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Monday, April 26, 2010



| Vol. 31, No. 11 | $8.00

JCPenney Home Overhaul Underway

Hearty Response at High Point

home department for which they became responsibility just N EW YORK — The home divi- two months ago. They turned the question of sion, and in particular the home “what went wrong” in the intextiles category, has lots of great dustry’s powerhouse in style and brands but home textiles to Mike there is an off-balance Ullman, chairman and in presentation on the ceo, in interviews after floor at JCPenney in the annual analysts the view of the compameeting here last week. ny’s leadership. The answer, said “We can add style Ullman, “was a lot of and fashion even in the things. There was not commodity products,” MIKE ULLMAN a strong clarity of offer. said John Tighe, who Craftex We were too clever in was recently named svp, trying to stimulate the gmm home. “Some of the new exciting things are not customer. Our core businesses well presented; we need to posi- have to be run professionally on the basis of good/better/best, and tion them better,” he added. Tighe, and Steve Lawrence, we were simply a victim of the evp, senior gmm of mens, kids recession.” Looking ahead, both Tighe and home, discussed their very short term views of the Penney SEE JCP PAGE 23

H IGH P OINT, N.C. — Home textiles exhibitors at the High Point Market here last week reported a significant uptick in retailers’ attitudes and some order writing – a marked contrast from the last one or two markets here. In fact. as Mark Ferullo, vp for Rizzy Home put it, “the market turnout was the best attended in four markets. We’re very pleased.” As for product, Ferullo pointed to the expanded bedding and decorative pillows “as pretty cool things; we’ve come a long way there.” Looking ahead, he said the company is expanding its space and will extend its lease. “We were very, very pleased. There was a significant increase in attendance over last April and a strong increase over October,” commented John Rose, co-owner of Textillery. “And we wrote good business.” “American made also was a strong point,” added Judith Rose, co-owner. Sev-


JCP Plans Aggressive Growth New York — JCPenney has an aggressive five-year growth strategy that focuses on further enhancement of its: dot com, mobile and social networking media; improving productivity in lagging product areas; and attracting more of the consumer base that is 25 to 44 years old with the goal of hitting $23 billion by 2014. At the company’s annual analyst meeting here last week, Myron (Mike) Ullman III, chairman and ceo, outlined specific targets designed to achieve these goals:

stepping up style across the board; digital marketing, leadership development and an expansion of its exclusive in-store Sephora departments — identified as “accelerate” goals. The company’s five-year agenda is centered on a new look in attitude — primarily offering style and quality at a “killer price,” Ullman said. At the same time, the company has identified two other categories for performance and emphasis: SEE GROWTH PAGE 1


Legacy Linen showed its Double Bubble shower curtain at last week’s High Point Market. A coordinating bed ensemble is available.


International Bath Suppliers Optimistic BY JENNIFER MARKS N EW YORK — With the U.S. market moving further into recovery, international bath towel manufacturers are feeling better about the prospects for business, with several adding capacities and most now looking to

other parts of the globe for new markets. “The tug of war between retailers and manufacturers is on for increasing the selling price from manufacturer to retailer. At this point, it appears that the vendors will be able to pass on part of the raw material increase

to retailers and who in turn will be forced to increase the retail prices. This whole equation will have a sizeable impact on the retail sales,” said Anurag Sharma, president of exports, Welspun. The economies in Europe, Japan, Middle East and part of SEE BATH PAGE 6

Products Designed for Restful Nights See page 8 for a roundup of sleep enhancement products from a variety of manufactureres. At right, Natura World’s Aloe Dream Mate Pillow. Its granulated latex core mimics down & feather fill and blocks allergens while a plush wool lining wicks moisture and provides temperature control. An aloe-enriched, cotton blend cover nourishes facial skin.


Home Textiles Today

Retail Briefs Gregson, Kendig Shift Roles at JCP


n a move that separates the two businesses with two managers, Sue Gregson, dvp, dmm, will be in charge of JCPenney’s window coverings business. John Kendig who had been vp for both window coverings and furniture, now will be vp furniture only. He succeeds Steve Dinkins, who has left the retailer. Both Gregson and Kendig report to John Tighe, svp, gmm home.

Kohl’s Plans to Open Large Customer Support Center


ohl’s has signed a long-term lease on a new customer operations center in San Antonio, Texas, to support the company’s charge card and online customers. The 102,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in July. Kohl’s charge business grew 38% last year after increasing 48% in 2008.

Jo-Ann Stores Enters Bridal Business


o-Ann Stores is angling for a slice of the bridal business by launching a new area on its web site that provides project ideas for handmade items associated with the wedding day. A Bride for All Seasons includes suggestions for DIY wedding favors, bridesmaid gifts, centerpieces, bouquets, invitations and jewelry tailored to spring, summer, fall or winter weddings.

Kohl’s Adds Solar Panels to 10 Stores


id-tier department store chain Kohl’s plans by yearend to convert to solar power 10 of its 23 units in Colorado, the seventh state in which the retailer has switched to this natural energy source. Kohl’s, which claims to be the largest retail host of solar power in North America, also operates solar store locations in California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Asda to Expand in Non-Food


al-Mart Stores Inc. plans aggressive growth of the next five years for various Asda formats, including expansion of its Asda Living concept. The company plans to ramp up to 150 Asda Living units, Asda president and ceo Andy Bond told investors at a meeting here earlier this month. Launched in 2004, Asda Living stores are two-story structures of about 20,000 sq. ft. The range of nonfood items includes apparel, home, furniture, consumer electronics and heath and beauty products.

April 26, 2010



New Ownership for Thief River Linens THOMA SVILLE , N.C. — Emily

Peele of Studio Peele Home and her manufacturing partners have purchased Thief River Linens, which had been based in Thief River, Minn. Peele has been associated with Thief River for seven years, beginning as she recalled “as temporary help, and my sole goal was to convince Scott and Linda Bentsen to put me on the payroll.” The results of her campaign, she noted, were successful to the point that she went on buying trips with Linda Bentsen, covered trade shows and served as the company’s North Carolina

sales rep. “When Scott called me and asked if I would be interested in buying the company, I immediately set to work,” Peele said. The result is a business partnership with her manufacturing partners here — Phillip Young and Tamara Joyce, owners of Carolina Safety Sport, which will be doing the production of the bedding, window coverings and decorative pillows. The production team is a new group of new hires plus some crossovers from the outdoor safety product business, Peele explained. The initial offering was

shown at the High Point Market last week, where Thief River launched 12 bed ensembles plus window coverings and lots of fabric choices, “with many made in the U.S.,” she explained. “I have no problem upholding Linda’s aesthetic,” she commented. Pricing is at the medium to high-end with retailers, designers and hospitality early sales objectives, The company will show at HD in Las Vegas and veteran hospitality sales rep Leslie Powers is representing the company along with Peele. Fabric, window coverings and decorative pillows will be the focus products. HTT

Sferra Teams With Fashion Designer Peter Som N E W YO R K — Luxury linens

producer Sferra announced a collaboration with Peter Som, the American fashion designer known for his modern, romantic looks. “Style and substance can and should be married when it comes to relaxation. Through this partnership we have created with Peter Som, we aim to expand our clientele by reaching the fashion-conscious consumer who carries an effortless elegance and allure” said Aaron Stewart, creative director for

Sferra. For his first bedding collection with Sferra, Som worked with Stewart to establish “a fresh point of view inspired by unstudied elegance and whimsical appeal, while keeping with the unsurpassed quality and stunning Egyptian cotton that defines the Sferra brand.” The collection will be printed in Italy. and it is expected to arrive at stores next January. “Fashion and interiors go hand-in-hand so I am thrilled to be partnering with Sferra. Their

tradition of using only the finest materials and exquisite detailing is thoroughly inspiring. I used many of my signature prints from my runway collections as the beginnings of this collaboration. Now my customer can be outfitted from head to toe and from bed to tabletop” said Peter Som. To celebrate this commemorate their partnership, Som will design Sferra’s space at the Design on a Dime benefit event at Housing Works in New York City next month. HTT

Momeni Expands One-of-a-Kind Collections C ARLSTADT, N.J. — Fresh off a trip overseas, fam-

ily owned and operated area rug house Momeni is expanding its selection of one-of-a-kind rugs and making them available on the company’s www. business-to-business website and at its various U.S. showrooms. New offerings include elegant Chobi, or Peshawar, styles and Persian designs available in an array of colors and sizes – including roomsizes like 8by-11, 9-by-12 and 10-by-14 as well as rounds, runners and scatter sizes. The Momeni family travels overseas about four times a year in search of new unique rugs — “each one personally picked by one of the brothers,” the company said. Peshawar rugs feature relaxed antique finishes that “work well with high-end furnishings as well as in more casual decors.” Aside from its headquarters showroom here, Momeni also operates showrooms in Atlanta and

Las Vegas as well as temporary spaces at High Point, NC, and New York. HTT

Momeni is expanding its one-of-a-kind offerings with looks like these.

