Monday, June 20, 2011
THE BUSINESS AND FASHION NEWSPAPER OF THE HOME TEXTILES INDUSTRY
Home Industry Adopting Online Technologies
Attendees at the recent Online Technologies Conference
It’s a Material World NEW YORK — With a little dab of characteristic panache to its name, Material ConneXion is literally a connection to material — unlike anything else that exists in the marketplace today. Recently purchased by Sandow Media, parent company of Home Textiles Today, Material ConneXion is a physical and virtual library of materials used in product design, development and packaging of a huge variety of consumer products, including home textiles, but ranging from fashion to shampoo to automobiles. “Our library is like a playground for the designer,” said Michele Caniato, who remains as president of Material ConneXion following the sale. He ran the company along with well-known home furnishings impresario George Beylerian, who founded SEE MATERIAL PAGE 6
BY JENNY HEINZEN YORK
let computing, data mining and more. “Business leaders understand that innovation creates highmargin businesses and drives productivity,” said Penny Schneck, online manager at Sandow Media and coordinator of the conference. “The ingenuity displayed in using the Internet in business to outsmart and ultimately generate new opportunities is a testament to the power
A T L A N TA — As the world of technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the tools are becoming so powerful that no one who is serious about business can afford to ignore them -even in a sometimes slow-to-geton-board industry such as home furnishings. This was the key message at the recent Online Technologies Conference held SEE ONLINE PAGE 32 here last month at Inside This Issue Americasmart. The Apple Retail Chief to Become event, hosted by JCPenney’s CEO ......................................page 2 Home Textiles Today Retail Politics ..........................................page 4 and its sister magThe New Texas Ranger..........................page 4 azines, drew more Windows Peek Through; Performance than 100 attendUsed to Push Opening Prices ...............page 8 ees to learn about Buyers and Suppliers email marketing, Gearing up for Shows ...........................page 12 social media, web development, tab-
| Vol. 32, No. 15 | $8.00
Material ConneXion’s New York library
Arthur Tauber This week, Home Textiles Today begins a new series called Living – & Working – Legends, interviews with executives who have spent their careers in the home textiles industry and continue to manage the companies they own or help run. Each interviewee is asked the same eight questions, reflecting both their experiences and their thoughts on the future … their own and the industry’s. The articles will appear from time to time in upcoming issues. BY WARREN SHOULBERG
rthur Tauber founded and is the persona of Avanti Linens, the embellished towel resource that has carved out a unique niche in the home textiles industry. Begun in 1969, Avanti has endured as that most unusual species, a resource focused on just one product classification, serving the middle and better portions of the marketplace.
Tauber, 75, is as legendary for his handson management style as he is for his voracious letter writing and admitted hoarding of virtually every piece of paper he has ever come into contact with. HTT sat down with him recently at the company’s Moonachie, N.J., headquarters and after a quick tour of the warehouse and factory — yes, Avanti still does manufacturing — we began the interview. SEE LEGEND PAGE 5
6/17/2011 4:35:07 PM
Home Textiles Today
Retail Briefs Williams-Sonoma Ecommerce Goes International
illiams-Sonoma has launched an international ecommerce business available in more than 75 countries and able to handle purchases in more than 40 currencies. In partnership with FiftyOne Global Ecommerce, the multi-brand retail company is offerings bedding, rugs, window coverings, decorative accessories, kitchen tools and utensils, tabletop, kids’ storage, lighting and select furniture pieces. URLs include: www.potterybarn.com/ international, www.potterybarnkids.com/international, www.williams-sonoma.com/international or +800.
Fab.com Joins the Flash Sale Fray
he online flash sale world was joined earlier this month by a new player — Fab.com, which offers “design inspirations” and sales at 70% off. Headquartered here, the company was founded by Jason Goldberg, formerly of XING AG, socialmedian, and Jobster, with design industry veteran Bradford Shellhammer, contributor to Dwell and formerly of Blu Dot and Design Within Reach in New York, along with Deepa and Nishith Shah in Pune, India, and Veerle Pieters in Deinze, Belgium.
New Pres at Neiman Marcus Direct
illiams-Sonoma exec John Koryl has joined Neiman Marcus Inc. as president of Neiman Marcus Direct, the ecommerce and catalog division that generates annual sales of $715 million. He succeeds Gerald Barnes, who will become evp and chief merchant for the direct business.
Dollar General to Open 10th DC
ollar General broke ground on a distribution center in Bessemer, Ala., which will be the company’s 10th such facility when it opens next year. The one million square-foot DC will serve more than 1,000 stores in the Southeast. The retailer operates 511 stores in Alabama.
Duckwall-Alco Narrows Loss
uckwall-Alco lowered expenses to bring its net loss for the first quarter to $1.9 million, or 48 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $2.3 million, or 60 cents per share in last year’s 1Q. Sales from continuing operations for the quarter ended May 1 rose 5.6% to $6.1 million, with comps (excluding fuel sales) up 3.2%. Gross margin pulled back as sales shifted to lower margin goods, the company reported.
Frette Opens Beverly Hills Flagship
uxury linens house Frette has opened a 1,300square-foot boutique at 445 Rodeo Drive. “Our Beverly Hills Flagship boutique represents a significant strategic step toward the enhanced positioning of the brand. While maintaining our ‘bed-centric’ origins, we are aggressively evolving into a more complete experience, offering many more products to address our customers’ living occasions,” the company said in a statement.
June 20, 2011
Williams-Sonoma: Direct Sales on Track to Eclipse Stores C HICAGO — Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s direct to consumer (DTC) sales will shortly outpace contributions from brick-and-mortar sales – a pattern the multi-nameplate home furnishings company expects to repeat as it ramps up international expansion. During the recent quarter, Pottery Barn’s DTC business generated almost as much revenue as its 202 retail stores, and PBKids’ drew more than half its revenue from direct, according to Sharon McCollam, evp, coo and cfo. Contributions from mobiledevice sales grew to 5% of all
ecommerce sales during the quarter, she said during the William Blair & Co. 31st Annual Growth Stock Conference here last week. No competitor is as well poised to leverage the growing ecommerce channel with its increasing number of touch points, she said, “because we have more than 30 years of direct experience. We also have scale. We also have a powerful portfolio of brands.” She continued: “There are significant barriers to entry that makes it very difficult for bricksonly or clicks-only to enter our
space.” Direct also serves as the company’s most powerful marketing tool, she said. This year, Williams-Sonoma Inc. will distribute more than 265 million catalogs and 2.6 billion emails as well as 25 billion emarketing impressions, she said. Internet Retailer, a trade magazine, recently ranked it 25th largest DTC retailer in the U.S. across all categories and No. 1 in the home furnishings category. “We are nearly as big [in the home furnishings category] as the next five competitors combined,” she added. HTT
Apple Retail Chief to Become JCPenney’s CEO P L ANO , TEX AS — Apple Inc.’s
vp of retail Ron Johnson will become J.C. Penney Inc.’s new ceo, effective Nov. 1. Chairman and ceo Mike Ullman, who joined the company in 2004, will become executive chairman of the board. Johnson has been with Apple for 11 years, leading the company’s retail operation, which now numbers more than 300 stores around the world. Prior to joining Apple, he held several merchandising positions at Target, including home.
“He is widely recognized and highly regarded in the retail industry for his creativity and innovation, his commitment to empowering employees to deliver an unparalleled customer experience, and to making stores exciting places where people love to shop,” said Ullman. Johnson said the appointment fulfills a long-held dream, “and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help J. C. Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the
department store.” To demonstrate his commitment to the company, Johnson has committed to make a personal investment of $50 million in JCP through the purchase, at fair market value, of 7 1/2-year warrants on 7.257 million shares of J. C. Penney Company stock. The warrants cannot be sold or hedged for the first six years of their term and have a strike price of $29.92, the closing price of the stock on the business day prior to Johnson’s commitment to purchase the warrants. HTT
Yarn Trafficking Legislation on the Way WASHINGTON — Three of North
Carolina’s members of Congress plan to reintroduce the Textiles Enforcement and Security Act, which aims to assist the domestic textiles industry by going after illegal yarn trafficking. Similar legislation was introduced during the last Congress, but did not pass. The sponsors are Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) along with Rep. Larry Kissell (DNC) and Walter Jones (R-NC). According to the Home Fashion Products Association
and its counsel, Meeks, Sheppard, Leo & Pillsbury, the legislation proposes to: • Establish an electronic verification program that tracks yarn and fabric imports in countries operation under free trade agreements; • Increase the number of textiles and apparel verification specialists at the 15 largest U.S. ports that process textiles and apparel imports; • Increase textiles staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters and retar-
get them towards trade preference verifications; • Require the publication of a list of ‘fraudulent actors’ in this field. “Should this legislation become law it would benefit [HFPA] members by increasing enforcement against those breaking the law, however it could also lead to increased questions by Customs on lawful HFPA members’ shipments and possible delays at the ports,” the association advised members in a memo. HTT
6/17/2011 3:04:49 PM
Home Textiles Today
June 6, 2011
OPINIONTodaY Retail Politics
The New Texas Ranger
N THIS W HOLLY W IR ED WOR LD, there’s a new maxim: ConsumON JOH NSON. J.C. PE N N E Y. ers want to do business with companies that do good — whether that goodRon Johnson. J.C. Penney. Johnness involves the environment, the less fortunate, local communities, conson. Penney. I just have to let that ditions in overseas factories or all of the above. sink in a little bit. So Target Stores Inc., which has been involved in local and large-scale givBy the time you read this, the big news ing for some 65 years and whose philanthropic slogan about Ron Johnson, the is “Here For Good,” ought to be well-positioned in the Apple Retail SuperWarren great realm of corporate responsibility. star, joining J.C. Penney, From providing gift cards to helping poor kids pre- Shoulberg the not-so-great retail fadPUBLISHER/ ing star, will be a week old. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF pare for Back-to-School to raising funds to help restore EDITORIAL DIRECTOR But as I write this, I just the Washington Monument to donating $150,000 last month to aid tornado and flooding victims in Missouri, keep saying to myself: Ron Target is a high-profile giver. Johnson. J.C. Penney. Last summer, leading into the fall election cycle, This may not be the Target’s Political Action Committee donated to another most amazing and unPAC that ran ads in support of an ultimately unsuccesslikely piece of executive ful candidate in the Minnesota gubernatorial race who placement in the history staked a strong pro-business stance … but also happened of retailing, but you’d be to support a gay marriage ban. hard-pressed to find anyNow, Target has earned strong marks among the gay rights community for thing else even remotely comparable. its domestic partner benefits policy as well as its support of gay and lesbian Johnson is of course the guy who invented events in its home state. the concept of the Apple retail store, changThe PAC donation did not go down well. After arguing it was made to fur- ing not only the very notion that computer ther Target’s business interests and had nothing to do with social flash points, manufacturers had no business being in the Target re-examined and revamped its PAC policies, pledging to be more scru- retail business, but also many of the basic tenpulous in the future. ants of retail merchandising. The sleek white Flash forward to the retailer’s shareholder meeting earlier this month. The merchandising presentation and display, the Q&A began, and one after another a series of very polite people asked ceo high-profile locations, the bold graphics, the Gregg Steinhafel what on earth the company was thinking, would it make the Genius Bar, even the glass staircases: They are same donation if it had it to do over and whether the company felt the need all Ron Johnson signatures. to apologize. Those of you with a little longer memoSteinhafel reiterated that the policy had been updated and posted on the ries will remember when Ron Johnson was at company’s website for all to review. Finally, exasperated, he asked: “Does any- Target and helped to create their entire merbody have a question related to our business not having to do with giving?” chandising persona, proving that you could be For the most part, no. The questions kept coming. What about celebrity cheap and chic at the same time. Johnson was endorsements — does Target vet the political issues its endorsers are involved particularly involved in the home side at Tarin? What about that local Minnesota Chamber of Commerce unit that is lob- get back when its merchandising and product bying for less transparency in corporate political donation, citing the blow- development were malls and malls ahead of back in the Target case? anybody else in the retailing universe. It was a fairly extraordinary Q&A session for a retailer shareholder meeting. It When Johnson announced he was going was also a reminder that in an open source world, consumers can research more to what was then a store-less Apple, I rememthan just the attributes of the products they’re buying. And they are. HTT ber a few of us looked at the news and couldn’t
quite figure out what the plan was. Would he do packaging, advertising, trade show booths? Surely Apple wasn’t going to be foolish enough to get into the retail business, right? A decade or so later, Johnson is going to Plano and some of us are back looking at the news again and wondering what the plan is there. Well, a few things should be said immediately. First, give Mike Ullman credit for knowing he had to bring in a game changer. Penney is slowly in danger of becoming irrelevant to its customer base, outpaced by a smarter, faster Kohl’s and squeezed between a newly rejuvenated Macy’s and an increasingly aggressive Target. Just another general merchandise retread wasn’t going to cut it. That said, Johnson has his work cut out for him. Unlike at Apple, where he had a clean slate to start with, he has to work with 800 existing stores, many of them poorly situated and in need of serious remodeling to appeal to the target (pun intended) customer. He doesn’t have sexy iPads and hot new apps to sell, just junior sportswear and rod-pocket curtains. And he’s got a convoluted buying and product development apparatus that would make the Soviet-era military look efficient. These are all big challenges. Allen Questrom began the great culture transformation at Penney when he joined the retailer in the 1990s. More recently, that process seems to have gotten bogged down under Ullman. Now it’s up to Ron Johnson to re-ignite that process. Can one man do it all? Remember the legend about the Texas Rangers only sending one man to help quell a riot in some small west Texas town? “There’s only one riot, so we’re just sending the one Ranger.” Ron Johnson. J.C. Penney. Hmmmmmm. HTT
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June 20, 2011
Home Textiles Today
Baseball, Bamboo and Beyond
LEGENDS FROM PAGE 1
HTT: How did you get started in the home textiles business? AT: When I graduated from college in 1959, my Uncle Milton offered me a job in his monogramming business. I was clueless on what I was prepared to do and I had no idea what he did for a living. I worked for him until we had a dumb argument in 1968 and he fired me. Thank god.
