Sunham gearing up for growth
By Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, 3/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Last fall, Sunham Home Fashions officially debuted its towel and rug division created from displaced industry experts it hired several months earlier.
Now the company's newest division will display products for the New York Home Textiles Market at its own showroom spanning the entire fifth floor of the building next door to its main offices on Fifth Avenue.
Sunham will present eight to 10 towel collections and 30-plus rug designs, including numerous constructions and pile heights.
The towel and rug team consists of Joe Shafran, national sales manager; Jane Cooney, director of creative services; Darlene Williams, product manager; and Michelle Sims, head designer.
Along with its permanent showroom at 310 Fifth Ave., the division also has a marketing, research and design office in Columbus, Ind.
In addition, the company purchased a new warehouse on a 10-acre site in New Providence, N.J., where Sunham's accounting staff will be relocating in mid-March.
The company now ships from Long Beach, Calif., and New Providence, and has a fully staffed office in Shanghai with about 25 employees.
"We are becoming pioneers in the rug area now that we're doing nylon-tufted rugs with all production overseas in China," added Sunham Vice President of Business Development Dean Davaros.
"Basically, they are higher quality rugs that are fully washable with non-slip backs at the same price points as solid color rugs."
"(2003) was an exciting year for us with new categories emerging and the overall growth we've experienced. Business is exploding for us," added Davaros. "Better quilts are still selling well for us, while the rest of the quilt area remains flat. Comforter and sheet business is really taking off along with mini duvet sets. Luxury bed-in-a-bag and comforter business really attribute for the growth we've experienced."
Davaros added that he expects comforter sales to surpass quilt sales this year or next, although the category is not going away.
Overall, the company experienced 18 percent total growth in 2003, he said.
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