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Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010



Bath Industry Picks up the Pace in 2009 BY CECILE B. CORRAL NEW YORK — Dead-set on turning business around after one of the most unforgiving years in memory, bath product suppliers and retailers gave consumers a reason to start shopping in 2009 with new products that offered performance and value at the right price. The fruit of their labor resulted in a modest but hopeful 1.8% increase in total industry sales to $3.48 billion from the prior year’s $3.42 billion. Welspun USA’s director of marketing, Bob Hamilton, attributed the growth to several factors, including low inventories at retail that needed to be replenished, rampant promotional activity in all channels, and aggressive pricing. “There was and is a lot of action at $3.99 and $4.29 in bath towels,” he explained. “The business is being done by [midtier department stores] at 60% on Saturday mornings. What is regularly priced at $10 is promoted for $4.49.” The catch, however, he pointed out, is that “it never really was $10. The level of percentage is greater, and val-

ues being promoted to consumers on bath towels, as an example, are far greater than they have been in long, long time. They really carry a great value for what the consumer is getting for the price.” Reviewing the year, 2009 got off on a slow start, observed Joanne Krakowski, U.S. sales and marketing manager for Trident India. “Customers were selling more lower-priced goods and more towel packs,” she said. “That’s what was selling at the start of the year.” Des Plaines, Ill.-based Revere Mills “concentrated on developing very compelling promotional packs. These packs allowed our customers to retail bath, hand and wash packs all at one price,” said Elaine Aschenbrand, director of marketing and product development. The company’s business was slightly up last year. Its core everyday programs were off, “but we made up volume with promotional activity. The biggest factor on the core business was that retailers seemed to be controlling their inventory levels very tightly.” Once the fall season kicked

Distribution Channels


2009 total retail sales: $3.48 billion up 1.8% from 2008 2009

Discount department stores $2,008.0





Home textiles specialty chains




Mid-price chains




Off-price chains




Warehouse clubs




Department stores




Home improvement centers




Single-unit home specialty stores 20.9









Other Total

*Other channels include direct-to-consumer and other channels such as PXs, grocery stores, and the like.

Merchandise mix

($millions) 2009

Bath towels Bath/scatter rugs




$ 1,716.8





Shower curtains




Bath accessories







Tank sets Source: HTT Research

in, consumers’ and retailers’ attitudes as well improved and the bath business turned for the better, noted Jeff Kaufman, president and coo of Moonachie, N.J.-based Avanti Lines, an embellished towel and bath coordinate supplier. “We saw buying patterns return to normal in the second half of 2009 after seeing a great deal of inventory pulled out of the supply chain by retailers in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009,” he said. “Once the inventory levels were reset to the new lower levels, we saw a more regular flow of orders since a lot of safety stock was pulled out of the stores. With an upturn in business and relatively light inventory levels in the stores, we expect to see a strong, consistent order flow in 2010.” By the time the fourth quarter arrived, consumers’ uplifted attitudes about the economy drove them back to stores to restock on much-needed bath linens and fashions. “People deferred their spending on decorative items,” Hamilton said. “People waited and waited and waited and waited, and when they saw their home had not foreclosed and that things were looking brighter, there was some pent-up demand that began releasing in the marketplace.” Added Keith Sorgeloos, president and ceo, Atlanta-based Home Source International: “In the second half of 2009, particularly in the fourth quarter, we started to see some movement from consumers that enabled the bath area to pick up. There were incredible values going on last fall season. Consumer business started to gradually turn positive, driven by value available in the marketplace.” Sorgeloos also noted a resurgence of the luxury customer. These high-end shoppers returned to their usual upscale department store haunts. But the affluent customer, unlike lowerto middle-income shoppers, was not necessarily looking for aggressively priced products. “She was starting to spend her money again but not on value,” he explained. “She reemerged because she felt more positive in the second half about her position.” So where did the business go

in 2009? Like many other home textiles categories, bath products made the greatest turns at off-price chains and discount department stores, which grew by 6.5% to $156.6 million and 4.8% to $2,008.0 million in share of sales, respectively, for the year. Mid-price chains and home textiles specialty chains also grew but at a lesser rate — 1.8% to $563.8 million and 1.0% to $497.6 million, respectively. Suffering the greatest loss in category business were home improvement centers, which dipped 27.3% to $17.4 million in share of total industry sales. One major discount department store chain reacted quickly to the recession’s effects, earning the retailer considerable growth in home products including bath, said Gretchen Dale, president of New York-based Loftex USA. “They were right on top of that wave. They took a lot of business away from the retailers above them and they brought to the market some pretty interesting stuff, some innovation,” she said. This ret ailer launched a branded home program that “appealed to a customer who could not shop at [a major mid-tier department stores] or higher,” Dale continued. “And [the new bath program] was something they wanted and could afford.” But other stores across all levels of retail quickly caught on and began offering their own value programs — branded and unbranded. While pre-packs got the year off to a strong start, products with performance attributes at the right price carried the category into the rest of the year. In both bath towels and bath rugs, quickly-drying goods that

saved energy earned points with shoppers. “I think one of the most interesting things, candidly, is the introduction of lighterweight, bulkier bath towels at a $4.99 price point,” Hamilton noted. “It had a huge impact on growth within the industry. It’s a great product, it has great shelf appeal with its loft, and it sells for a great price.” Trident India also went the quick-dry route, but using a lighter-weight cotton towel, and it comprised “a majority of our business” last year, Krakowski said. It retails for $4.99 to $5.99 at various different channels. “What happened for us was that we began focusing on performance-based [bath rug] products, and one took hold pretty well at retail,” said Joe Shafran, vp, Faze Three Ltd. “We got a nice boost from that. It was for a quick-drying fiber. It didn’t weigh less, we just used a new technology in making the fiber to make it dry faster.” Maples Rugs in 2009 “did pretty well” because the Scottsboro, Ala.-based bath rug domestic manufacturer “reacted to market conditions and we were able to give value to our customers, which resulted in better business performance.” This included new placement with existing retail customers for its sustainable PET fiber offerings, and additional business into 2010. Sugar Valley, Ga.-Based Mohawk Home said that in 2009 synthetic fibers still represented 80% of the market — specifically mostly nylon with a few micropoly programs. The balance, or 20%, was occupied by natural fiber products, mainly reversible pieces and table-top constructed cotton coordinate styles. “Retailers changed fewer proSEE FACTSPAGE 13

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 Cecile B. Corral, product editor; and Dana French, director of market research.


Home Textiles Today

International Bath Report BATH FROM PAGE 1

South America markets remain on a very low growth path, he said. North America and Russia are appearing to look little brighter. “We believe in going direct to retailers and direct to our cus-

April 26, 2010

tomers, hence, we have opened up new offices in Spain, Germany, Benelux and very soon we shall do so in France. Our existing sales and marketing offices are in Mexico, U.S., U.K., Portugal, Middle East, India, apart from having associates in China, Japan, Russia and Australia. Trident India is planning a major expansion in terry towel


production this year and into next as well as boosting its capacity for yarn manufacturing. In addition to its current markets, It plans to increase its focus on Russia, the Middle East and South America. “After the economic slow down of last 12 to 15 months, the economies around the world are looking up again. U.S. economy is estimated to


grow by around 2.7% in the year 2010 while world economy and emerging economies are is expected to grow by 3.9% and 6% respectively.,” said PK Markandy, managing director. In the U.S. market, he said, “Major launches have been planned by most of the retailers in this fall and Christmas. Sales projections are being revised anticipating an increase of

5% to 7% in sales as compared to the last year. “ Alok Industries, a major Indian player in bedding, launched its towel mill about 18 months ago and is already in the process of doubling capacity. “Coming out of recession is what will help sales growth in America,” said Arun Agarwal, ceo. But cotton supplies remain a concern. “Given all the data of land committed to cotton farming and assuming a bumper crop and no additional demand, there still would not be enough cotton to support demand. So that makes us feel, we have not seen true highs as yet,” he said of pricing.

“Major launches have been planned by most of the retailers in this fall and Christmas. Sales projections are being revised anticipating an increase of 5% to 7% in sales as compared to the last year.” —PK MARKANDY Trident India

WestPoint Home is fully booked up at its towel mill in Pakistan and has dedicated a portion of the production to non-U.S. accounts as it builds its international business, according to Alan Kennedy, senior vp of sales. In addition to openings in Australia and New Zealand, the company is looking to Asia as a potential market for its Martex brand. “In Asia, they’re very brand conscious. They want Western brands in China and Taiwan. So, we’ve started to respond to that. We may be looking to license Martex there,” he said. Europe is on the expansion agenda for Towellers as is South America, where the company is currently in the process of setting up an agency office. Towellers is also expanding its bath capacity, said S.M. Obaid, ceo and managing director. “We don’t see prices settling in the near future,” he added. HTT Manhattan Properties.indd 1

11/16/2009 3:28:48 PM


Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010



Suppliers Focus on Sleep-Enhancing Products NEW YORK — Products that pro-

vide solutions and enhance sleep were abundant during the first quarter trade shows and markets. Whether providing improved comfort through heat regulation or alleviating medical conditions such as chronic headaches or sleep apnea, many employ propriety foams and fibers.

Carpenter Co. Richmond, Va.

Contour Living’s CPAP Freedom Pillow

employ TheraGel inserts and Avela foam with a 300 thread count cover. Perfect Sense pillows are available in three-gusset thicknesses: one inch, two inch, and three inch so consumers can choose the pillow height that fits best. A pressure relieving memory foam core is surrounded by LuxuryLoft comfort fiber to help align the head and neck for a better sleep.

Hollander Home Fashions Boca Raton, Fla.

Avela advanced comfort tech-

ports and aligns the spine to help alleviate neck pain associates with poor sleeping posture. It fits in a standard size pillow case.

maLoft polyester fiber fill for added loft, durability and support.

Design Weave USA Downlite

Dayton, N.J.