“I was going to be a baseball player but I knew I wasn’t good enough. That’s when I got in touch with Uncle Milton. If I hadn’t started Avanti, I would have been a dumb salesperson. —ARTHUR TAUBER, Avanti Linens
with Uncle Milton. If I hadn’t started Avanti, I would have been a dumb salesperson. HTT: When did you know you were going to be successful in this business?
So I was out of work and I went up to see Henry Laskin, the buyer at Lord & Taylor. He talked to me for about three hours about life. I told him I had a towel with a bamboo design I wanted to sell him, but I really didn’t have any kind of a plan whatsoever. He said to me, “What’s the name of the towel?” I said “Bamboo.” He asked the cost and I quoted him the same cost my uncle would have. He asked who the supplier was. I knew his big supplier was Springs, so I said Springs. “When can you deliver?” he asked. I said to myself, wow, he thinks I’m in business and I’m not. All I had were sketches on a piece of paper, so I told him 16 to 18 weeks. Then he yelled at me that he couldn’t wait that long. He ended up giving me towels from his stock to embellish and told me to order the same amount from Springs and when they came in in eight or ten or 12 weeks I would pay him back the towels. “Do you understand?” he asked. “Yes I do,” I said. And that’s how I got into business. HTT: If you hadn’t gone into this field, what would you have done? AT: I was going to be a baseball player. I grew up playing lots of baseball and had a college baseball career at the University of Vermont. In 1956 I was asked to try out with several major league teams, but I knew I wasn’t good enough. That’s when I got in touch
AT: When the product started to appear in catalogs. That first order from Laskin was for $20,000 and by the first year, Avanti was making some money. I think I knew then that if I kept working hard and Sandy [his wife, who did all the designing for the company at the time and came up with the Avanti name] could keep designing great patterns, we were going to succeed long term. HTT: What single accomplishment are you most proud of in your career? AT: I created an industry. Back at the start there was no embellished towel classification in the stores. We have survived for 42 years in an industry that has seen massive changes. I think I’m proudest of the fact that I was able to employ so many people over the years, many of whom were with Avanti long enough to receive large pension checks along with bonuses and pay increases. HTT: If you had to do something over, what would it be and how would you have done it differently? AT: I wouldn’t change anything. Maybe that’s crazy and egotistical, but I’ve stayed with my own philosophy and principles over the years and I would do it exactly the same. I do wish I never had to put in such crazy hours. I would have liked to have spent more time with my children. Also, remember I had no money when I start-
ed. It was many years before a vacation came. I remember on many days driving to Michael’s [one of his two sons; the other is Jeff] school 60 miles away, watching his soccer or tennis match and then driving back to the factory to finish the day at 10 p.m. Luckily, my wife understood. HTT: What’s the single biggest change you’ve seen in the industry? AT: I have first-hand been a witness and participant to the winds of change that have blown across the industry over the years. The single biggest change is the depletion of all the retailers over the years along with the growth and expansion of Bed Bath & Beyond and the explosion of the off-pricers. HTT: If you could do one thing to improve the industry’s overall business, what would it be? AT: This is a cinch for me: I think that buyers should be more involved and easier to reach. Also, I guess I wish everything wasn’t financial, financial, financial. HTT: What’s your exit strategy? AT: I love the Broadway show “Jersey Boys” and as Frankie Valli says in it, “I’m like that battery, I keep going and going and going.” Hopefully I’ll stay healthy enough to enjoy continuing my role at Avanti and to spend more time with Sandy and in Florida. I’m very fortunate to have the Jeff Kaufman and Michael Tauber team who can run Avanti with or without me. There’s no plan for me to throw in the towel anytime soon. HTT
6/16/2011 5:05:29 PM
Home Textiles Today
Library for Design MATERIAL FROM PAGE 1
founded it in 1997 and will continue in an advisory role going forward. “We have over 6,000 materials in our library and we’re adding 40 to 60 new ones every month.”
June 20, 2011
people navigate the library.” Material ConneXion has a number of prominent success stories under its research belt. When designer Sandy Chilewich was looking for a new material to make home products out of, she went to the library and discovered the material that would be at the core of her namesake rug, placement
“Our library is like a playground for the designer.” — Michele Caniato, president, Material ConneXion
Here’s how Material ConneXion works: Individuals or companies can sign up as members, paying an annual fee that ranges from $450 for a single membership upwards to $15,000 for large corporations with hundreds of users. Membership gives access to the company’s physical library in New York City, just north of Madison Square Park, which contains the actual material samples, arranged by composition rather than end use. Users may also access the resource online or at the company’s worldwide locations in Europe, Asia and now in China, where 10 offices are slated to eventually open. The library includes an extensive offering of fabrics but also metals, woods, plastics, tile and just about any imaginable material used for consumer products and the packages they come in. “We go from automotive to jewelry to apparel, from Victoria’s Secret to Motorola,” said Caniato, who is Italian by birth but is based at the company headquarters here. “The beauty is that we’re not just focused on specifics, but on the materials themselves. We specialize in material innovation in any industry. And we can help
and decorative accessories company. The lattice-like synthetic had been employed in agricultural use, but Chilewich found the alternative use that made her company one of the most innovative players in the home space. Caniato also recounted the results athletic footwear company Puma achieved doing research on packaging through the Material ConneXion library. “They saved more than $2.5 million in packaging costs by finding better materials through us.” He estimates Material ConneXion has some 15,000 users worldwide. A sister company, Culture & Commerce, was also part of the purchase by Sandow. That company, which Caniato also runs, acts as an agent connecting designers with companies looking for new programs and products. “We’re like a coach, trying to push the creative, to show designers how to create the right product at the right price. “We want to create the William Morris [the well-known talent agency in the entertainment industry] for designers.” Culture & Commerce has worked at all price levels. One of its earliest triumphs was bring-
The central Material ConneXion library in New York houses more than 6,000 material samples with another 40 to 60 being added every month.
ing Philippe Starck to Target for a landmark program of home goods in 2002. More recently, it has connected Mexican design Sami Hayak with Springs Global for a total line of home furnishings goods. Adam Sandow, chairman and
ceo of Sandow Media, called the purchase of the two companies “a pivotal step” for Sandow. “The synergistic opportunities are exciting and limitless.” Caniato says both Material ConneXion and Culture & Commerce can be valuable re-
sources to the home textiles business. “There’s a lot we can bring to the industry. It’s about how design can create a better product at the right price to create a better life for the consumer.” HTT — Warren Shoulberg
6/16/2011 12:35:20 PM
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
Windows Peek Through; Performance Used to Push Opening Prices BY JILL ROWEN N EW YORK — Window coverings managed a slight increase for 2010, finishing at $ 2.035 billion for the year, up 1.8% from $2 billion in 2009. While other home textiles categories are feeling the pinch and suffering under the weight of exorbitant costs of raw materials, window coverings have fared slightly better. Though still dealing with the rising costs of doing business (labor, transportation) and the rise of polyester prices, the category mostly escaped the debacle that came with increased cotton prices. “Window coverings are not as dependent on cotton and more on polyester so the price increases — which did happen — were not as impactful as with bedding and towels,” said Dan Johnson, national sales manager, PDK/ Arley. Despite the increment al increase in volume for the category, the economy overall and conservative shoppers have to show improvement for suppliers to feel like they are out of the woods. One specific point suppliers agree on: the systematic decreased value on products in this category. Vendors are finding it hard to put higher priced goods into the marketplace. “The number of units sold may be up, but the amount of goods at opening price points is so large, the value is down,” noted Budd Goldman, ceo, Ellery HomeStyles. “It’s not necessarily that consumers wouldn’t opt for a higher price option, but there isn’t
enough differentiation,” noted Loren Sweet, vp, Brentwood Originals. “Why pay more when there’s a $19.95 option that has enough bells and whistles? Until retail business gets strong — not stronger, strong — that’s what you’re going to see. It’s going to require better housing stats.” Louis Hornick of Louis Hornick & Sons agreed, anticipating a long haul before the economy and housing starts recover, and partly blaming the way the category has “dumbed down and speced down products over the last 10 years.” For many, the answer is creating the differentiation for themselves in the form of performance products and value-add performance enhancers. “Simple solids aren’t enough,” said Cathy Carroll, an account executive with Regal Home Fashion. Added Goldman: “First you want your product to be decorative — I’ve always said we’re in the consumer products business — and if it can also be a value add, why not? The home furnishings industry has not been the most progressive, but at Ellery we want to stay on top of our game.” Ellery’s performance options continue to expand through its room darkening and noise reducing Eclipse and Eclipse Kids brand, as well as offering treated window coverings to neutralize odors under the Arm & Hammer banner. Also in the performance business is Glen Raven and its subsidiary Tri Vantage. “We’re keeping step with what’s happening in the marketplace and working closely with our development and mar-
keting to deliver modern and elegant offerings,” said Dan Fouratt, director, Solair Shade Solutions. The company markets Sunbrella Sheer fabrics for window coverings and Solair shades. Louis Hornick & Sons continues to expand its Firefend brand in new styles and colors. As always, the company emphasizes the ‘Made in USA” label on its brand as a particular plus in the performance category. At Commonwealth Home Fashions, its energy-saving and room darkening offerings using Thermologic technology have been strong sellers. “We’re having a great year so far,” noted Barry Goodman, vp. “The concept of energy savings is getting even more important, and we’re trying to be more creative and push the envelope in what we do.” But, he cautioned, “There is a lot of product out there with a room darkening label that isn’t; and things marked extra wide that certainly aren’t. There have to be standards, especially as the performance piece of the market grows.” On the fashion side for window coverings, grommets are still a huge trend. “Grommets are still big, maybe even over saturated,” noted Johnson of PDK Arley. “But consumers like them more than ever. They like the ease of putting them on and the ease of opening and closing them.” Johnson reports that the company is also doing a strong curtain business. “A lot of people have gotten out of the curtain business, but those still in are doing well,” he said.
2010 total retail sales: $2.035 billion up 1.8% from $2.00 billion in 2009 2010 SALES
Mid-price Chains $916.8 $900.0 1.9% Discount department stores $672.2 $659.6 1.9% Home textiles specialty chains $230.0 $228.0 0.9% Direct-to-consumer $93.8 $91.0 3.1% Home improvement centers $35.4 $35.0 1.2% Single-unit specialty stores $15.3 $15.0 1.8% Department stores $15.9 $15.6 1.8% Off-price chains $20.8 $21.0 -1.2% Variety/closeout $19.7 $19.8 -0.3% Other $15.3 $15.0 1.8% Total $2,035.0 $2,000.0 1.8% *Other includes warehouse clubs and military exchanges
METHODOLOGY In determining product category sales figures as well as determining retail sales for those categories by channel of distribution, the editors and research department of Home Textiles Today used data compiled from a variety of sources, including publicly filed financial reports, vendor sales information compiled by the editors, and information provided by retailers and home fashions suppliers. The research was compiled by Dana French, director of market research.
