CAROLE SLOAN, founding editor-in-chief -- Home Textiles Today, 4/23/2001 12:00:00 AM
More observations on the recent home textiles market …
More than one big hitter in the world of home textiles retailing talked about how important the rug category was. It's one of the big-time growth opportunities for home textiles folks, they reported.
But few of the senior honchos attending the home textiles market spent a whole lot of time shopping the category.
What's even more interesting is that few of them were planning to be at the High Point home furnishings market, which also has a big rug presence among exhibitors.
And even fewer of these honchos go to Atlanta for its rug event.
So one wonders where these big guys get the feel for a business that they've already identified as being profitable, important and having growth potential.
What seems to be happening is that buyers are the key players, with the senior merchants looking on from their places back at home.
Another point that emerged from this past market is that a growing number of players on the supplier side are beginning to understand that the sun doesn't rise and set with the marts — that there are a whole lot of folks out there who buy home textiles without setting a foot in any of the marts to do this; and that they want more than the day's lowest price, which is bound to be lower a few days later at another mart.
While this development hasn't reached landslide proportions yet, just the fact that it is happening in the mainstream market is remarkable.
That it is happening came about with the Dan River launch of the Lily Pulitzer collection that was targeted for a very, very specific audience — one that the company did not typically sell — namely upscale stores that probably also were merchants of the Lily Pulitzer apparel. What a radical concept.
This market there were two significant developments: the luxury collection at Springs, which is being targeted to high-end specialty stores and catalogs — hardly the core constituency of that giant mill; and the unique Internet program designed for small retailers by Veratex, bringing them immediately into the fold for that company's complete line.
These moves may seem small, but they may eventually have a significant influence on how this market looks at its product.
We would love your feedback!