Mason, Ohio

A new collection of luxurious 400 thread count sheets and pillowcases for the DreamAire bedding collection features

Good Housekeeping, Good Home Collection – offers a variety of performance sleep stories Carpenter’s Avela topper

Carpenter’ Isotonic Platinum topper

nology represents a new, revolutionary line of Carpenter Co. visco-elastic foam. It is a durable, pressure relieving comfort foam that has a significantly improved air permeability and a quicker response time for deeper sleep. The Isotonic Platinum mattress topper features advanced cooling and comfort technology. TheraGel inserts add cooling support for the hips and shoulders, reducing pressure for less tossing and turning. Avela foam provides cooling support, and Active Air Technology provides additional airflow. The topper includes a 300 thread count cover. Isotonic Platinum pillows also

temperature-regulating Outlast technology to aid “thermallyincompatible” couples as well as people who sleep hot. Available in white and several light and mid tone colors. A new heavyweight flannel collection featuring Outlast will be available in white, as well as a soft range of pastel colors.

Countour Living Avon Lake, Ohio

The CPAP Freedom Pillow for sufferers of sleep apena accommodates the mask to reduce shifting, leaks and facial pressure. The Cloud Mattress Pad offers three layers of comfort and support: soft touch memory foam to relieve stress; yellow lumbar support insert; and firm blue base for overall support. The new Leg Pillow employs medical grade foam for firm support and holds it shape through the night. The patented design properly aligns legs, hips and spine. The velour cover is removable and washable. The Ortho Fiber Pillow sup-

From Downlite’s Good Housekeeping, Good Home collection

as well as reusable packaging. Ther signature 2-in-1 Mattress Rejuvenator system comes with a core feather bed placed directly on the mattress for support and a mattress topper that is water repellent and stain resistant. The mattress topper gets put directly on top of the feather bed core and secured in all four corners with a custom snap system to lock into place. The skirt is then wrapped around the mattress base to eliminate shifting. PrimaDown range of bedding offers softness, adjustability and re-lofting. PrimaDown’s exclusive formula balances the luxuriousness of down with Pri-

Hudson Industries’ foam topper

The Royal Damask by Court of Versailles comforter provides warmth without weight with a breathable silk and cotton cover. The comforter is blown with an 800 fill power of the finest Hungarian white goose down. The down clusters are blown with a lot more power to open the cluster up, creating a much loftier hand and while retaining the warmth of the down. The Tri-Loft mattress pad comes in three different lofts to suit individual comfort levels. Single Loft comes with a layer of bonded polyester for those who like more firmness. Its antimicrobial 400 thread count Egyptian cotton also comes with stain release. Double Loft’s first layer is a bonded polyester fiber with an additional layer of Cluster Puff fiber that creates a loftier layer for a cushiony feel. Tiple Loft’s first layer is a bonded polyester with an additional layer of the Cluster Puff fiber and on top of that a third layer of gel fiber which provides SEE SLEEP PAGE 10


Home Textiles Today

Sleep Enhancement Report SLEEP FROM PAGE 8

a softer, gel-like comfort.

Hudson Industries Richmond, Va.

Polar Foam Tri-Level Reversible Mattress Topper is a pat-

April 26, 2010



Louisville Bedding

ented, reversible cushion that contains a top and bottom layer of Polar Foam made with cooling ingredients and ventilation. Each of the calibrated six zones addresses weight distribution throughout. The reverse is a solid, fi rmer topper. The KingMaker is a king-size mattress topper system that accommodates the use of two twin beds/mattresses. The connector system provides a pillowtop

quilted, foam filled surface which has a special laminated wedge down the center to cover the two beds with a smooth, uninterrupted surface. It is secured by 4 adjustable corner straps. The Polar Foam SleePap Pillow caters to all C-Pap device users who suffer from some form of sleep apnea. The specially

shaped pillow permits the mask and tubes to remain stable and in place during sleep.

Louisville Bedding Louisville, Ky.

The patented D-Core pillow has a center that cradles and provides more support to help relieve neck pain, tension headaches and snoring. Additionally, it helps to restore the natural curvature of neck and spine. The shell is a 300 thread count, 100% cotton cover. The Pocketed Coil Bed Pillow uses premium AdjustaLoft fiber that surrounds covered, pocketed coils. The coils provide continuous bounce back support without ever going flat. The Multi-Purpose Foam Wedge Pillow supports the upper torso when the sleeper is lying flat or supports the lower legs when placed under the knees. When used for sitting, it supports the lower back as well. A zippered, removable Microfiber is machine-washable and stainresistant.

Natura World Cambridge, Ontario

The NaturaProtect Deluxe Mattress Protector creates comfort with a wool core and NaturaProtect Silver Technology that is hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial. Studies have found wool modulates temperature fluctuations and provides pressure point relief. A 100% waterproof but breathable barrier protects against accidents and spills. The Washable Wool Comforter uses moisture-wicking Natura Smart Wash Wool fill to provide a fresh, dry sleep environment that also halts the growth of dust-mites and other allergens. The Aloe Dream Mate Pillow’s granulated latex core mimics down & feather fill and



Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010


Carpenter Co. Teams With National Sleep Foundation R I C H M O N D , V A . — Carpen-

Soft-Tex’s Sona pillow

blocks allergens while a plush wool lining wicks moisture and provides temperature control. An aloe-enriched, cotton blend cover nourishes facial skin. The 2-in-1 Blanket Pillow serves double duty. Its Smart Wash Wool fill maintains temperature control and diminishes allergens. The shell is a soft, cotton percale.

Select Comfort Minneapolis

The Sleep Number Bedding Collection offers an individualized sleep experience for couples who can’t agree on warmth. Made with temperature-regulating Outlast material, the collection includes pillow protectors, sheets, mattress pad, a topper and pajamas.

Soft-Tex Waterford, N.Y.

The Sleep Style group features a 100% cotton cover generously filled with SofLoft fiber fill, trimmed with a Sona Signature Stripe corded edge. Following the international introduction of the Sona Stop Snoring Pillow last fall, the line has added Sleep Style Pillows: Back Sleeper, Side Sleeper and Stomach Sleeper. Each is engineered with a specially designed baffle to provide an ideal surface.

United Feather & Down Des Plaines, Ill.

Sleep pillows developed by United Feather & Down and renowned sleep expert Dr. James Maas are based on Maas’ sleep research. The lines – Power Sleep by Dr. Maas and Sleep for Success – include pillows designed for stomach, back and side sleepers, a “Comfort Reader” pillow, and United Feather & Down’s proprietary Tri-Chamber, Single Chamber, and Pillow Top pillows HTT

ter Co. has joined with the National Sleep Foundation to develop a branded line of pillows, mattress toppers and mattress pads. The Foundation is an educational and scientific non-profit located in Washington, DC. Its members include researchers and clinicians focused on

sleep medicine, professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities throughout North America. Every Foundation-branded product produced by Carpenter will include the organization’s education materials outlining

how consumers can improve their sleep. The products also will be independently tested for comfort and support. “Americans trust the National Sleep Foundation brand as an authoritative voice for sleep information,” said Dan Schecter, vp of sales and marketing, Carpenter Co. “It’s a natural partnership.” HTT


Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010


JVS Exports Opens Research Offices at NC State University


Out and About at High Point Market

BY CECILE B. CORRAL R ALEIGH, N.C. — Fourth-gener-

ation family-owned-and-operated kitchen and table linens textiles manufacturer JVS Export, based in Madurai, India, has partnered with the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University here to conduct industry-related research and projects. “JVS Export is honored to have teamed up with the recognized world leader in all areas of textile education, research and industry support,” said Charles Hurley, director of product development, who is relocating in June to Raleigh to run the company’s new college-based offices, which opened in December. Hurley was formerly based at JVS Export’s sales offices in Bentonville, Ark., which will remain staffed with the company’s U.S. sales team. “JVS is putting our customers at the center of our business with this effort,” he continued. “We are seeking innovative ways to provide solutions for our customers needs now and anticipate what they will need in the future. North Carolina State University College of Textiles provides leadership in research for advancing textile science, technology and industry practice. Specifically, JVS will engage with faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students on projects involving multiple disciplines.” Examples of these include the design, branding, marketing, product quality, research and development of new products and capabilities, six sigma methodology, consumer research, corporate communications, sales and inventory forecasting. JVS Exports is working with student interns who are earning textiles engineering degrees.

From left to right: Dr. Timothy Clapp, College of Textiles, N.C. State University; Charles Hurley, director of product development, JVS Export; Britto M. Joseph, managing director, JVS Export; A. Blanton Godfrey, Dean and Joseph D. Moore Professor, College of Textiles, N.C. State University

Dr. Timothy Clapp, director of textiles extension education for economic development, said JVS Exports represents the first home textiles company of 60 companies in various industries with offices at the university’s Centennial Park Campus, which is home to the College of Textiles. “JVS locating on Centennial Campus beside the College of Textiles brings their new product development office to the students and faculty to support their research and new product development,” Clapp told HTT. “JVS product lines provide students design and marketing opportunities in the home textiles market. Students and faculty are already interacting with JVS. JVS has plans to support research studies to benefit their new product development strategy. We see JVS growing and creating good jobs for our students and citizens in North Carolina and beyond. We are excited to see this partnership with industry and academia that is the foundation of the Centennial Campus economic devel-

opment model.” He added that NCSU’s College of Textiles offers a wide range of educational programs that include polymer and color chemistry, textiles engineering, textiles technology with fashion and textiles design concentration, and fashion and textiles management. The college also has state-of-the-art textiles processing and design facilities for research and prototyping. As Clapp noted, JVS Exports’ college office has already embarked on two projects with students. One is a market overview initiative that seeks to create a detailed summary of the home textiles market in the U.S. as it relates to kitchen and table. “All relevant item information with regard to each retailer’s offerings will be included in a report, which we can share with our customers,” Hurley said. “This data will help JVS tailor item developments to each of our customer’s competitive market strategy. The second step in this process is to analyze the specifics of each SEE COLLEGE PAGE 23

Visiting her array of licensees at High Point Market last week, Kathy Ireland met with Jesse Galili, vp sales, of Hallmart Collectibles.