Among retailers, figures for window coverings are in line with the rest of home textiles. Direct to consumer continues to show consumers more and more comfortable with shopping online; the direct channel showed a significant gain due to internet purchases both at web stores and through websites run by their brick-and-mortar counterparts. One segment that didn’t do as well: off-pricers. Many off-price chains took
advantage of excess inventory and found themselves in the window business. Now they must work to stay in that business. “This was a new category for many off-pricers,” noted Carroll of Regal Home. “They are now beginning to make changes, such as testing pairs instead of offering only open stock items.” Off-price chains were down 1.2% year over year while the direct to consumer channel increased by 3.1%. HTT
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
Showtime Buyers More Willing to Order Fabrics BY GARY EVANS H IGH POINT, N.C. — Winding
up the International Textile Market Assn.’s Showtime here earlier this month, exhibitors said buyers have been making long-term fabric commitments despite continued cloudiness in the U.S. economy. “Our customers are think-
ing about growth more than just survival,” said Zack Taylor, vp of sales and marketing for domestic resource Valdese Weavers. “There’s not as much paranoia - which is healthy.” He said attendance at the show was “slightly above normal” with customers visiting the showroom “with very specific shopping needs, which
vary wildly from customer to customer.” In the De Leo Textiles showroom, appointment books were fuller than usual, according to Cathy Smith, director of design and merchandising. “ T h e r e ’s d e f i n i t e l y a n upswing in confidence and optimism for the future backed up by an increase in orders and
an openness to new placements and fabrics,” she said. But like Valdese’s Taylor, Smith said customers aren’t going too far out on a limb with their orders. “They’re not wildly optimistic, but they’re not pessimistic, either,” she said. Meghan McLawhorn, assistant director of the ITMA, said the show had registered repre-
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sentatives from 863 companies through late afternoon Tuesday, up from the 787 from the same time during the December show. Two themes that dominated this week’s event were confidence in the stability and delivery of vendors, and the addition of innovation and extra value to product in the face of rising costs. Westgate Home added new finishes to fabrics and got strong response to a new faux leather at $5.95-$8.95 a yard and to embroidered outdoor fabrics. “You’ve got to give people a reason to buy, and we’re going after this higher perceived value,” said David Li, the company’s president. Several mill executives, including Li, said the price of raw materials has stabilized, including cotton, with the price slowly beginning to trend down. But fabric producers still have other pricing problems. Li said the Chinese government has a national goal to double the income of workers over five years, beginning in 2013. That could lead to higher labor costs, and coupled with inflation, the increase in demand from within China, and a decreasing number of mills, is expected to keep Chinese fabrics from returning to their former price levels. HTT
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
Buyers and Suppliers Gearing up for Shows Although buyers and suppliers alike from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Building 1, Floor remain cautious about consumer spend- 1, Center Hall. That same evening, AmericasMart ing, attendance and attitudes at induswill celebrate extry trade shows durcellence in the gift ing the first half of Trade Show Preview and home industries 2011 were both on at the Icon Awards, the upswing. The mantra across most of the January which is co-sponsored by HTT and its sister to June shows was: Same amount of open- retail publications at Sandow Media. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A cocktail reception will to-buy money/fewer total units. Higher costs for many raw materials be followed by dinner, the awards presenas well as fuel and labor meant creative tation and entertainment by singer/songwork-arounds and even more creative in- writer Kenny Loggins. terpretations of product specifications. Going into the Julyto December round Las Vegas Market of trade fairs, suppliers are hoping to see Aug. 1-5 an improved outlook from buyers plan- World Market Center and Pavilions (702) 599-9621 ning the spring 2012 assortments. And www.lasvegasmarket.com should cotton and fuel prices stabilize along the way, so much the better. Former President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the market kick-off party Aug. 1 at 6:45 p.m. at the World Altanta International Pavilions. One buyer who registers in adRug Market July 14-17 vance will be selected at random to meet AmericasMart, Atlanta Clinton and be photographed with him. (800) ATL-MART Registration information is available on www.americasmart.com the show’s website. A host of educational sessions will take New and expanded showrooms among area rugs exhibitors include: F.J. Kasha- place throughout the show covering a vanian Rug (Building 1, 4-E-9); French Ac- riety of subjects such as visual merchandiscents Rugs & Tapestries (Building 1, 4-E- ing, making partnerships work, techniques 16); Obeetee (Building 1, 5-F-8); and Tufan for small design firms and developing products to address asthma and allergy Rugs (Building 1, 4-A-6). Next month’s show will offer a dozen ed- sensitivities, among many others. The Sherwin-Williams Color Forecast ucational seminar sessions over three days on a variety of topics, including profitability, 2012 will take place Aug. 3 from 2:30-3:30 improving sales, maximizing online maret- p.m. in Building C, C176. The Social Media Bar in C301 will be ing and tapping into social networks. As the show runs in tandem with the At- open daily and staffed with experts who lanta International Gift & Home Show, there will provide tips and techniques businesswill also be special events featuring interior es can use to advantage their social medesigners and chefs as well as wine tastings. dia outreach. First Look Gift+Home will have a jurBetween the gift show and the rug show, ied exhibition of new products in severAtlanta hosts roughly 4,500 exhibitors. AmericasMart debuted the HD Home al categories — including area rugs — on section in January, featuring top-of-the- the 3rd floor of Building B. Gift+Home line suppliers of high design. HD Home will also have product displays in Buildwill host a preview party Thursday, July 14 ings A and C.
New York International Gift Fair Aug. 13-18 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Pier 94, New York (914) 421-3200 www.nyigf.com The New York International Gift Fair section At Home featuring Home Textiles will host some suppliers who are new to the show. They include Chortex USA (towels), Daisy House (Turkish towels and robes), Marigot (cashmere), Pure Fiber (ecofriendly bed and bath textiles), Rough Linen (bedding and curtains) and Secrets de Provence (tablecloths). In addition, Callisto Home (pillows) and Cloud 9 (pillows are relocating from Pier 94 into At Home featuring Home Textiles. Home textiles suppliers returning to NYIGF after an absence include Hamburg House (bed, bath and table linens) and Karen Luu - Home Couture (loungewear and pillows), Matteo (bed linens, tabletop and window coverings). At Home featuring Home Texitiles exhibitors who are expanding their presence for the summer 2011 market include Alicia Adams Alpaca, CGG Home Fashions, Coyuchi, Cuddledown, Dwellstudio, Florabella, Happy Blanket, Matouk, Pehuen - Patagonia Designs, Pine Cone Hill / Dash & Albert Rug Company, Scintilla, Sefte, Sferra, Sivaana and Woven Workz. Newcomers to At Home at Pier 94 include Adri Collection (luxury cushions and throws) and wolfum (tabletop and pillows). Home textiles resources returning to NYIGF after a hiatus include Katherine Klyce (pillows and throws) and Michaelian & Kohlberg (pillows). Retailers are invited to attend the At Home welcome reception on Pier 94, hosted by HTT sister publication Home Accents Today on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 5 p.m to 6 p.m., to celebrate the market’s opening day.
On Aug. 14, “25 Retail Ideas That Work” will be presented by Home Accents Today from 12 to 1 p.m. On Aug. 15, the International Furnishings & Design Association (IFDA) will sponsor “Color: From Theory to Selection,” from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; and from 10 to 11:30 a.m., RetailerForum.biz and ART (Accessories Resource Team) will facilitate “Retailer Roundtable” discussions about social media, in-store events, store operations, retail competition, open to buy budgeting, credit card policies and more. Seminar information and registration is available online at: www.nyigf. com/programs.
New York Home Textiles Market Week Aug. 14-18 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center At 7W Aug. 12-18 At 230 Fifth Ave. Aug. 14-19 (800) 272-7469 www.nyhometextilesmarketweek.com Running in tandem with the At Home home textiles section of the New York International Gift Fair at Javits, this eventwithin-an-event also takes place in participating showrooms at 7W and 230 Fifth Avenue in conjunction with Gift Week. Showroom building 7 W New York has an array of activities planned the event. On Aug. 14, attendees are invited to join HTT sister publication Gifts & Decorative Accessories in celebrating the 60th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $150 each, including cocktails and dinner. They are available through www.giftsanddec.com. On Aug. 15, 7 W showrooms will sport a cruise theme during an evening of late night shopping with food, drink, and entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. Market-goers can enjoy free admission to the Museum of Arts & Design (at 59th St. SEE PREVIEW PAGE 30
6/16/2011 4:44:05 PM
Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles
Shanghai: The Center of The Asian Textiles World
yes are turning to Shanghai as the date of the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Show approaches. International textile companies looking to expand into new markets said that exhibiting at this show, an increasingly important venue for textiles in Asia, is a vital opportunity to make the connections needed to gain a global presence. A particular attraction of the show, now in its seventh year, is its function as an entryway to the Chinese domestic market. The new middle class, which low estimates count as 157 million, is emerging hungry for goods. “Seeing the rich opportunities in China, many of our international exhibitors recognized the fair to be a great opportunity to introduce their brands and new products to the Chinese customers and some of them even created new product lines tailor-made for Chinese market,” said Wendy Wen, director of Trade Fairs for Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd., the show organizer. The show, scheduled for August 29-31, has grown into the largest in Asia, and the second largest in the world, after its parent show, Heimtextil Frankfurt. Last year, 1,026 exhibitors presented their wares to 38,696 visitors. The majority of buyers are local department stores, retailers, wholesalers, furniture manufacturers and agents from China, according to Wen. Facts and figures like this make Shanghai the place to be for people like Tristan Goodfellow, sales director of Diane Harrison Designs, based in the U.K. “Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Shanghai is the second most important show for us after Heimtextil in Frankfur t. It has become for us the focal point for the non-Western market place. We meet customers and potential customers from all of the Asian and Southern hemisphere countries in which
we sell,” Goodfellow said. “It is not just about the Chinese market place, although Chinese customers represent the most significant part,” he said. He described the market as the place “to meet new poten-
na is a strong player in the supply chain,” said Nina Nadash, who heads merchandising for Lenzing’s home textiles Americas unit. Bedding companies in particular see Shanghai as a critical market on their calendar.
“It’s important for us to be at the show because we’re a global company. China is a strong player in the supply chain.” NINA NADASH, LENZING
tial Chinese customers in the woven textiles, printed textiles and wall coverings industries.” For Lenzing, a maker of cellulosic fibers, “It’s important for us to be at the show because we’re a global company and we have a large distribution to Chinese suppliers. Chi-
“Shanghai is the preferred destination” to do business in China and Asia for the bedding industry,” said Nurhan Nalbant of Advansa Marketing. The show “gives us a chance to revisit our Asian customers seven months after Heimtextil.” Chinese manufacturers said
the exchange of information at the show benefits the domestic industry as a whole. “The exhibition is critical for promotion because it is a significant gathering point for people in the industry and their clients. We meet our customers at the event and talk to them face to face, which helps build relationships,” said Alice Zhu, assistant to the general manager & export manager at Hangzhou Wikman. Several companies commented on their eagerness to meet the demands of China’s growing middle class. To provide a sense of how powerful this group is, consider a May report from Christian Science Monitor, which said that “estimates of just how big China’s middle class is range widely from a low of 157 million (which would be second only to the U.S.) to more than 800 million.” The repor t went on to say that “China has seen an average 15 percent growth in retail sales in recent years.” Nalbant of Advansa Marketing described consumers in China as “technologically savvy” shoppers who “demand added value in products that bring something different and useful to their sleep, to their everyday life.” As the standard of living rises in China, so does demand
for products that promote health, exhibitors like Ibena and Coco-mat noted. Greek company Coco-mat forecasts greater demand in China for its mattresses made from natural materials. “Chinese people have increased their concerns for living standards, the environment and health,” said Sady Zhang of Coco-mat. “We believe this is a good opportunity for our home products, which are made of natural or recycled materials such as cotton, horsehair, seaweed, coco fibers and natural rubber.” Ibena sees Chinese consumers as seeking natural materials like cotton, linen and wool instead of synthetic fibers. At Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, the company will promote its new home textiles line at the Cotton Council International booth. Other textiles companies see the Chinese consumer as hungry for upscale goods, including those with European cachet. “The demand for high-end products is growing in China and people are better informed about the differences in material and quality. This change will continue in the upcoming years in China, but also in the rest of Asia,” said Hohans Cheung of Morphrow, from The Netherlands.
More than a 1,000 exhibitors had stands at last year’s Intertexile Shanghai Home Textiles show, which attracted over 38,000 attendees.
Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is a special advertising section for Home Textiles Today profiling the upcoming Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles August 29-31 in China. It was prepared by the Home Textiles Today marketing department.
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6/13/11 9:19:22 PM
Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles
The Shanghai Connection
he Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles Fair is now the second largest home textiles trade show in the world and the largest in Asia. Home Textiles Today interviewed Wendy Wen, director of trade fairs for Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd., organizers of the show, for an over view of the event and details on how this year’s Fair is shaping up.
and the second largest in the world, right after its mother show Heimtextil Frankfurt. The positive response reassures the importance and the credibility of the show among the
1,200 suppliers and manufacturers and the show’s scale will increase from 10 to 11 halls, up 10 percent compared to 2010. Suppliers from some 25 countries and regions will
players. According to the Chinese government’s 12th Five Year Plan, it encourages a balance growth of economy driven by domestic consumption, export and investment. It also
HOME TEXTILES TODAY: This Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Fair is one of several textiles shows in China and Asia, but it has become the leading venue for textiles in the region. Why is that and what makes this Fair stand out versus some of the shows in the region? WENDY WEN: Running on the 29 through the 31 this August, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is regarded by many industr y professionals as a must-attend event in Asia when compared to other similar trade Fairs in the region. Our concept of world-wide textiles competence puts us in a position to offer companies in the textiles sector in both manufacturing and sales a professional marketing platform for impor tant contacts, insights into the market and opportunities to present themselves, their products and services. This concept is demonstrated by the continuous growth in exhibitor and visitor numbers at our textiles Fairs worldwide, including Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles. The Fair has grown from 381 exhibitors and 19,404 visitors in the first edition in 2004 to 1,026 exhibitors and 38,696 visitors in 2010. This makes Messe Frankfur t the world‘s market leader with regard to specialist trade fairs dealing with the entire value creation chain in the textiles industry – and we manage to achieve this in the hard-fought competition of a global trade-fair market. Over the past seven years, the Fair has developed its focus from a mere home textiles sourcing event to a whole home concept with interior decoration elements. Today, the Fair is the largest in Asia
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Wendy Wen: The growth in the Fair confirms “the importance and credibility” of Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles in the world market.
international home textiles industry professionals. Another major factor for the growth of the Fair is the strong local market knowledge and resources. Starting from the first edition in 2004, Messe Frankfur t (HK) has been closely working with its Chinese partners: the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT-Tex) and the China Home Textiles Association (CHTA) to co-organize Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles. CCPIT-Tex and CHTA have always given their full support to the Fair in terms of promotion in China. Their market development’s vision and their ample experience in the home textiles sector contribute invaluably to the Fair’s leading position in China’s home textiles industry, which is important to the success of the show. HTT: Can you tell us about the size and scope of this year’s Fair, how much it has grown over last year and what’s new this year? WW: This year, Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles will feature home textiles products from floor to ceiling from over
stage their distinctive home textiles products across the international halls. They include pavilions from Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey; new country pavilions from Greece, Italy and Spain plus a special zone dedicated to European suppliers.
targets to increase the urbanization rate to reach 51.5 percent, up 4 percentage points. Recognizing the rich business potential in this country, more and more international suppliers consider the fair as a stepping stone to the Chinese market. Like this year, we have
“Many international suppliers consider the Fair as an important means to access the massive Chinese market. Like this year, the fair has attracted new pavilions from Greece, Italy and Spain as well as pavilions from Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey.” WENDY WEN, MESSE FRANKFURT (HK) LTD.
