2013 season, Frette is adding a new bathroom range to its Essentials line of luxury basics. New robes and towels are made from 650 gram, 100% Egyptian cotton, using cotton for both the warp and weft. Available in 12 colorways, the towels feature an embroidered double ‘F’ logo. The Edmond Frette line, which caters to the luxury consumer more attuned to relaxed and contemporary design, looks to old Hollywood ranging from 1920’s Deco to the 1940’s Hollywood Regency style. Mix-and-match pieces includes bed sets, blankets, decorative pillows and throws. Frette blankets and throws are often the most indulgent aspects of the brand, and for the new season it introduces a 100% cashmere blanket
The Edmond Frette line addresses a more casual luxury customer with mixand-match pieces that can be personalized.
called Sensitive that is hand-woven on antique shuttle looms by craftsmen in Tuscany. New Maniola throws feature two giant, facing butterflies. The silk/ wool blended face of the throw reverses to silk lined with wool. In fur — and at Frette, fur is not faux
— Multiframe is a sheared, dyed mink coverlet with shaded frames around the rectangular surface, fading from mink to grey to brown. Visionnaire is a longhaired, dyed mink coverlet, with a twotone, frosted effect that makes it appear iced with grey. HTT
Four Students Honored In Surtex Design Competition WHITE P LAINS , N.Y. — Surtex, the trade show for surface art and design, has announced the winners of its designext contest for college students. They are: Tai Lin Hsieh of San Francisco, a senior in textile design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco; Suzanne Lefebvre of Fairport, N.Y., a senior in the graphic and interior design at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.; Poppy Maxfield of Lincolnshire, England, a third-year student in printed textiles and surface patterns at Leeds College of Art in York-
shire, England; and Kirby Smith of Coatesville, Penn., a senior in the fibers department at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. Students were challenged to create an overall concept related to outdoor living and a minimum of six surface designs that projected future trends. The four winners will receive a trip to New York to attend Surtex, which is being held May 20-22 at the Jacob Javits Center. Judges will select one grand prize winner, who will be awarded a $1,000. “These highly talented students
have met and exceeded the judges’ expectations at a very early stage in their professional development,” said Penny Sikalis, vp of show organizer GLM and manager of the Surtex show. This year’s panel of judges included: Nancy Fire, design director, HGTV Home Brand, and founder, Design Works International; Ragna Frodadottir, creative director, Edelkoort, Inc.; Lynne Hopkins, vp of woven design, P/Kaufmann; and Robert Warden, design/creative director, Paperchase. HTT
FAX SUBSCRIPTIONS: 1-866-310-7181 THE 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 29 times a year except for the weeks of 1/16, 2/6, 2/20, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23, 5/7, 5/21, 6/4, 6/18, 7/2, 7/16, 7/30, 8/13, 8/27, 9/17, 10/1, 10/15, 10/29, 11/12, 11/26, 12/10, 12/24 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 ©2012 by Sandow Media LLC. Annual subscription rates: U.S. and Canada $169.97; 1 year, other countries $325.99 for surface mail . 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.40624074. 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; APC; PO Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Rich Hill, ON L4B 4R6
Jaipur to Host Jenny Jones Talk, Cocktail Event at High Point ATL ANTA — Rug source Jaipur will host a talk by new company licensor Jenny Jones followed by a reception for market attendees in its showroom on Sunday, April 22, during the High Point Market. Jones will discuss her creative process and her long-term involvement with the Jaipur Rug Foundation’s Alternative Ed-
ucation Program at 3:30 p.m. Following her talk, Jaipur will host a reception in its newly expanded showroom, Showplace 3415, featuring music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 4-6 p.m. Jaipur will launch a number of new products at market including its Connextion by Jenny Jones licensed collection of rugs. Jaipur creative director
Jason Moody described the collection as “an eclectic range of contemporary designs developed across several constructions.” He added: “This collection has already been recognized with an award for contemporary design during its initial debut at Domotex and we’re excited to introduce it to our American customers.” HTT
3/30/2012 3:53:15 PM
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