Downlite Wins Macy’s Award ALBANY, N.Y. — Dowlinte has

received the home furnishings award from Macy’s for the third consecutive year. The utility bedding manufacturer recognized for its ontime shipping, shipping compliance, partnerships, and sales volume. “It’s a testament to the effort and spirit of teamwork exhibited by the entire Downlite team. We value our relationship with Macy’s and we look forward to continuing to provide outstanding service,” said Jyl Davis, Downlite’s director of marketing. HTT

Rizzy Home Promotes Two C ALHOUN , G A . — Rizzy Home

Regal to Produce Ellen Tracy Home Fashons N E W YO R K — Brand Matter LLC has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Regal Home Collections for Ellen Tracy branded home textiles in fashion bedding and accessories, decorative pillows and soft window treatments. The program will launch in the fall with better department

stores and specialty stores, said Rick Platt, president of Brand Matters. Olivet has the luggage license, and the company expects to announce a bath license, he commented. “We are pleased to enter the strategically important bath category with Regal Home Collec-

tions.” The Ellen Tracy brand, established in 1949 as a better women’s fashion brand, now is an exclusive partnership with Macy’s under the Ellen Tracy Bronze Label better sportswear, and all other apparel and home collections will be sold at other better department stores. HTT

Chad Altbaier, left, and Bob Altbaier show off the Macy’s award in Downlite’s New York showroom.

has promoted Sheila Altenstadter to the new position of director of textiles. Altenstadter has been with Rizzy Home for 16 months as East Coast sales manager and earlier was sales manager for a natural fiber rug company. She reports to Mark Ferullo, vp of Rizzy Home, and will be responsible for developing the sales force, training and sales tools as well as developing prod-

uct promotions and marketing strategies. “Sheila has a strong management ability and has developed many excellent retail relationships. Her experience enables her to offer additional avenues of distribution which will lead to our continued success,” said Ferullo. Earlier the company named Shauna Snyder creative director – textiles with primary responsibility for the bedding and decorative pillow business. HTT

Facts Bath Facts FACTS FROM PAGE 4

grams in 2009 in an attempt to save markdown dollars, and they seemed to focus more on color updates and extended sizes and constructions within their current assortments,” said Bart Hill, general manager of bath products, tufted and printed area rugs, Mohawk. “Retails stayed relatively flat for the year in rugs, but we did see some downsizing in traditional sizing — from 21by-34 to 20-by-34 [for example] — at a couple of retailers.” In the accessories and shower curtains side of the bath business, New York-based Town and Country Living said its strong 2009 category sellers included basic bath goods, such as liners and hooks, and PEVA shower curt ains. Down slightly for the company were sales of bath ensembles. Creative Bath Products, based in Central Islip, N.Y., made strides with its domestically made plastic goods that could retail at opening price points. “Low-end discounters took advant age of opening price point plastic sets, [of] which we shipped tonnage units, but they offered low revenue,” said Bob Weiss, vp, sales and marketing. “These plastic four- and threepiece sets sold between $2 and $6. Customers purchased the basic items. Shower curtains, wastebaskets and rugs were the bulk of the sales.” Suppliers are optimistic about sales in 2010, as business remains buoyant for bath. But new concerns are cropping up in the form of escalating raw material prices for everything from cotton to wood, metals, synthetic fibers and more. Revere Mills described it as “the most serious situation — pricing,” Aschendbrand said. “We are facing a major issue with the incredibly large increases the on cost of raw materials and freight. Retailers must face this and deal with the realities of the situation.” Added Dale: “Cotton has gone up almost 20% all over the world, relating to a roughly 10% increase in the towel. It is shaping up to be a tough year, and everyone is trying to figure out what to do about it. As it takes effect in the third and fourth quarter, I expect retailers will be a little more cautious this year

than last year.” With raw material prices escalating, “we might see a fallout,” Sorgeloos projected. “If consumer demand keeps picking up, we’ll weather the storm. But if consumer demand doesn’t keep moving in the right direction, these increasing raw material prices will make it very hard [for suppliers] to offer that valuedriven product. That will be the

Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010

telling sign of what will happen in the second half of 2010. We’re in a very wild and wacky time in our industry.” Maples is also feeling heat from raw material price hikes, which are creating “an ongoing daily challenge to maintain value retails. The increases are being absorbed by the manufacturer.” Ex-Cell/Croscill/Glenoit, based in New York, is taking the

same approach, swallowing the added expense stemming from raw material prices. But the company noted another new hurdle — altered consumer attitudes toward spending, which in turn relates directly to the effects of raw material price increases. “Even if consumers are not personally affected by the economy, they are out there in a different shopping mode,” said Ida


Moran, vp, merchandising, fashion bath. “They don’t want to be conspicuous. Whether you can afford it or not, it’s not en vogue to be ostentatious. Today’s bragging rights are about how inexpensively someone paid for something whereas before they bragged about the exclusivity of a product they bought. And so what all this means is that price points are still really important.” HTT

Jr. Vertical (7.5" x 9.5")

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Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010



Gardens Inspire Frette’s 150th Brentwood Goes Greener Birthday Collections C ARSON , C ALIF. — Brentwood NEW YORK — Frettte’s fall/winter 2010-2011 couture col-

Originals is investing more than $1 million in new decorative pillow production machinery and is also taking several steps to run operations more efficiently and sustainably. The decorative pillow supplier’s new machinery consists of new filling equipment for blowing polyester fi ll into pillows. The new machines will be installed at the company’s facilities here and in Ohio and Mississippi over the course of next year. “This will result in improved efficiencies and enhanced appearance of our product as well as reducing energy usage in the process of fi lling the shells with polyester fill,” explained Loren Sweet, president and ceo. “This machinery has the latest in lowenergy-use motors and variable speed operations to maximize efficiency.”

lection works with designs that reflect motifs from some of the world’s most illustrious parks and gardens. Extraordinaire evokes by Art Deco garden designs. The icy waters of frozen fountains flow across Monceau, on jacquards and the lace-edged and embroidered borders of pillows and terry towels. A second Art Deco motif appears in Luxembourg, with scallop shapes recalling the shell-studded grottoes popular in gardens of the time. Complementing both is Galuchat, a simple shagreen, whose irregular dots resemble dew-drops. Colors statements include ivory, parchment, pale gold, platinum and coffee-tinted mauve. Paradis, the second couture group pulls ideas from Arabian gardens. Aranjuez features an enlarged Moorish garden design with a single, blown-up motif “placed” on duvet covers, comforters and quilts. Exotic plumes swirl across a second design called Majorelle. The ornate Jewels line plays with the flower-like forms of traditional Persian jewellery. Aranjuez’s architectonic theme reappears in macramé lace trims, while Jewels recurs on borders embellished with embroidery. Colors include Persian gold, henna, sky and midnight blue. The understated Serene range completes the Couture collection, taking the harmonious lines of Japanese gardens as its theme. Designs include Battersea, with kimonoinspired knots on jacquards and lace inserts; Kyoto featuring grass stems and giant peonies, and Chiswick, with the silhouettes of maple leaves. A final pattern, Kew, combines all these motifs in a complex, yet balanced all-over design. Colors include porcelain rose, ginkgo green, and rich marron glacè. In the 18-month-old Edmond Frette collection, which targets a younger customer by offering mix and match prints, the theme for fall/winter pulls from Rome as well as Italy’s Amalfi coast. In a departure from the main collection, Edmond mixes colorful poplin prints with jacquards. Praiano takes the interlocking geometric motifs from Amalfi floor tiles and reproduces them in edgy colorways like wine and petrol blue. Colors include turquoise, olive, wine and bottle green.

Belk gets on Board Social Networking


Rugs Direct Revamps, Relaunches Online Store WINCHESTER, VA. — After months

of research, working with focus groups, and programming and testing, Rugs Direct has launched a complete redesign of its online store at “When our customers speak, we listen,” said Randy Kremer, president. “We knew we had the products people wanted, but with so many offerings it wasn’t always easy for them to find exactly what they were looking for. The number one reason we went to the time and expense to upgrade the site was to help our custom-

ers always find the perfect area rugs for their homes as easily and quickly as possible.” Rugs Direct offers more than 70,000 styles, sizes, colors and themes of area rugs. The new layout of the website allows visitors to shop based upon any attribute of a rug, the company explained. “Of course they can simply browse, but the major focus was on perfecting what is called in the industry, ‘guided navigation’.” The website upgraded and modernized its platform and look.