HTT: While the show primarily features Chinese-based companies, there are many exhibitors from outside China. Can you talk about the international make-up of the exhibitor base? WW : Chinese consumer’s growing appetite for quality products and the recent Chinese government’s policies create a favorable business environment for global home textile
several new country pavilions from Europe. Some of the international suppliers even created new product lines tailor-made for Chinese market. For example, Standard Fiber, an American company, will introduce the famous English bedding brand Peter Reed and a Chinese brand Anshuibo (Somerelle) at the Fair. More international suppliers and manufacturers will unveil their new and unique
collections at the Fair. Belgian-based company Romain Maes N V will present its new collection of jacquard velvet for curtains, cushions and upholsteries in different colors and designs. Sleepwell Kauffmann from Austria will highlight its new Silvercomplete Collection - down quilts and pillows with silver ion-treated fabrics and down. The rapidly expanding Chinese home market also attracts well-established suppliers and luxur y brands to tap into the market. Some of the exhibiting companies were established more than 40 or even 100 years ago, such as beddings brand Ibena from Germany and terry towels specialist Indus Group from Pakistan. These companies are not just bringing their distinctive products to the market but also their knowledge in quality and product expertise to China. The same goes for home textiles designers, for whom the Fair has been considered an ideal platform to penetrate the Asian markets, especially China. Chinese consumers are looking for home products with diverse design and this has created rich opportunities for home textiles designers who can establish new businesses with Chinese OEM manufacturers. In fact, this is why Intertextile Shanghai Home Textile has a special area called “Designers’ Studio” for home textiles designers to promote their creative pieces at the fairground, and this area has been growing in size in recent years. One of the participants, Elka Studio from France, has been supporting the Fair for a long time as they believe China is clearly a growing market and they are looking for more Chinese buyers as well as other regional buyers from Japan and Taiwan. This year, the company will showcase innovative computer generated designs for the full range of adult to babies’ home products. Other showcasing designers include Tela’s Design from Portugal as well as Studio Pianezza from Italy, which works for some of the most renowned fashion brands including Armani and Kenzo.
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Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles
HTT: Tell us about some of the key Chinese exhibitors at the Fair and how they have become larger and more sophisticated suppliers to the world market. WW: As mentioned earlier, the Chinese government plans to shift its export oriented economy to a balanced, consumer demand driven economy. This will fur ther stimulate local home textile suppliers to develop their own brands and thereby strengthen their competency in local and international markets. At the same time, China is the world’s leading manufacturer of textile products. Domestic manufacturers continue to invest in technologies, research and development in order to keep up with international standards and demands. Many of these suppliers will take part in Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles to reach both Chinese and international buyers. Home textiles producer Hisun Group is one of the Chinese exhibitors at this year’s Fair. The company supplies jacquard fabrics and other home textiles for famous local bedding brands such as Fuanna and Luolai. At the Fair, the company aims to promote their new eco, functional and cotton fabrics as well as curtains made in synthetic materials to buyers from Europe, the States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China. This year, manufacturers from China’s major home textiles production bases will group into six regional pavilions at the Fair’s domestic halls. These regions include Pujiang and Jiande, which are famous for bedding; Haining and Shaoxing which are well known for decorative fabrics; as well as Tongxiang and Yuhang, which are renowned for both. New and popular Chinese home textiles brands are also joining the Fair to promote their brands in the international marketplace. For example, we have local bedding brands which have hundreds of retail shops in China such as Shenzhen Fuanna, A-fontane, Ningbo Veken Elite Group, Jiangsu Menglan Group and Zhejiang Salsa. These brands will be grouped in the Bedding product zone. Similarly, top cur tain and
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blind producers Shanghai Mingcheng, Zhengzhou Mingyang; decorative fabric suppliers such as Huatex International, Haining Jinbaili and Jiangsu Elm Home; as well as renowned towel company Loftex China will also be present alongside many other specialized companies at the domestic halls’ product zones
Visitor figures from 2004-2010
30,000 26,136 25,000 20,000
HTT : What can you tell us about the attendees, where they are from and what types of companies they represent?
10,000 5,000 0
WW: The majority of the buyers are local depar tment stores, retailers, wholesalers, furniture manufacturers and agents from China. This is certainly because of the fast growing home textiles market in the country, which has on average increased by 20 percent annually over the last decade. Over the same period, China has grown on average by 8 percent every year to become the second largest economy in the world behind the U.S. Living standards in China are comparable to that of any other fairly well-off society. With more disposable income, the Chinese people are willing to spend on home decoration. Chinese residents spend on average up to 25 percent of their renovation budget on new home textiles products and most of them choose home textiles products by brand recognition.
ers, manufacturers, designers, retailers, chain stores and contract business. These international buyers can select from a wide range of local and international home textiles products at the Fair and can also visit major decorative fabric manufacturing bases near Shanghai, including Haining and Yuhang. This is particularly favorable for American and European buyers who are looking for top Chinese home textiles suppliers, who are experienced in working with international brands.With its convenient location, the Fair attracts buyers from neighboring Asian countries too. The profile also indicated a sharp increase in attending buyers from new emerging markets such as Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, up 352 percent
“Chinese government plans to shift its export oriented economy to a balanced, consumer demand driven economy. This will further stimulate local home textile suppliers to develop their own brands and thereby strengthen their competency in local and international markets.” WENDY WEN, MESSE FRANKFURT (HK) LTD. The Fair also attracts a significant number of international buyers. The total percentage of overseas buyers has progressively increased the last three years. Excluding China, the majority of the buyers came from the U.S., Korea, Japan, Russia, Australia, India, Singapore, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. They are mostly wholesalers, distributors, importers, export-
when compared to the Fair held seven years ago. These buyers are mostly looking for mid-range Chinese home textiles products HTT: How are changing international currency rates impacting the Chinese marketplace? WW: The falling of international currency rates and the rela-
Visitor breakdown by region in 2010 (excluding China) 4%
7% Asia Europe North, South & Central America
Middle East Australia and Oceana Africa 57%
tively high value of the Chinese RMB has cer tainly created challenges for export in China. To cope with the challenge, industry players need to improve product design and quality; to invest more resources in research and technology as well as to provide add-value services to customers worldwide. Besides, choosing an effective channel to promote their international business is equally important. The increasing participation of Chinese exhibitors in Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles proves that the Fair is a good platform to reach international markets.
at the fairground, so that the matched exhibitors can get prepared for the meeting. This allows buyers to have a good environment for reviewing product samples and presentations and greatly reduce their time to find the right products onsite. Participating buyers such as CK Home, WestPoint Home and Revman International from the United States were happy with the ser vice and got solid leads of potential new suppliers.
HTT : Why should American buyers choose this Fair versus other shows in Asia?
WW: We understand that 2011 will continue to be a challenging year for textiles players due to several factors, including rising raw material costs, inflation growth and higher labor overheads. However we firmly believe that when faced with challenges, new opportunities arise. The increase in the show scale proves that industry players have considered Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles as an important possible solution to tap into the international market.
WW: With thousands of suppliers across 11 exhibition halls, searching for the right products is like finding a needle in the haystack. Nevertheless, Messe Frankfurt (HK) is one of the few trade Fair organizers which can provide business matching services for selected buyers and suppliers. We help buyers to set up individual appointments with the right type of suppliers
HTT: How are you feeling about the worldwide textiles market in 2011?
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Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles
Meet the Exhibitors ASIA Alps Industries Ltd INDIA (W1D42) www.alpsindustries.com orth India-based Alps sees exhibiting at Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles as a chance to test its mettle Because “China is the hub, this gives us the oppor tunity to benchmark against Chinese mills,” said Amitabh Sen of Alps. Established in 1962 near New Delhi, Alps makes bedding, windows dressings, decorative pillows and table linens. The company promotes ecofriendly and sustainable textiles, including vegetable dyed fabrics, organic cotton and recycled cotton fabrics.
Ateja Tritunggal PT INDONESIA (W1D59) www.ateja.co.id he Indonesian-based manufacturer produces upholstery fabrics, exporting to 55 countries around the world, according to its web site. Collections include flat weaves,
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velvets and synthetic leather. Special treatments are available, such as flame retardant or water resistant finishes. To help the environment, the manufacturer offers fabric made from bamboo, organic cotton and recycled yarn.
Hangzhou Wikman CHINA (E1G14, E1G25, E2D11) www.wellcomma.com/home. php ome textile leader Hangzhou Wikman is investing in growth. The company plans to invest RMB 100 million (US$15.4 million) in technology and recently invested more than RMB 20 million (US$3.1 million) to purchase state of the art production equipment from Italy and Japan. The company, which was founded in 1999 and is under the leadership of Gao Guoxiang, managing director, owns four business, including Hangzhou Wikman Home Fabrics and Lace Ltd. Some of the many products Hangzhou Wikman produces are curtains, lace, bed-
ding and fabrics for sofas, using a variety of manufacturing techniques, such as spin and weave, embroider y, jacquard weave, pattern printing and dyeing. Hangzhou Wikman’s domestic trade focuses on markets in eastern China, however, its next target are mid- to high-end European customers. But there are challenges, Alice Zhu, assistant to general manager and export manager, said. Increased labor and material costs, as well as the appreciation of the Chinese RMB, have led to a decline in profits from its products. “To survive the coming two to three years, our mode of development has to be changed, by launching more value-added new products,” Zhu said. This year, Wikman invited designers from Italy, Japan and Hong Kong to create new products. Four of these products will be unveiled at the show. Exhibiting at the show “is an integral part of our trade marketing system,” said Zhu. “The exhibition is critical for promotion because it is a significant
gathering point for people in the industry and their clients. We meet our customers at the event and talk to them face to face, which helps build relationships.”
Indus Group PAKISTAN www.indus-group.com aving its own ginning and spinning facilities in Pakistan, Indus group has been active in the textiles industry for over 100 years. The company is the biggest towel manufacturing unit in Pakistan with capacity of 50 tons per day. At the show, it will feature a wide range of terry towels in dobby and jacquard.
Silk Road Group CHINA www.hssilk.com ilk Road Group, based in Huzhou, is one of the top silk manufacturers in China. Employing over 3,200, the company has design studios in Europe with manufacturing, technology and distribution facilities in Hangzhou, Guangxi, Laibin and Sichuan. Sales for
2010 were 2.06 billion RMB (US$309,000,000). After building raw silk, silk fabric and related product businesses in the U.S., Europe, Japan and the Middle East, Silk Road Group launched its own home textile brands HuanShar and Hushang. Today Silk Road products are widely available at retail. There are about 100 shops in China selling their products and most stores are located in shopping malls in major cities. Ling Lanfang, chairman and party secretary of the Silk Road Group, said that in the current challenging business climate, promoting Silk Road’s brands to international markets is a top priority. Both Ling and Silk Road have been the recipient of numerous awards in recent years. Silk Road Group took the gold prize for national innovative silk product last year. Ling has been honored with a national silk industry life achievement award. And last year he received an award as the China Textile Industr y Innovator of the Year.
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Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Standard Fiber Co Ltd CHINA (W2D09} www.standardfiber.com t the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles show, Standard Fiber Shanghai will re-introduce the Anshuibao brand to Chinese retail buyers and showcase a super-premium European brand of fine bed linens, which is new to the Chinese market. “The acquisition of the Anshuibao business to enter the Chinese consumer bedding markets was a major strategic initiative for us last year,” said Sandy Gray, president of Standard Fiber U.S. “Since the acquisition, we have retained all of the leadership team at Anshuibao, led by Standard Fiber Shanghai President Sophie Hu, while adding new key members of the team in product design and development.” Anshuibao was founded in 1993 by DuPont as a premiere consumer bedding brand in China and currently has 500 retail outlets. Standard Fiber has been manufacturing bedding textile products for export markets for over 10 years and has a network of over 45 factories and suppliers throughout eastern and central China. One of Standard Fiber’s goals for participating in the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles show is “to give our current and future customers a totally new impression of Anshuibao,” Gray said. “We view Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles as the premiere home textile show in China to [reach] the broadest section of retail buyers and distributors of bedding textiles.” Standard Fiber has two offices and over 100 staff based in Shanghai. “Shanghai is an extremely vibrant and cosmopolitan city where ideas flow,” Gray said.
Zhejiang Hanboo Home Textile Co. Ltd. CHINA (E2D17) www.hanboo.cn hejiang Hanboo Home Textile Co. Ltd. relies on trade shows like Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles to develop its domestic and international business. “Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is a professional trade fair and very influential in the home textile industr y,” said
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Wang Changjuan, general manager/director of design. “We hope to promote our brand Hanboo and products to the people in the industry and establish good connections with the quality customers attending the fair.” Wang said Hanboo Home’s business in Europe is very stable and the company has long term partnerships with many U.S. customers. Africa and South America are its next targets. “We believe both regions have great development potential,” said Wang. Formerly known as Yaxin, which was founded in 1988, Hanboo Home was established in 2006 with a total investment of 300 million RMB (US$46.2 million). The company is located in Changan in Hangzhou and is under the leadership of Wang Gao Ming, managing director, one of the founders of the Haining Home Textiles Association. The company will exhibit curtains, bedding and furnishing fabrics made of cotton blends, linen blends, man-made silk, polyester and viscose with detailed finishing.
