Times Are Changing
By Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, 6/13/2005 12:00:00 AM
It's definitely not business as usual in this home textiles business — either from the supplier side or at retail.
It seems that almost every other week there is something internally or externally happening that impacts the way the home textiles business is done.
Just at the tail end of a week ago, there was the revelation that a safeguard was applied for in the curtain and drapery segment.
It wasn't heralded by an announcement by those that applied for the safeguard.
It merely was a careful review of those procedures that brought it to the attention of the members of the Home Fashions Product Association.
Ironically HFPA, with its many members that are suppliers of curtains and draperies, had nothing to do with the petition.
And even more curious, a number of the HFPA members that are key suppliers in this arena had not been contacted by the four groups filing the petition.
In an industry that is not known for its communication skills, this should come as no surprise.
And if the proscribed timetable is followed, there should be some sort of response from the Department of Commerce's CITA group next week.
Then there is the already simmering pot called “who wants what” and “who gets what” in the store rejiggering derby as Federated and May are set to conclude their transaction and the door is still open at Sears and Kmart.
Then there is the speculation about the northern segment of what remains of the Saks Department Store Group.
And while the home textiles world is focused on internal activities and retailers, there's a host of real estate up for grabs as a result of the demise and/or reconfigurations of other retailers from furniture chains to toy chains, home entertainment/appliance retailers and just local moms and pops.
It's natural to look for a bargain. But as the old retailing saying goes — it's location, location, location. The real estate frenzy should be tempered with this in mind.
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