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A powerhouse deal that may never see day

The powerhouse combination of Springs and Pillowtex, the marriage the union wants to bust up, would create the largest company the industry has ever seen, with combined home fashions sales in the range of $3.1 billion based on 2002 results of Springs, Pillowtex and the recently acquired Charles D. Owen Mfg.

And the total would only grow substantially higher this year when Springs layers on full-year sales from other recent acquisitions, including Burlington House and Beaulieu Rugs. By the close of 2003, it's entirely conceivable that Springs home fashions sales could easily exceed $3.3 billion. And the number grows still larger when one adds in Springs' big drapery hardware and window blinds businesses.

Just how big is big? Look at it this way. Based on 2002 sales figures, Springs — after annexing Pillowtex and Owen — leaves its nearest rival breathing its dust. Its sales would be roughly 75 percent higher than the $1.78 billion generated last year by second-place WestPoint Stevens. And it would be almost four times the size of third-ranked Mohawk Home with its 2002 home fashions sales of $528 million. It would be more than seven times as large as fourth-place Dan River.

In fact, if the deal does, at some point, go through, the new Springs colossus, the largest home fashions supplier the industry has ever known, would generate almost $200 million more in annual sales than WestPoint, Mohawk Home and Dan River combined.

Need more convincing that something entirely different could be created? Contemplate this: Springs would then account for almost 40 percent of the $7.9 billion in sales generated by the industry's top 15 players last year. Big would then become behemoth.

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