Zhengzhou Mingyang Curtain Accessory Materials Co. Ltd. CHINA (E7D16)
The company was founded in 1997 and specializes in roller blinds, vertical blinds, rainbow blinds, pleated blinds and Roman shade blinds. On exhibit at the show will be Zhengzhou Mingyang’s latest rainbow blind collection in different colors.
EUROPE Advansa Marketing GmbH GERMANY (W2A06) www.advansa.com dvansa, one of the largest polyester manufacturers in the world, expanded in recent years to the U.S. and Asia, with a focus on technology and promoting brand loyalty. “We have a limited number of partners, maintaining a high level of quality and continuity. Countr y-by-countr y, we are now making significant progress worldwide. In China, our products can now be found in four of the top five home textiles companies in China,” said Nurhan Nalbant of Advansa marketing. Nalbant said that in Asia there are “technologically-savvy consumers who understand – in fact, they demand – add-
ed value in products that bring something different and useful to their sleep.” At Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles, Advansa is showing Climarelle Cool and Suprelle Memory with the application of these fabrics in mattresses. Climarelle Cool is a patented fabric that is cool to the touch. The effect is designed to extend the period of time when a sleeper is at a comfor table temperature before they fall asleep. “With normal bedding materials our studies show that a sleeper is comfortable for only 10 minutes, before they have to shift positions or find a cooler spot in the bed. Our materials extend that ‘comfort zone’ to 25 minutes, giving the sleeper a better chance of falling asleep peacefully. This product is naturally suited to the hot and humid climate of many Asian countries,” Nalbant said. Suprelle Memory is a polyester fiber fill that duplicates the even-pressure comfor t of memory foam yet is washable, lightweight and five times less heat-retentive than normal memory foam, Nalbant said.
Anartisi Co. GREECE (W1F43) www.anartisi.com.gr thens-based Anar tisi Co. has specialized in curtain finials decoration for more than 18 years and uses high-end materials like brass, stainless steel and Swarovski Crystals. Currently exporting to European and U.S. markets, Anartisi sees Asia and especially China as “a big challenge,” said Akis Kiourktsoglou. The company recently started new cooperative ventures in Malaysia and Singapore. “India is also an important market for us and we have started some discussions with local distributors.” Kiourktsoglou said the goal of exhibiting at this fair is to present his product as jewelry for the home. The company will show designs with luxury packaging and promote its philosophy that its products are much more than just a curtain rod.
COCO-MAT GREECE (W1F45) www.coco-mat.com attress maker COCO-MAT sees increased demand from the Chinese consumer for products made of natural or recycled materials.
hengzhou Mingyang produces window blinds mainly for export, so exhibiting at trade fairs like Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is key to “reaching international buyers and to understanding their markets,” said Li Peng of Zhengzhou Mingyang. “The trade fair is very professional and attracts highquality overseas buyers.” And that’s impor tant to Zhengzhou Mingyang, because its next target market is South America. The market is huge with great potential,” said Peng.
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Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles
After the Shanghai World Expo, held last year, Sady Zhang of COCO-MAT, said the Chinese are increasing their concerns about their living standards, the environment and their health. “We believe this is a good opportunity for our home products, which are made of natural or recycled materials such as cotton, horsehair, seaweed, coco fibers and natural rubber,” said Zhang. “Taking part in Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is an important means for us to reach the people in furnishing and contract businesses and let them know more about our mattresses and bedding products. COCO-MAT was established in Athens in 1989, when it started producing mattresses made exclusively from natural materials. In 1992, the company’s headquarters relocated to the industrial area of Xanthi, Northern Greece. Nowadays, in addition to bed-mattresses, mattresses and top-mattresses, COCO-MAT produces bedding, mattress and upholstery fabrics in its privately owned factories of 26,000 square meters and employs about 220 persons in Europe. COCO-MAT
has about 60 retail sites world wide, including Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Cyprus and China.
Comersan SA SPAIN www.comersan.com stablished in 1969, Comersan SA is one of the most representative Spanish companies in the international textiles market, with product lines that range from plain fabrics to high quality jacquards, from printed fabrics to micro fibers and light curtains.
Diane Harrison Designs UK (W2A42) www.dianeharrison.co.uk K-based design studio Diane Harrison Designs has established customers in China and relies on Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles to meet new potential Chinese customers in the woven textiles, printed textiles and wall coverings industries. “Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is the second most important show for us after Heimtex in Frankfurt,” said Tristan Goodfellow, sales director. “It has become for us the focal point for the non-Western mar-
ket place. We meet customers and potential customers from all of the Asian and Southern hemisphere countries in which we sell. “It is not just about the Chinese market place, although Chinese customers represent the most significant par t,” Goodfellow said. At this year’s show, the company will exhibit florals and geometrics in water-color techniques and a NED Graphics collection of woven designs. In company news, Diane Harrison Designs recently opened an office in New York City, headed by newly-appointed Jaime Boulter, to better serve its U.S. clients.
Enzo Angiuoni Tessitura ITALY (W1D03) www.edaspa.com nzo Angiuoni Tessitura, the 40-year-old high-end Italian upholstery producer, emphasizes innovation and technology. The company’s Green Outdoor collection is designed to meet consumer demand for open-air living. The collection features the per formance and color range of Ten Stars Yarn fabrics and Water Shield finish, which makes fibers resistant to wa-
ter and bad weather. At the Fair, the company will focus on its high-quality jacquards, jacquard velvets, plains and printed velvet. The company said it hopes to inspire its guests and visitors when they will come to the booth, and also the fair organization. “Our range of products distinguishes our designs together with colours and quality,” said Enzo Angiuoni, president. ”Feel reassured that you will discover it once you will have seen our stand.” Speaking about the Fair and the Asian market in general, he said, “I think that Asia and in particular China are the future of the world. Since always, I feel sure that China, India and Russia will save the worldwide economy. “In China there are 3 billion people willing to work and improve their well-being. I think that this is ver y important for them to grow and become important for the trade in all fields.” The company has showrooms in Birago di Lentate, Italy; London and Paris and a weaving mill in Lecco, Italy and sales agents in 24 countries.
Ibena Shanghai Technical Textiles Co. Ltd. GERMANY (W2D25) www.ibena.de bena executives believe Chinese consumers are seeking natural materials like cotton, linen and wool instead of synthetic fibers. At Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, the company will promote its new home textiles product line at the Cotton Council International booth. Ibena Germany was founded in 1826 by the Beckmann family. Ibena Shanghai launched in 1994 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ibena Germany. Ibena set up its retail brand in China in 2006. With 185 years of experience in producing home textiles and technical textiles, Ibena Germany will promote its new bedding products line jointly with Cotton Council International.
Kuan’s Living ITALY (W2A02) www.kuansliving.com.cn A vertical international company, Kuan’s Living markets, designs and manufactures luxury linens and custom high-end bedding. It has over 30 retail
Lenzing met Hong Kong leading bedding brand A-Fontane in last year at Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles and has been appointed by A-Fontane to be the exclusive distributor for ProModal (R) bedding products in Greater China.
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Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles locations positioned around the world, with several in China including the company flagship in Shanghai. In addition, the 20-year-old company has a design and manufacturing center in Italy. According to web site information, Kuan’s Living has been the agent for international brands, such as Fendi Casa and Pratesi.
Lenzing Fiber Innovation AUSTRIA (W1E11)
At Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles, the company is showing its high-end collection of leather and fabrics. “All the products shown are focused on the Chinese domestic market,” said Hohans Cheung, director of operations at Morphrow China. New products include Diamond, a velvet jacquard suitable for upholstery and curtains; Royaline: a pure aniline full grain leather that’s dyed with a hint of a two-tone
effect and a breathable protective Scotchgard finish; and Phoenix, upholstery fabric with micro stitching. The company will add a velvet line this year. The goals of participating in the show for Morphrow “are to develop new prospects, while also promoting the awareness of high-end products for the Chinese market. The demand for high-end products is growing in China and people are
better informed about the differences in material and quality. This change will continue in the upcoming years in China, but also in the rest of Asia,” Cheung said. Cheung said Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles “is becoming more and more essential for us. Besides the obvious target of meeting new prospects and improving our relations with current customers, this show is also a perfect way
for us to introduce new designs and products. [The show is a] perfect bridge between suppliers and international customers.”
Novatex (Hangzhou) Textile Co. Ltd. ITALY (W1E63) www.novatexasia.com talian-based Novatex has been producing high-end upholster y fabrics for over 30 years. Its brands -- Leopoldo
www.lenzing.com t Inter textile Shanghai Home Textiles, Lenzing Fiber Innovation will be presenting a new fiber, Tencel C, which combines its Tencel material with a surprising ingredient, Chitosan, a polymer made from shellfish that has a variety of health benefits. One of the advantages of Chitosan is its ability to promote water retention, so when used for a beauty pillow, it can help maintain moisture in the skin and promote skin elasticity, said Nina Nadash, who heads up merchandising for Lenzing’s U.S. home textiles division. The material “has been used for years, but until now, no one has been able to produce large quantities of consistent quality,” said Nadash. Lenzing’s cellulosic fibers are made from tree material and are used in home furnishings, such as bedding, sheets, towels, pillow and upholstery. The company is building a new facility in Austria, and increasing capacity at three Tencel facilities located in Austria, England and the U.S. Demand for Lenzing’s fibers is high, Nadash said. “In comparison to cotton, our fibers are not less expensive but are less volatile. The price is not changing daily. No one is speculating on our fiber. We make it and we set the price.” “It’s important for us to be at the show because we’re a global company and we have a large distribution to Chinese suppliers,” Nadash said. “China is a strong player in the supply chain.”
Morphrow (W1D21) THE NETHERLANDS www.morphrowfabrics.com or Morphrow, it is all about the high-end Chinese market, which company executives see as developing over the next few years.
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10 Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Giuliani and Novatex -- are sold worldwide, including China. To serve the Chinese market, Novatex applies both Chinese and Italian fabric design trends. “Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles gives us a good chance to understand our customer’s needs and the market trends for their products,” said Kelvin Wang, general manager. “We hope to fur ther expand our business in Chengdu, China and the U.S. because we think the demand for home textiles is high in these two markets.”
Pianezza Paolo Srl ITALY (W2B53) www.pianezza.it tudio Pianezza has a rich and long histor y of working in Italian design. The company specializes in producing jacquard textiles and works for renowned fashion brands, such as Armani and Kenzo. Pianezza was founded in 1935 in Azzio. However the Pianezza family had already been involved in textile design since 1890. Its archives are one of most extensive in Europe, with more than three million pieces.
Today, Pianezza Paolo is headed by Paolo Pianezza in collaboration with his son Michele and daughter Paola.
Tela’s Design LDA PORTUGAL (W2A44) www.telasdesign.com
for sure, I will observe all the information that my eyes -- and my camera -- can get of this fantastic culture.”
Sarlas SA GREECE
Rafael Catala SA SPAIN (W1E02)
www.sarlas.com new generation of shareholders, consisting of younger family members, has been enriching Sarlas, building on the company’s history while capitalizing on its future. Sarlas says it is investing in its facilities and adding staff in order to consolidate its position in the Greek market. The company displays upholster y, cur tains and textiles for interior decoration, importing from over 200 supply companies from E.U., India and other Asian countries as well as domestic textile industries. The company supports a large sales network throughout Greece and collaborates with retailers, decoration firms and bed-linen manufacturers. The company has established new relationships with firms in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Egypt.
irst-time exhibitor Tela’s Design has high hope for Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles. The 15-year-old Portuguese design studio specializes in bed linens, printed, yarn dye and jacquard design and is hoping to sell deeper into the Chinese domestic market, said Carlos Oliveira, CEO. After the Chinese market, “our next target will be Brazil and Africa because these markets are growing and we have some contacts there,” Oliviera said. “We used to export a lot to the U.S., but now this market is very low [performing] for us. But we plan to invest again in this market.” Oliveira is eager to experience Shanghai. “One thing is
textile company with a long history -- founded in 1770 -- Rafael Catala SA weaves fabrics for sofas, curtains, cushions and bedspreads and walls. Rafael Catalá Barandiarán, general manager in Asia, said the company is currently expanding in Asia, with target markets in Korea, Singapore, Tawain and Hong Kong as well as China. “We believe in the great potential” of Asia, he said. The company will be showing a collection of “lampas” at the show made of silk and viscous, updated with new designs. These are luxury fabrics with a ground weave that have a pattern laid on top and are a specialty of Rafael Catala. Barandiarán said participating in this market “is the best way to show your latest collection to most of the Chinese customers at once.” A resident of Shanghai, Barandiarán shared an inside tip for visitors to the city: Go to Taikang Lu, an arts and crafts enclave in the French Concession area. In addition to small craft stores, coffee shops and art studios, visitors can see local Shikumen architecture.
