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Showtime made to order for buyers

High Point, NC — Despite the state of the economy, fabric suppliers were generally pleased with the results of Showtime here last week.

Typically, Showtime is not an order-writing event, rather more of a sample-request activity, however a number of fabric companies reported order writing on the spot as well as verbal commitments with orders to come from a cross-section of buyers.

Once again, the makeup of the attendees seems to put the non-furniture manufacturer customer base on an equal plane with the furniture manufacturers, which were the original targets for the early Showtime events.

Interestingly, a number of niche fabric companies reported excellent responses to their products as customers sought out looks and constructions that were innovative and directional.

For Richloom, "it was excellent, actually above excellent," said a buoyant John Ringer, sales manager. "The diversity of our product attracted a wide range of customer base, and we had good meetings with jobbers and retailers, as well as furniture manufacturers."

"It was not as bad as I expected," Roger Burnim, vp, Concord Home, related. The winners among the introductions, he added, were the non-traditional, unique designs — tropicals, kids, contemporary, colorful.

Overall, he noted, "There were fewer jobbers here — but we cover them thoroughly — and more non-furniture manufacturers and retailers."

The efforts to expand the range of product at Textile Fabric Associates paid out, according to Michael Day, vp. The new Italian novelty effects and the TFA approach to coordinate woven collections even including throws were significant winners, Day said: "Customers were even talking about cutting out the main motif of our throws for pillows."

Jack Korngold, vp, marketing, Costa Blanca, said, "This was the best market we've had. There was a really upbeat attitude among our home textiles manufacturers. And they responded to our basic line as well as to a puckered matelasse, prints that work with the wovens and four new chenille yarns."

Noting that "overall attendance was down," Kew Magrish, vp, Chris Stone, said "Showtime was better than we anticipated. Our solids got strong response, the silks also; and the new traditional styling was well received."

Magrish added, "The non-furniture part of the business was stronger than furniture. These firms are aggressively seeking new suppliers. And in a market that is basically appointments only, we had 59 drop-ins."

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