In another sust ainability effort, the company is also in the process of joining the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders Small Business Network, “which commits us to a reduction of our carbon footprint as measured by standardized guidelines,” Sweet said. “This will allow us to establish a baseline of our current carbon footprint and use it to measure our progress.” Additionally, Brentwood is also renovating its restrooms in all company locations to equip them with low-flow plumbing. This comes of the heels of recently updated lighting to high-efficiency, third-generation fluorescent reflector bulbs for all one million square feet of total plant space. In related efforts, the company also in recent years installed reflective roofing at all plant sites to reduce its energy usage. HTT

“With our new design we are able to show large, detailed photos of the products, including a close-up feature that permits customers to thoroughly examine patterns and designs,” said Bill Martin, vp of merchandising. “This new design is going to help people overcome any concerns they may have about buying online,” he said. Many of the improvements were done in house by the company’s IT department, led by Greg Culler, chief information officer. HTT

C HARLOTTE , N.C. — Regional departments store retailer Belk has launched a Facebook page at and a “Belk Fashion Buzz” Twitter feed at “Social media is an essential component of a company’s communications arsenal today,” said Ivy Chin, senior vp of e-commerce. “Our Facebook page provides immediate and timely opportunities for Belk to engage our audiences in an open dialogue. By forging an exchange of real time information, we will be able to share our story and create consumer relationships that provide valuable feedback and interaction.” Belk’s Facebook page provides information on new fash-

ion trends as well as product launches, special events and sales promotions. Interactive components include product surveys, fan comments and “in the moment” fashion commentary by Arlene Goldstein, Belk’s vp and fashion director, through Twitter. The Facebook page also features a link to’s wedding registry pages. Consumers who register to “become a fan” at Belk’s Facebook page will receive a discount coupon for 20% off purchases of regular and sale priced merchandise, or 15% off home merchandise and shoes, for single online orders placed with between April 14 – 21. HTT




Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010


Home Categories NRF Foundation: Retailers Hopeful For This Year Help Push March Sales Beyond Expectations WASHINGTON — As the econ-

W A SH INGTO N — Better-than-

expected ret ail sales last month were propelled by seasonal home goods, furniture and apparel, according to the National Retailer Federation. March retail industry sales – excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants – rose 0.9% seasonally adjusted over February and 5.7% unadjusted year-over-year. March retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales – which include autos, gas stations and eateries – increased 1.6% seasonally adjusted over February and 10.0% unadjusted year-over-year. “It’s evident consumers were

feeling much better about the economy and their finances last month,” said Rosalind Wells, chief economist for NRF. “Pent up demand combined with an early Easter and warm spring weather significantly boosted consumers’ moods and retail sales.” NRF said the biggest winners were stores selling apparel, home goods, outdoor equipment and furniture. Sales a furniture and home furnishings stores rose 1.5% seasonally adjusted to February and unadjusted 6.5% year-over-over. The NRF did not find aggregate sales decreases in any of the major non-food categories. HTT

Arrow Home to Create Home Line for Telemundo Properties N EW YORK — Branded enter-

tainment company Big Tent Entertainment has forged a new licensing agreement with Arrow Home Fashions, a division of BCP Home, to develop a full line of home décor inspired by NBC Universal-owned and Spanishlanguage channel Telemundo. Through the multi-year agreement, Arrow Home Fashions will design and manufacture fashion bedding, window treatments, bath accessories, towels and table linens for adults and children under the network’s established brand names, which include Mujer de Hoy and Futbol Estelar. Each product will feature a “100% Telemundo seal of approval.” The initial product line is set to launch at retail in North American in fall 2010. Big Tent Entertainment, which is the licensing agent for the Telemundo brand, brokered the

Arrow Home Fashions deal on behalf of NBC Universal Television Consumer Products Group. “Telemundo is best known for its dynamic line-up of original programming and we feel that we can translate that brand experience into home décor with a comprehensive product line that represents the core values that Telemundo exudes while meeting the needs of the U.S. Hispanic community,” said Peter Weintraub, president and owner of Arrow Home Fashions. Arrow and Telemundo are hoping to appeal to the U.S.’s growing Hispanic market, which encompasses more than 46 million people with combined spending power of more than $860 billion. The new product lineup includes prints and wovens with intricate details in the various categories: HTT

omy st arts showing signs of improvement coming off one of the hardest economic downturns, U.S. retailers are being cautiously optimistic about the remainder of 2010, according to the recently released eighth annual Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2009, Forecasts for 2010 report. The report, released by the NRF Foundation and KPMG, examines benchmarks for the retail industry, retailers’ key business priorities and plans, and emerging ret ail trends. Based on a survey of more than 300 retailers, the report looks how companies shifted priorities last year and what strategies they’re putting in place for 2010. “Last year, retailers placed a significant amount of energy into improving core business processes in order to better prepare themselves for a successful future,” said Kathy Mance, executive director, NRF Foundation. “Looking ahead, retailers will continue to analyze customer shopping habits and industry trends to make the best decision possible for their company, employees, customers and their brand.”

Highlights from the Benchmarks for 2009 include: • An increased focus on direct mail, online and instore promotions in 2009 at the expense of more costly marketing such as event sponsorships, television and print advertising; • Growth to 32% in 2009 versus 29% in 2008 in private label merchandise offerings; • More attention turned to customer retention rather than customer acquisition; • Less promotionally priced merchandise, which makes up less of the overall sales mix this year than last; • Reduced supply chain costs and warehouse optimization, which were among the top priorities for retailers in 2009. For 2010, the report finds many retailers are “eager to invest in growth opportunities again. Key areas include store expansion, social media, targeted marketing and advertising, employee retention, leadership development, adoption of handheld technology devices and kiosks and website personalization options, to name a few.” Some of the 2010 highlights include:

Surtex Seminar to Feature Veteran Licensing Artists W HITE P LAINS , N.Y. — Three

industry art license experts will share their perspective on the business during the conference program at the Surtex surface design show on May 18. Kate McRostie, owner of Design Works, Beth Logan, owner of Artstuff Ltd., and Dena, who owns Dena Designs and goes only by the one name, will present a session dubbed, “The ‘Art’ of Success - A Dialogue with Artists Who are Making It Happen.” It is scheduled from 8:30 to 10 a.m., and is the first of 11 total conference sessions scheduled at this year’s show from May 16 to18. “Bring your notebooks,” advised Penny Sikalis, GLM’s vice president and manager of the Surtex show. “These three artists

are industry giants whose own success stories are blueprints for making it in the art licensing industry. This program is not for beginners only. The artists’ advice and insights will also be invaluable to designers and manufacturers who are already established.” Logan started her career in l992 licensing her art with a small publisher of posters and prints in Seattle. McRostie specializes in textural acrylic paintings. And Dena, who was trained in industrial design, is known for coordinated collections built from a single design. Admission to the session is $75 in advance, $85 on site. For information, visit HTT

• 43% of respondents said they expect to maintain the same number of stores throughout 2010; and more than onethird, or 37%, said they plan moderate to aggressive expansion; • Nearly half (49%) of those polled report that personalization of their website will be a major investment priority for 2010; • After 61% of respondents said customer acquisition was a big part of their initiatives in 2009, only 49% said they will focus on that in 2010; • One-third, or 30%, of those polled say they will focus on store allocation and markdown optimization over the next 18 months; • More than two-thirds, or 67%, said customer database/ data mining will be a priority for 2010; • 32% cited both e-Training and self-service kiosks as priorities in the next 18 months. “ O n e o f t h e o v e r r i di n g themes of the survey is that retailers are striving to do more with less. And we expect that this theme will continue into 2010 and beyond, “said Mark Larson, global head of retail, KPMG. HTT

Web Sales up in March REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — Ecommerce sales rose 3% last month on a year-to-year basis, according to consultancy MyBuys. Revenues from products sold at a discount rose 9%, while sales from merchandise told at list price rose 7%., the company reported. While the depth of discounting came in at 24% for the month, that marked a 2% improvement over the 26% depth of discount in March 2009. “Outside of the holiday hangover we saw in January, Q1 showed positive growth in the retailing community with strong months back to back to close out the period,” said Robert Cell, ceo MyBuys, which works with retailers to personalize their ecommerce operations. HTT


Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010


PEOPLETodaY Company C President Joins GoodWeave Committee C O N C O R D , N . H . — Walter

Chapin, co-founder and president of Company C, was recently named to the GoodWeave standards committee, a panel of industry leaders formed to eliminate illegal child labor in the handmade rug industry. As a member of the standards

committee, Chapin will work with child rights, worker rights and environment al experts, carpet manufacturers/exporters, importers and retailers to develop a new draft standard. In addition to working toward its mission of bringing the incidence of child labor down to

zero, GoodWeave will also work toward the environmental, humanitarian, and transparency criteria proposed for the new standard and will aim to raise the standard of living in weaving communities and alleviate poverty—a root cause of child labor. HTT

Capel Restructures Sales Territories T R O Y , N .C . — Capel Rugs

restructured its sales territories effective April 1, reassigning is dealers by state to regional sales managers. “In order to meet the needs of an evolving marketplace Capel has restructured its sales force with dedicated company employees in a flexible plan

that still meets the needs of our dealer channel,” said Allen Robertson, vp of sales. “The decision to restructure is part of Capel Rugs’ ongoing program to make the company more responsive to the marketplace.” The new full-time sales team includes Andrew Buchheit, Vickie Carder, Gil Flores, Laura

Freitag, Jim McNally, Tom Perraud and Jake Sweeters — all of whom now oversea a designated geographic location. Capel said the new structure will allow the company to “focus more on maintaining and developing relationships with its customers and meaningful dialog with its dealers.” HTT

Betty White Teams with Carpenter Co. RICHMOND, VA. — Emmy Award-

winning actress Betty White, who has recently become a hit with a new generation of television and movie fans, has signed on for Carpenter Co.’s campaign to help parents and children develop better sleep routines. White, who will host Saturday Night Live on May 8, boo-

meranged back into the public eye following her appearance in a comedic Snickers commercial during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast as well as her turn last year’s Sandra Bullock movie, “The Proposal.” Earlier in her career, she played iconic characters on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. “Carpenter Co. is thrilled to

sign Betty White as the spokesperson for this important initiative,” said Dan Schecter, vp, sales and marketing of consumer products. “People think of Betty White as one of the family, and we expect that through this consumer-education campaign she will encourage millions of those families to take real steps toward getting better sleep.” HTT