UNITED STATES Cotton Council International (CCI) Washington, D.C. www.cottonusa.org With 50 years of experience promoting U.S. cotton fiber and products around the world, Cotton Council International (CCI), the promotion arm of the Na-
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tional Cotton Council of America, says it has a deep knowledge of what textile mills are capable of and what textile buyers need. “First and foremost, we are an organization that promotes the export of US cotton to world markets,” said Karin Malmstrom, director of China for CCI. “Our activities encourage consumers to appreciate the attributes of cotton as a natural fiber in all aspects of their lives, while also serving all the sectors of the cotton textile supply chain from field to fashion, dir t to shir t. We understand that recently more and more Chinese/ Asian consumers increasingly understand and prefer a healthy, natural lifestyle.” Malmstrom talked about the recent increases in the cost of cotton and its impact on the market. “The recent situation with cotton prices is caused by simply supply and demand. When supply is low and demand high, prices tend to increase. This has had some effect on some manufacturers switching to other fibers. However, according to consumer and retail research conducted with our sister organization Cotton Inc., we see a steady increase in demand for cottonrich products due to the comfor t and fashion inherent to cotton apparel. “Home textiles has a large and growing market in China. We see most home textiles including bedding and toweling remaining in cotton due to the breathability, absorption and comfor t of fabric made from cotton. Our research shows that a majority of consumers are prepared to pay more for cotton-rich products, products they can trust to live with. CCI believes strongly in Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, she said. “The Shanghai Intertextile Home Show seems to be more and more well-attended year on year. We see a trend of increasing home textile consumption in China’s domestic market. Therefore, we feel it is important to support this trend, suppor t our Chinese COTTON USA home textile licensees by having a presence at the show, introducing them to potential customers and generally being there to be of service.” CCI operates in 50 over-
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Inside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles 11 seas markets and has offices in Washington, DC; London, United Kingdom; Seoul, Korea; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong. The organization reaches about 3 billion current and potential customers of U.S. cotton.
Culp Culp Fabrics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. High Point, NC (W1D62) www.culpinc.com ulp supplies mattress and upholstery fabrics to points all over the globe. From its headquarters in High Point, N.C., Culp manages manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S., China, Canada, Poland and the United Kingdom. The company took aim at the European market this year when Culp launched two businesses to market and sell its upholstery fabrics there. The venture consists of two operations: Culp Europe, which is based in Poznan, Poland, and serves western and central Europe; and Culp U.K., to focus
on the United Kingdom. The U.K. operation is a joint venture with Flameproofings Ltd., a producer of flame retardant coatings. Flame retardant requirements for upholstery fabrics are more stringent in the U.K. than in other European countries. Frank Saxon, CEO, said in an interview in March that the fabric for the operations will be made in Culp’s factory in China, with some from the U.S. and outside suppliers. In a quarterly earnings report, Saxon said the European upholster y business may serve as a platform to sell its mattress fabrics sometime in the future.
Richloom Fabrics Group Richloom Shanghai Trading Co., Ltd. New York, NY (W1D10) www.richloom.com ecorative fabric converter Richloom Fabrics Group is no stranger to Shanghai, having opened its first office there in 2004 and a freestanding Asian
operations division, Richloom Shanghai Trading, in 2006. Under chief executive James Richman, privately-held Richloom has expanded market share in the global decorative fabric industr y, selling upholstery fabrics, outdoor fabrics, contract and hospitality fabrics, home decorative fabrics and finished bedding ensembles, window treatments and accessories to furniture manufacturers, retailers and the contract and hospitality trade. The U.S. is Richloom’s largest market, in the past it has accounted for as much as 75 percent of its annual sales. Richloom’s fabric constructions include prints, jacquards, tapestries, dobbies, yarn-dyes and piece-dyed fabrics. The company’s finished product line includes ready-made curtains and draperies as well as bedroom ensembles. For the Richloom Shanghai Trading division, the majority of the company’s products are sold within China, with the remaining expor ted to other
regions, including countries throughout southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and Canada. Headquar ter ed in New York, Richloom also has showrooms in High Point, N.C.; Tupelo, Miss.; Los Angeles, and Elkhart, Ind.
Springs Global Fort Mill, SC (W2D05) www.springs.com prings Global added to its stable of well-known consumer brands with the announcement last month of its partnership with cook and television personality Paula Deen to launch The Paula Deen Home Collection of bedding, bath, lighting and decorative accessories. The affordably-priced collection will debut at U.S. retail in the spring of 2012. The collection is inspired by the Savannah’s resident’s journey from humble origins to career as world-class cook, restaurateur, author, publisher and Emmy award-winning television personality. Joe Granger, president of
Springs Global, said in a statement that “Paula personifies the real American dream” that “easily translates to a larger lifestyle brand.” Paula Deen joins Diane von Furstenberg, Nate Berkus, and Espacio Sami Hayek as additions to the Springs Global brand portfolio. The Diane Von Furstenberg collection of soft and hard home arrived at Bloomingdale’s and Bloomingdales. com earlier this year. As a company, Springs has established a supply chain that spans the globe. Its North American hub provides distribution, brand building, design expertise marketing and access to U.S. retailers. Its Brazil and Mexican platforms provide low-cost, highvolume manufacturing, as well as access to the Brazilian cotton market. European and Asian facilities offer similar low cost/high volume manufacturing as well as sewing and embellishment.
DESTINATION SHANGHAI: A Guide to Home Furnishings Retail Stores Jing’an District If Shanghai has a main shopping district, this is it, centrally located and probably ver y near your hotel if you are staying in the center of the city.
upscale malls and local branches of American and European fashion brands. Grand Gateway 66 Plaza, 1 Hongqiao Road name,
Jiu Guang Department Store, 1618 Nanjing Xi Road
is located on perhaps the most well-known shopping street in Shanghai and this traditional department store is an anchor. Head to the sixth floor for the bedding depar tment.
is perhaps the most upscale mall in all of China, with a spectacular glass atrium and more designer boutiques than you’ll find on Rodeo Drive. Pacific Department Store (Xu Hui Store), 932 Hengshan Road
Westgate Mall, 1038 Nanjing Xi Road
even sounds like a Western shopping center and it provides a good exposure to Chinesestyle stores in Shanghai.
is a traditional full-line depar tment store with a mix of Wester n and Chinese brands and there’s even a Cold Stone Creamer y for an after-shopping treat.
will look very familiar to world shoppers because after all what would a modern international city be without an IKEA?
Pudong District The new city on the other side of the river from older Shanghai includes many new malls and stores. Some are nearby the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles show venue and can be visited on the way back to your hotel after the Fair.
is another big shopping center with lots of retail and entertainment options to choose from. Whinny Textile, 86 Boshan Road
is a shopping center that will remind you of many in the United States with multiple levels, chain and local stores and plenty of places to grab something to eat.
is a good example of a Chinese supplier that sells in its own stores. Whinny has 300 sales outlets in China.
Walmart, 252-262 Linyi Road North
IKEA, 126 Caoxi Road
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NextAge, 501 Zhangyang Road
Super Brand Mall, 168 Lujiazui Xi Road
Xuhui District Adjacent to the Jing’an District, this area features many
giant American discounter and while there are many local distinctions, it’s fascinating to see what made the merchandising trip 8,000 miles away
is one of ten branches of the
Putuo District Still near the central par t of the city, this area can be worth the trip to see how the other big international mass merchant stacks up against Walmart.
Carrerfour, 20 Wuning Road
is Walmart’s big competitor in China, so here’s a good chance to do some comparison shopping. Some shoppers prefer the French store – the world’s second largest retailer – over its American counterpart.
Minhang District Further away from the central part of the city, but still on the Pusi side of the river, this area features one of the city’s largest home furnishings super centers. Shanghai Home Expo, 1263 Wuzhong Road
is a large full-line home furnishings mall with many home textiles products that advertises “eight offerings for stressfree shopping.” You might recognize some European brands here.
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YOUR BATH BUSINESS The Spa category is one of the fastest growing areas of the bath business and HTT will have a special report on Spa in the August 8, 2011 issue.
The Report will look at:
• Spa Towels • Bath Accessories • Lotions and Fragrances • Spa Fashions The Special Report will have bonus distribution at the New York Gift Fair and with an exclusive mailing to 1000 Spa Managers around the country. The HTT Spa Special Report is a refreshing way to grow your business. For information on advertising opportunities in the August 8 issue, contact your Home Textiles Today sales representative.
TEXTILES IS OUR MIDDLE NAME Jeff Reeves, Associate Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org (336) 605-1009
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Mary McLoughlin, Account Manager email@example.com (646) 805-0227
5/12/11 10:04:05 PM
Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
Gordmans Plots Steady Expansion NEW YORK — Midwestern apparel and home chain Gordman Stores
told investors here this morning that it recently entered Minneapolis and will open this month in Chicago as it deliberately expands its footprint. The 70-unit company – which offers EDLP in a good/better/ best merchandising strategy – currently operates in 16 states. Gordmans opened three net new stores last year and plans to open seven this year, president and ceo Jeff Gordman said during the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference. So far, the company has identified 150 potential locations for its stores, which average 50,000 sq. ft. “There are clearly expansion opportunities for our company,” Gordman said. “We want to expand the footprint at 10% net this year.” Last year, Gordman’s began testing ecommerce in two categories through a third party. It will add another category this year, but because of the incremental contribution of online to total sales, isn’t planning a ramp up in the foreseeable future. “To get the same incremental growth, we could open a handful of stores,” he said. The company generated $500 million in total sales last year. HTT
Summer Social Planned N E W YO R K — The New York
Home Furnishings and Design Organizations Coalition will host their fourth annual Summer Social on July 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tribeca Rofftop, 2 Debrosses St. George Oliphant, Emmy award winner and host of NBC’s “Open House NY,” will serve as auctioneer for a live auction to benefit YAI Network, which assists people with developmental disabilities and their families. Organizations who make up the coalition include: • American Society of Interior Designers, (ASID) New York Metro Chapter
• The Decorators Club (DC) • Designers Lighting Forum of NY (DLFNY) • Executives Working in Home Textiles (EWHT) • Illuminating Engineering Society of N. America (IESNYC) NYC Section • International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) New York Chapter • National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Manhattan Chapter Admission fee is $90 for members and $100 for non-members. To register, visit guest.cvent. com/d/bdqhwn/4W. HTT
HFPA Networking Party Set N EW YORK — The Home Fashion Products Association is inviting industry members to attend a networking party June 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The party will take place in Revman International’s showroom at 1211 Avenue of the Amer-
icas and will be hosted by Rich Roman, HFPA’s president and Revman’s president and ceo. Admission is free, but advanced registration is required. To register, contact Tina Cadat at TCadet@kellencompany.com or (212) 297-2127. HTT
Gordmans Stores, recently visited the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square. In honor of the occasion, Jeff Gordman, ceo, rang the closing bell.
Surtex Honors Designers NEW YORK — During the recent
Surtex show for surface design here, show organizer GLM honored longtime participants and named new members to its advisory council. Elizabeth Bournaud, designer at Francois Bournaud Designs, and David Hedley, partner with Andrew Bell in Artwork Design Ltd. in the United Kingdom, were lauded for participating in Surtex since the show launched 25 years ago. Four exhibitors from the United Kingdom were also honored as trailblazers and “behindthe-scenes influencers on surface design in America:” Colwill & Waud, a studio led by designers Maggi Waud and Nick Colwill; Banafshe Schippel Design Ltd., a studio led by Susan Schippel and Simin Banafshe; Diane Harrison Designs Ltd., a studio led by designer Diane Harrison, and Linda Bruce Designs, a studio led by Linda Bruce.
The Savannah College of Art & Design was also saluted as Surtex’s long-time educational partner. A portion of the proceeds from the Design Forum held during Surtex 2011 will be donated to the school, recognizing its fiber department, part of the School of Design, for turning out more winning students in the on-going Surtex Student Design Competition (now known as designext) than any other single school in the world. New members of the Advisory Council include exhibitors and attendees: Sam Abell, president of Courtney Davis, Inc.; Steve Greenberg, president of Pointcarre North America; Michelle Klein, owner of Klein Designs Ltd., United Kingdom; Henny Lakin, vp/design at Creative Bath Products, Inc.; Ashley Morgan, vp of Linda McDonald, Inc.; Tara Reed, owner of Tara Reed Designs, Inc., and Chris Verbeek, an owner at
Verbeek & van den Broek, The Netherlands. T h e y w i l l j oi n c o u n ci l members who have served in recent years: Suzanne Cruise of Suzanne Cruise Creative Services, Inc; Viv Eisner, VIV Inc.; Nancy Fire, Design Works International; Helga Goldman, Goldman Design & Marketing; United Kingdom; David Hedley, Artwork Design Ltd., United Kingdom; Susan January, Leanin’ Tree, and Andy Sylvia of Cranston. The show drew nearly 6,000 attendees with the number of exhibitors up 23%. The next edition of SURTEX will take place May 20-22, 2012, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, with an anticipated 325 exhibitors and 6,000 attendees. For more information, contact Penny Sikalis at 914-4213297, penny_sikalis@glmshows. com, or visit www.surtex.com. HTT
New England Curtain Show Set for October MARLBOROUGH , MASS. — Cur-
tain and drapery vendors are being invited to participate in – and buyers encouraged to attend – the 9th New England Curtain Show from Oct. 1-3 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites here.
All manufactures will be showing items ready for immediate shipment, and many will also be showing confirmed new items for spring 2012. In addition, exhibitors will have closeouts and show specials available.
The show kicks off with cocktails during Customer Appreciation Night on Saturday, Oct 1 at 6 p.m. The doors to the ballroom officially open Sunday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Special room rates are available at the hotel by calling 508481-3000 and mentioning the New England Curtain Show before Sept. 10. For more information visit www.necurtainshow.com or con-
tact show organizers John Levanchy of curtain supplier A.L. Ellis at jlevanchy350@comcast. net (781) 378-1960 or Breda McCarty of Curtain Chic at firstname.lastname@example.org (508) 536-5959. HTT
6/16/2011 10:36:08 AM
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
PEOPLETodaY Jeff Simon Moves to Hollander BOCA R ATON, FLA. — Hollander
Home Fashions has tapped Jeff Simon as sales vp, reporting to Kay LeGrange, president of sales. “As we constantly search for exceptional talent, Jeff was a logical choice” aid LeGrange. “His strategic approach in identifying and creating opportunities for sustainable growth was evident from onset.” Simon will assume a newly created position based in Minneapolis and will focus on expanding share and strengthening Hollander’s position as the largest manufacturer of bed pillows in North America. He was previously with Springs Global, where had been senior account manager since 2003. HTT
J.Queen New York Expands Staff N E W YO R K — Two-year-old
J.Queen New York, founded by former Croscill exec Julie Brady, has added a number of new positions to support its growing line, which includes fashion bedding, bath accessories and window products, with fabric soon to debut. Buddy Gordon has joined as account executive and will focus on accounts in the Eastern Region inclusive of Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Boscov’s and others.