Safavieh Hires Moshy as Territory Manager with Shalom Carpets, and terriUpscale area rug house Safa- tory manger covering the New vieh has appointed England region for Joseph Moshy terriTufenkian Carpets. tory manager, assigned In his new position, to the Middle Atlantic Mosy is responsible for region and the state of sales of all Safavieh rug California. lines in California, DelA 15-year industry aware, Maryland, New veteran, Moshy comes Jersey, Pennsylvania, to the company from JOSEPH MOSHY Virginia, Washington Veratex, a tricot knitD.C., and West VirSafavieh ter in South Carolina, ginia. where he was sales He reports to Arash manager. Earlier, he served as Yaraghi, company principal, and sales manager for Pande Cam- is based here at company headeron, national sales manager quarters.HTT P O R T WA S H I N G T O N , N Y —

Hudson Bay ceo Stepping Down TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Trad-

ing Company’s Jeffrey Sherman will retire as president and ceo effective June 1, 2010. Sherman came out of retirement to rejoin the company in 2008 to re-strategize first Hudson’s Bay, then Lord & Taylor. “Jeff has built a strong leadership team of retail presidents who effectively re-positioned the company with consumers, improved the overall financial

performance and structure of the organization and led our team through the enormously successful Olympic program that captured the hearts and hands of Canadians,” said Richard Baker, chairman and ceo, Hudson’s Bay Trading Company and governor, Hudson’s Bay Company. There are no plans to replace Sherman, according to the company. HTT

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April 26, 2010

BUSINESS TodaY Tuesday Morning Sales, Comps Gains in Third Quarter D A L L A S — Tuesday Morning

Corp. experienced modest improvements in its business during its third quarter, with gains in net sales, comps and traffic. Sales for the quarter, ended March 31, were up by 3.0% to $172.0 million compared to $167.0 million for the same time last year. Comparable store sales increased by 1.6% due to a 2.9% increase in traffic offsetting a 1.3% decrease in average ticket. Year to date, sales were up 2.34% to $627.5 million compared to $613.1 million in the year-ago period. Comp store sales increased 1.0%. “We were pleased with the

increase in comparable store sales and traffic for the second consecutive quarter in spite of severe weather that affected many of our stores during and around key marketing events early in the quarter,” said Kathleen Mason, president and ceo. “We have continued to improve our strong balance sheet, increase earnings, and eliminate debt.” Based on the results, the 847-unit closeout chain with stores in 43 states currently expects loss per share for the third quarter to be in the range of 9 cents to 11 cents. Loss per share was 16 cents for last year’s third quarter.

Tuesday Morning also said it had revised its guidance for the full fiscal year, which ends June 30. Sales are expected to be in the range of $819 million to $824 million, comparable store sales to be positive in the low single digits, and diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 18 cents to 20 cents. In the prior fiscal year, earnings per share were $0.00. Additionally, capital expenditures are expected to be $21 million, and the company also expects to end this fiscal year with seven fewer stores than it operated in the previous year. The company will report full results April 26. HTT

Mother’s Day Sales Should Improve W A S H I N GT O N — Stepped up

consumer holiday spending is expected to continue for Mother’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation. Average per-person spending on the holiday is expected to rise 2.4% to $126.90. The survey by BigResearch forecast total spending to reach $14.6 billion this year.

In what NRF calls “a noticeable shift,” one-third (30.6%) will do their Mother’s Day shopping in department stores, compared to 27.2% last year. That slightly outpaces discount stores (30.4%) as a destination. Specialty stores such as florists or jewelers will see the most traffic (33.6%). Other shoppers will patronize on-

line (19.7%), specialty clothing stores (6.2%) or catalogs (2.5%). “Even with slight improvements in the economy, consumers are still looking for unique, sentimental and inexpensive ways to show mom that she is import ant,” said Tracy Mullin, President and ceo, NRF. HTT

Same-store sales

Comps Log Another Positive Week N EW YORK — Same-store sales softened a bit

She reiterated — as have other industry during the second week of April, but remained watchers — that the shift of Easter into March in positive territory, the Johnson Redbook re- this year potentially skews results and cautioned ported last week. The Johnson Redbook ReJohnson Redbook Index tail Sales Index rose 2.6% afSecond week of April, year-over-year % change ter gaining 3.3% the previous WEEK ENDED 4/10 4/17 4/24 5/1 MONTH TARGET week. Comps were up 1.5% in Department stores* 2.0 1.5 1.8 1.3 the department store sector Discounters 4.1 3.1 3.6 3.6 and up 3.1% at discounters. Redbook Index 3.3 2.6 3.0 2.8 Redbook cited weather vari*Including chain stores and traditional department stores ations for mixed results. Source: Johnson Redbook Index “This stop-and-go pattern of spring shopping influenced by weather has been evident for several weeks,” March and April should be assessed as a single unit. HTT said Catlin Levis, Redbook analyst.

Duckwall-Alco Falls Short in 4Q, Fiscal 2010; Looks to Improve With New Values BY CECILE B. CORRAL A BILENE , K AN . — Duckwall-

Alco blamed itself for declines in sales and comps for the fourth quarter and full fiscal 2010, admitting it did not respond effectively to consumers’ demands for value-priced goods. “The board has looked very carefully at whether the company’s challenges have been related to its business model or with our execution. We believe it clearly has been with our execution,” said Royce Winsten, chairman of the board, during the company’s quarterly conference call. “Duckwall failed to adequately address certain market and merchandise opportunities, which have been successfully exploited by others. The good news is, the problems are simple and straightforward. So are the fi xes. Unfortunately, what is simple is not necessarily easy.” To correct the misstep, the 254-unit regional discounter, which operates stores in 23 Central U.S. states, is implementing a new five-pronged merchandise initiative program that includes the expansion of the food and consumables department to help increase store traffi c, build basket size and provide customers with “high-quality merchandise at competitive prices,” explained Rich Wilson, who joined the company as president and ceo in February upon the resignation of Lawrence Zigerelli. These initiatives include: -- Introducing a new everyday-value program “to improve the company’s value profile in the marketplace,” he said. The merchandise will be available in every department from apparel to healthy and beauty; -- Expanding food and consumables category, representing areas of “key growth oppor-

tunities” and can be expected to drive more frequent store trips; -- Increasing penetration of private-label merchandise; -- Reallocating space and creating a new store layout, resizing departments based on productivity. - - R e d u ci n g s k u c o u n t s throughout the store. Brighter results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 came in turned-around net earnings, which were positive for both periods compared to year-ago losses. Net income for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 were $1.5 million, or 37 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $715,000, or 19 cents per share in the prior same period. Sales from continuing operations fell 2.5% to $136.5 million, and same-store sales dropped 2.9%. Of this 13-week sales decline, approximately $4.5 million was due to soft lines, home décor, and music and movies. Those reductions in sales were slightly offset by increases in commodities, toys and photo accessory business. For the full fi scal year, net income for fiscal 2010 was $3.0 million, or 77 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $5.0 million, or $1.31 per share, in the prior fiscal year,” the company noted. Sales from continuing operations decreased 0.2% to $488.7 million, and same-store sales declined 0.7%. Real est ate initiatives for this year call for six new Alco locations – four in Texas, the company’s largest market; one in Utah; and one in Iowa. In other news, DuckwallAlco is actively searching for a new director of stores, a post which was vacated in February. HTT

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Calendar May

16 – 18


Surtex Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY (914) 421-3200

gulfBID Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, Manama Kingdom of Bahrain +973 1729 3131

19 – 21 5–7 Proposte Villa Erba in Cernobbio, Como, Italy +39 02 6434054

Hospitality & Design Show Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas (508) 743-8502

19 – 23 10 – 12 DOMOTEX Middle East Dubai Airport Expo Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates +971 4 337 6072

Evteks CNR EXPO, Istanbul, Turkey +90 212 465 74 75

June 2–4

12 – 15 International Window Coverings Expo: VISION ’10 Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta 651-293-1544

Interior Lifestyle (Ambiente/ Heimtextil/HomeDesign) Japan International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight), Tokyo, Japan +81 3 3262 8453

2 –4 15 – 18 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY (914) 421-3200

The 8th China Shanghai International Furniture Exhibition Shanghai New International Expo Center

2 –4 Asian Building Interiors China 2010

Hong Kong Convention & Expo Center

3–7 Furnex Egypt Cairo Int’l Convention and Exhibition Center Expolink 002 02 2527 1010

6–9 Showtime Fabric Fair Market Square, Textile Tower, High Point, N.C., (336) 885-6842

8 –11 China International Consumer Goods Fair (CICGF) Ningbo, China 86 574 8717 8074

8 – 10 China (Shanghai) International Textiles, Fabrics & Accessories Exhibition Shanghai New International Expo Center

22 – 26 ITMA Asia & CITME Shanghai New International Expo Center Beijing Textile Machinery Association

23 – 29 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) DAL-MKTS

24 – 27 Dallas Hospitality & Contract Design Show World Trade Center, Dallas (214) DAL-MKTS

25 – 28 F!NDS Dallas Temp Show World Trade Center, Market Hall, Dallas (214) 655-6116

July 1 – 4 & 8 – 11

8 – 10 Licensing International Expo Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas (212) 951-6612

13 – 16 Las Vegas Gift Home show World Market Center Las Vegas (702) 599 9621

New Designers Business Design Centre, London, UK 020 7288 6738

13 – 15 Home Textiles Fabric Sourcing Expo New York Jacob K. Javits Center (770)-984-8016

13 – 16 Vegas Kids Show World Market Center Las Vegas (702) 599 9621

14 – 16 NeoCon World’s Trade Fair The Merchandise Mart, Chicago (800) 677-6278

15 – 17 American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) National Conference at NeoCon The Merchandise Mart, Chicago (202) 546-3480 23 – 29 Dallas Holiday & Home Expo Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) DAL-MKTS

14 – 21 The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (800) ATL-MART or (404) 220-2435

15 – 18 The Atlanta International Area Rug Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (800) ATL-MART or (404) 220-2437

August 2–6 Las Vegas Market World Market Center and Pavilions, Las Vegas (702) 599-9621

Las Vegas (702)599-3064 or (702)599-9621

2–6 Vegas Kids World Market Center and Pavilions, Las Vegas (702)599-3064 or (702)599-9621

7–9 Gourmet Housewares Show The Moscone Center, San Francisco (914) 421-3200

8 – 11 ASD/AMD Las Vegas Sands Expo Center & Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas (310) 481-7300

13 – 19 New York Home Textiles Market Week 7 W New York, 230 Fifth Avenue, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY (914) 421-3200

14– 19 New York International Gift Fair Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Passenger Ship Terminal Pier 94 New York (914) 421-3200

24 – 26 Intertextil Shanghai Home Textiles, China Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China (852) 2238 9983




Gift+Home World Market Center and Pavilions,

Meuble Paris / Maison & Objet Parc des Expositions,


Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010


Calendar Paris-Nord Villepinte, Paris, France (888) 522-5001

11 – 13 Atlanta Fall Gift & Home Furnishings Market AmericasMart, Atlanta (404) 220-3000

13 – 18 New York Home Fashions Market Home Fashion Products Association N.Y. Showrooms and hotels (212) 297-2122 (Kellen Co.)

11 – 13 F!NDS Dallas Temp Show World Trade Center, Market Hall Dallas (214) 655-6116

11 – 15 JSWB Shanghai Furniture Sourcing Show JSWB Global Home Furnishing Center, Shanghai, China

12 HTT Market Kick-Off Party 6 p.m-8 p.m. Penthouse & Roof, 230 Fifth Ave. (646) 746-7421

11 – 13 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Dallas Market Center, Dallas (800) DAL-MKTS

13 – 14 HD Boutique Exposition & Conference Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Fla.

(770) 291-5400

13 – 18 New York Home Fashions Market Home Fashion Products Association N.Y. Showrooms and hotels (212) 297-2122 (Kellen Co.)

14 – 16 Mood Brussels Textirama, vzw 34 9 243 8450

14 – 16 Heimtextil Russia IEC Crocus Expo Exhibition Center, Moscow, Russia +7 (495) 721 1058

14 – 17

16 – 18

Indigo (Home Furnishing Edition) Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium +33 (0) 1 70 38 7000

China Textile & Apparel Trade Show Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York (718) 261-1181

14 – 17 20 – 23

Expolfil Deco Brussels Belgium Premier Vision S.A. 33 (0) 4 72 606500

15 – 17 Textile Expo Uzbekistan UzExpo Center, Tashkent, Uzbekistan +998 71 113 01 80

15 – 17 CAITME UzExpo Center, Tashkent, Uzbekistan +998 71 113 01 80

China (Dalian) International Garment & Textile Fair World Expo Center (Dalian) Dalian Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation Bureau www.

October 6–8 Interstoff Asia Essential – Autumn Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong (852) 2238 9917



CLOSEOUTS WANTED --BOUGHT AND SOLD-Seeking Unlimited Quantities on Firsts, Irregulars and Overstocks HOME FASHIONS DISTRIBUTOR INC Mike O’Neil 207-646-1949 Email:

Textile Designer NYC based home fashion manufacturer seeks experienced Textile Designer. 3+ years bedding experience and strong skills in Photoshop & Illustrator. Resume to:

Product Development Manager Major NJ importer with JV w/Chinese factories seeks “PDM” for Dec Pillows & Window treatments. Candidate will be responsible for Market research, Int’l Sourcing & taking product from concept to line. F/T or P/T position Email:

Production Manager

Technical Designer

Home Textile Importer based out of New Jersey seeks a Mandarin Speaking professional to manage sample development, timely delivery, quality, color, etc. from factories in China. Send Resume to:

Fabric-Color-Product to live in China NJ based Home Textile Importer with Office in Shanghai seeks an individual with tech exp in fabric development, wovens, and color knowledge to visit factories in China to ensure technical standards. Home Textile & Fabric engineer background required. Must be willing to relocate for min of 2 yrs. Send Resume to:

Window Design Director

LINES OFFERED SALES HELP Long Island based importer of Bedding and Home Textiles looking for a motivated individual with some knowledge of the industry. Following a plus but not the main consideration. Compensation commensurate with experience. Real unlimited opportunity. E-mail resume to or fax to 516-621-9125

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BEDDING SALES REPS If you have 5+ yrs industry exp with strong Major Retail Contacts, we want to talk with you. Existing BBB, Sears, Dillard’s, Target, Kohl’s, Costco accounts preferred. Call 732.356.1800; email:

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Sales Representatives Wanted!!! Importer in home textiles for more than 35 years seeks sales reps to grow our business with discounters and off-price retailers. Must have minimum of 5 years experience and good contacts with customers in place. Please email resume to

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NJ based Home Textile Importer seeks an Individual to be responsible for the creative design and development of Window Treatments for a diverse customer base. Must know trends, be creative and technical. Fabric technical background and experience with weaving, yarns and machinery a plus. Home Textile exp required. Send Resume to:


Contract Pillow Filling covering a wide variety of products including body, toss, bolster, pet bed, backrest, floor cushions and more. Domestic Distribution available with EDI Contact: August Gentry at Zig Zag Inc. Atlanta, Ga 404-786-1691 . . . .

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Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010

OPINIONTodaY Here Comes More Business – And More Capacity “Some international manufacturers are feeling confident enough to begin investing in their infrastructures again.”


S T HE CLOUDS BEGIN to part and we get a turers have set their sights on Latin America as a whole. clearer picture of the horizon, some internation- Others are eyeing Australia, South Africa and Scandinaal manufacturers are feeling confident enough to vian countries. Russia, depending on who’s doing the talking, offers solid opportunity or is still too much of a pain begin investing in their infrastructures again. A brief list, based on conversations and or correspon- to bother with. Turkey gets a nod here and there, as does the Middle East. dence recently with several mills in Southeast Asia: All good. When supply goes in search of demand you Alok: Doubling towel capacity, growing bedding capachave to find some more baskets for all those adity and constructing “one of the largest weaving ditional eggs your new chickens are pumping sheds under one roof.” out. Al-Abid: Recently boosted capacity by 20%. One hopes there is enough business to be Adding cut and sew as well as dyeing. found in Brazil, India, Asia, Russia and elseTrident India: A major expansion in towel EDITOR-IN-CHIEF where to absorb them. This is an industry with production as well as expanding yarn facilities. a seemingly endless ability to drive itself into Crescent Textile Mills Ltd.: Sewing capacia tree. We all saw how the mega-mill scenarties being boosted 10% to 15%. io played out in the United States. It would be Towellers: Adding more capacity in bath. shame to replicate it on a global scale. Kam International: Recently added a new It should be noted that not every mill I surdyeing range, flat panel printing and enhanced veyed on this question is adding capacity. Many cut and sew capacities. — about half — are standing pat and waiting for Welspun: Not adding capacities per se, but recalibrating machines and processes to pump capacity re- consumer demand to develop a stronger pulse. You could make a sound argument for either strategy: Prepare ahead lease by 20% to 25% for sheets, towels and bath rugs. In many instances ramping up not just for the U.S. of time for when it happens or, conversely, don’t get too market, although the direct-to-megaretailer model con- far ahead of the market. Ultimately, the lesson is the same as it ever was: More tinues apace. Consumption in China and India continues to expand. Brazil is booming, and several manufac- is more. HTT

Jennifer Marks

Things are Looking Up “After a whirlwind tour through last week’s High Point Market, ‘looking up’ is definitely the proper phrase. Not great, but definitely better than recent history would show.”


HINGS A R E DEFINITELY looking up — and Whether designer or retailer at the upper end, availabilthat’s the right direction. ity is a key issue — a factor that is definitely having an imAfter a whirlwind tour through last week’s pact on how goods come in from China, India and PakiHigh Point Market in North Carolina, “looking stan. The feeling is that more and more, distribution will up” is definitely the proper phrase. Not great, but definite- be handled here with a high degree of service built in to ly better than recent history would show. the programs. It’s a scenario that was repeated in High Point For the more mainstream suppliers at High — albeit with a higher level of enthusiasm than Point, there still is the high wall to leap to get had been indicated at the many regional marfurniture sales people to do the minimal paper work beyond a typical furniture sale. But there kets involving home textiles since the first of the FOUNDING are those who are getting it – and getting it right year. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF and properly with little agita on the part of the Retailers and interior designers are writing orretail sales person. ders. Yes, they’re not huge orders, but they are It’s these cases where the “keep it simple, stupid” are orders. And interestingly, much of the writing is definitepaying out. Top-of-bed business is growing and is profitly at the top of the price points — whether sheets, decoraable. The suppliers that have the patience to work their tive bedding, furniture or accessories. way through this “different” way of doing business other In a number of showrooms, suppliers mentioned dethan via a Bed Bath &Beyond, JCPenney, Kohl’s or Masigners with 10,000-square-foot-plus homes walking the cy’s are fi nding there’s a good sales volume as well as a sigmarket and placing the orders for merchandise. No, the nifi cant profi t to be achieved in this market. luxury end is not flooding the market, but they are now visThe suppliers in High Point last week apparently feel ible as buyers whereas in the last year or so, these projects were being done very quietly. they have that special key. HTT