Jason Hagey has joined as supply chain director. He will support the company’s efforts as it grows its infrastructure to support an increasing and varied domestic and international customer base. Hagey has a long background on both the retail and manufacturing side with a strong emphasis on understanding retail selling and product forecasting. Joyce Alcantara is the company’s new global product manager handling administrative,
costing, and showroom presentation for all product categories. She will help coordination the fall launch of J.Queen New York’s initial fabric collection. “Our business has grown steadily in our first two years, and the addition of sales and operations talent will allow us to support our customer base with service that can be depended on — enhancing our already significant efforts in the design and merchandising areas,” said Brady, president. HTT
Granatoor Joins Ellery Homestyles N EW YORK — Home fashions
supplier Ellery Homestyles has brought on retail veteran Nancy Granatoor as director of product management. Granatoor most recently was with Macy’s Merchandising Group as product manager in the home textiles area for pri-
vate label brands Charter Club, Martha Stewart and Hotel. Her career in the home fashions industry also includes buying and merchandising positions at Fortunoff and Linens n’ Things. In the newly defined role at Ellery, she will focus on product management across all cat-
egories: window, bedding and throws. Along with her newly formed team, she will be responsible for enhancing processes, leading to a unified sales organization that leverages all of Ellery’s brands and improves cross-functional communications. HTT
Chris Madden Signs on with Brandgenuity N EW YORK — Interior design celebrity Chris Madden has selected licensing agency Brandgenuity to extend the Chris Madden brand. Madden – whose slogan is “turning home into haven” – was the original design correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, hosted her own series on HGTV for eight seasons, and has written 17 lifestyle books, most recently The Soul of a House. Her Chris Madden For Home collection of home furnishings at JCPenney
spans multiple categories, from home textiles to furniture. “So many people find decorating a home to be an overwhelming challenge. Chris’ mission is to demystify the process, helping people everywhere to transform their homes into personal sanctuaries with ease by offering clever style tips and smart solutions to create the home that they crave,” said Jay Asher, partner at Brandgenuity. The licensing program with Brandgenuity will feature a
variety of products – including home and outdoor furnishings, home fragrance, and other lifestyle product categories. She is ecstatic about growing her licensing program with partners who share her passion for helping others coordinate their homes in a cohesive way that is beautiful and a reflection of their own taste,” said Nick Madden, director of brand development, Chris Madden Inc. Brandgenuity’s clients include: MGM Studios (Pink Panther,
Rocky and the film library), Food Network, Pabst Brewing Company (Pabst Blue Ribbon, Colt 45, Old Style, Lone Star, Schlitz), World Poker Tour, Chris Madden Inc., Church & Dwight (Arm & Hammer; OxiClean), FX Networks (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer), Kathy Davis Studios, Harlequin Enterprises, The Juilliard School, The Really Useful Group (The Phantom of the Opera), Rodgers & Hammerstein, Pella Corporation and Laura Mercier, among others. HTT
Capel Rugs Promotes Bristow in High Point TROY, N.C. — Capel Rugs has
appointed Ron Bristow as the manager of the company’s High Point showroom. He was previously manager of Capel’s outlet store here.
Based out of the showroom, which is located in Space 112 at Market Square, Bristow is responsible for sales and visual merchandising of the showroom and will work closely with Capel’s exten-
sive list of interior designers to help them with rug selections. Bristow reports to Allen Robertson, Capel’s vp of sales. Bristow previously worked in sales management with Capel; prior to
that he was with Hendricks Furniture Group. Capel’s High Point showroom is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and special hours are available by appointment. HTT
Engle Promoted at Mitchell Group CHICAGO — Textiles veteran Mur-
ray Engle has been named to the newly created position of residential sales manager for The Mitchell Group. Engle previously handled major accounts for the coated fabrics company. He will be responsible for Mitchell’s Chinato-China sales and reports to John Kessler, national sales manager. Engle began his career in Dalton, Ga., working at his family’s textiles factory. He joined Ametex Fabrics and held several posts over 15 years. He moved to Cone Mills as president of the company’s home furnishing division and later went to work for furniture manufacturing company. “With our China business increasing by leaps and bounds and our overall business growing, the timing was perfect for Murph to take on new responsibilities and challenges,” said Bill Fisch, president. “He is an industry legend, and we’re thrilled to have him.” HTT
Kvaal Joins Huntsman Textile Effects SINGAPORE — Huntsman Textile
Effects has named Kent Kvaal vp of its business specialty textiles unit, based here. He was previously Huntsman’s vp for global supply chain based in Basel, Switzerland. KENT KVAAL Before that, Huntsman he was the company’s vp/ general manager in the Americas. Huntsman manufactures chemicals for a variety of industries, including textiles. HTT
6/16/2011 5:44:56 PM
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
NRF: May Retail Sales up, But Consumer Spending Still Slow WASHINGTON — On an 11-con-
secutive-month roll, retail sales were up again in May, said the National Retail Federation. However, higher gas prices and an anemic labor market “took the steam out of consumer spending, with only a few retail sectors reporting growth,” added the NRF, which found that retail industry sales – excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants – ticked up 0.1% seasonally adjusted from April and 5.0% unadjusted year-overyear. NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said: “After a string of disappointing government
reports relating to economic activity and employment, May’s retail report supports the idea of the economy hitting a soft patch. Though consumers are spending cautiously, we are not seeing them cut out new purchases completely, signaling there is a distinct appetite to spend if economic conditions let them.” May ret ail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales – including non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants – fell 0.2% seasonally adjusted over April and were up 7.8% unadjusted year-over-year.
Show Season PREVIEW FROM PAGE 12 and Broadway) during Market Week with their summer 2011 badge, compliments of NYIGF, 7 W New York, 41 Madison and 230 Fifth Avenue.
Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Aug. 29-31 Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China (852) 22238 9983 www.messefrankfurt.com.hk/ The show’s footprint is expanding into an 11th hall this year, with new pavilions from Greece, Italy and Spain joining international pavilions from Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey. The fair will group manufacturers from China’s major home textile production into six regional pavilions at the fair’s domestic halls. The regions include Pujiang and Jiande, which are hubs for bedding; Haining and Shaoxing, which are known for decorative fabrics; and well as Tongxiang and Yuhang, which are producers of both. In addition, high-end bedding suppliers and brands will appear at the fair. Ibena (Germany) will promote its new product line jointly with Cotton Council International, according to fair organizer Messe Frankfurt. Standard Fiber (United States) will introduce the popular English brand, Peter Reed and new brand, Somerelle specifically for the Chinese market. Springs Global (US/Brazil) will represent show its luxury Court of Versailles brand. Those companies will be showcased alongside other brands in hall W2. In the Upholstery Zone, newcomer UK Prestigous Textiles will feature an assortment of fabrics and wall coverings in contemporary and classic décor styles. In the Curtain Zone, Benetex from debuts with fancy mixed linen, nude and me-
Furniture and home furnishing stores sales decreased 0.7% seasonally adjusted over April and increased 0.6% unadjusted over April 2010. And “surprisingly, seasonal weather helped boost building material and garden equipment stores sales, in spite of weak housing market reports,” NRF said, as sales at these types of stores increased 1.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and a strong 11.3% unadjusted over last year. NRF said it expects the pace of the recovery to pick up in time for the back-to-school season. HTT
tallic high density sheer curtains as well as hand painted sheer curtains. The Japanese based supplier Suzutora Corporation will present an energy-saving curtain and blind fabrics that are nano-metal coated and flame retardant.
New York Home Fashions Market Sept. 19-23 Supplier showrooms, New York (212) 297-211 www.homefashionproducts.com/ events.php Market week gets underway Sunday, Sept. 18 at the HTT market kickoff party. The primary showroom buildings are located at: 295 Fifth Ave., 230 Fifth Ave., 261 Fifth Ave. and 7 W. 34th St. However, there are individual showrooms just off 5th Avenue as well as along Avenue of the Americas, the latter stretching from 40th St. to 48th St. The Home Fashion Products Association usually distributes a map plotting the location of its members’ showrooms a few weeks before market week. The Global Home Show, sponsored by HTT and featuring international suppliers, will take place concurrently at 295 Fifth Avenue on the first floor space next to the buyer’s lounge and at 7 W New York.
Interior Lifestyle China Oct. 12-15 Shanghai Exhibition Centre Shanghai, China www.il-china.com (852) 2802 7728 To commemorate the show’s fifth anniversary, influential German designer Konstantin Grcic give a discussion at the special on design forum that runs concurrently with the fair from Oct.12-15 at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre. Country and region pavilions with products made and designed in Germany, France, Italy, Hong Kong and Taiwan
Same-Store Sales So-So NEW YORK — The pace of comp gains slackened during the second week of June, gaining 3.2% following a 4.2% increase the previous week, according to the Johnson Redbook. The discount channel saw comps rise 4.3%, while the department store sector eked out a 0.9% increase. “Summer apparel was active in both discount and department stores,” said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. Also showing strength, she said, were fans, air conditioners and sporting equipment. HTT
Johnson Redbook Index Third week of October, year-over-year % change WEEK ENDED
6/11 618 625
Department stores* Discounters Redbook Index
2.3 5.2 4.2
0.9 4.3 3.2
1.6 4.7 3.7
1.7 4.8 3.8
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores Source: Johnson Redbook Index
will also be represented this year, covering 18,000 sqm of exhibition space, a 12.5% increase in scale compared with the 2010 show. The show will also feature “talents,” a platform for young desingers to present their innovative ideas as well as their design-orientated and avant-garde tableware, gifts, home accessories, furniture and lighting; and “Next,” a new area for entreprenuers to pursue business opportunities in the interior and design market in China.
High Point Market Oct. 22-27 International Home Furnishings Center High Point, N.C. www.highpointmarket.org (336) 869-1000 The High Point Market Authority has relocated to a new office on the 7th floor of the historic Radio Building, located at the corner of Main and Commerce Streets. Educational seminars and special events for the fall market will be announced in July. The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, drawing more than 85,000 people. The show features 180 buildings that include up to 10 million square feet of show space. Some 2,000 exhibitors showcase the latest trends and designs in furniture, rugs, fabric, lighting and accessories.
International Hotel/Motel + Restaurant Show Nov. 12-15 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York www.ihmrs.com (914) 421-3200 The show draws nearly 30,000 hospitality industry attendees and some 700 exhibitors who sell to the trade. Last year’s show debuted the Boutique Design New York show-within-the show, drawing an
additional 3,100 designers and purchasing executives. The 31st annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in hospitality design will take place Nov. 14 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the InterContinental New York Times Square. In addition, the Designer of the Year award will be presented at the event. The full roster of educational sessions and special events will be announced in July. The American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation’s IHMRS fall conference runs concurrently with the show and offers committee meetings, an issues forum and social functions.
Showtime Dec. 4-7 Market Square, Textile Tower High Point, N.C. (336) 885-6842 www.itma-showtime.com Several vendors made their debut appearances during the summer Showtime event earlier this month. They include: A.G. Reilly, Harry Harry Fabrics, Kucukerler Textiles, Rennie & Rose, True North Fabrics, and ZWovens. U.S.-based suppliers that have recently returned to Showtime include: Direct Textiles, an importer and converter of upholstery fabrics; Roma Decoration Fabrics, which specializes in home furnishing fabrics such as silk, polyester (solid, stripe, embroidery) trim, tassel; and Weave Textiles. The International Textile Market Association, which produces the Showtime fabric show, recently joined the High Point Design Center to open the Market Square Textile Sample Sale Room. The space will allow year-round sales of ITMA members’ products to the design trade, including fabric, leather and trimming. Fabric, leather and trim vendors provide excess inventory, close-out goods and/or first-quality stock for the Sale Room. Goods will be sold as whole pieces, bolts or hide. HTT
6/16/2011 5:52:13 PM
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
Online Technologies ONLINE FROM PAGE 1
Convergence Eric Dean of Whereoware kicked off the conference with a presentation about “convergence” and how companies can tie their online and offline experiences together. He said all the channels that vendors and retailers use for marketing need to work together, including print advertising, phone, sales reps, websites, catalogs, emails, tradeshows and social media. The reason? “Consumers want whatever they want, however they want it, whenever they want it, wherever they are,” he said. The days are past when a company can dictate how it communicates with its customers — it has to be available on all platforms so the customers can do business on their own terms. He cited an example of Old Navy, which sent an email to its customer list with an Easter promotion using QR tags. Customers were invited to visit the stores, look for 15 QR tags hidden through the store, then
scan them for a chance to win $50,000. The promotion used technology to drive people into the actual stores, then encouraged them to stay longer and look around more. He also cited the changing role of catalogs in American life. Whereas in 1965, the Sears catalog was 1,810 pages, in 2010 it was 128 pages. But that’s not to say that they are less important. In fact, Dean said, customers who are sent catalogs are 54% more likely to shop; twice as likely to make an online purchase; spend 163% more; and are much more likely to visit the catalog sender’s website. Catalogs are aspirational now, and work best to drive consumers to websites. Other ways that technology is driving the B2B and retail worlds? Reps are carrying catalogs on laptops, and increasingly iPads or other tablet devices; and technologies are now available to automate post-market lead follow-ups.