Carole Sloan


360 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10010 Tel: (646) 746-7421; Fax: (646) 746-6335 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennifer Marks 375 South End Avenue #32U New York, N.Y. 10280 (212) 945-9151 | FOUNDING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Carole Sloan 16 E. 96th St., New York, NY 10128 Tel: (212) 831-8266 | Fax: (212) 831-0814 PRODUCT EDITOR Cecile B. Corral 428 Bianca Ave. Coral Gables, FL 33146 (305) 661-7493 | COPY EDITOR Julie Murphy (646) 746-7298 | DIRECTOR OF MARKET RESEARCH Dana French (336) 605-1091 | PUBLISHER Joseph V. Carena Jr. (203) 321-0232 | ACCOUNT MANAGER SOUTH/EAST Jeff Reeves (336) 605-1009 | ACCOUNT MANAGER Mary McLoughlin (646) 746-7421 | CLASSIFIED AD SALES Spencer Whittle (336) 605-1027 Karen Hancock (336) 605-1047 MANAGER, CHINA Nancy Yu Tel: 86 (0) 21 5126 0111; Fax: 86 (0) 21 6539 0321 MANAGER, EUROPE Mirek Kraczkowski Tel: 48 22 401 70 01; Fax: 48 22 401 70 16 | MANAGER, INDIA Kaushal Shah Cell: 91-9821715431; Tel: 91-22-6663 4597 / 24988658 Fax: 91-22-66634596 | ONLINE SALES MANAGER Penny Schneck (336) 605-1084 | VP, INTERACTIVE MEDIA & SALES MANAGEMENT Karthik Krishnan (336) 605-7580 | PRODUCTION MANAGER Rich Lamb Tel: (336) 605-1074; Fax: (336) 605-1143 | MANAGER, CLIENT SERVICES, WEB ADVERTISING Dan Sage | (336) 605-1080 | E-MEDIA PROJECT MANAGER Missy Axe | (336) 605-1005 | DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE MARKETING Allison Ternes (704) 573-9007 |


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JCP Home Revamps JCP FROM PAGE 1

— who briefly attended the Home Fashions Market here in March while in a transition from his prior assignment as svp for the dot com business, and earlier was on the apparel side — and Lawrence see many similarities. “The markets are very similar with fashion and core essentials. Some segments move faster than home while others are about the same.” The key, Tighe added, “is to add style and fashions. We already have lots of great style brands but the minus is that the balance is off on the floor.” In the near term, added Lawrence, “We’ll peel back what doesn’t make sense.” As an example, he pointed to the window hardware category where JCPenney has nine brands. Added Tighe, “As far as brands are concerned, does it make sense for each to be represented in all product segments?” Overall, both merchants emphasized that not just the buy of the product, but the presentation and marketing need tweaking. “There’s a role for brands


“moderate” — which involves inventory, SG&A, Cap-Ex reflected in the diminished store opening program especially; and “maintain,” which includes customer experience, brand launches, newness and merchandise flow. Overall, Ullman said the company’s objectives are “five, five, five” which is a five-year plan, an additional $5 billion in sales, and $5 for EPS.” As part of the cam-


item utilizing lab equipment at the college to properly identify the playing field, and look for ways to help our customers offer the best quality merchandise at each level of their particular strategy.” The other project underway centers on detailed sales forecasting aimed at helping JVS and its retail customers collaborate to improve inventory efficiency. Hurley said many of the college’s graduate students working on the proj-

Home Textiles Today

April 26, 2010


and product development, but our merchandising and buying needs to be clearer.” Traditional, which appeals to the core Penney customer, has a very strong success in Chris Madden and with American Living and “can create an important traditional segment. The key is successful balance — we can go from ditch to ditch. Traditional is our crux, but we can’t overdo it. We’re not as strong in transitional and modern, where the existing collection — Cindy Crawford, Linden Street and Studio — will be joined in the August launch of Liz Claiborne in top of the bed and window along with a broad spectrum of apparel products.” To date, the changes under Lawrence and Tighe include the assigning of John Kendig to furniture department as dvp, dmm, who is to “focus on this business and grow it,” said Tighe. Sue Gregson, recently named dvp, dmm for window, will report to Tighe directly. While not using the recession as a cop out, Lawrence attributed some of the home business’ travails to this period. “There were decisions made as a result of the tough economy, and it’s tough for us to see competitors come

back better.” In a earlier presentation to the analysts, Lawrence remarked that there was a great similarity to the men’s business in prior years. “It’s a well-balanced assortment, and we’re still dominant, especially in window and home as a well-built dot-com business.” On the negative side, however, he believes the department has become over assorted. “We’ve taken the brands into too many categories; we don’t have a key item focus and in-store needs to be easier to shop.” Tighe added, “We have the strength of our private brands, professional and engaged sales associates and a large dot-com business built off the catalog business.” In fact, home represents the lions share — more than one-half — of the dot-com business, in part because of the catalog prowess which now is being purposely subdued. His goals for the division, Tighe said, include “maximizing our core business with balance in price, and private vs. national brands as specific opportunities. We need to accelerate our growth, simplify our store presentation and be in stock.” In addition, Tighe sees a need

for improving style especially in window, bedding and tabletop as well as growing bedding and towels. “We need to transform home marketing, and increase our dotcom business.” Further discussing home, Ullman said furniture and window skew the pricing matrix, but bed and bath are the key to effective pricing. In addition, Lawrence said “ Competitive pricing is an issue and we need to have a clarity of pricing versus layered discounts.” In discussing the marketing programs, Tighe referenced his most recent assignment in the dot-com sector. Today, dot com as a division provides $1.5 billion in sales and is not growing. A key reason is the downsizing of the Big Books — the company’s famed giant semi-annual catalogs. The goal for dot com with the new approach is to add $1 billion over the next five years. Today, Tighe said, “We have a very strong market share in all home and a strong share of wallet with dot com and in store only merchandise. Going forward, the strategy is to execute dotcom fundamentals linked to the customer versus the long life approach of the catalogs.

He considers the current online assortment to be A-plus with “a younger customer that is quicker and more nimble.” The goal is to leverage the company strengths in the direct-toconsumer business and expand the impact of the Find More programs that enable customers in-store to find merchandise that may be out of stock or simply not carried in the store’s in inventory. The company also is joining the many retailers looking to capitalize on the mobile marketing craze as well as social media. The Big Books, Ullman explained “carried a lot of overhead” and the company has programmed a major drop in catalog business, though it now sends out product-specific and customer-directed mini catalogs. Overall in merchandising, Ullman said, Penney uses 40 different metrics to determine each stores’ merchandise, pricing and style mix — even when they are in the same geographic area. “Pricing and sizing is done as it relates to a local situation. We’re trying to improve localization” with the broad array of company centrally determined product. HTT

paign there is a major effort to attract the younger customer — a situation that will affect the merchandise assortments and marketing across the board. The sales growth will be primarily organic, Ullman stated. Over the next few years, there will be few new store openings, with remodels the key for the first years of the plan. The company is planning for a growth to 119 million feet from 111 square feet. “It’s a new day at JCPenney, not just in our advertising our atti-

tude and approach to growing the business,” Ullman remarked. The Manhattan store in New York has been performing exceptionally well and, along with the Queens and Bronx locations, ranks among the company’s Top 4, along with the store in Puerto Rico. Interestingly, the Manhattan store consumer —unlike the other New York area stores — demands a smaller size range in clothing and is a younger consumer than the typical Penney customer. HTT


ect have practical experience with large retailers and have experience in this type of work. JVS Exports is enjoying “an added bonus” through its NC State partnership: many of the University’s College of Textiles students are from India, making them potential candidates for future permanent positions working at the company’s facilities in India. Hurley said JVS Exports expects to “quickly develop an exchange program” where U.S.based students can work at JVS in India and vice versa — the company’s India-based employees can

work temporarily at the University office to train and learn more about the U.S. market. In another effort, JVS Exports also plans to augment its partnership with NC State by participating in various organizations on campus, such as the Entrepreneurs Club, as well as serve on the Industry Advisory Board of the college. “JVS is looking forward to sharing information and ideas with students and faculty [so] that the college learns from us as much as we learn from them,” Hurley said. HTT

decorative pillows and sheets from Italy all were strong. “It was a little better than in October, and there were more buyers out there,” explained Jesse Galili, vp, Hallmart Collectibles. From a product perspective, “opulence is still strong and traditional is surprisingly striking.” Ann Gish, owner of her eponymous bedding and linens business, commented: “Traffic was fi ne for our location, and we saw our old accounts as well as opened some new ones.” Interestingly, she noted, “There was no fake optimism but also no gloom.” In terms of product, the new sofa pillow collection was well received as were the beds and table linens. Thief River Linens, now under new direction and ownership, was received positively by customers, especially those “who want to do a la carte or onesies,” said Emily Peele, owner. The previous company had minimums, which made it difficult to deal with designers, she explained. Another plus was the addition of luxury sheets that the company is embellishing. HTT


eral new customers especially were interested in that element of the product as well as the product itself. We saw people who haven’t been to market in years.” “We came with reasonable expectations and got way beyond; all five days were busy,” John Rose said. For Liora Manne, owner of her namesake rug and accessory firm, “it was an amazing reaction to the line and a fantastic reaction to our introduction of decorative pillows and small mats for indoor/outdoor.” “It was probably our best show here in three or four years,” said Ridvan Tatargil, owner of Eastern Accents. “They fixed the building, and it looks really good so that might have helped (referring to MMPI’s Market Square Suites).” Customers, he reported, were talking about “not that business is bad as they have been, but things are getting better. The attitude was much different.” As for product, bed sets,

Home Textiles Today Vol. 31 No. 11 April 26, 2010  

The business and fashion newspaper of the home textiles industry.