Web development Andy Bernstein, owner of FurnitureDealer.net, discussed what questions a business should ask
FurnitureCore.com founder Bob George dvised attendees to tailor their businesses so consumers can access product and information in the form of their choosing.
when working with a web developer on a new website. This is very important, Bernstein said, because nearly three out of four furniture purchases are influenced by online research, and 81% of home furnishings shoppers cite the internet as their No. 1 source of information. And in a world of fast-moving technology, consumers have no patience for a bad website (one that’s slow, uninformative, confusing or hard to navigate). “Good websites are expensive — they require a lot of time,
money and skill,” he said. “But, money alone cannot buy a good website. Most home furnishings executives (people above the age of 35) simply are not expert about the internet. They do not understand it well. “It’s tough to tell the difference between great, average and bad website providers, yet this decision will have a major impact on your company’s business,” he continued. “To make matters worse, it is very easy to build a website (any kid can do it), and it is easy to throw around internet buzz words
(like social networking, blog, ecommerce, search engine optimization, pay per click, analytics, etc.) that can make some salesman seem expert to someone who is not experienced or confident.” Bernstein said the most important topics to discuss with a web developer are: • Product content (depth and breadth of product images; Google search only works effectively with original descriptive copy); • Search engine optimization (effective use of keywords and
Social Media Websites Advance Businesses BY JENNY HEINZEN YORK ATLANTA — Social media continues to be all the buzz, and though some find it hard to identify a place for Facebook, Twitter and other services in business contexts, the modern reality is such that executives who close their minds to new resources are missing out on big opportunities to reach customers. At the Online Technologies Conference held here last month by HTT and its sister publications, several of the speakers addressed social media and ways to incorporate it into B2B and B2C business models. Mark Grondin, senior vice president of Shopatron, said 250 million users log in to Facebook every day, for an average of 55 minutes. He said the average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. But for all of that, it’s still not a place where a lot of actual business is being done. “Facebook is not a mall; it’s a party,” he said, but it’s also a brand-
ing tool, a community-builder, a great communication tool, a big traffic source, an advertising venue, an awareness builder and a decent source of analytics, he added. What it is not: A one-way communication medium for brands, a top revenue marketing tactic, a currency, an email replacement or a new search engine, he said. One of the biggest attributes of marketing on Facebook, Grondin said, is the ability to hyper-target consumers. Because people reveal a lot about themselves in their profiles, it’s possible to specify marketing messages to reach people based on their location, gender, age group or marital status — and even to target customers who “like” your competitors’ pages. The new Facebook Sponsored Ads platform is a good, inexpensive way to push out messages, he said. Grondin sees the future of “fcommerce” as being important, but not as a direct seller. It can be a huge traffic driver, though. For example, Amazon’s traffic from Facebook was up 328% year over year in 2010.
Twitter can be important for businesses, too, but it’s more effective as a one-way communication. Facebook requires much more interaction to work effectively. Social media at retail Robert Williams, the director of fun, experience, marketing, e-commerce and social media for Houston-based retailer Gallery Furniture, talked about how his company has used social media to grow its business and build consumer loyalty. Williams said although many people are uncomfortable with Facebook in business, it is so popular that it cannot be ignored. With hundreds of millions of users, it’s also wildly popular among many of those users. In fact, he cited a study that said 47% of people have checked Facebook while in the bathroom. “You have to go beyond what you’re used to,” he said. “But we have to do it to make it work. A business is a leader because it once did something remarkable. It’s no longer remarkable if you simply just do
the same.” Gallery has found success through Facebook sweepstakes and contests, giving away teachers’ lounge makeovers and furniture to needy families. It has held contests to invite customers to visit High Point Market, or asked consumers to help the buying team select new products. All of these have helped boost its fan base and created a lot of loyalty among its users. He said some companies are afraid of the negative feedback they might receive on a social media site, but as long as the businesses respond in a timely manner, these complaints can actually become good marketing tools because all of your page’s visitors will see how responsive you are to problems. Gallery Furniture has embraced technology in other ways, too, including offering live chat on its website from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. to answer customer questions. It also includes a QR tag on the labeling for each piece of merchandise to encourage consumers to get more information on a prod-
uct immediately. Every sales rep carries an iPad for looking up questions, scanning codes, making notes, etc. Michael O’Hanlon spoke on behalf of CSN Stores, an online marketplace for furnishings that represented $380 million in revenues in 2010, making it the second-largest online retailer in the furnishings space. O’Hanlon reported that 2% of furniture was sold online in 2009, but that’s projected to reach 5% by 2014. And while social media is just a small part of CSN’s marketing strategy, it is an effective one. The primary return on investment for now, he said, is being able to listen to and understand customers better. He also said the incorporation of consumer reviews on a website can dramatically increase product sales, and gives the site a good way to monitor problems or get a feel for great products. And Yelp — though less well-known than Facebook or Twitter — is also a great way to monitor what consumers are saying about a company or brand. HTT
6/16/2011 1:02:31 PM
number of landing pages); • Software and site features (design and layout, product coordination, rich media, search, tagging and navigation); • Service and maintenance (how much are the charges for this, can the company handle it in-house?); • The contract (cost, what is included, maintenance/upgrades, timetables).
Tablet computing Todd Litzman, president of Brandwise, talked about tablet computing, which many see as the future of technology. He talked about the iPad, Android and Microsoft technologies now available, and the capabilities and limitations of each type of tablet. He also discussed “the cloud” — a new technology buzzword that helps to solve some of the
limitations of the current tablets — namely that the different brands cannot operate each other’s apps and software. Effectively, he said, cloud-computing works as application serving, which, “with an always-on internet connection, allows you to remotely run your native applications on any browser-capable device.” But precisely because cloudcomputing requires an alwayson internet connection, there are some limitations to it at the moment. “We are in the middle of a major technology revolution,” he said. “The key to success during this time is understanding how technology works toward your goals, not how your goals can be manipulated to conform to this technology. Be sure your technology partners are looking at both online and offline solu-
Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
tions to meet your varied needs. One size does not fit all.”
Web-based intelligence gathering Bob George, founder of FurnitureCore.com, discussed the importance of business intelligence, and how the Internet can be used to gather it. “I always encourage retailers and manufacturers to ready, aim and fire,” George said. “And not do the opposite. You need to understand technology before you use it.” He said that 15 years ago, traditional channels accounted for about 95% of retail volume, but they are less than 60% now, echoing Dean’s assertion that a company has to be available to consumers in whichever realm they wish to purchase. The best way to use technology is to gather as much data as
possible on your customers and target them appropriately. “Do you know who your customers are?” he asked. “Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Target do.”
Emails that work Corey Williams, vp of global sales for email provider Silverpop, talked about 12 effective emails that drive sales. Examples he cited included welcome messages (for new customers); service-oriented cart reminder (can we answer any questions about the items left in your cart?); product review invitation (tell us about your recent purchases); birthday email (it’s your birthday – save 10%); maintenance reminder (time to get your oil changed); or going out of stock (there is a limited quantity available of something you’ve ordered previously — better reorder soon).
The stats back up the rationale for these emails, Williams said. For example, the “welcome” email generates six times more revenue than regular, ongoing emails. Purchase confirmation emails have 90% open rate, he said, suggesting that these are great opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell or other products. For products with long purchase cycles (like furniture, appliances) maintenance reminders can help keep consumers brand-aware. This is critical, he said, because once a customer makes a second purchase from a company, he or she is much more likely to be a lifetime customer. The conference was sponsored by Americasmart, Ayr1, Brandwise, FurnitureCore.com, FurnitureDealer.net, Myriad Software, Shopatron and Whereoware. HTT
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Home Textiles Today
June 20, 2011
NRF: Retail Container Traffic Close to Flat Through July WASHINGTON — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to remain at about the same levels as last year through July before it starts to resume increases later this summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “With rising gas prices and challenges in the labor and housing markets, consumer spending has slowed and retailers have adjusted their inventory levels accordingly,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vp for supply chain and customs policy. “We are confident long-term consumer demand will grow, and that imports will pick up significantly in the fall.” Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting fi rm 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. U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.22 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in April, the latest month for which numbers are available, representing a 12% increase from March and a 7% boost from April 2010. It was the 17th consecutive month to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent. May was estimated at 1.27 million TEU, only one-third of 1% over May 2010. June is forecast at 1.33 million TEU, a 1% increase from a year ago; July at 1.39 million TEU, up one-half of 1% from last year; August at 1.47
million TEU, up 3%; September at 1.49 million TEU, up 12%; and October at 1.54 million TEU, up 19%. The months of August through October are traditionally the busiest of the year, as retailers stock up during that time for the holiday season. The fi rst half of 2011 is forecast at 7.2 million TEU, up 5% from the first half of 2010. Because Global Port Tracker forecasts only six months beyond actual numbers, a forecast for the full year is not yet available. Imports during 2010 totaled 14.7 million TEU, a 16% increase over 2009. “2011 is turning out to be an uncertain year for shipping,” said Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett. “The good news for the coming few months is that inventories are too low, which will generate shipping demand as the supply chain moves to re-stock, albeit cautiously.” HTT
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 10 Ocean Blvd #8B Atlantic Highlands, N.J. 07716 (732) 204-2012 | firstname.lastname@example.org FOUNDING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Carole Sloan PRODUCT EDITOR Cecile B. Corral 428 Bianca Ave. Coral Gables, FL 33146 (305) 661-7493 | email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Julie Murphy (646) 805-0224 | firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR OF MARKET RESEARCH Dana French (336) 605-1091 | email@example.com PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Warren Shoulberg (646) 805-0226 | firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, ACCOUNT MANAGER CHINA Jeff Reeves (336) 605-1009 | email@example.com ACCOUNT MANAGER NORTHEAST/MIDWEST/ WEST COAST/CANADA Mary McLoughlin (646) 805-0227 | firstname.lastname@example.org CLASSIFIED AD SALES Spencer Whittle (336) 605-1027 email@example.com Karen Hancock (336) 605-1047 firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGER, EUROPE Mirek Kraczkowski Tel: 48 22 401 70 01; Fax: 48 22 401 70 16 | email@example.com MANAGER, INDIA Kaushal Shah Cell: 91-9821715431; Tel: 91-22-6663 4597 / 24988658 Fax: 91-22-66634596 | Kaushal@kaushals.com ONLINE SALES MANAGER Penny Schneck (336) 605-1084 | firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION MANAGER Rich Lamb Tel: (336) 605-1074; Fax: (336) 605-1143 | rlamb@ sandowmedia.com
Pier 1 Profit Nearly Doubles F ORT WORTH , TEXAS — High margins and uptickets in traffic, conversion and average ticket boosted Pier 1’s first quarter net income to $14.1 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to last year’s 1Q net income of $7.7 million, or 7 cents per share. Sales for the quarter ended May 28
jumped 9.3% to $334.6 million, with comps up a robust 10.2%. “We are reinvesting into the business and inititalizing our share repurchase program as cash continue to be generated,” said Alex Smith, president and ceo. Last week, the company also began
the national soft launch of Pier 1 ToGo after testing in select markets. The service allows shoppers to order a product online, then visit their local store for payment and pick-up. Items that are not immediately available at a local store can be ordered online and shipped to the location within two weeks. HTT
Altamont Capital Partners Invests in The Robert Albert Group NEW YORK — Private equity fund Altamont Capital Partners has made an equity investment in fabric and furnishings house The Robert Allen Group. The size of the investment was not disclosed, but Robert Allen said in a release that the Cordover family maintains a significant and ongoing ownership stake in the business.
Altamont, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is a $500 million private equity fund. Robert Allen is the firm’s second investment from its inaugural investment fund. “We are highly enthusiastic about the combination of strategic guidance and financial backing that Altamont offers our business,” said Robert Allen’s chairman and ceo, Jeff Cordo-
ver. Altamont principal Steve Brownlie said: “We believe that the additional capital will allow the company to expand both organically and through acquisitions, and we look forward to supporting the existing management team in their pursuit of the many opportunities the industry presents.” HTT
Proposte Sees Boost in U.S. Attendance COMO, ITALY — Last month’s Proposte fair for high-end fabrics and curtains reported a 21% increase in U.S. visitors. Some 325 Americans joined visitors from Europe, Russia, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
While Europeans continued their strong showing, attendance from China nearly doubled to 42 visitors. The Image 2012 design competition was won by Alessandro Cocchia from Napels, with Davide Incorvaia coming in second and Eliseu De Cas-
tro Leão third. The winning image can be viewed at www.propostefair.it on the Image 2012 page. Proposte will mark its 20th anniversary at next year’s show, which runs from May 8-10 at Villa Erba, Cernobbia near Como. HTT
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6/17/2011 1:58:20 PM
Home Textiles Todayâ€™s
Global Home Show
September 18-22 A Must-See Destination Fall NY Home Fashions Market Week 295 5th Avenue and 7 West 34th Street Exhibitor registration begins May 16. Join an exciting array of companies from around the world and across the United States in this global presentation of home fashion products from existing suppliers as well as new companies looking to enter the U.S. marketplace.
For complete information, contact: Joe Carena, Show Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org (203) 329-9553
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HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: For lowest rates go to NYCHotelDiscounts.com/MarketWeek or call us at 1-800-521-8765.
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